I spent the afternoon yesterday with Meg. Now anyone who has ever met Meg knows that any time spent with her is interesting, thought provoking and FUN! I have known her for more than thirty-one years. It has been a lifetime (hers and mine) since she first shook my life up by delivering an introductory speech to my incoming first year class at law school. She had flaming red hair and did not fit the stereotype of a law professor. I loved her immediately and completely.
She was a bright light: she was a woman, a supremely intelligent, loving and brilliant woman. Holding her place, as herself, in a place where there were not of tenured professors that looked like her. The rest of the panel that day was male. Male and staunch and without any real zest or personality as I recall. And they didn’t talk about the things she talked about. She talked about worth. She talked about belonging. She talked about what we all were feeling: we didn’t belong there.
And she was the only one. She was the only one who took the stage that day and welcomed us really. She told us the truth, she spoke it with humor, grace and in a manner that made me feel comfortable in my own skin (which was next to impossible back then!)
She, April and Jean were my salvation during those three hard years. They ushered me through law school, calling off my wedding two weeks before it was set to occur, the break ups, the break downs and everything in between. And they witnessed my downward spiral with booze, how my drinking took over my life and made me almost invisible at school. I mean I was hardly there but when I did show up, Meg was always there, smiling and demonstrating that no matter what problem I had, she was a safe harbor in my storm.
I wasn’t capable of seeking shelter at the time until I finally let go and surrendered. I was so caught up in self and fear that I could do nothing but be awkward and distant. But I felt the love, always.
Two years ago Meg hosted a reunion for all of us at her house. Not the mainstream law school fodder, no, they were not the core of our experience at law school. Instead it was the people who had heart and soul and understood what it meant to suffer. And I have never been more profoundly moved by a group of people who have overcome so much and do it with such joy.
Since the party we have done a better job of keeping in touch. And when her family planned a small gathering out my way, she reached out and we made plans to see each other.
I forget what it is like to be in her presence. It is just intellect, and love. She asks hard questions in the kindest of ways. She just exudes love and acceptance and fun. And I adore her.
She changed my life once upon a time, and she continues to do so today. She is this amazing woman who describes her favorite thing to do is think. And I love that about her. I don’t think that I have ever met anyone else whose brain and heart work in tandem and measure up to the other. She is a woman of amazing brain power, surreal heart power and a soul that seems to never tire.
Most of my teachers in college and law school were men. Most of them I had nothing in common with and didn’t really vibe with at all. Meg (April and Jean, of course also) were the bright spots for me. They showed me what life could be for me, in all the best ways and the not so great ways too. They told the truth. Their truth at a time when women did not do such things. There was no Me Too movement. There was just the brave pioneers that came before Me Too, that blazed the trail for the rest of us. And Meg is one of those women.
She uses her amazing brain to help other women in all she does. And the world is a better place because of her. Women are safer because of her work. She uses her knowledge of law and humanity to educate, persuade and move people off their positions. She is compelling and tenacious. If you are ever on the wrong side of the law, she is the person you want backing you.
She made me feel safer in this world. She makes other women feel safer in this world. And she does it all without rancor or bitterness, but with integrity, love and kindness. She has her opinions and her ideas, but she is so open and you can’t help but swim in it when you are in her presence.
It was a great afternoon that I will be unpacking for years to come. Sometimes you are that blessed to know someone like her. Someone whose mind, heart and soul exceed the expected or even agreed upon parameters in this life. And if you are so lucky to know her, you are better for it. I am better for knowing her and so grateful she is in my life.
To whatever divinity saw fit to have her rock my world in 1992, I am immensely grateful, humbled and moved. Heres to you Meg! Cheers to you!