Sunday, April 28, 2013

West, Texas Explosion

(Austin CultureMap)

Today I’m thinking about the tragic explosion of a fertilizer plant in West, Texas.  Having lived in small town for a period of my life I understand how one explosion can impact an entire city.  As a native of a large, sprawling urban city, I also understand why many in America don’t understand how far reaching an explosion of this magnitude can be.

In small town America it is not unusual that you know someone who works at or does business with a large manufacturing facility like the fertilizer plant in West.  As a woman, I am thinking about the extensive impact this explosion will have on the families in this small town.  I think about the mothers and fathers who have lost partners, children and friends.  I am thinking about the loss of livelihood.  I am thinking about the fact that homes that have been lost.  I'm thinking about children who have lost the sense of normalcy that showing up at school each day provides.  The photo of “babies first birthday” that can never be replaced…It’s gone forever.  That photo of three generations of women that we all have with the new baby, the mother and grandma…. It’s gone forever.  It can’t be replaced. 

I am also thinking about the strength of small communities to survive in the face of tragedy.  Because everyone knows someone who works at or does business with the large manufacturing facility in West, Texas the entire town is invested in seeing the town survive and thrive.

President Obama has signed an emergency declaration to provide needed funding to the people and infrastructure in West, Texas. OSHA is doing their investigation into the cause of the explosion. The details and finger pointing will all be revealed in due time. But for now my heart aches for the families. 

Because of the indomitable spirit of Texans and of Americans, the entire nation will support its rebuilding process.  This Woman’s Words joins West, Texas in prayer and faith.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston Marathon Explosion: A Runner's Dream Differed?

The reasons people sign up to run the Boston Marathon are as varied as the number of people in the race.  People often run to prove to themselves that they have actually made it through adversity.  There are people who run because they lost a significant amount of weight, they run because they are divorced and finally understand that they are going to survive.  They run in honor of loved ones lost in war.  Some run because they have survived breast cancer.  I read a story today about a young woman who ran in her third Boston Marathon today to help with her own healing and to help others survive.  
The story about Lynda Nijensohn who is a mother, a wife, and a breast cancer survivor is weighing heavily on my mind today as I watch hour after hour of news coverage about the Boston Marathon explosion.  I can't help watching for Lynda's face among those  terrified and disillusioned runners.  It is truly my hope that Lynda was able to make home safely to her family.  She's been through enough!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Power of Women

Today I had the honor of being a guest speaker at a Women’s Empowerment Conference held at a local university.  I spoke to the women in attendance about relationships.  Of course I talked about all of the typical things you would expect me to discuss… Don’t lose sight of who you are in the relationship; the importance of communication.  Typical relationship topics…  Several women came up to me after the event and shared specifics about their own relationships. 

While the women at the conference learned from me at the event, I was enriched by being in their presence as well.  I was once again reminded of the indomitable power that women possess.
Women have endured a multitude of travesties since the beginning of time and we continue to survive.  We recently had to pull together to help the Senate understand the importance of passing the Violence Against Women Act.  We are joining together en mass to address the human trafficking problems in the United States and across the globe, we have joined together for over a hundred years in the U.S. in support of public education. Women are powerful and when we set a goal, we can get it done.  

At the Women's Empowerment Conference today women shared stories about working, raising children, getting married, failed marriages, fertility issues, breast cancer and on and on…. And they survived.  Women…Empowered!

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