How do you celebrate a mountain’s birthday? A garden’s? A monument’s? How about the birthday of a Wonder of the World? Answer any of these and you’d have a start on what would be an appropriate tribute to Dr. Pat Allen.

She has been the light we’ve followed, the drum we’ve danced to, the sunrise that reminds us to awaken and the soft sound of reassurance that rest is necessary.  Women’s Voices for Change has a strong and far-reaching voice thanks to her. She is our inspiration to raise that voice in solidarity with all women who know getting older means gaining ground.

As her special day comes round again, we toast to Dr. Pat and recognize that she would be the first among us to insist that women have both the right and the obligation to speak for themselves. Since the birthday woman herself speaks so eloquently, it’s a pleasure to yield the floor—or rather, the website page. Herewith, excerpts from some of our favorite Pat Allen writings for WVFC through the years, both as a brilliant and compassionate physician and as the gifted, meditative observer that she is.

It is Dr. Pat’s energy that propels us forward in helping women everywhere exercise their power—for themselves and in support of each other. It is no wonder we wish her many, many more birthdays and thank her for all she is and helps us to be.

Menopause is a universal experience. It is not a disease.  Each woman experiences it in her own unique way. Menopause will define one-half of your life. Decide how you want to live it. How can you be the best you can be? November 20, 2006

On this Mother’s Day I write with great joy that I had this special day with the mother who taught me all the important things I ever learned.  Show up on time, with the certainty that you have the intelligence and creativity to make the day turn out well. Work hard and be grateful that you have work to do.  Love others more than yourself, but find time for self care. Make a life where fun and joy are always possible even when circumstances are not easy. Demonstrate your values and your faith by example. Mommie has lived a life that I can never match, but the template is one that I hold myself to every day. May 9, 2010

My question for the scientists who did this study is: “Why in the world would you call intercourse once a year sex at all?  Why bother? February 22, 2010

I live with the certainty that in chaos we can always find opportunity. January 3, 2010

We who have chosen to be of service to women in this important period of life must do more and do it now. We have allowed the bio-identical charlatans to offer promises of never aging when all we need to do is offer each woman in crisis the hope of becoming herself again. November 17, 2009

I have clues from each woman’s life stage, clues from the narrative of her life, clues from her symptoms, clues from her physical exam and clues from her goals and choices. But the strange work I do diagnostically begins in the quiet hour when I am alone with her story, and work to understand how she became who she is at this time. August 21, 2009

I hate the dawn unless I am visiting it as the end point of a long night out. And fate, that bitch, has forced me for much of my life to be up with the roosters, not bedding down just as they crow. July 10, 2008

We leave home to return home. The arc of this great epic never changes. Only the details. November 26, 2008

Cougars will need to define themselves. We might need to get an intellectual property lawyer to protect our image! July 10, 2007

It is often easy to forget to be conscious of the wonder of our good fortune until it is taken away. Then, we remember how good it was when we hadn’t taken the time to notice. Finding time each day to be aware of the rhythm of my life has given me serenity. December 29, 2006

For some of Dr. Pat’s longer-playing thoughts, we thought you’d particularly enjoy these posts from the past year. (Though it is very hard to single any out, since we love them all.)

Starting Anew: One Woman’s Story (August 2010)

Toss the Condoms? Not on Your Life! Dr. Pat’s Notebook (October 2010)

Moving Pains: On Downsizing and the Search for the Perfect Aubergine (July 2010)

The Menopause Libido Myth: Dr. Pat’s Notebook (December 2010)

Going Home and Letting Go (May 2010)

Join the conversation

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  • Karen Mehiel December 23, 2010 at 8:42 am

    Good Morning Pat,

    I am sending you a happy belated birthday wish for another fabulous year.

    You an inspiration.

    See you in 2011.


  • Susan Ringo December 22, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Happy Birthday dear darling dr. pat….you’ve raised the bar so high in so many ways. My hope and birthday wish is that your arms don’t get tired. Of course you’re so buff I suspect all is well for a good many more years….much love and gratitude to you dear doc and friend, Susan.

  • mary kelly selover December 22, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Dear Dr. Pat
    You are a force of nature! Is it any wonder that on the shortest, darkest day of the year, you arrived to illuminate and bring hope and joy? With so much love, The Selovers

  • Lisa Wood Richardson December 22, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    oh Pat, Happy Birthday!
    much love from Lisa George Max and Joslyn

  • Patricia Yarberry Allen December 22, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Dear Gracious Board Members, Susan and Chris,

    This homage to the myth of Dr. Pat was unexpected and as the newly crowned Miss America always says, “Truly humbling”. I am only as good as those who have mentored me, those who walk and work with me, both in medicine and in the extraordinary work of this blog where writers create an accurate portrait of our demographic through the depiction of menopause as the opportunity for transformation that it can be. The growth of this site is a testament to the work of a community, not a person.

  • Tara Dillard December 22, 2010 at 8:08 am

    EVERYDAY of life, with a garden, is a birthday.

    I go outside and the akebia has begun to bloom; its fragrance, after a year’s absence, visiting my soul again. Then the Chinese snowball explodes in huge white balls, peony buds unfurl, oakleaf hydrangea strike their ivory pyramids & etc…

    Gardens are a moat of grace around our life. Dr. Pat, a moat of grace.

    Garden & Be well, XO Tara

  • S. Bewkes December 22, 2010 at 7:37 am

    Happy Birthday oh great and sublime one who has doctored, counseled, and befriended – you are in my thoughts and heart!!