Strong women in my family

Dedication: Dedicated to the memories of the three women...

Three strong women in my family from whom I learned enduring life lessons:

Mother – Born in 1914, died 2009. Loving, generous, capable, and competent; valued helping others, active in church and community; worked to help pay my college tuition; seldom said No and made sure I knew consequences of choices either before or afterwards; in love with my Dad for 45 years until his death; remarried at age 70 for 25 more years of a vital presence. Loved the woods, flowers, and her families. My Mother and Dad started their life together working in and then owning a grocery store/butcher shop in a small town in rural Ohio.

Grandmother G – A farm wife, cook extraordinaire and gardener; demonstrated self-sufficiency, sustainability; chickens and eggs her domain although she also helped with milking cows, feeding and caring for sheep, horses and pigs. A good neighbor to many, helping at harvest time or in times of need. She was one of five children, all of whom had a strong work ethic. Raised almost all of their own food and shared generously with family and friends. Their farm was about 6 miles from a town where my other grandparents lived and worked. Thus I had the benefit of spending lots of time with both sets of grandparents and participating in work they gave me to do for many summers.

Grandmother K – Born in horse and buggy days, late 1800’s, lived in poverty along a railroad track and at age 16, when her mother died of TB, left home with her baby sister and became a live-in housekeeper, sister in tow, for a family in a big city about 60 miles away. Met my grandfather whose wife had died, leaving him with 2 small children and they married and had 3 more children. After farming for several years, they opened a general store, groceries, meat and dry goods, in a small town in rural Ohio, not the same one as my parents, but fairly close. My parents met because they went to the same high school.

All three of these women were compassionate, loving, giving and great role models for their children and grandchildren. They knew the demands of hard work and they knew how to laugh and have a good time. They demonstrated resilience, perseverance, and determination. They knew how to deal with adversity and hardship and showed the value of inner resources that came from a life of faith and devotion to a power greater than themselves. Each of them was attuned to nature in one way or another and they all liked to sing and celebrate. They knew their faults and there was no pretense about who they were.

They were authentic, honest and shared what they believed and in so doing we knew them and loved them to the end.