The Superhuman Strength of Women

April 25, 2011

Celebrating Womanhood is pretty much what we in the UWIB (Unique Women in Business) do every day, but that's our blog carnival topic this month, too!

There are many things to celebrate about women, if I do say so myself!  But what comes to my mind immediately is the tremendous strength we have to get through life's toughest times.  This strength is so well known that family members and friends turn to their women for comfort, advice, support and relief.  Women are steadfast, or stubborn depending on how you look at it, and therefore can be counted on to reach within themselves to find that inner strength when it's needed.


One fairly recent example in my life was watching my bonus Mom, my Mother-in-law, care for her husband of fifty years who slowly succumbed to Alzheimer's Disease.  If you've cared for someone with this terrible disease or are close to someone who has, you know the almost superhuman patience, emotional strength, and determination that's required no matter how much love is there.  To protect her children from the worst of it Mom kept most of the day-to-day difficulties to herself.  It took its toll on her, but she's now finding joy again with her family and friends although of course missing the wonderful husband she remembers.  I thank her for showing me how to get through this stage of life gracefully.

The other recent example of female strength for me lasted nearly 77 years through a couple generations.  When my Aunt Ann was born something happened at the hospital and she was deprived of oxygen long enough to cause some brain damage.  She was never able to hold a job and was diagnosed in her 50's of being emotionally at a level of a 13 year old.  She lived with her mother, my Grandmother, until my Grandmother's passing in 1992. 

The sisters in Atlantic City during WWII

As children we never knew that anything was different.  We played games with the whole family and laughed together.  It wasn't until a couple years before my Grandmother's death that I really realized how difficult it had been on the caregiver.  My Grandmother for the first and only time asked me when she ever got to retire.  I think she felt awful for voicing it, but I'm glad she did, as it made her not a martyr but someone who had shown love and strength throughout her life.  She had steadfastly raised her girls during WWII while her husband was a Captain of a submarine in the Pacific.  She then raised two boys upon his return until they were in High School when she lost the love of her life to a heart attack and ended up a widow with two young men during the Vietnam War.

My Grandmother worried about what would happen to my Aunt when she was no longer here.  My Mom and my Aunt Nancy assured my Grandmother that they would be there for her.
As an adult Ann was sometimes not the easiest person to get along with.  But even Ann showed inner strength and became a leader in the retirement home she called her home the last years of her life by encouraging fun in the elderly community.For over 18 years my Mom and her sister Nancy made sure that Ann was taken care of and felt their love.  When Nancy passed on far too young a few years ago, my Mom continued to drive over three hours each way to visit Ann and see to her needs.  It was her love for Ann and her Mom and her promise to her Mom that kept her making those emotionally and physically difficult trips until a couple weeks ago when my Aunt Ann passed on to join those that had gone before her.  I admire my Mom's steadfastness during her retirement to care for a sibling.
Ann  - 1934-2011
These are just a fraction of the examples in my family.  There are millions and millions more stories around the world of the strength we women possess through illnesses, raising children, running a household, performing our paid careers, abuse, and a multitude of other of life's most trying times.  How about your reality?  Your stories?  I can't help but wonder: 
Other cultures have recognized the inherent strength in women and elected them to highest office.  Why hasn't the United States elected a female President?! 
Find out how other women are celebrating womanhood by visiting these other great blogs from fellow UWIB members:
Rita Wetzel:  Rita's Creative Nest
Audrey Fetterhoff:  Audrey Garden Lady 
Linda Stranger:  Cape Cod Jewel
Judy Woodley:  Wellspring Creations 
Ann Rinkenberger:  Harvest Moon By Hand 
Celeste Bocchicchio- Chaudhri:  Elephunk's Trunk 
Wendy Kelly:  Vintage Day 
Cory Trusty:  Aquarian Bath 
Karen Terry:  JMJ Creations