My-elders

A circle of women
Shared by: Cathy B.
I am so lucky to have had a number of elders who have been so inspirational that I can only hope to count myself among them someday.

Aunt Florence: Who took me in every summer, starting from when she was in her 70s, up until she died when she was 92. My image of her: supremely classy in her pearls and earrings, dressing to the nines every day, knitting, laughing, breakfasts on Victorian china, afternoons on her porch overlooking the Sound. She represented stability, beauty, graciousness.

Aunt Nancy: My “soul-mate”–we talked about life, relationships, our Catholic faith. She, too, walked in beauty. Her eyes shown with love. She gave selflessly to her family. She represented class, joy, love of God.

Aunt Marge: An environmental activist, a teacher of theater at Catholic University, who also gave up her career to raise a family of five. She represented action, intelligence, humility.

My grandmother: Breaking the glass ceiling at the turn of the century by being the only female manager in the company. She went to Mass every day. She represented tradition, piety, and discipline.

My mother: A women with challenges she always met; who gifted me the wisdom of Kahlil Gibran. She represented persistence, courage, innocence.

My mother-in-law: A tough Scottish no-nonsense woman with a heart of gold. She managed to raise two children after becoming a widow at age 40 on a sales clerk’s salary. There was nothing she couldn’t do in terms of juggling the demands of a busy household and creating a beautiful home. She represented duty, loyalty, generosity.

The tie that bound all of these women was the love, courage, beauty, and prayerful lives they exemplified. I am 67 years old and feel I have “miles to go” before I can ever approach their Godlike spirit, but there’s only hope.

I feel their love and strength encircling me every day. Where would I be without it? They were ordinary, but they were remarkable. People talk about how great tennis players or golfers make the game look easy. What about women who go about their lives, making love and beauty look easy, effortless? I thank God for these women every day.

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