InspiredHave you been lucky enough in life to be inspired by someone, I mean deeply inspired? Has someone you’ve known and perhaps loved altered the course of your life – changed it for the better because they have inspired you? Many of us are blessed to be loved by family and friends, far fewer can add ‘inspired’ to the list of gifts received from these beloveds. I consider myself incredibly lucky because I have been inspired by such a friend. Little did I imagine thirty three years ago when I first met her how much she would inspire me and how deeply her friendship and love would enhance my life.

My friend Gerry turns 90 this week! One of the many, many milestones she has achieved in a life that has inspired countless family, friends and colleagues! The lists of her public accomplishments is long and known to many – serving the citizens of Maryland in multiple executive roles, enhancing the lives of woman throughout the state by mobilizing action and funding to serve the victimized and disenfranchised, teaching many how to use power and influence for the betterment of all, shattering the glass ceiling before so many were empowered to glance upwards and dream about the heights they might achieve.

Those blessed with her love and friendship know that, as impressive as Gerry’s list of public accomplishments is, the indelible mark she has left on their lives has come through one-on-one interactions in the quiet moments far away from the public eye.

For thirty three years I have been inspired by her grace and poise, her determination and resolve, her intelligence and deep wisdom, her loyalty and dependability, her devotion and enduring affection. I have reveled in an endless supply of encouragement, the solace she willing offers to sooth an aching heart and soul, and the sound and profound advice gently offered. She has inspired me to be a stronger person, and a more patient crusader. She has taught me how to strategize, mobilize, coalesce and lead. She has been both beloved friend and mentor.

In a gentle and unassuming way, Gerry has shown us how to be our fullest selves. And so, she has altered the course of our lives with her grace, inner beauty and light that shines so brightly. She has truly inspired and we have been changed forever!

Wondering and Wanderings of the Soul – June 24, 2016

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