I have much to be thankful for in my life. I have been particularly lucky to have been cared for by a number of strong women.
For me, it all started with my mother. When we were younger my father did not earn a lot of money. He ran a small business that limited his income. Despite having to raise two young children my mother went to work to help support our family. Even in the years when she suffered from severe health issues, she found a way to help pay the bills. I remember one period when she was bedridden. She still took in bookkeeping work. Her boss would deliver the paperwork to our house and pick-up it up when she was done. She did that while making sure my sister and I had everything we needed. I am thankful to have such a strong woman to call mom.
When I met my wife’s family, I got to know another strong woman. My wife’s grandmother. Here was a woman that lost her husband at a young age. Shouldered with the responsibility of raising two young girls, she too went to work. With few skills and little education, she was able to find work as a telephone operator. Eventually carving out a living for herself and her children. I am thankful to have known her.
Then there is my mother-in-law, my wife’s mother, who somehow found a way to raise 7 children without the help of her alcoholic husband. Eventually creating a home for herself and her family while shaping a career for herself. Over the years she has become one of my best friends. She is someone that I am thankful to have in my life.
All of these women defied the odds at a time when women were often treated as second class citizens. Their strength and courage is remarkable.
Finally, there is one more woman that I am thankful to have in my life. My wife Sherry. When Sherry was growing up her family often didn’t know where they were going to sleep at night or where their next meal would come from. It would be enough to drive anyone to despair. But she persisted. Over the years she has battled health issues, yet always maintained her courage. She raised two successful boys, formed her own successful career and somehow put up with me for 43 years. Talk about strong!
Thank you to all these wonderful strong women. Without you, I wouldn’t be blessed with such a wonderful life.
As singer John Lennon said: “After all, I'm forever in your debt.”