I have been blessed to have strong female role models in my life. They have all influenced the mother that I have become especially my own mother. As different as I am from them, I realize the strengths I have discovered in myself over the years has come from their influence.
My mother is one of the strongest women I have ever known. My parents divorced when I was very young and she became a single parent raising a little girl on her own. From her, I have learned to be independent. It’s okay to be alone sometimes and to go your own way. She loves family and made sure that I knew who my family was—on both sides. She has worked as a grocery store cashier, a hair stylist, an elementary school teacher’s aide to name a few and now owns a floral business. I find that I have that same “I can do anything” attitude as I too have worked in various unrelated fields.
Our vacations at the beach were some of my favorite memories; just the two of us. She let me swim to my heart’s content. I remember how beautiful her skin was as she effortlessly tanned. I, on the other hand, would burn easily. We appreciated different genres of music from Elvis to Motown to Disco to a little bit of country. She taught me to reach for my dreams and is my biggest cheerleader. And when I’m feeling something’s just not right or I need some advice, the sound of her voice puts my soul at ease.
Who are the strong women in your life? What have you learned from them? Share your story in the comments!
My maternal grandmother had a quiet strength about her. She was a pastor’s wife who studied with him and took notes for his sermons. I remember her always in the kitchen cooking or canning something. I remember her wrinkled hands were as soft as silk. She patiently encouraged my piano practice while others grew weary of the noise. I recall watching her fingers quietly tap a rhythm as she watched television in the evenings; I often wondered to where she had escaped. She inspired my love of baking. I remember making biscuits from scratch with her—oh how I wish I had written it all down—I know I will never taste another so good. She and my mother reminded me to behave like a lady. You can’t imagine the gasps as they realized I slipped away from my grandparents’ anniversary celebration at the church fellowship hall to play basketball in my new white dress.
My paternal grandmother was a less quiet strong woman. She loved to talk about any and everything. She gave her opinions freely and without prodding. She also loved to bake and was a great seamstress. As strong as my other grandmother’s faith was, this one completely exemplified Proverbs 3:5. As a young child, I remember the stories of how Aunt Francis was killed in a car wreck before graduation her senior year. My grandmother experienced what no parent should and tragically she would bury all three of her children and her husband. I was amazed at her strength, composure and faith in God. I sometimes wondered how she managed to stay sane. It was hard to understand how anyone could endure that much heartache. But, she never wavered in her faith and love for God.