Celebrating the women who came before

International Women's Day seems like the right time to celebrate the women who came before me.  The family member who immigrated when she was 17 and never saw her parents again (my paternal grandmother).  The woman who married a man seven years younger than her and had her first child in 1937 at the age of 33 - a definite nonconformist! (my maternal grandmother).  The woman who planned a life with her husband, and then had to bury him when she was eight months pregnant with their first child and find a way to create a life for her infant and herself in 1910. (my maternal great-grandmother) The women in the lower left and upper right of this photo - my great-great aunts.  They persevered after losing their life savings.  They never married, but they generously and graciously shared what they had - a kindness my mother remembers to this day.  And of course, my mother, who together with my father survived the farming crisis and then started a business on shoestring and nurtured it until it employed more than 50 people, mainly women.

For all the women everywhere who show up every day, in a hundred ways we often fail to appreciate or even notice. 

And for those women who put it all on the line, allowing each of us to stand on their shoulders, while we keep striving. 

Thank you. 

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