My Posse

When the heart is full, the pen falls quiet.

And so it would be this Mother’s Day except my gratitude is too gigantic to not be expressed. I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t at least TRY to convey my thanks to some of the mamma-women who make up Maura’s Posse.

Suzy Poston, you are the only charter member of my Posse. My heart is full when I think of the fun, companionship, love and loyalty with which you have showered me. From paper dolls to “Puff, the Magic Dragon,” my childhood was charmed by the baby sister I got to name. Thank you for joining the cowgirl club with me (our motto: never met a pair of boots yet we did not love). Thank you for letting me participate in naming your kids, and for choosing me to be godmother of your adorable second son, and then choosing me again to be godmother of your exquisite daughter. Thank you for years and years of calling me on the phone, asking how I am, and then actually waiting to hear as my answers came tumbling forth. Most of all, thank you for finally (FINALLY, for Pete’s sake) getting your butt back to Ohio so we could do Life side-by-side.

Brittany Morehouse, no one could ask for a better best friend than you. You love fiercely, intensely, protectively, unconditionally, intelligently. I have been humbled by you since the day you were born, and my admiration has never ceased growing. Thank you for seeing something other than “just a Mom” in me. Thank you for being my co-conspirator in Life. Thank you for sharing your syllabi with me. Thank you for inviting me in—into your life, your journey, your circle, your confidence, your heart. Thank you for sharing your three babies with me—loving Ryland, Mairéad and Caitrin is both a privilege and a joy ten zillion words could not express. Thank you for caring about my struggles and challenges so completely, sometimes I get confused as to who is whom—mother or daughter. Perhaps most of all, I thank you for all those late-night phone calls. Without question, your late-night calls are the best I’ve ever had. They’re epic. Sometimes, they’re so epic they’re sleep-overs, and those conversations are the Best of the Best.

Juli Zagrans, yes, you’re a mamma-woman too (Magpie counts—damn right she does). As you said yourself, you’re my almost-perfect child (so close, so close; what a bummer you can’t take the title), but man just when people thought they had you and me figured out, you came thundering down the homestretch to seize your rightful place in the winner’s circle of my very best friends in the whole wide world. Juli, I can’t thank you enough for your camaraderie and your trust. For the way you’ve shared your friends and your purpose and your wisdom and your social awareness. I’ve learned so much goodness from you. You have made me a better person just by being in my life. And you found me my Donovan. How do I even begin to thank you for my Donovan? It’s just not possible. Nevertheless I say: thank you.

Candy Zagrans Day, to the rest of the world our friendship maybe doesn’t make a whole lotta sense. But then when did we care what the rest of the world thinks, and why should we start now? When I first met you, I was struck by a gorgeous quality we don’t see very often in people. It was your sweetness. You were truly and authentically a sweet, kind, gentle person. Looking at you nearly fifty years later, I see these very same qualities in you. You have the same lovely sweetness, and you are kind, and gentle, and I just shake my head and smile. You really are the best sister-in-law anyone could ever ask for. Every day that goes by I appreciate your beautiful soul more, and more, and more. Thank you, Candy, for being my friend.

Kate Rawlings Spinner, I don’t even know where to begin. I respect and admire you so damn much. Why you’ve tolerated me through all my frickin’ injuries for lo these many years is anybody’s guess, but gosh I’m glad you did. And now here we are at this amazing place in an endlessly rewarding girlfriend journey where Luke the miracle child is our assistant coach and WOD inspiration and smile-maker. We’ve learned so much from each other, haven’t we? Every year that goes by I find myself more indebted to you for the unwavering dedication you put into MY goals. Because of you, I am strong. Because of you, lupus isn’t making a wimp out of me. Because of you, I’m saving a ton of money on therapy—I mean, who needs a shrink with a CrossFit coach & personal trainer like you? Pffff—not I. Seriously, Kate, I’m blown away by who you are, and I’m endlessly grateful for all that you bring to my training sessions. You amaze me.

Alaysa Ruiz, how can anyone begin to understand what we’ve gone through together? During those tough times when we cannot be side-by-side, we always know that we are with one another heart-by-heart. You are an amazing woman. You didn’t just become a mother, you exploded into the universe of motherhood. You took it by storm and you owned it. You love your babies with an admirable totality that makes me think of me when I was a mother of little ones. I get you, Alaysa. And I love you uniquely. I’ll never understand why you chose me but the fact that you did touches my heart. You’re so very special to me. Thank you for everything.

Courtney Plas, if you didn’t have such a fabulous mother, I’d seriously do whatever I could to steal you away. You are precious and kind and loving and loyal and compassionate and genuine and honest. You are all the things I hold most dear in a human. You are gifted in everything that touches upon the concept of beauty. You understand beauty—how to express it, how to reveal it, how to discover the beauty buried within people. You are a magnificent listener, and you give great advice too. You keep confidences, and that’s a beautiful thing. But I think the thing about you that most takes my breath away is your selflessness. It takes a truly selfless individual to be as generous and other-oriented as you are. I’m so glad I found you, Courtney, and I’m so grateful to have you in my Posse.

My Posse: Happy Mother’s Day, and thank you. From the center of my soul, thank you for helping me get through a couple of the most difficult years of my life. I could not have done it without you—in fact, I would not want to have done it without you. You help me navigate Life. You help me celebrate Life. You help me be me.

And who I am is quite possibly the most grateful mamma-woman in the world.