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An Activist, but Not a Hater

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It is energizing to see women speaking out and being heard. More women are running for office. Membership numbers for gun reform groups are on the rise, but we need to remember the good men who stand beside us.

An Activist, but Not a Hater

The sisterhood is rising up, speaking out and demanding change. I'm celebrating. Gun reform will happen because Moms Demanding Action will take no prisoners. I support them.

Headlines scream #MeToo. The spotlight is on. Men around the world are being called out for sexual assault and harassment. Darn right! Bring it! Hold the power mongers accountable for exploiting women.

Iceland is enforcing equal pay standards for men and women. Companies are required to prove their practices are fair. Thank you Iceland! Tell me you can't name scores of mothers and grandmothers who are the sole providers for their families. Equal pay is logical, just, and long overdue.

I'm energized by all the activity and eager to stand for gun reform, justice and equality and yet, this little voice in my head keeps reminding me, there are some really good men in this world. The good guys won't be touted in tomorrow's headlines. We've made Father's Day a non-event. We laugh at the saying, "If Momma ain't happy, nobody's happy, If Daddy ain't happy, nobody cares."

There's a positive wave of girl power, but I must confess, my real heroes are men, two of them, my brother, John, and my husband, Rob. They are faithful and attentive to the needs and feelings of their families. They haven't exploited anyone, but they won't be recognized for good conduct.

These are examples of their goodness. John first, because I've know him longer Our mom worked hard. She had three kids to raise. Our dad was a dreamer, a drinker and chose personal freedom over family. My brother stepped up to the plate and filled his shoes.

A decade of being a tagalong predates my early memories, but is evidenced by photos and the fact that I knew all John's classmates and friends. He took me with him and never complained I was cramping his style. I felt cherished when we shared stories, laughed and rode around, singing along with the radio.

Junior high was my wildest time. I was smoking and sneaking out at night. John confronted me when I lied to him. He knew how to motivate me. Telling me boys didn't like girls who smoked was the perfect incentive for his boy crazy sister.

When I moved from place to place, John was my moving company. My couch weighed a ton and of course, I always had the apartment upstairs. It was yet another service he provided.

When I was wandering aimlessly, trying to decide on a career path, John, and his wife, Denise, told me about a school of nursing near their home and allowed me to live with them until graduation.

A parent's fervent desire is to keep their children out of prison. Mom failed with John. He stays in prison, serving with a Kairos Prison Ministry. He's logged so many hours behind bars they made him an honorary chaplain.

Working in the hospital as a nurse I met another fine man, Rob. He was raised as a gentleman and taught to respect women. Single co-workers and friends acquainted him with how tough it was for moms to juggle a career and raise a family.

I'm driven, restless and frequently in search of a new area to be productive and of service to others. Rob stands beside me, encouraging me, saying I can do anything I put my mind to.

Rob was an advanced practitioner, a nurse anesthetist and has a keen understanding of anatomy and physiology. He's proofread hundreds of my papers and presentations for work and school. He's the saver, I am the spender. Rob's sense of direction offsets my poor one.

Rob's mind is like an encyclopedia. Rarely is a topic mentioned that he doesn't know something about. He is a man of faith, but doesn't just accept the religion of his childhood. Rob's faith is alive, and continually nurtured by new theologians and historians who explain where we've been, and where we're going.

I can be moody, hormonal and often need my space. Rob is slow to anger. It is sweet to hear the words of I Corinthians 13 about love being patient, kind and keeping no record of wrongdoing and seeing the face of the man I've been married to for almost 30 years.

So my sisters, I am with you, but while we're speaking the truth, let's remember there are some really good men in this world. My life is sweeter for having known two of them.

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