In an essay for TIME for International Women's Day, Angelina Jolie wrote a personal piece that revealed that two of her daughters, Zahara and Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, recently underwent surgery. The piece focused on the value of women and their capacity to give back to other women. Honestly, it may have left me a little teary-eyed, and I'm newly reminded me of how amazing it is to be a woman. (Jolie, why do you always do this to me!)
She wrote, "They know that I am writing this because I respect their privacy, and we discussed it together, and they encouraged me to write. They understand that going through medical challenges and fighting to survive and heal is something to be proud of."
I have watched my daughters care for one another. My youngest daughter studied the nurses with her sister, and then assisted the next time. I saw how all my girls so easily stopped everything and put each other first, and felt the joy of being of service to those they love. I also watched them their face fears with a resolute bravery. We all know that moment when no one else can help us, and all we can do is close our eyes and breathe. When only we can take the next step or breath through the pain, so we steady ourselves and do it.
Their brothers were there for them, supportive and sweet. But on this International Women’s Day, writing from the hospital, I find myself focusing on my daughters for a moment, and all that I have learned from them and other young girls I have met around the world.
The 44-year-old Academy Award-winning actress and Special Envoy of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees is mom to Maddox (18), Pax (16), Zahara (15), Shiloh (13), Vivienne (11), and Knox (11). Jolie also wrote about the kindness and bravery the two sisters shared while in the hospital.
"Someone said to me, when they saw my daughters caring for each other, that 'it comes naturally to girls.' I smiled, but then I thought of how often that notion is abused." She continued, "The little girl is expected to take care of others. The woman she grows up to be will be expected to give, and care for, and sacrifice. Girls are often conditioned to think that they are good only when they serve others, and selfish or wrong if ever they focus on their own needs and desires."
"They all got flower arrangements. Shiloh looked like she was used to walking with the crutches. She was pretty quick and didn't struggle; the source said to PEOPLE. "She only needed some help getting into the car. Vivienne was sweet and kept an eye on her. You could tell that the sister are close and care about each other."
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