Who I think of this International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day.  I know it means different things to different people.  For many, it is a day to celebrate the accomplishments of women.  For others, the reasons may be political.  For me, when I think of what a woman is or should be, I think of my mom.  She taught me to value womanhood, motherhood, and wives.

Despite being soft-spoken most of the time, my mom was not shy.  You knew where she stood, and even though she never laid a hand on me in anger, I knew she had power and influence.  (There was one time she took the broom to a group of teens who were riding their motorcycles on her lawn, but that is another story). At sporting events, my soft-spoken mother would turn into a human megaphone.  Regardless of the number of those in attendance, they could never outdo her volume; I always knew exactly where my mom was because I could hear her cheering in support or when yelling when she was frustrated with a bad call. Actually, everyone always knew where she was.

Most children get to live with their mother, even after a divorce.  Most children get to grow up to be adults and to have a relationship with their moms.

It’s hard to remember my mom without remembering that she had cancer.  I was 14 when she passed, but those years taught me a great deal about how to value and treat women.  She displayed the grace and influence few people have, and those are values I am continually striving for.  When her body gave out, her spirit did not.  Neither a wheelchair, the loss of hair, or chemotherapy could stop her; her trials only seemed to magnify her value in my eyes.  She had an uncanny ability for seeing the “big picture” while valuing the little things in life.  She frequently befriended those who felt little, or of little value, and who would have felt isolated and neglected without her friendship.

Regardless of your gender, I hope you have someone special in your life, someone who cheers for you, and has your back when the deck is stacked against you.  Perhaps you can be that kind of person for someone else.

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