A SISTERHOOD STORY

A SISTERHOOD STORY

I had the recent honour of getting to know three incredible women and the awe-inspiring story behind why they all invested in a Petite Form necklace. I am filled with gratitude to share this story with your today.

Diep, Cara and Antoinette are true heroes who give their tireless dedication to their local community by working on the front lines as nurses. They began their nursing careers around the same time, nearly fifteen years ago. They've grown  and evolved together, as nurses and as women. 

For this story, I asked them each the same three questions that would help capture and articulate their incredible sisterhood; a bond built on genuine love, loyalty and respect for one another: 

THE QUESTIONS —

  1. Describe your friendship with these ladies in one word
  2. What do you admire most about each of the other two women? 
  3. Describe a time when one of these ladies or both gave you strength, support or empowerment when you needed it




DIEP

  1. Our friendship in one word: Nurturing

  2. What I admire most about Cara and Antoinette:
    Cara: I admire her vulnerability in her emotions. She lets me know she cares about me and will always be there for me. She gives her love freely without needing or wanting anything in return. Her love is truly unconditional.
    Antoinette: I admire her strength and lightheartedness. She always finds the positive in situations and her courage inspires me. 

  3. A time when these ladies gave me strength, support or empowerment when I needed it:
One memory that stuck with me was during our break on one of our night shifts, when Cara and Antoinette comforted me during one of the toughest life events in my life. They both did not rest during their break but used it instead to listen to me and console me while we were at work. In that moment I knew they were special and so kind. They both have such loving hearts and were a true friend by being there for me, even if it was at work. I truly felt supported. I know I can always depend on them if I'm ever in need.


CARA


  1. Our friendship in one word: Genuine

  2. What I admire most about Diep and Antoinette:
    Diep: What I admire most about Diep/Theresa is her strength and resilience. In the 13 years we have known each other, I've seen her display her strength in different ways. First, as a nurse and health care practitioner. In the time that we worked together on the same unit, I was a witness to Diep's quick thinking, clinical intelligence, and her willingness to go above and beyond every single shift. It takes strength to physically aid these patients, to tend to their emotional needs, and to do it all in a compassionate way. Diep is the type of nurse you would want if you were sick, I know I would. And of course, life throws us curveballs, and Diep has had her share of curveballs. Even through the dark times, Diep would always ask, "How can I be better?" She was  always looking for a way to use whatever tribulation it was, to come out of it stronger, and to get to know herself better. I have always thought that this was an admirable trait of hers, and I still do.
    Antoinette: What I admire most about Antoinette is how she takes care of her family. Having a tight-knit family, Antoinette and I have this in common. But Antoinette is almost a second matriarch in her family. Despite being a middle child, she takes care of her family the way a mother does. Her family has attested that she is the backbone of their unit, and I believe that. So when she became a wife and a mother herself, she naturally slipped into the roles. I've been privileged to see Antoinette start a family of her own, and all the while juggling the rest of life. It's no easy feat to be a full-time nurse, a wife, and a mother-of-two and Antoinette does it all somehow, with ease, grace, patience, and kindness. As a mother myself, I look up to her, and look to her for guidance.

  3. A time when these ladies gave me strength, support or empowerment when I needed it:
On my first day back to work from maternity leave, Diep visited me on my unit (she still works in the same hospital as me) to check on me and to make sure I was doing all right. She brought me a cup of my favourite blend from Second Cup. I'm not sure if Diep knew it then, but I was so relieved to see her face and immediately felt comforted. Being away from work and 18 months and then jumping right back into it was terrifying. I was a jumble of emotions that day, but the fact that Diep remembered that it was my first day, and that she took the time to see me, provided me a moment of calm and reassurance.

This year, for mother's day, Antoinette had written me a letter to go along with her present. She folded it the way we used to fold letters in high school -- in the shape of a heart. Inside were some of the most encouraging and uplifting words anyone had ever written me, or even said to me. It came at a difficult time - a little over a year of going through the pandemic and working directly with Covid patients had taken a toll on my mind and my heart. Her letter moved me and gave me much needed strength during a very difficult time. I keep the letter in my work bag, and I read it whenever I need a pick-me-up or a boost. I treasure it, and always will.


ANTOINETTE


  1. Our friendship in one word: Rare

  2. What I admire most about Diep and Cara:
    Diep: What I admire about Diep is her strength and resilience.  She really is the definition of someone who has real grit and perseverance, something that I strive to work on.  As life throws you so many challenges, I am blessed to have someone like her as an example of how to deal with those challenging times. Diep helps remind me that the tough times are only temporary and that there is always a way out of it.
    Cara: With Cara, I admire how naturally empathetic she is.  It is very rare you meet someone who you can just show your bare self to and feel accepted whole-heartedly.  Cara is the type of person that when you are at your lowest of lows, she makes you feel like she is right there with you to help you up.  Every time we meet or talk, she has this way of being fully present EVERY single time, regardless of the plethora of things that are happening in her life.

  3. A time when these ladies gave me strength, support or empowerment when I needed it:
In the beginning of the pandemic, there was a lot of uncertainty, and the well being of my family and coworkers had weighed heavily on me. Working in healthcare, you definitely have difficult days. Unfortunately during the pandemic, those difficult days outnumbered the good for me. It was very easy as someone who cares for people in their most vulnerable times in life, to lose myself in the process.

Diep and Cara are the very few people in my life that can bring me back to myself, and who understand my experiences completely. And because of that, the difficult days simply become bearable.

Even after all these years, through every stage of life, they manage to continue to show up for me regardless of the countless roles they have as nurses, daughters, a mother, a sister, or a partner. Our connection is one of the main reasons I am getting through this pandemic.
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