Decades ago there was a woman who identified herself as wife and mother. She had a heart for Jesus, and this would come to sustain her more than she may ever have imagined. It is easy, in such a role, to find yourself in the details of sack lunches, ironing shirts and after work embraces, greeting your husband at the end of his day. When her husband found himself unfaithful and interested in a life & family with someone else, leaving her and her four daughters, it may have been hard to imagine herself at all- for a minute…
These days this scenario is almost expected, and there are programs and plans to help. Decades ago, this was not the case. To be the left, carrying the load, well- I can only imagine she endured judgement and bigotry at times, at the hands of others maybe so trapped in their fear. An absent husband/father and the either compassion or disapproval of others will not put food in your daughters’ bellies, so this beautiful woman had no choice.
In an era where men were still handed most opportunities, she marched into a bank and offered them herself. She presented herself with such honesty: this would be her first job, she was an abandoned single mom, she knew she would work hard, and she did. Many years later she would retire from that very same bank. Times were so different then that, truthfully, we may have a tough time even understanding how isolating and brave this all had to have been. While her friends were lunching and sharing in each others lives, this beautiful soul would miss class parties and the like, just to keep power on in her very modest apartment. These days single motherhood is such a thing, and working mothers are very common, but this story is more. Even though single motherhood and working motherhood are among the most common elements of todays society, the fact that this woman’s life fell utterly apart and she rose in the morning, rising to give her daughter’s life. Rising to create a life that was so full of something bigger than any dollar could buy.
Rising up and moving past is not something common these days either, but maybe that has never really been on trend…
Beyond that, any of us who have been parents for any point in time know that parenthood is hard. So hard, and going at it alone only multiplies that. This incredible woman raised four incredible women. Women who went on to raise incredible kids. While no one is perfect, these 5 women have set the standard for keeping family at the center of the vitalist of priorities, also in a time when family grows less and less important.
There is not a person out there who could not learn something life affirming from knowing these girls or their mother. These days, most of girls themselves find themselves grandmothers. Their family has seen illness, loss, struggle, death and heartbreak. The tragedy which altered their world at the start of this story did not cripple or eternally victimize these five women, though it could have. It did not create an opportunity for them to settle down and live off of charity. It did not inspire deep, life long rebellion and acting out. Did it devastate them? yes. This woman, whom I admire beyond words, worked hard every day for her family. In rising above and with such courage, she planted the seeds which would grow what was necessary, in her daughters, to stand throughout the heartaches and struggles they would face. She fought hard, for her family. She prayed hard, for her family. She was in the trenches for these girls, without ceasing. What began as clothes on their bodies and heat in their home continued through dating, marriage, childbirth, some divorce, heartbreak, health problems and even burying one of her own beautiful daughters. She still stands strong for these girls and their children, and their children’s children. Having known this beautiful soul since I was sixteen, I have to believe that if we are earning “jewels in our crown”, in heaven, for the beautiful things we do on this earth, this woman is going to have a castle filled to the brim with jeweled crowns.
Her daughters continue her legacy, rising up and fighting for the ones they love. They are united, kind and supportive and their children have become this as well. Among them is so much success, many geographical locations and, at the core of everything, family.
When I was challenged to write about a woman, a heroine, whom I have known in life who has gone above and beyond, sacrificed and inspired, there was no one else I could imagine. I met this soul when I was sixteen, visiting her tiny apartment with her granddaughter, who was my friend. I had no idea the ways that this woman would be so important in my life. She has stood beside and fought for me more than any one I’ve had. She is tiny in stature and fierce in heart, even so much as going up against my husband 18 years ago for his own adultery and abandonment. There she stood, taking him on and this man of 5′ 11″ towered over this tiny little woman and yet the only thing he was feeling was terrified. She, one of her amazing daughters (who would become my mentor and one of my dearest friends) and her own mother made three of four people who attended my wedding shower, when the world I’d lived in had all but thrown me away. I have recovered from miscarriage in her home, cried on her shoulder, prayed beside her and had so much loving conversation.
Any popular story I hear about people moving great obstacles to accomplish bold things simply does not hold a candle to her, in my book. What she had to do (and really, when she had to do it) combined with how her own daughters turned into loving mothers, fierce advocates for their family, and wild supporters of others- that is everything right there. She is a heroine with an amazing heroic legacy.
There is a film releasing on the 31st called The Zoo Keeper’s Wife. (It is based on the novel of the same title, and you can see the trailer here.) It is the story of Antonina and Jan Żabiński, a Christian couple who save and house hundreds of Jews during WWII. This not only an inspiring and life affirming story of heroism and faithfulness, but in a time such as this, it is a necessary story of humanity tearing down the walls of religion to help others, regardless of theirs.
The world is scattered with brave souls, their beauty and their stories there for us to learn from and do with. I am so blessed by knowing this beautiful woman who I have shared with you. Who would you have written about? I would love for you to share. On the 31st, at 12:00 a.m., I will choose a winner (at random) to receive a $25 Fandango card… (comment additionally if you tweet or FB share to be granted extra entires.)
10 thoughts on “Her Children Will Rise and Call Her…”
The woman I called mom for almost 30 yrs passed away last Sunday leaving an empty spot in my heart. My own mom has passed away when I was 23 so this woman knew that I needed a mom and my children a grandma. When she walked in to my hospital room to visit when my 1st born arrives, I’ll never forget these words. Can I be his Grandma? She never knew at that moment what those words would mean to me and my family. She already had 3 kids of her own and 1 granddaughter. But like she said, my baby needed a grandma, I needed a mom and she wanted to fill that roll. Over the yrs, her family became our family we were just another one of the kids. Her mom was GrandmA great, and her kids were Aunt and Uncles….I loved getting cards in the mail from her, long talks on the phone, visiting her when she moved away,crying when GrandmA great died, sharing happy moments with her as well. Family really does come in all different ways. My birth mom was influential the first 23 yrs of my life and I miss her every day. My other mom was influential for 30 yrs. I miss her every day as well. I am a blessed woman because of my 2 moms and I pray that I will be as good of a mom to my children by birth and by choice as both my mom’s were to me.
I am so sorry for your loss. Losing two moms is a huge hurt in one’s life and must be so crippling. Thank you for openly sharing.
Wow! That was amazing Misty.. What a beautiful tribute to my Mom and family!
My Mom was very humbled by your kind words.
You are truly a beautiful person inside and out.. And a fantastic writer.
We all love you and miss you,
Your friend always,
Wow! Misty that was an amazing tribute to my Mom and family, my mom was truly humbled by your kind words! Beautifully written!
Thank you friend..
I miss you and love you,
This precious women you have written about is my dear Mother. I want to thank you for reminding me how very fortunate I am to have won the Mom lottery. She is everything you wrote about and more. She is also my heroine, friend, confidant and encourager. I can’t begin to tell you how much your article touched me.
Thank you for your kind words! I adore your mom and have so much admiration and respect for the life she has managed to create, that you each have followed with.
With my husband in the AF, I have had the chance to know many brave women. I can’t think to narrow them down, but I will say that maybe it stands out so much more when women are brave than men, or? What do you think?
I interviews a veteran a few years ago whose story chilled me so I know EXACTLY what you mean!
My mom is my heroine. And her mother (my grandmother) was hers. I am proud to come from a liniage of strong women. The men, not so much.
That is AMAZING!