Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The first Modern Widows Club Conference in Orlando.

Carolyn Moor founded the Modern Widows Club six years ago in Orlando Florida. It has since expanded to have chapters in 15 other states. On June 12, 2016, Carolyn was in Seattle making plans for the first Modern Woman's Club Conference. Because of the horrific Pulse nightclub shooting it was unanimously decided to have the first Conference in Orlando Florida. The hash tags were #WidowsStrong and #OrlandoStrong.

The theme of the conference was "Always wear your invisible crown." There is the biblical connotation to that symbolism but also a playful sense of empowerment. Every woman who attended got a t-shirt with a crown that looked like it was made from upside down tear drops. At the first luncheon in this room, they were all given crowns. This was something of a social experiment in that women who wore the crowns were further along in the grief process and able to receive love. As the conference went on and everyone opened up more, all the ladies wore them. This tradition started at the second Modern Widows Club meeting at Carolyn's home. She had a friend who worked in the Disney costuming show and she asked to borrow one of the big Cinderella crowns worn at the big Disney parades. It was heavy. One of the ladies at the meeting had basically not left her house for five years. She saw no future for herself. Carolyn told the group that she could prove to them that they still have joy in you. They couldn't see it because of the devastating grief. She brought out the huge crown and everyone lit up with excitement. They each picked one and looked at themselves in the mirror. One of the ladies turned around and said, "You tricked us." Carolyn said, "No, I just showed you what was already there." All the crowns were symbols for the trials and tribulations of various sizes.

One of the hotel staff was seen leaning against the wall watching the widows crowning each other at the luncheon at the conference. Carolyn met her after everyone has left. The staffer said she was surprised that she had been assigned to work this conference. She had no idea what to expect and she welled up multiple times and had to go back to the kitchen to dry her eyes. She had lost her husband three years ago. She told Carolyn that she was overwhelmed by what she saw happening in the room. Carolyn said that the woman deserved a crown as well, but all the crowns had been handed out. Just then her assistant walked up and said, "I have one more crown let over. What should I do with it?"  Carolyn showed me the picture of the two of then hugging and beaming. That woman is going to the next Modern Widows Club meeting at Carolyn's home.


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