Today is International Women’s Day and I find myself reflecting upon the women who raised me and the lessons I learned from each and every one of them. From my mom, to my aunts, to the grandmother I spent so many summers with, each taught me something unique about what it means to be a woman.
Sometimes it’s hard for me to see eye-to-eye with the women who raised me. We disagree on a lot of fundamentals and that makes it hard to have a relationship with them.
This is an ode to the women who brought me up. It is a reminder to myself that change is hard for some folks, but that doesn’t mean I should stop trying.
I come from a line of hard-working women
who tie their hands in knots caring for other people,
who run businesses like clockwork,
and who lost body parts to the factory line.
I come from women who say, “Bless your heart,”
with a full-stop and no sarcasm.
Who ask if I’ve prayed lately
and what church I’m going to these days.
I come from a line of women who rarely back down,
but who hear, “You are way too much,” way too often,
then lie awake at night thinking about it
trying to figure out where they went wrong.
I come from women who could sell saltwater in an ocean,
then offer fishing lessons as a free gift.
Who taught me how to read,
then were shocked when I corrected their grammar.
I come from a line of women who breathe fire,
then plant gardens in the aftermath.
Women who cry when mad
and laugh with their entire bellies.
I come from women who dig in when things are uncomfortable,
but who still have trouble saying they’re sorry sometimes.
Who know betrayal and envy intimately,
but let neither define their pride.
I come from strong women.
From brave women.
From hard-working women.
Women just like me.