Planned Parenthood, NWAC, Deb

My first boss, Deb, was amazing. She was kind and fierce and wise and competitive and compassionate and beautiful. She knew when we needed a champion, when we needed a lecture, when we needed a smile. She was absolutely clear, in word and deed, that she would fight for what’s best for people. She believed in our work, and showed us the difference our busy clinic made to our community and to our client’s futures.

When she told me that she had a special task for me, a job that needed my careful attention, I was so proud it felt like my heart was bursting. I was 23. The job was filing forms. I did it perfectly, grimacing with concentration even though I was pretty confident in my knowledge of the alphabet.

I spent the next 15 years at Planned Parenthood, filing ever-more-important forms, happy to be fighting the good fight the way that Deb taught me.

When I hear of churches that don’t allow female priests, I think of Deb and how much they’re missing. When I despair over Donald Trump as President, I remember Deb’s leadership and realize that middle management makes the fucking difference anyway.

It means so much to me to have Deb in my life now, even if it’s through Facebook and 5,000 miles. It chokes me up to think that I’m in her life, too. Thanks, Deb, for 10 months of direct supervision and a lifetime of pride, and hope, and love. You are amazing.

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