October President's Letter
Happy New Year!
Since WEO operates on an October to September fiscal calendar, we get to celebrate the WEO New Year during the gorgeous Pacific Northwest Autumn. I was delighted to see so many of you at the September meeting, it was such an honor to recognize our hard-working volunteers and present the WEO Spirit Award and the WEO President’s Award to Donna Baxter and Ronnie Noize. The heart of WEO really is her members and the sisterhood created here.
I shared a story during my opening remarks, and I’ve had several comments on it since the meeting, so I thought perhaps it was worth putting into writing.
This past summer my husband and I took our ten-year-old daughter, Romy, to the Clark County Fair. After seeing all the animals, watching the Demolition Derby, and picking our favorites in the arts and crafts entries, it was time to brave the midway and watch our favorite tween enjoy the rides.
Brandishing her unlimited rides bracelet, Romy set out to seek thrills and conquer fears, only to quickly realize she didn’t much care for riding alone. After a few mediocre trips on contraptions we found ourselves in line for the “kiddie” roller coaster, and the carnival worker placed Romy in a car with a threesome of girls. I watched as they twisted and turned and quickly realized what had been missing on the earlier rides: Romy was having fun. These four girls were laughing and chatting and pointing and screaming, and I was so thankful. When the ride ended, you would have thought these girls had been lifelong friends. Holding hands and skipping along, they proceeded to the next ride, and the next ride, all the while giggling as only girls can.
Once the “easy” rides had become boring, the girls became a little more brave and rode some of the more challenging amusements. Once such ride looked particularly exciting, and scary, and a conversation ensued as to whether they should attempt something so harrowing. Romy wasn’t sure, it was a particularly “spinny” ride, and she was sure she was too scared. “Don’t worry,”one of her new friends assured, “I’ll sit right next to you, and it’ll be okay, because we’ll be together.” Romy looked at me, and she looked at the Spinning Ride, and she looked at her friend.
“Okay…if you promise to sit right next to me.”
And I sat on a bench and watched these girls, who have only known each other for a short time, spin and spin and not be scared. And I thought what a beautiful testament to friendship, particularly between women, and of the power of not being alone. May we be that for each other. May we see when our sisters are frightened, take a seat next to them, and buckle up.
~ Amy Loudenbach, WEO President