Amazing Everyday Women
March is Women’s History month and I’ve been thinking of the amazing women who have touched my life – women who persevered and kept on keeping on even when it wasn’t easy. There were so many but a few stand out in my memory.
Bonnie and I were in our early twenties but she was way older than me in so many ways. One day she told me she was pregnant and her boyfriend had hit the road running. We worked in a department store for little more than minimum wage. I still lived at home with mom and dad.
Her parents had just kicked her out. But Bonnie kept doing what needed to be done. She came to work every day, wearing the same pair of maternity pants. She could only afford the luxury of one pair and washed them out every night. She added extra time to her commute to accommodate pulling over to the side of the road and losing her breakfast most mornings.
When I think of her, all these years later, I am still humbled by her courage. Sadly we lost touch. She is someone I wish was still in my life.
Another mom-on-her own was Donna. Her doctor had told her that she would never conceive a child, but low-and-behold she did. The father wasn’t a man she could count on or one she wanted in her life. He agreed to forfeit his parental rights if she wouldn’t seek child support. For her it was an easy choice. She made up her mind to do whatever it took to raise her son on her own.
Donna had long ago moved out of her parent’s house and even though she had their loving support she didn’t want to burden them. This left her on her own financially but free to decide her future and her child’s.
She knew her focus for the next twenty years would be providing a stable home, lots of love and an education for her son. She set out to acquire the skills necessary to take care of her small family. That included going back to college for her Bachelor’s degree and also signing up at Vo-Tech for a class in auto-mechanics. I think she eventually took a shop class, too. She was a classy and courageous woman. I’m still in awe of her.
I know most daughters think their moms are amazing – but mine really was! She met my dad during WWII, married him and had a son. When the war ended a few months later, she left her home in England and said good-bye to friends and family. She didn’t know if she would ever see them again. My brother and mom came across the Atlantic on a ship; she not knowing if the young American sailor she’d married would still want her now that the intensity that came with war-time was over. When she arrived, my dad’s family didn’t know what to make of his English bride. It took a while before she was accepted into the family. I can’t imagine leaving my life behind and starting new in a strange land. She was one brave woman.
Then there came a time when I would live a life on my own. I faced some dark hours but, I was fortunate to have the remarkable examples of the women who have woven their way through my life to help me get through the tough times and realize there were better days ahead. They had shown me what true courage is.