An April Salute

balloons-1300Don’t you just love the month of April? The greening of everything? The pinks and lavenders in neighborhood yards? A blossoming tree capturing your attention as you turn a corner? My yard is coming to life as I speak. Every morning my dog, Bella, and I check to see what’s new. April is my favorite month. Well, it’s also my birthday month. Yay!

th91JY168GI look at April as a beginning. The beginning of an awakening world, of warmth, of the birth of life around us, but also a beginning of new strengths I notice in myself. I seem to regroup in April, write more, clean more, read more. I do more of everything. I find strength, both internal and external, that must have been asleep during the winter months.

So we’re back to my favorite topic—strong women. I truly believe that woman have an innate strength which gets them through hard times, which comes just when they need it most, which sometimes slips away but always manages to return. This strength leads women to become, to name a few, mothers, teachers, heads of state, corporate professionals, missionaries, doctors, nurses, elder and child caregivers, business owners and of course, good friends to other women, and allows them to create beautiful art, write heartfelt stories, cook amazing food, and give back to the world in some way.

As an author, I’m always impressed with writers who exemplify the inner strength of the characters they present on the page. Doing research for this blog post, I came across an article written for the New York Times on December 18, 2014 entitled, “The Unbreakable Lauren Hillenbrand” by Wil S. Hilton. The article was magic and the subject even more so.

th (7)Lauren Hillenbrand wrote Seabiscuit and Unbroken—true stories brought to life, in this case with historical reference. I have read both of these amazing books and Ms. Hillenbrand’s way with words is both lyrical, emotional and intellectual. If you haven’t read these books, please do. You will come away with not only knowledge but also insight touched with spirit and humanity.

Hilton’s article explained Lauren’s background, her family, her creative process, and her illness. I knew she suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome to the max. What I learned was that there when she is unable to leave her home due to her ongoing symptoms, which include vertigo. Several years ago, I endured bouts of vertigo and it can be debilitating. She doesn’t just function with her condition; she writes books that require detailed background research, a time consuming endeavor and sometimes an organizational nightmare. If you have a chance, check out Mr. Hilton’s article online at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/21/magazine/the-unbreakable-laura-hillenbrand.html?_r=0

So here’s my salute to Lauren Hillenbrand who not only writes with her affliction, but who excels in her craft. I would love to meet her for she is my definition of a strong southern woman. (Forgive me if you think she’s not really southern. I threw in that part because she was born in Maryland, one of those borderline states.)

My next post will be introduce guest blogger, Karen Ginther-Graham.

See you toward the end of the month,

Jody

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