International Women’s Day really made me think about the women in my life. There are so many that have influenced me and that I admire. And just because it’s no longer International Women’s Day doesn’t mean that I can’t still celebrate and recognize those women!
One of the things I’ve always loved best about my Mom is how generous she is. I never saw her eat first. Ever. She always waited until all the family got their food before she got hers. She wanted to make sure everyone had plenty.
I remember once when I was maybe four or five my Uncle Oscar asked me for part of my Kit Kat. I broke it in two so that I could give him half. One part remained whole while the other was in pieces. I looked at them, considered for a moment, and then handed Oscar the whole candy bar. I don’t remember Oscar’s reaction except I’m pretty sure he gave my candy bar back to me, but I remember Mom being so proud. She was so pleased that I had been unselfish and that I had given the better portion to another.
That has stuck with me my whole life. Let others have the best part. Put them first. And it was my Mom who taught me that.
My Aunt, Joeldean
Joeldean is an adventurer! She is always up for anything! Joeldean was the first person I thought of when I wanted to travel to Greece and needed a travel companion. And of course, she said yes!
Joeldean is now in her seventies and raising her great-grandson. That’s an amazing woman, people!
Poppy taught me that you do what you have to do. You don’t complain. You just do it. Poppy quit school when she was 13 to go to work. She had to help her family. She worked in hotels and factories. When she and my grandpa divorced she made sure she got to keep her girls. The Lawyer made sure she got to keep the house and land. It was land she had worked and bought. She always provided for her family.
Poppy took early retirement to care for my Great-Granny. And when Granny passed away, Poppy also took care of two of her Aunts when they were sick. Because that’s what you do. I don’t think it ever occurred to her not to do that. You take care of your family. She was a great woman! I miss her every day.
My Sister, Paige
There’s a lot I admire about my sis but her confidence is what I’m going to write about today. I remember once when we were in high school and we were getting ready to go out to a ball game, Paige looked into the mirror and said, “I look cute.” This blew me away. I’m not sure if at that point in my life I had ever looked in the mirror and thought I looked cute. And if I had, I doubt I would’ve voiced it out loud.
But not my Sis, she knew she looked good and wasn’t afraid to say so. How many grown women can do that?! And you know what the best part is, she’s really not vain! I know a lot of people think so because of her confidence but it isn’t so.
Actually, the best part is Paige isn’t afraid to compliment other women too. She knows that just because another woman is beautiful, smart, funny, doesn’t mean that she isn’t too. And that’s pretty cool!
My friend, Christin
Christin and her husband are helping to raise his niece Haley. For years now, even before they were married, I’ve watched Christin take care of and treat Haley as if she were her own daughter. She’s had those tough conversations that Mom’s have with daughters. And she does so because she knows Haley needs a woman in her life that she can go to about anything. And Christin does it because she loves this little girl and wants the best for her. That’s a good woman there!
My friend, Melba
In her late 50s and early 60s, Melba worked two jobs. Do you know why? So that she could live out her dream of traveling the world! Melba wanted to visit all the places she read about in the Bible. And she did it! She went to Isreal, Jordan, Egypt, Rome. I was even lucky enough to tag along on some of her adventures. Oh, and I forgot to mention that Melba had two bad knees! There are people younger than Melba and in better health who don’t have the drive to chase their dream like she did. Melba didn’t let anything stop her!
I remember someone once telling Melba that they wished they had her money. She told them that they could too if they worked two jobs!
I know that for a lot of people International Women’s Day was about a political statement, but for me, it was about reflection. It was about these women that I love and admire. It was a reminder of how blessed I’ve been to have such strong women in my life. They helped make me who I am today.
Now, what about you? Tell me about the women in your life? What do you admire about them? Let me know in the comments!