By: Angela Q. Bertone
Strong hands, safe hugs and guiding words of the men in our lives have molded our heart and continue to guide our steps. As I reflect on the men who influence my life with care, compassion and wisdom, I am filled with gratitude. By the end of this article, my hope is that you would echo the same feeling with an out loud, “Me Too!”
Though there are some individuals in my past that stand out as dangerous and disturbed, there are many more that stand as towers of refuge and honor. It is to you that I am sending my heartfelt gratitude. May you read this article and know that there are many women who, though we have suffered at the hands of some, do not label all men based on the actions of those disturbed others.
Today in America, the voices of abused and wounded women are speaking out, and for that I am grateful. Growing up in Louisiana where no one is a stranger, may have contributed to this young girl’s naïve and carless ways. Multiple times, I too had to literally fight or run to save myself from a would-be perpetrator. By the time I was 17, I had suffered things that shouldn’t be spoken of much less experienced. It is this unfortunate reality of so many across this nation and the world that has provoked the “Me Too” movement. This much needed outcry has been capitalized on by the world of politics and is being used to fuel the fires of division and the hatred of men, actually causing more division and more wounds. For that I am saddened and speaking out.
I stand up today and say thank you to the grandfathers who dandled us on their knees and spent hours teaching us the value of a backyard garden. Thank you to our dads who worked hard to provide us a safe home, beautiful meals at family gatherings and protected us from the boogie man in the dark. For all the husbands who cherish our hearts as we face life’s challenges together, we are grateful for your faithfulness and strength. It is to the uncles, brothers, nephews and cousins that taught us how to a ride bike, hunt, fish and play sports that we are forever grateful. The number of mentors, counselors, teachers, coaches and bosses that spent hours of believing in us; it is in part to your dedication to family and country that made us work harder, run farther, achieve more and believe the impossible. It is to these great men that are without number, we say thank you. May all the women in your life read this about you and say out loud, “Me Too!”
Angela Q Bertone
Author, Life Coach, and Motivational Speaker
P. O. Box 2124, Ponchatoula, LA 70454
Spiritual Life Coaching and Speaking engagements by appointment.