Feb 11, 2013

Come meet my friends

It’s been a typically crazy weekend in the DeLeo house, lots of sports, sleepovers here and away, and I’ve also had two special friends visit with their kids. Coincidentally, both these friends are called Heather and they’re two women who constantly inspire me so I thought I’d tell you about them.

Heather One came for dinner  Friday night with her three kids. She’s the sort of person who makes me feel exhausted even writing down what she achieves in a day. She’s the solo mum of three kids—twin girls and a boy—and has been parenting alone for the past eight years. She works full time in a very demanding job, grows an incredible vegie garden, has her own chooks, keeps bees, and is always planning the next enriching experience for her children. 

On top of all that this Heather has lost 65 kilos (no that wasn’t a mis-type, 65 kilos!). In the last year Heather has become half herself and it’s given her a whole new lease on life and a whole new level of energy.  Heather inspires me because she’s always ready to meet a challenge head-on. She’s self-reliant, fiercely loyal, and she makes the most of every single day.

It was stinking hot on Sunday afternoon and Heather Number Two popped around with her two beautiful daughters for a swim. Heather has been deaf from birth and communicates through sign language and lip reading. Her husband is also profoundly deaf, but both their children have perfect hearing. 

Heather Number Two inspires me for the way she navigates in a world of constant challenge. She’s brought up the most well-mannered, communicative and happy children and despite struggling with everything from work to socialising in a hearing world, is always positive and engaging.

Friends, especially my girlfriends, are incredibly important to me. I couldn't imagine a life without sharing hopes and fears with people I trust, but I'm also constantly inspired by the way my friends make the most of their lives. I love a fictional heroine who works through the challenges life throws at her, but I'm always heartened by the fact that there are so many women like that in the real world too.

I'd love to hear about a friend or someone who particularly inspires you.


  1. Barbara, what a pair your friends Heather are! Both inspiring in their own ways. My Christmas/new year has been filled this year with lots of old friends - catching up unexpectedly, and it's been marvellous renewing that sense of intimacy with them. All are different but all wonderful in their own ways, and my life is much, much richer for them. Picking only one is too tough for me so early in the morning. Thanks for the lovely post!

  2. Your two Heathers sound amazing, Barb! Good friends truly are priceless, for so many reasons.
    I have a friend who lives in Canada. Have known her only through emails and postcards for 14 years. No matter what life throws at Gail, she is *always* upbeat, always supportive, a marvellous mother and wife and a black belt in karate, just by the way. Simply thinking about her energy and outlook makes me smile.
    One of my life goals is to go over there and catch up in person.

  3. Gorgeous post, Barb! I love the sound of your Heathers. :-)

    I think girlfriends are one of the most important things in the world. I'm surrounded by strong inspiring women too and I just can't imagine my life without them.

  4. Annie, holidays and celebrations are a great time for catching up with all those lovely girlfriends and the unexpected catch-ups are the best!

  5. Robyn, how incredible it will be when you finally meet Gail in person! I've met a number of writing friends in person after years of knowing each other online and it's so exciting! Your Gail sounds wonderful!

  6. You're so lucky to be surrounded by so many women who are so important to you, Michelle. Girlfriends rule!

  7. Your friends sound wonderful. I have a childhood friend who has survived breast cancer. She's a great inspiration. We don't see each other very often but she is always cheerful and upbeat.

  8. That's an amazing inspiration, Kaylee. One of the things I love about really close friends is that it doesn't matter how much time you have apart, you can catch up so effortlessly when you catch up again.

  9. Great post, Barb! Your Heathers both sound wonderful! How lovely for you to be in each other's lives!

    I find all my friends inspiring in different ways - but two that are just a little more extraordinary... I have a 60+ year-old friend who got her black belt in karate a few years ago! And I have a friend who is blind - she's a gutsier skier than I am and she follows me down the ski runs by following the sound of my voice or listening to my skis on the snow!

    Knowing them makes me realise how important it is to give things a go! To be brave and don't look for an excuse to wimp out!

  10. Barb, that's such a great post! I love my girlfriends and, like you, am always inspired by them. And I count you as one of them. :)