I watched the Unsung episode featuring Minnie Riperton a couple days ago. It was really good, two of her famous songs are "Lovin' You (is easy because you're beautiful)" and "Back down memory lane" (for those of you who are bad with artist names like me. She died very young (only 31) and it had me thinking about my own life.
I worry about the future sometimes. A post that I was working on started with a series of "what ifs", like what if the world does end in 2012, what if the machines do rise up, what if a secret powerful world organization does orchestrate the downfall of Canadian (or American) society? Too many bad sci-fi movies you say...I'm sure, nevertheless the question remains, what if there is no tomorrow?
Minnie Riperton made amazing music, created songs like Back Down Memory Lane while suffering from Breast Cancer, knowing she only had months to live. Hearing her story and watching her perform that song brought tears to my eyes. She wanted to be there for her babies, she wanted to and continued to make music for months while she was sick and in pain.
Yet she's considered unsung. She came out and spoke about breast cancer when the record label told her to keep it to herself because she thought women shouldn't be silenced about breast cancer. She found a way to make an indelible mark on the music industry, while also being a loving wife and mother, all in 31 short years. I know that I knew those two famous songs, but couldn't have remembered her name if I tried before viewing that episode.
There are a number of home videos in the episode with Minnie, Rick, Marc, and Maya Rudolph. They seemed to live and love so thoroughly as a family. I can't imagine it was easy, and I hope that by the end of my life, hopefully many many years from now, artifacts of my contributions to my family, my career, the world will remain as evidence of a life well lived.
I think often about motherhood and my career, one might say I even obsesses about it. How do I find the balance that I crave? I'm sure there's no easy answer, but living the struggle to do so reminds me how impressed I am by women who are able to do it all, even if the truth is I shouldn't be impressed, but rather demand that women, like men can have it all.