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Day 274

Updated: Jun 26, 2019

I went to Soroptimist Chicago’s annual holiday party and fundraiser. I have a firm belief that friends are the people you show up for ( Terry, Soroptimist President, is a woman that shows up for me and so I, in turn, show up for her. During dinner, I was asked how long I’d been a Soroptimist. I asked Terry, and she said she recalled I was breastfeeding Constance when they pinned me. I laughed, and she teased, I thought you and Liz, another new mom, would never pull your shirts up.

I enjoy Soroptimists because they are all women interested in providing economic support to other women. They are also all characters too. One of the women wore a tree skirt that she insisted was an actual skirt. She convinced no one, but it was beautiful anyway.

As the event commenced, Terry gave a speech about all the beautiful scholarships and women’s employment projects we get to support.

Afterward, I stood up and asked my fellow ladies to raise a glass in a toast to our friend Terry. I’d never given a salute before. Oddly, I hate public speaking despite seemingly loving all other forms of speaking. As tears rolled down my face, I explained that my daughter had died this year and Terry had come to the memorial, come to the dedication, checked in on me throughout the year, and even volunteered at a work event I had. I said she wasn’t just there for women in economic need in Chicago but for all of us when we need her. Then we all said cheers to Terry and resumed our donation check writing.

If you are reading this at home and you showed up for me this year, thank you. I love you. Cheers to you too.

During the rest of the party, a parade of women came up to me to give their condolences. They seemed to all ask the same questions. How old was Constance? She was eight. What happened? Brain tumor. Do you have other children? No. Will you have more children? I lack sperm and home, so I doubt it. The older the woman the more they would assure me both are attainable. Ha! Some of them would ask if Constance’s father or I have a family history of brain tumors. I would explain that we didn’t but they are genetically inherited through European ancestry which I have and he does not. I did have genetic testing done after Constance passed that showed I was not a carrier and her father couldn’t be, so it was likely environmental. One woman summed that up perfectly by saying, “Well that’s not comforting.” No, it is not. Another woman replied, “Oh no, we could all die of that at any minute.” Yes, we could, it is a troubling thought — what a grim topic to discuss while using the good Christmas China. I have become desensitized to these questions. I understand that people are only asking them because they are concerned for me, and so I hug them and thank them for caring.

Before I left the party, Terry took me around to everyone who might be interested in buying my house and introduced me. I told her if she sold it I'd give her a commission. She laughed and said my happiness was payment enough at which point I jokingly offered her the job of being my realtor.

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Unknown member
Dec 16, 2018

Day 275 is at

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