The first two weeks of October are great. I get to say "Happy Birthday" to some very special women. Today's birthday wish is for a very special woman indeed. This woman is my husband's sister, my daughter's beloved aunt and my adored sister-in-law.
I have been in awe of Eunice Cole since I first met her over 30 years ago. It could be her quiet demeanor, it could be her piercing eyes, it could be the firm authority of her quiet voice, it could be her intelligence, it could be her professional success that make this so for me. But let's get real, it could be that she is over six feet tall and if I stand really straight I am just over five feet tall. Yes, I have always looked up to Eunice both figuratively and literally.
I am not sure how old Eunice is and I am not sure that that matters. She is a retired nurse, community (local, regional, national & international) leader, ever strong advocate for women, leader in community health and nursing issues. When I first met her she was a member of board of directors for the ANA (American Nurses Association). In the time that followed we were to see her go on to become the president of that organization. She served them for four years and we fondly referred to her as "The Head Nurse." You can imagine our delight one morning in the mid-1980's when we saw her being interviewed on the Today Show by Bryant Gumbel. That was pretty exciting stuff for us and we got a few checkles as Bryant kept referring to her as "Nurse Cole."
Her demeanor and commitment to issues provided me with a superior example of a successful woman. We were honored to see her inducted into the Washington Nurses Association Hall of Fame in March of 2002. This picture was taken that evening. It was a wonderful affair honoring a "job well done." (Please take a look at the link so you can read more about her career and dedication.)
All of the above put me in awe of Eunice. But, the Eunice that we love is an adoring mother and doting grandmother. She cherishes her family and friends and they cherish her. She smiles readily, loves intensely, speaks sofly but firmly, holds us all in her arms. She is a rock. She occupies a huge part of our hearts and souls. She deserves every happiness.
Happy Birthday, Eunice.