Thursday, March 27, 2014

     In my family, there have been many strong women. Here are three of them. The woman on the left was my maternal grandmother who ran away from home at 16. She became an RN and worked until she was in her mid-80s. I remember her saying to me when I was about 25, “I feel like I’m in my 20s.” She said the most incredible invention in her lifetime was the airplane. She modeled endurance, ambition and spirit.

     The woman on the right is my paternal grandmother. Hilda came to the United States from Sweden as a young woman not even speaking English. She had only $15 in her pocketbook. She raised three children and housed boarders for several years, cooking, cleaning, nurturing while raising her own children. Grandma had a heart of gold and nerves of steel. She would always say when I visited her on my college breaks, “Tell me everything that’s going on in your life.” She modeled selfless love and interest in others.

     The woman in the middle was a distant aunt whom I don’t remember very well, but she always wore gloves and carried an embroidered handkerchief. She had a smile on her face that touched my heart. 

These women are all represented in my poem below.

She lived long enough to witness the dressing down of America
She talked long enough to realize that words are cheap
She walked far enough to see that nature is GOD
She slept long enough to dream of a paradise of gentle souls not competing.

She thought often enough to know that thoughts control
She laughed loud enough to feel the joy of the absurd
She wrote deliberately enough to feel the flow of poison released
She ran hard enough to know that there is peace in a stroll.

She grieved softly enough to experience the loss of what couldn’t be
She sang well enough to know the pain of no more notes
She counted high enough to feel the days turn into seconds
She traveled far enough to live the lives of many.

She worked long enough to belong to something worthy
She nurtured often enough to give all she could
She celebrated life and cherished loved ones
Before she took her residency in Heaven.