In the sadness, the touches of sweetness

This is a quick hug to you from me while I’m on the run in Washington, DC.

My sweet, 80-year-old mother-in-law is back in the hospital after breaking her hip last week.

Rob and I are alternating caring for her and continuing to keep our busy lives and work going when we live hundreds of miles away from her.  Sound familiar to you in your life?

When I catch my breath, I will share some of my new awarenesses and strategies of having an aging parent at the end of life.

In the meantime, I was so deeply grateful last week to be in New York City with so many extraordinary Women on Fire.  And, I wanted to show you pictures from the two Women on Fire Holiday Teas at Lady Mendl’s, our final teas of 2011.

Women on Fire Holiday Tea in New York City (Photo by Shannon McCaffery)

I created Women on Fire teas in 2004 as a three-hour respite for busy women to meet women they might not ordinarily meet.  And, to share what they are “on fire” about – or not.

I dreamed of it to be a safe space where women could share their authentic selves and be listened to and heard.

With all that is going on in my personal life, no one needed that more than me last week!

Enjoying the Mother-Daughter tea with Kyra Nolte,  Judi Breitstein and Jaclyn Reilly (Photo by Josephine Donatelli)

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the women who attend teas in our many cities.  Here is what a few of you had to say about your favorite thing from from the experience:

Women on Fire Mother-Daughter Tea (Photo by Josephine Donatelli)

“It is a place where I can come and just BE… be who I am at that moment.” ~ Kim Dettmer

“Meeting new women who come together with positive encouragement, acceptance and love for each other. Being able to be vulnerable and not feel judged. Getting feed back from other women and gaining from their experiences.” ~ Josie Donatelli

“The safe environment you provide to share, experience and grow among other fabulous women.” ~ Cheryl Paulsen

“The sisterhood of knowing, regardless of race, religion, cultural background, women have the similar struggles and we want/can support each other in that safe environment you provide.” ~ Sai Jimenez

“The opportunity to unplug, meet new women, and share whatever is happening that we may want encouragement for or simply for a good ear to receive.” ~ Jen Madson

I’m excited about the calendar of teas coming up next year in New York, Naples, Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and more!

Looking so forward to seeing you at a Women on Fire event in 2012!

Have a wonderful week, and I wish you much sweetness.