My role models: Marilyn Monroe and Mother Teresa

It was something about the way the light and air pressure changed, creating a shimmering bubble around my parents as their eyes met, putting their heads together, as they giggled at a picture on the cover of a magazine. My parents weren’t the giggling type so I was quick to leap my five-year-old body across the living room to see what was up. An early reader, I was able to catch the name Marilyn, before my mother snatched the magazine away, but it was too late. I, too, felt the light shift around the image of a woman who was open, sensual and happily embodied. A woman who was unapologetic about loving life. Without having words for it, I knew she was my Goddess, my role shining star. She was wearing a red dress.

Years passed and I found myself intrigued by another woman. A tiny, wrinkled woman. The story had it that this woman grew up in a convent in India.
She was loved by the elder nuns but her high youthful energy was sometimes a bit much for them. When she came to the mother superior with a request for permission to start a hospice for the poor, destitute and dying on the streets of Calcutta , they were thrilled to grant her wish, winking at one another and whispering, “now we will have some afternoons of peace!!”

Years passed. I have become an elder. One quiet evening, while scanning Netflix offerings, my attention caught on two specific documentaries. The first, showed a young woman, happy to be alive, residing fully in her body, inviting life to come in. The light and air pressure changed creating a shimmering bubble. She was wearing a red dress.

The second documentary featured a tiny wrinkled woman whose gnarled hands cupped the ravished face of a dying man. He was all agony until she lifted his face and gazed into his eyes. His expression turned to pure bliss.

Now, I have two goddesses...two role models.

One woman offered and embraced soul and body light. She said, “Inside we’re all the same. “

“ She wears a red dress.

The other, has the stairway to heaven in her tiny body and radiant eyes. She wears a veil and a cross.


— Anonymous, MA, MFT

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