Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Remember the Titanesses

The strongest women in my life have all taught me how to be me. Each in their own way have contributed to the whole that is me... every quirk, every unique and wonderful trait.

My earliest memory of a strong woman was my gran. My wonderful, old fashioned, glove wearing, pearl slinging grandmother. She believed one should never wear brown and black together and that only bad girls wore g-strings. She divorced my grandfather when she was in her thirties and never married again. Raised my mom on her own during an age when single motherhood was as taboo as condoms to the Roman Catholics. Much to her dismay, my mom fell pregnant at 18, adding more to her already heavy burden. She bore it all with a wonderful smile and a lightness that made you realise how easy life can be. She was strong and sturdy and i loved her so very much. In the end i lost her to angina, an enlarged heart,how appropriate for someone who loved everyone. One of the biggest lessons i learnt was kindness.

At school i met an independant, free spirit, my Grade 8 English teacher, Miss Ashbury. What a specimen! She cut her own hair, smoked like a chimney, drove an avocado Beetle and didn’t give a crap about rules. She taught us to learn from the world around us. Live our lives as we wanted and not as society dictated. She was in her 60’s and never been married. From her i learnt to be free and not to make excuses for it!

Many years later I made a friend. One who is just as fiery as I am, in fact we are the exact same age, born in the exact same month, same star sign. We spent so much time working together we started to mirror each other in our hobbies and thinking. She is now fighting a cancerous brain tumour. Four years ago the doctors gave her a few months to live. Every day she lives out of sheer willpower and makes a concerted effort to make the world a better place for us. Thank you for the lesson of strength, Adela.

Every woman has so much power inside and sometimes that power gets way laid. Power that is diminished to allow someone elses to shine. We go through pain, tragedy, divorce, miscarriage, child birth, death, illness and we survive. We fight. We bear our scars and we are proud. Never shy away from the titan that is you. Never allow yourself to forget who you are. When you are lost, find one thing that is truly yours. An idea, a thought, an item, a place and hold onto it so tightly until you find your way back to the voice that is only yours. And once you hear that voice, never tune it out.

It is the voice of your power, the voice of you.