24 Feb G Day Stories: Susan
Donny Osmond. Horses. Girlfriends. Stories. Sleepovers. Barbies. Secrets. Music. Plus, a few cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, and pheasants.
My adolescence was filled with curiosity and adventure, love and freedom. I was consumed by my love of horses in those days. Aside from the four-foot poster of Donny Osmond on my wall, my bedroom was filled with horse pictures, horse books, horse statues, and ribbons that I won at horse shows.
My favorite outfit was jeans & boots, (not unlike my favorites today). I played piano at home, trombone in the school band, made straight A’s, and was a cheerleader for my school’s basketball team. I loved school in all its dimensions. Except for gym class. I hated gym class and figured out how to get thrown out of class on a regular basis. Punishment-sit in the hall until class was over. I LOVED it! It was during this time in my life when my first best friend taught me how to downhill ski. And, I met my second best friend, who’s now my lifetime best friend.
Then, I turned 12 and somehow life got complicated. I started my period and my parents divorced. Starting my period was just a blip in time for me, not complicated at all. I came home from school one day, went into the bathroom, and noticed blood on my underwear. I called for my mother. She said something, I’m sure, but I don’t remember what. When I went into my bedroom, there was a book on my bed and a huge box of various sanitary products in my closet. My mother said something to the effect of “pick which one you like and I’ll get you more of it.” And, that was it. My entry into womanhood was not even a punctuation mark. And, I didn’t miss a beat.
Life went on as I equipped myself with pads and tampons and made sure I didn’t wear white during my periods. Otherwise, no difference from one day to the next. Do I wish I had gotten more from my mother at that time in my life? Without a doubt. But, I didn’t know how to ask for more and my mother didn’t know how to give me more. Thankfully, I had a girlfriend, Denise, whose mother told her everything. I learned a lot from that girl.
I met Madeleine Shaw last August at a coffeehouse in Seattle. As I listened to Madeleine’s story of the influences of her life, and her vision for the future for young girls around the world, I was overcome with deep feelings of love and appreciation. I knew in that moment that I would support Madeleine and her efforts to bring G Day For Girls to the world. By sponsoring G Day For Girls, and launching The Susan Gibson Mary Tupper Foundation this year, I’m realizing my vision to help girls achieve their hopes and dreams. Named for my grandmother Mary, she certainly helped this girl achieve her hopes and dreams.