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Village News for March 15, 2024!

From Frank Finamore (Executive Director):

I’ve been thinking a lot about Women’s History Month, perhaps because one of my sisters, Patti, has been visiting me and my mother this week. Twelve years older than me, I’ve always looked up to her as a strong, intelligent, funny, beautiful, and accomplished woman. She was Homecoming Queen (and she’d shoot me if she knew I told anyone that so please keep my secret) and she was the first one in our extended family to attend college. Experiencing the rolling green lawns and ivy-covered brick buildings of Mary Washington College (as it was named then) and hearing about her experiences, I knew at an early age that I wanted to go to college too.

I remember being so proud of her when she graduated in 1976 and then puzzled by the fact that in job interviews, she was only asked how fast she could type. More than anyone else, she taught me about “women’s lib” as we called it back then. She went on to get a graduate degree, work for the government as a cartographer, and then as an urban planner. She’s always been inspirational to me. Recently, we completed an oral history project through a grant with the Humanities Council of Washington, DC, led by our Assistant Director, Claire. Members and/or volunteers interviewed 7 members about their lives, experiences and memories of DC, and the impact of the Village on their lives. In the coming months we hope to make those stories more widely available somehow, but I will preview them for you and say that I was really struck both by the richness of experiences and trailblazing paths that so many of our members made in the course of their lives. They were nothing short of inspiring. Like my sister, these interviews made me aware that heroes are in our midst.

Finally, I’ll share some good news that my pup, Lucy, is in remission from lymphoma. I found myself saying that I “just wanted some more time with her.”And with Patti’s visit, she noticed that our mother’s Alzheimer’s has progressed and that mom’s more detached from us and her surroundings. But Mom’s still here, albeit a different way, and we have this time with her.

It’s still a gift. But all of this makes me wonder how we’re choosing to use our time together? How are we sharing our own stories, which might just be inspiring to others?

In the next few weeks, we’ll begin the process of updating our printed Membership Directory. As a member, you can opt in to being included in the directory and what information, if any, to share. The directory is only distributed in hard copy and only to other members. It is not shared with any other organizations and is not available online. I strongly encourage you to think about being included. It’s an entrée to perhaps making a new connection or sharing a bit more about yourself.

P.S. As for my time with Lucy, rest assured that it includes lots of treats, walks, and cuddles.


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