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TEN FROM GEM: HEROES!

Hey all!

Good Enough Mother is in Dallas today, giving a speech on how and why I decided to be done with the chemicals and let my hair go natural. It’s not like I’m an expert, but through trial and error, I have learned a thing or two on my hair journey – and you know I like to share.

As it’s the weekend I also wanted to post another TEN From GEM because, speaking of sharing, I always love to read what you guys write. This week’s list is all about Heroes – the people in our lives who’ve most inspired us…

Here’s my list – in no particular order. Start sending your over!

BUFF PARHAM: I know I know, you’re rolling your eyes. But this space is far too small for me to detail the ways this man saved me from myself. When we got married nearly 17 years ago, he was something of my knight in shining armor. Now we are equals, both with strengths and weaknesses that complement each other. Of course that doesn’t mean there aren’t still times I want to strangle him in his sleep!

ROSA PARKS: Wow.! I met this tiny, unassuming woman years ago while working as a local newscaster in Birmingham, Alabama. Meeting Parks was like watching a page of your history book spring to life. This little woman sparked the civil rights movement when she was too tired to give up her seat on the bus to a white passenger. The rest, as they say, is history.

BILL AND ANNE SYLER: Yep, my parents. Bill Syler worked his fingers to the bone to make sure my sister and I wanted for nothing. He was gruff and a teeny bit scary but underneath that exterior was a good man, the first example of the kind of man I would want to marry. Anne Syler, my mom, was my first up-close and personal look at a woman who takes care of family and self. I hit the parents jackpot!

ERMA BOMBECK: Yes, the funny lady, best known for her hilarious newspaper columns on parenting, marriage and life in general. Erma was a Good Enough Mother long before I came along – and she was not ashamed to let everyone know. Accepting that she was good enough and proudly writing about it, somehow made it okay for the rest of us to follow suit!

AMBASSADOR NANCY BRINKER: Nancy Brinker is the woman behind what is now the global movement, Susan G. Komen For The Cure. Nancy marshaled all her resources when she found out that her sister had breast cancer. This was back in a time when people didn’t talk about breasts, much less cancer. Komen is now a world leader in the breast cancer fight, donating 1.5 billion dollars since 1982 – and I’m very proud to be affiliated with the cause (for more on Nancy, check out our recent Featured Advertiser interview with her!)

OPRAH: How could a list of my heroes be complete without a broadcaster on it? But Oprah really isn’t just a broadcaster, she showed early on, what a savvy businesswoman she was and continues to be to this day. Now on the brink of launching her eponymous network, she is poised to be even bigger than before.

SARAH WEDDINGTON: The name might not ring a bell but she, along with Linda Coffee, represented Jane Roe (Norma McCorvey) in the history making Roe v. Wade, which stated that a woman’s right to privacy extended to her right to have an abortion.

I met Sarah years ago when I was a local newscaster in Texas and tried to imagine what it must have been like, as a 26-year-old, arguing that case in front of the US Supreme Court.  (DISCLAIMER: I chose her as one of my heroes because she argued for a woman’s right to choose what she wants to do with her body, not for her stance on abortion, per se).

MADAME CJ WALKER: Since hair is one of my passions, I have to add this forward thinking lady. CJ Walker saw a need among black women that was not being fulfilled and she seized upon it. She successfully manufactured and marketed a beauty line with emphasis on hair-care, making her the first self-made female millionaire.

HENRIETTA LACKS: Another name you may not know but who should be your hero too. Henrietta Lacks was an African American woman diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1951. The cells from her tumor were harvested (unbeknownst to her) after a doctor noticed they were able to grow in the lab and be mass-produced. Those cells have been harvested into a line known as HeLa cells that are used in research in various diseases including AIDS and various forms of cancer.

And finally… my last choice – is all the other GOOD ENOUGH MOTHERS out there… all of you trying to do the best you can and often with little recognition and no thanks… here’s to all of you! You’re the everyday heroes who often get overlooked…

So that’s my list… but who’s on yours? Start sending over your Top 10 Heroes lists… I’d love to hear them!

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More in Ten from GEM

Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

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