Saying Goodbye . . .
By Leslie Sturgeon
On May 6th, my life forever changed. My Mom, Dianne Davis, passed away somewhat unexpectedly.
Many of you got to know my Mom over the years when she was much more active in Women Inspiring Women. Cancer took a toll on her the last few years and she wasn’t able to come to many events but she was instrumental in helping me launch the organization. She believed in me when others didn’t understand what I was trying to create and achieve. Like with all my other businesses since 1989, she pitched in wherever she was needed . . . all to help me save money on hiring people and to see me succeed. From collating event materials, to assembling gift bags, to giving me opinions on what outfits would be best for me to wear – she spent countless hours behind the scenes, sometimes in the middle of the night.
At events she would run the lending library and boutique or handle the registration desk. She sort of became the unofficial “mascot” for WIW and so many of you knew that she did not like pink, but praised her for “taking one for the team” by wearing something pink. You made her feel that her support of me translated into support of all of you and you touched her heart in ways I can’t even begin to express. You even got her to hoola hoop at our pool party! That is a vision I will not soon forget.
In the depths of my grieving, I once again found myself uplifted by all the support and love of my WIW family. Back in 2011 when Dad also died unexpectedly 12 hours before the NH Conference for Women, you embraced me in a way I have never experienced before. Being with 350 of the most caring women on the planet provided immeasurable comfort. And since Mom’s passing, I have received hundreds of calls, messages, gifts, cards and beautiful gestures. Not to mention so many of you who drove from NH, ME and MA to come to her celebration of life. I truly feel that I am the luckiest person – to not only have been loved by great parents but to be surrounded by all of you.
They say that you never really become an adult until both parents are gone. I have been “test driving” this whole adulthood thing for a few weeks now, and it isn’t much fun but with my WIW gal pals, I know that I can navigate unchartered waters surrounded by the biggest support system. Thank you, my friends, for loving me through yet another personal struggle. I love and appreciate you.
Leslie Sturgeon is the founder of Women Inspiring Women and a lifelong entrepreneur. She embraces her imperfections while learning about herself and others, supporting the fabulous women in the WIW community, journeying through life with optimism, and laughing so hard she snorts or pees (sometimes both simultaneously). www.womeninspiring.com