Erin's Journals

Monday, March 8, 2021

Just a thought… They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel. [Maya Angelou]

You can watch a video version of this journal on my Facebook page or here on YouTube.

This is International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is #ChoosetoChallenge. To me, that means shaking up the status quo, asking “Why not?” instead of accepting anything less. And as Brené Brown put it, no longer sacrificing your authenticity for acceptance.

My hero in 2020 and 2021 is Doctor Bonnie Henry. The Provincial Health Officer and voice of the Covid response in BC for the past year, she has done her absolute best, I believe, to keep us as safe as we can be, informed and advised. Dr. Henry has been not only saluted in song and on signs (as well as with a designer Fluevog shoe!), but of course she’s been vilified in our “shoot the messenger” and “I believe Facebook” society. Anytime she’s made a decision that’s made me go, “Okay, but…” her move has soon been followed in other provinces. Has she always been right? I can’t say that for sure, but I believe in her and I would trust her with my life. I already have.

I am also bowing in deep gratitude to every woman – and yes, I know there are men in health care, of course, but on this International Women’s Day, I’m going to focus on the females, okay? The ones who have worked so hard, and I don’t say “tirelessly” because I know you’ve been exhausted, to bring us back to health and/or keep us going during this past year.

Last week as Rob and I were giving blood – and yes, Canadian Blood Services always needs donations – I met a nurse named Ronna. Her grey hair pulled back in a ponytail, she had kind and smiling eyes. She’s a nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at one of our local hospitals, but had recently begun working with Canadian Blood Services too. As we chatted during my lengthy intake interview, Ronna said that she had “hung a lot of blood bags” in her life, but she’d never really stopped to think of where that blood came from. And that she loved meeting the people who were giving this precious gift to help save patients.

I was moved almost beyond words by what she said, and was actually teary sharing that conversation with Rob later. And then I told her why we were there to give blood: in memory of our very avid donor daughter, Lauren. So I said, our reasons were many, but that we were just grateful to have a chance to do so. Meeting Ronna made this latest donation more meaningful than ever.

To her and everyone who’s saved a life, held a hand, made our arrivals into or departures out of this world a little easier, or in the case of my own sisters and me, been a great mother, thank you. Thanks, Mom.

We’ll never be able to repay the sacrifices you’ve made in the past year, but you deserve every accolade: today on International Women’s Day and always. Take good care and we’ll talk to you again on Thursday.

Rob WhiteheadMonday, March 8, 2021