According to one of my favorite authors, Cassandra Clare, it is International Women's Day. I realize that it would be so much easier to just verify this the old fashioned way, through Google, or through the really old fashioned way, by looking at a calendar. But I find that it is so much easier just to take her word for it. Plus, since I read that it was International Women's Day it gave me an idea for a blog and I'm just not willing to give that up.
When Cassandra Clare tweeted that it was International Women's Day she also asked that people respond with a woman that they admired. I am going to respond in blog about the women I admire because I have more than 140 characters worth of admiration to post about.
I admire many women in my life and every one of them has played a part in who I am today as a human and a woman. So let me begin with the first and most important woman in most human's lives. A mother. My mother.
I have blogged in the passed about my mother and how life has come full circle to point where I understand so many of the things that she said and did for me as a child. Things that because I was a child I could never have appreciated or understood. My mother has taught me so many things that it feels a little bit unjust to try and narrow the discussion down to a few points, but then again there is something to be said for saving a little for later. That being said I am going to tell you a few of the myriad of wonderful things that make my mother such a light and influence in my life.
My mother taught me strength. She taught me through example, through conversation and with compassion. Strength is a versatile word and it can imply many things, like physical strength. Most people would not expect a blog about female strength to discuss the physical strength of a person, but I feel it's important to recognize first and foremost that my mother has a significant amount of physical strength. I learned this because 1- I was a pain in the rear and I got my fair share of well deserved spankings (which ironically left me with a painful rear) 2- I vividly remember that my mom used to stay up until 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning making sure that the house, the laundry, the cooking etc., were all managed, and then she would get up at 6 or 7a.m. and go to a job for 8 hours a day. I get cranky if I get less than 8 hours of sleep more than two or three days in a row. She did this on a regular basis for years. I remember that as a very naive and self centered child I just thought that she liked staying up late. I now understand that she stayed up late out of necessity because it was the only time she could get things done without interruption and it was the only time she had time to herself. My mom is a woman with a great deal of physical strength, and I admire that, because I know how easy it would have been for her to just let things go for those extra hours of sleep.
My mom's example of strength is beyond the physical however, my mom has an exceptional level of innate emotional strength. I have learned from watching her that there is nothing in life that warrants absolute hopelessness. There is always hope you just have to be strong enough to hold onto it even when you can't see it. I suppose some would call that faith, and my mother's faith is a beautiful piece of artwork. Something invaluable that both of my parents taught me about faith is that, faith is not static. Faith is a living and evolving entity. A person must be strong enough to allow their faith to grow while simultaneously exposing it to ideas that challenge that faith. I am a person of profound faith in many things and that is a result of the strength and love of both of my parents.
My mom taught me that strength isn't always stoic, there is a time for the quiet and stern strength, and there is a time for compassionate strength. Strength has the wisdom to accept both modalities and use them accordingly. I could continue jabbering about all of the ways that I learned about how to find, cultivate and apply the strength of my humanity from my mother, however,I am only going to point out one more important lesson about strength that my mother taught me. Love makes strength stronger and strength gives love more depth. They are two ideals that when combined in the right spirit truly allow anything to be possible.
I love you Mom, & Thank you.