As March is Women's History Month, I have been reading about famous women in history who have made their mark by causing incredible changes to policy, and even amendments to the constitution. I can't help but reflect on all of the women who have been a part of my fifty five years on this earth.
Of course, I will start with my mother. In England, we call them "mums", my mum is one of the hardest working women I know. She worked hard cleaning, working on the land, and got her "Fish Frying Diploma" working in a local fish and chip shop, (which we often chuckle about.) Then as my brother and I grew older she worked as a nursing assistant. Doing all the hard work and heavy lifting with elderly dementia patients, such as bathing, feeding and changing hospital beds. ( I think of her every time I change my sheets and fold my "hospital corners"!)
She is also one of the most selfless people I know. She ensured that my brother and I had a better childhood than she did and she instilled compassion, empathy, kindness, generosity, great work ethic, and other such valuable qualities into us both. She has been my rock over the years, and continues to be. She was there when I failed, in a short lived two year long marriage at twenty one years old, she never judged. She took my tearful calls during my long abusive second marriage, and gave me the courage to finally leave. She even came to the States to care for me after I finally left and cared for me when I had a two week long (and long overdue) emotional breakdown. She has been an incredible confidant to my daughter, and a loving nanny to both my kids. There is nothing like a mother's love. I am so grateful for her.
My nanny, (my mum's mum) is another woman in my life I am grateful to have known. I was her only grand-daughter beside her three grand-sons. She protected me fiercely and loved my unconditionally. I got my sense of humor, and learned unconditional love from her.
My aunty Jo, my mum's sister was always a voice of reason for me growing up and is still a wonderful aunt to me and my kids.
My long time English friend of almost forty years, Debra, has taught me how to be the best friend I can be. She has taught me patience, kindness, how to be happy with very little, and has been a support to me, and I her, for so long. Distance is irrelevant as we always pick up right where we left off.
Gloria, Rose, Marsha, Red, Bobby, and Beth, all changed my life by supporting me through my first personal development program; an awakening of sorts, which set me on the path of standing up for myself. A path of healing codependency, and starting to love myself enough to no longer tolerate abuse. How patient they were with me, and how they all held space for me! I will for ever be thankful to these strong, emotionally healthy women who believed in me before I could believe in myself.
I have been blessed with so many friends in the past thirty years here in the U.S.A. Some for a short time as we raised our kids together, or worked together, some for a season, and some are still very close friends. I dare not name you all in fear of forgetting someone but you all know who you are! Thank you for being a part of my life. Thank you for pouring in to me, and for allowing me to pour in to you!
Finally, one special young woman in my life comes to mind, my daughter Abbey. It has been such a delightful journey watching her evolve and grow into the woman she is today. I know she is not going to merely allow life to happen to her but rather she will be deciding where to take her life! She and all of her sweet friends (who she chose well) are young women in my life that I thoroughly enjoy being around. When I had children I expected to be the one teaching them, but they have taught me so much.
I'm sure that you have many women in your lives too that you cherish, adore, and are grateful for. Spend a few minutes to let them know how important they are to you and to thank them for being an essential part of your life.
There is nothing like having the support from other women in your life. I wouldn't be who I am today without the women in mine!