betty, stevie and us

“You never know what you can do until you have to do it.” ~ Betty Ford

Certain gracious, genteel tributes are anticipated when a former First Lady passes. And such has been the case since Betty Ford’s death this past weekend. But I am oh-so-loving the unanticipated ones that cut through the proper and reveal the real.

Never mind that we never met:  Betty was my kind of First Lady. Openly stating that she believed Nixon’s pardon wrong (amen). Discussing her pro-choice stance and cheering on the ERA (yep). Breaking the taboo of talking about her breast cancer (wow). And leveraging how she had dealt with her own shadow side into a super successful residential treatment program.

And it’s there that another of my favorite First Ladies steps in.

Hello, Stevie Nicks.

Perfect? Hardly. And she would be the first to tell you. But perfection is clearly on the premises when she sends out something like this:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WM7-PYtXtJM  And  Landslide lyrics speak to the dark sides, detours and disconnects many of us have encountered–if we’re as honest as Betty Ford.

In an interview earlier this week, Stevie credited Betty Ford and the treatment center for saving her life. She was there in 1985 for a cocaine addiction when Betty came to speak, telling about the pressure of politics and accepting the realities of being out of control…and her personal path back or through or whatever direction you want to give it.

The two reconnected a couple of years ago at a Center gathering, she adds. Stevie had the chance to thank a now-fragile Betty for her gift: “And I just looked up at her and I said, ‘You’ve got all these children here for you, and had it not been for you, so many of us would not have gotten well.'”

Here’s to the healing power of our imperfection.

“Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?” ~Stevie Nicks

Photo:  Wiki Commons/SandyMac

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