Strong women raise strong women

By EMILY JACKSON,

I would like to start off this week with sincere condolences for the family of Mrs. Martha Graham. She was a wonderful lady who I had the pleasure of getting to know over the past few years. The community definitely suffered a great loss, but I know she is rejoicing in heaven this morning. I hope she can see this column looking down and know she brought about the idea to write about strong women.

Some say stubborn, some say hard-headed or rough, but I like to refer to them as strong. They carry many different loads. Some believe differently than others, they come from every wealth class, although I like to believe there are a few more among us a little lower on the wealth status side. 

Mrs. Mary Ruby Watkins is the first strong woman that I was impressed by. She left her family and moved from base to base following my grandpa who was in the military. Sometimes he would be sent off and she would be alone for a good period of time, but she survived. She lived in Alaska, she lived overseas, she experienced life. When my grandpa died, she became a widow in the prime of her life, but she never remarried. She worked to take care of herself. She ran a household. She worked with the church. She spent as much time as she could with her grandkids and taught them as much as she could. We rolled dumplins, made dressing, read Bible stories, and she made sure my butt made it to church.

She instilled so much into my mom and I see sometimes just how strong she can be. We had a rough few years and she was definitely the backbone of our family and still is to this day. She is the listening ear for all of her children and a great wife to my dad. People look in from the outside sometimes and have no clue some of the things we have been through. That is because she held it all together and made it look fairly easy. She made sure her kids were able to participate even if the money was non-existent seems like. She taught me how to stretch a dollar and I can now take a few dollars and feed a crowd.

I like to think I have learned a lot from them. See strong women we are meant to be supporters. We hold together the pieces of everything we can with what little glue we have been given. We have to be hard enough to defend, but soft enough to comfort. Bold enough to stand up while holding back tears, but soft enough to take that moment and let tears flow. Many of us work long hours just to pick up the kids from daycare, cook supper, wash clothes, and do it all over again. Some don’t have kids, but go home to do things on their own, run their household, pay all of the bills, and make sure everything is in line for next day.

We have been forced to be looked at as competition for men whether it be in the workplace or outside of it. We have no trouble submitting, but we are able to run things on our own too. We have big hearts, smart minds, and have the knowledge instilled in us by the women before.

Strong women raise strong women. Their daughters watch them hold it together. They learn the comfort recipes and how to mend a broken heart. It is then passed down from generation to generation. So, I follow in their footsteps trying to be strong enough to uphold during the storm, but soft enough to comfort those broken hearts and I pray that I am able to do a good job. I want to be the light they once showed me.