Happy Friday! We returned home a week early. It was just not in the cards for us to stay in Santa Cruz with me so sick. Happy to report I am getting better, sad to say that I'm still fairly ill. I'm just tired of it all. Everyone around me is tired of it all. Whatcha gonna do?
My parents have now moved into their apartment at the University Retirement Community. We joined them for dinner tonight, a well done buffet with friendly residents introducing themselves. This is not our grandparents' retirement home. My dad took great care with the remodeling of their living space, and duplicated the design of cabinetry, windows, fixtures and color schemes. It looks just like their former home, but in miniature. It's quite nice.
I'll go over tomorrow to help with unpacking, but will only do as much as I can. Easy does it.
On International Women's Day, I wrote a tribute to my mother, and read it to her while she was visiting. She was very touched, and asked me to print a copy for her. Here's what I said.
My mother has my full appreciation and support, always, but especially today on Women's Day. She was the oldest of 5, editor of HS yearbook and a sports writer for the HS newspaper, attended UC Berkeley, had to quit because she started her family with my dad. Had three children by the age of 25 ( ! ), kept a beautiful house for an exacting husband, went back to the job market, kept the family on track financially, returned to college when kids were in Junior High/High School to get her BA and while dad was in graduate school.
She would never call herself a feminist. Didn't believe in it. But she does believe in all the things that feminists have fought for. So, go figure.
She is often the unsung hero of the family, because she is modest. There are many chest thumpers and horn tooters in our gang, and she isn't one of them.
But I do believe she's the strongest among us.
Today, mom, I want you to know: I see how important your life has been. I've watched your struggles and accomplishments. I'm so glad you are mine.
I'm lucky to have to in my life. I'm grateful.
It was a touching moment when I read it to her. I managed not try cry, just by a hair. Her appreciation was palpable. I tucked the printed copy away in her wheelchair pocket.
Though I often did know it, especially when I was younger, she really was a kick ass kind of gal. I know that now, and I 'm glad she's still around so I can tell her so.
We talked a bit about how difficult it was for a woman making her way in the 1950s era. Never taken seriously, undervalued, options limited. She was a smart woman, and learned to hunt game from her father, loved sports enough that she was the sports editor of her high school newspaper, and still looked ladylike in her pearls and loafers. She quietly went about her business and did what she could.
She had good friends in high school and college, some of whom she still keeps in touch with.
She provided a good example to her three daughters: learn well, work hard, and try not to get into too much trouble. We did what we could. She's been a fantastic wife, keeping my dad well cared for, catering to his (often demanding) needs, helping him stay financially strong, stroking his ego, and being his helpmate over the many decades. He had a very unstable childhood, and she became his rock.
How did you celebrate International Women's Day? Did you think of your heroines? Who are they?
(My dad snarkishly asked if there was a International Men's Day. I said, "YES. Every damn day." But truth be told, there IS one! Read about it here.)
Have a good weekend. Women and Men and Other Identified, alike. Cuz baby, we all part of the HUMAN RACE.