It’s International Women’s Day today. The hashtag says: BeBoldForChange.
This post is to celebrate all the women in my family, in my network of friends and colleagues and in all the communities I have lived in. They were bold, well before the word hashtag became part of everyday vocabulary. They adapted to life with flexibility and courage.
Women I have observed, first try and make a difference in the microcosim they inhabit by loving and nurturing their families and their community.
The women who were employed in my childhood home never had access to social media and yet their wisdom glowed in the dark for me. If their knowledge was inaccurate, it was, at least wonderous!
My mother who worked as a salesperson in a showroom, as a working wife and mother, was well ahead of her time. I remember her saying, “never mind” soothingly to my father when he was distressed he had to resign from his job at 39 due to ill health. She was the main breadwinner for a period of time before they started a successful business. She was dignified in times of adversity and set the bar high. Little did she know, her sacrifices were observed by small children who continue to emulate her today.
My A/A, an aunt by marriage, always held her head high and found a rightful place for herself and her children within a large family after she left my uncle. It those years, a travesty. My A/E lost two children and bore her unimaginable losses with grace.
A/M and A/Em, A/Mi, all neighbours, as young widows and mothers raised their children singlehandedly into the wonderful people they are today. They have gone on to be grandparents in UK, Australia, Canada, USA.
My beloved Mrs B, my former landlady who lived through the horrors of WWII losing her father, brother, husband and two little sons, survived a Siberian camp and still had room in her heart to love and nurture me like I was her own.
My teacher, Mrs E, who taught me to expect the best from myself first.
My cousins who keep the bonds of family strong when siblings have walked away to follow their own dream.
My childhood friends who make the internet a playground again.
My daughter who shows me the way that was, and the way it should be.
My future daughter in law, who lost her mother at nine, still carries within her a locket of childhood in her paintings.
And on a day of celebration, as a woman, I am grateful for the gift of motherhood. It gives me the ability to view the world through a child’s lens of wonder.
Like the shy, timid swamp hen may you see beauty in your reflection. In your boldness to be who you are.
Until next time
a dawn bird