For the past few weeks, on almost a daily basis, I have been receiving gifts and cards from the women attorneys who are or used to be at my law firm, Dykema. The cards have been especially touching. Some of what these women, my friends, my colleagues and former colleagues, write, so touches me, I am crying on a daily basis at their love and support. In the first few days, as the packages came, I thought this was such a nice gesture – I do not need the gifts, but I so appreciate the love and support. But after ten days of this, where sometimes two or three packages would show up at once, and some of the gifts were from women attorneys in our other offices with whom I have only a passing acquaintance, I started to wonder what was going on. I found out after my friends Deb and Judy fessed up. They told me that my friend and partner, Kathy, organized this. Kathy has known Alan and I since law school. She was at my wedding to Alan, was the court clerk for the judge who married us and announced our “matter” in the courtroom before the ceremony started, went to law school with Alan, and has always been dear to us. Apparently, Kathy asked the women of Dykema, both those are are still there and those who used to work at Dykema, if they wanted to participate in sending me, in her words, a “tsunami” of support. They signed up, Kathy did the schedule, and that explained the gifts and love pouring in. In some cases, the men of Dykema have joined in the gifts, but for the most part, it is the women.
Words cannot express what this has meant to me, not because of the gifts, but because of the love and support this has sent my way. In the darkest days of chemo treatment (and they have unfortunately been most of the days since I started treatment), I look out my door and there is a package waiting for me, reminding me that someone is thinking of me and cheering me on to beat this. The packages reflect the person who send them. I have received flowers, edible arrangements, soothing music, books, beauty supplies, spa certificates, pictures from children wishing me well, and from the Dallas office, a big e-mail hug with a photo of everyone in the office. More importantly, I have received words of encouragement and support which have touched my heart over and over again. I wrote on this blog earlier that Alan and I had planned to be in Paris the first week of June, a trip that had to be cancelled because of my diagnosis and treatment. A few days later, a small package arrived with soaps in a small container with the Eiffel Tower on the front, and a note that the person sending it was sending a bit of Paris to me until I could go to the city. Of course I cried, but not from sorrow, but from the thoughtfulness of this gift and note. I received a beautiful scarf from one of my former partners, but the note that accompanied it stood out. She told me she was a receptionist going to law school when she first met me. She said I inspired her from that time. I did not know. Now I do.The wild nail polish I received from one of my other partners, who also arranged the “hug” from Dallas, makes me smile every time I see it. The music others sent me is in on iPod to remind me as well.
I have always known that the women with whom I have worked at Dykema, who often have also become my close friends, were special. I have always known that we try to have each other’s back in a profession that is still very tough for women despite our numbers. This outpouring from the women of Dykema proves the point. To those of you reading this, and you know who you are, I can only say thank you. Thank you for brightening my day, for making me more determined to fight, for asking, over and over again, what else you can do for me, and for meaning every word. The lyrics to one of my favorite songs, says it better than I can: “May the long time sun shine upon you. All love surround you. And the pure light within you, guide your way on.”