November 3, 2021
November 2, 2016
November 3, 2010
In the past 11 years, on those three dates and many more years before, 11 brilliant women were awarded the ATHENA Leadership Award (R) in Wausau WI.
I have been honored to be a finalist on three occasions. While I have not been the award recipient, another phenomenal woman earned the distinction and I applaud each of them for her efforts to better our community. Their great work inspiring and leading the many. (BRAVO!!)
For this year's ceremony, I brought my eight-year-old granddaughter (a/k/a #Zgirl) to the ceremony. I was a finalist along with nine others in our category. Brilliant, funny, awe-inspiring, dedicated, relentless women - and I am blessed to be counted amongst them!
As a good Gigi, I had forewarned my #Zgirl it might not be my name read from the envelope. Like a loving granddaughter, she kept saying, "I'm going to cheer the loudest when they say your name, Gigi!" (Who wouldn't shine bright with a personal cheerleader cheering them on?!)
As the videos for each finalist were played, I glanced at #Zgirl who was adoringly watching me with hope beaming from her eyes - her hands coiled with crossed fingers squeezing fervently, cutting off blood flow as she negotiated with the heavens for her Gigi's name to be called. (Those are her sweet fingers in the photo attached to this post.)
When another's name passed from the presenter's lips, I applauded the recipient with true pride - and turned to face Z. Her head was hanging ever so low, chin perched on tight little fists, with a crushed look of despair shining thru streaming tears. I whispered to remind her we are respectful first and foremost in all things. She raised her head and applauded, too - even as her tears flowed.
Hours later at home, #Zgirl was still pouting and came to me to find me as I read a good book.
Z: "I'm still mad and sad, Gigi."
Z: "Because they didn't say your name!"
H: "But they did.... didn't you watch my video? I was honored along with everyone else."
Z: "But they didn't give *you* the trophy..."
H: "Z, do you think Gigi works hard and does good just so I get a trophy?"
Z: "No, but it would've been pretty."
H: (chuckling) "Yes, that's true - but that's not the reason I work hard to do good in the world, is it? What's the lesson in all of this, Z? What should you and I remember the most from today?"
Z: "To do good for goodness' sake..."
Yessssss, my darling, brilliant #Zgirl - that's it! Do good for goodness' sake! Help where we can, everywhere we can - love, just simply love others - and expect nothing in return. Do good. Period.
And for the record... Yes, my beloved #Zgirl, I would've danced with you and the pretty trophy. But I am even more proud you spent a day with a room full of powerful women leaders, learning great life lessons. Life lessons like gratitude, humility, respect, serving and adding value to others, knowing your worth, and more.
Here's to you, my future ATHENA award winner... I'm going to cheer the loudest when they say *your* name. Until then, remember to do good for goodness' sake...
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