This is a video I created from a live photo, which I then added effects to (embers and stars). It was one of the few things I have made since my sister-in-law died last week, and while I’ve been taking time away from the world to mourn her, support my husband and his family, and my own small family here in LA too. Tomorrow my husband and I both go back to our routine lives. But at the end of this week of pause, I am feeling much more than grief.

In the last three years I’ve lost three women in my life to illness. Two to uterine cancer, the third to alcoholism. All of them died between their mid-40’s and ’50s. All of them worked in the world outside too, and left behind children.

As a woman with a serious illness (Type 1 diabetes) who struggles to take care of herself, while taking care of my family and those I work for outside the home, I can’t tell you how horrified I am to be a witness to these deaths. Too soon. Two were struck suddenly, there was no adequate treatment for their disease. The third was abandoned by the family that she helped create and in effect, due to the stigma of her disease, treatment which failed through a practically a non-existent diagnosis of its underlying causes – addiction is NOT something which can be remedied solely via the will of the addict, and there is ALWAYS a reason for turning to self-medicating – died in an excruciating slow-motion suicide that accelerated suddenly within this past year.

What do these deaths have in common? Once you have given birth, it seems you’ve done your duty, and “whatever” with regard to your health and subsequent life (or death). Women’s health is considered an “emerging field,” I have been told by my female doctors. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?? What happens during pregnancy to a woman’s body and afterwards is largely unimportant, I have been finding out since I had gestational diabetes with my own pregnancies. As long as the children are ok, it doesn’t matter that the mother’s health suffers forever afterward. You’re on your own. You’re now an “aside” since you’ve managed to reproduce. Good luck. Who cares about motherhood? Who cares about women’s bodies except as boxes for pleasure and “baby ovens??” You’ve come a long way, BABY. The FULL CIRCLE way back to square ONE, that is.

I’m PISSED. And as long as I’m functional, I’m not turning my back on my sisters, whatever they come down with in their middle years. Because I’m THERE, I KNOW what it’s like to be an ASIDE when you get sick and after you’ve done your duty to procreate, and I’m NOT going to back down.

VOTE sisters, get INVOLVED, get your sisters into the MEDICAL PROFESSION and get women’s health out of the damn “EMERGING” field! WE MATTER.

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