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A Reunion of Soul Sisters...

It was a great party. All of Meg's parties are great. And what law school party would be complete without a pop quiz? God, I love Meg. Only she could get a bunch of aging lawyers to cheerfully take a pop quiz. No one set the curve and I think the best score was a 50%. So some things don’t change - Meg is still smarter than all of us combined...

It was so good to be amongst my sisters in the law. There were eight of us from my class. We won the prize (there wasn’t really one for this but there were prizes) for the most people showing up from a particular year. All were women. All amazing in their own right. Women that I still admire, love and wish to know better...still.

There was something alchemical for all of us about law school. It changed all of us forever. Our class was the first class from FSU to have minorities and woman so strongly represented. And we found out last night that it was because of Meg. She was on our admissions committee. It was the only year they let her on that committee. I am not sure about anyone else, but that had a great impact on me last night. To see that this woman I have admired, loved, and wished to emulate was part of me getting to go in the first place...Meg was the reason that we got a spot. She was fighting for us before she ever even knew who we were...

We talked about the people who we lost and threw around some names of people who were long forgotten but reconjured last night around a small table, filled with too many chairs, underneath a beautiful fall night in the Deep South. We talked of our lives, and death. Heartbreak, children, loves lost and found. Careers that we love and ones that we need to leave. We were there all of us, older versions of our younger selves, honed and altered by the experiences of our lives, lives that were shaped by our mutual survival of law school.

There is something amazing about the healing that occurs in a circle of women. There is love and joy and pain and sorrow. We bring it all with us wherever we go. Some of us are better at hiding it than others. Some of us have endured devastating loss. Some of us have born incredible hardship. Regardless of the sag of years, we are all much brighter versions of ourselves. The insecurity of youth falling away with the passage of time and leaving us them most ourselves we have ever been. No longer these young women who showed up at law school, vague ideas about who we were and where we were going. Being taught and loved and cared for by April and Meg and ushered through the trials, the actual trials of life, law school being only one of them.

These two women were our hope. They were our belief that being female was an asset. That we could do hard things. That we could be wives, mothers and lawyers. They showed us how to show up and succeed and be good people in the process. They showed us what strong, intelligent, capable and successful women look like. They were stand out examples, amazing examples of what one woman, supported by another woman could achieve.

The night ended like all of Meg’s parties: all of us gathered in her warm, welcoming home. The adorable blind cat heroically navigating the living room where we all sat, finding each one of us and making sure we got a chance to pet her. Embodying courage, actually weaving it through us as we talked of loss, grief, death and sorrow. Sounds way more morose than it was. We talked of things that almost killed us but also gave us access to the stuff that makes living really worthwhile. Living and loving through the pain, and making sure that those that matter to us know how much it hurts.

I sat last night with the smartest women I have ever known. Accomplished in their passions, their families and their loving. Each one of us having had their turn in the barrel. Not sure if we might survive divorce, motherhood, cancer, the death of our mothers, alcoholism. We all endured the pains and trials that come with being female and attorneys. Having to always balance motherhood against the back drop of a profession that often treated us as if that condition was some sort of affront to all of juris prudence. All of us being better because of the effort required.

We didn’t know when we began law school that we could do amazingly hard things. We didn’t know that we could leave horrible marriages, bear children, practice law, raise families, survive death and the attendant destruction. The only reason that we dared to hope for these things was because of the examples Meg and April danced before us. They showing us that there was a way, and warning us with the truth that the road was never going to be easy...but that there would be a sisterhood that walked that difficult path with you, supporting you when you flagged and wanted to quit. Meg and April rose like beacons to illuminate a future for us that most of us would not have have the courage to aspire to were it not for these women who lit the way.

I have been forever changed by them all. Being with them last night, the laughter, the tears, the love. I soaked it up. I brought it close to my heart where all of these women shall always live. The ones we have lost, the ones still here. The ones that are my sisterhood that cheer for me still. I am grateful for many, many things in my life but last night I was grateful for this particular group of women. Our examples, our guiding lights upon a hard path. I was grateful we all had each other. Because law school is not for sissies. It will grind you down and choke the life out of you. But if you are really lucky, you will have two teachers who show you the way toward each other, toward love, and intelligence, and debate and critical thinking. You will be led to the better, more complete version of yourself and you will know that it is your duty and obligation to give back. To share that knowledge and education with the others that cross your path. And you will know, without a shadow of a doubt, hell beyond any reasonable doubt, that your job, your only real job in this life is to love each other and be a beacon for the women you meet along the path. And if you are really lucky, you might someday be able to give back what was given to you...

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