• Simone Penn

Here’s to the strong woman, that I know, that I am, that I’m raising.

Updated: Aug 9

This blog looked (and felt) very differently when I wrote it at 4am on Tuesday morning. I am so grateful I was able to reframe.

The past three weeks, and indeed this entire year, has been a challenge. An opportunity one might say. But a challenging opportunity nonetheless.


Amidst the backdrop of Covid-19 and lockdown I, personally, have experienced the following:


Hyperemsis levels of nausea for four months; my darling domestic worker being unlawfully arrested and held in a cell overnight; my five year old son feeling bullied and victimized at school; a family member suffering a psychotic break; my precious daughter enduring an unexplained seizure; my husband deciding to leave his job; my home catching fire; subsequent “homelessness”; the death of Tweety the Bird; A night in hospital with false labour, a positive corona virus diagnosis at 36 weeks pregnant; a night spent back in our post-fire home - made sick from improper cleaning and residual extinguisher powder; and, finally, packing up my family and moving (for the fourth time in three weeks!) to a hotel.


Phew.


I say ‘experienced’ though, and not ‘suffered’ because I need to remain true to my essence. I need to express myself through the lens of gratitude and appreciation with which I see all of these things. I genuinely believe that whatever HaShem manifests for me is for the good even if it doesn’t feel good.


And there’s no greater time to stand up for that belief than right now.


I could go through each item listed above and explain why each and every experience was carved out for me, by HaShem’s revealed hand, but it’s not necessary. I see the Yad HaShem so outrageously pronounced right now, and that is all that’s important.


Besides, this post is about women.


From January 2020 the women of this community have held me up. And this allowed me to hold up my family.


The weight of the words in the sentence above, and indeed their truth, engulf me and fill me and nourish me.


Women hold each other.


The list of gestures and kindnesses and help I’ve received from the women I know over the past eight months is endless. Genuinely endless - because women are still dropping off baby essentials and meals for me as I type these very words. They make the above list of “challenges” seem insignificant. Non-existent even.


I cannot possibly quantify what has been done for me.


I have been prayed for. I have received countless homemade challot, and pots of soup, and dinners, and clothes, and surprises for my children, and phone calls, and messages of support, and love, and hugs, and toothbrushes, and custom made labour snack-packs, and personalized sugar cookies, and flower arrangements, and Epsom salts, and bath bombs, and and and and and.


I am breathless and speechless and grateful to no end.


Thank you strong women of Glenhazel. Of Sandton. Of Khyber Rock. Of Cape Town. Of Tel Mond. Of Raannana. Of Melbourne. Thank you to the strong women of the Mothers’ Nature Tribe. Thank you strong women of my life.


You are oxygen.


Thank you Mom, Bobba, Bubbie, Rosie, Tova, Keren, Shelly, Tali, Romy, Romy Barbra, Sheriann, Loren, Avigail, Dani, Julia, Angie, Nicci, Jenna, Ricci, Carla, Tzivia, Tarryn, Taryn, and Taryn.


Thank you Lee, Janine, Tali, Meryl, Sarah-Chana, Avigayil, Gina, Aimee, Heidi, Dafi, Dina, Deena, Gabby, Cindy, Gila, Mihkala, Viv, Roz, Nicole, Tash, Danny, Sam, Ashley, Elana, Ally, Kelli, Stacy, Rochelle, and Odeilia.


Thank you to every single woman who helped me this year in every single way that you did.


And thank you Ayden Hannah Penn for choosing me to be your mother. This is the greatest task of my life and I am forever grateful. You brighten my days and nights and I love you in eternity.


This is for you. For ya’ll. For us. This donation (to the Malka Ella Fertility Fund) is in the merit of all of these women and all of us women.


We. Are. Epic.


[I made my donation via the Malka Ella website which was easy and seamless https://malkaella.co.za/how-you-can-help/]







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