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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Circles of Sisterhood

May 01, 2022 12:24PM ● By Sharon Bruckman

We celebrate women this month in our annual Women’s Wellness issue while also shining a light on mothers and the importance of maternal and sisterly support in our lives. Although my mother is no longer here physically, I continue to feel her presence and influence in many ways—perhaps most strongly through the love and support of my four sisters, the greatest gift she ever gave me.

As the eldest of five sisters, I like to think I am the “wise one”; of course, they know otherwise.  My sister Kate is one year younger than me and is often referred to as our “mother hen”, outspoken at times, but fiercely protective of all eight of us siblings. She asks the hard questions. Middle sister Susie helps keep us more lighthearted and free-spirited (like my dad), but when she is on hand you know things are going to get done. Next in line, Mary Jo teaches us strength and faith. Adversity is no stranger to her, and she wears it gracefully. My youngest sister, Debra, is a combination of all of us. She knows how to play and isn’t afraid to reinvent herself in the face of challenges. Together, we hold each other’s life stories in our hearts. 

I have to thank my two children, Ziven and Alina, for giving me the gift of motherhood. But I can’t help wishing sometimes that Alina, now an only child, could have at least one sister to lean on and confide in the way I do with my sisters.

Being a mother (and a father) can be the most difficult role we’ll ever play in life. The long slog of the pandemic has been particularly tough on mothers who have had to reimagine what it means to be a parent, teacher, employee, partner or friend while still finding time for themselves. In this month’s feature story, “Resilient Mothering, How Moms Are Forging Ahead in a Changing World,” Carrie Jackson looks at not only the mental health consequences this pandemic brought to mothers, but also self-care strategies such as cultivating a sisterhood of other mothers to provide support. See page 28.

Many of the nine female professionals that editor Linda Sechrist interviewed for “Local Healthcare Practitioners Share Their Health Regimens,” have supported me personally at times in my life. And yet, reading about what they do to stay fit and healthy provided me with some valuable new ideas. Having that personal connection, especially with the women in their mid-70s, I can attest to the physical evidence that what they are doing is working. I try to keep up with them! See page 22. 

We are all “Mothering the World,” writes Marlaina Donato on page 31, reminding us not to forget to nurture ourselves. I hope you take the time to smell the lovely scent of the flowers this month. How blessed we are to be here in our part of the world.

Happy Mothering,

Sharon Bruckman