Saturday, November 5, 2016

TToT: Great Women

Over the past few days I have been reading bios of women who were alive before a woman could vote in this country. These women look forward to voting for a woman for US President. (iwaited96years.com)  I have seen the I Voted stickers left on the grave of Susan B. Anthony.  It has been a wonderful reminder that we all have role models upon whose shoulders we stand as we face the future.


Ten Women Heroes who have helped make me who I am...

Grandma Ruth and my mother Susie who both lived life with so much gusto that their spirits never grew old despite being blessed with long lives.  They stayed in touch with current events and poked fun at the world as it changed in ways they deemed questionable. They understood the gift of service both volunteering with "old people" well into their own eighties.  They neither one took themselves too seriously modeling senses of humor that helped them take whatever life dished out.  My mother often told me that "sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying".  It took me a long time to understand that laughing despite problems and irritations reduces their power.

My sisters who never made me feel like a pain in the neck despite being older and much more cool than I was.  Who looked out for me and made sure I had what I needed and were always  my biggest cheerleaders.

Janice, a Sunday school teacher, the first to point out to me the strength of my faith.

Mrs. Payne, my Story Hour leader from preschool was the first person outside my family who seemed to understand just how important books would be in my world.  

Teachers...
Linda Leebrick who taught me art my freshman year of high school.  She exuded kindness and encouraged me to try things I wasn't sure I could do.  She showed me how to look more closely, noting details. When a murderer ended her young life too soon, she taught me about loss.

Bettie Brooks who taught me in 4th grade and again in 8th.  She encouraged my love of reading.  When I graduated college she helped orchestrate my first teaching opportunity sharing her classroom with me.  

Carey Van Sickle the supervisor of my Social Work internship with the public schools during graduate school.  She gave me my first job as a school social worker and modeled for me smart practice serving clients well while maintaining boundaries that protected my sense of self.

And Wanda Warner, the mother of my friend.  Wanda saw the diamond in the rough within my teenage self.  She asked questions about whatever I was into at the time listening intently with a sparkle in her eye.  She had the ability to bypass the prickly rough edges and get down to the potential she believed lived inside me encouraging me to tap into what she saw. 

Thankful for the women who shaped me this week at Ten Things of Thankful.

10 comments:

  1. I adore your list! What a wonderful TToT idea! My Aunt Carolyn was like your friend Wanda. She always asked questions that drew you out and got you to open up and talk, and she really listened and asked more questions.

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    1. That is a powerful gift to offer a teenager.

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  2. Lovely sentiments here and a great and timely idea for the TToT. I agree and spoke of the same sort of idea with the laughing or else crying thing. Life is full of both. Good luck to everyone of you in the US this week and to us all.

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    1. Thanks, Kerry. I happen to agree with you---to us ALL. I think the world is holding its breath.

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  3. very cool TToT this week.
    How can you not admire a person with the strength to know that not taking oneself too seriously is surely the key to a proper life. It seems when (our) humor erodes, all that remains are the routines of our life and those are almost entirely the things we do to meet the expectations of the world around us.

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    1. You are so right. I guess that is why those things wear on us over time.

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  4. I shall join the chorus - what a marvelous TToT! Not simply because it focuses on women but your sharing of these 10 significant women in your life.
    Your grandmother and mother both sound like extraordinary women. To be aged and yet retain a youthful spirit, surely a gift and testament to how they lived their lives. A sense of humor is vital imo to living a balanced life. It is one of those things that help us keep perspective.
    You are a lucky person May, to have been surrounded by such caring and supportive women.

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    1. I must say I have been tremendously blessed in this life.

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  5. I love the idea of this post. Really needed to see this today.

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    1. Whew....hard week for great women.

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Penny for your thoughts.