Saturday, May 7, 2011

Strong Women I Love and Admire

A Mothers' Day Tribute
Pictured here: My great grandmother, Wilhelmina Metz, who raised a family under the most difficult of circumstances.  Raised Catholic, she was forced to relinquish her faith by her husband (God help him, he was not a good husband...), but found it again on her deathbed.  My Dad, who was a family rebel for having converted to the faith, was the only family member she "recognized" in the last hours before her death, and it was with perfect lucidity and tears in her eyes that she joyfully told him: " Chuck, I'm back in the Church.  I'm back in the Church."  A strong and dear woman.

Pictured here: Three generations of my Dad's family, including my great grandmother, Wilhelmina and on her right, my grandmother, Renetta.  My Baltimore city granmother, Renetta (we called her Mommom) raised five sons through the worst of the Depression.  My grandfather was a plumber who didn't believe in Unions (a man of intelligence, my grandfather), but overwhelmed by the difficulties of his time, I think, he became an alcoholic.  My grandmother had an amazing head for accounting, though, and remarkable efficiency and thriftiness that together with great fortitude and stubborness held the family together.  She was a strong and amazing woman.

Pictured here: Dan's grandmother, Wilda became a widow after only three to four years of marriage when her husband was killed in a train accident (he worked at the train yards).  Wilda had to make the difficult decision to leave her two young sons (Dan's dad and uncle) with her mother while she went to work in a distant city.  Then, when she met Dan's step-grandfather, she relocated from Pennsylvania all the way to California where she became mother to her new husband's three children as well as her own two boys.  I have never heard anything but the tenderest admiration for this loving mother.  A strong and courageous woman.

Shown here:  Wilda's mother (that's little Wilda in the front holding her mother's hands) and Dan's great grandmother, Rachel, who gave strength to Wilda at the death of her husband and unquestioningly took on the care of her infant and toddler grandsons when their mother had to relocate.  Then when Wilda remarried and moved to California, their grandma had to love those two little brown-eyed boys from a distance.  (As a grandma of a baby  in California, I can sympathize with how great that distance is -- and I'm in Colorado, not Pennsylvania!).  Rachel was a strong and loving woman.

Pictured here:  My Momma, Susan (with my big brother, Steve) raised seven children while juggling the challenges of being the wife of a  career Navy officer.  She held us all together through years of relocations and separations from my Dad (though it was peace time and his duties were never long ones), and instilled in all of us siblings a great loyalty and love for one another  and the greatest admiration and appreciation for her and Dad.  My Mom: a strong and dear woman.

Pictured here: Dan's Mom, Sharon (shown here with her first great grandson, Gavin), started out as a military wife, then supported Dan's Dad through many years moving upward to the nosebleed echelon of California civil service -- while working, herself, as a nurse.  She went on to become a highly regarded professional in women's cancer research. And, most importantly (to us, anyway;) she raised a very wonderful son.   Sharon is an amazing and strong woman.

Pictured here: Our daughter-in-law, Nicole, is  raising her first son (super-cutie, wonderboy, Gavin) for the most part so far, alone in California, while Paul is training clear across the country in North Carolina.  She's learning all the ins-and-outs of military life and handling everything that comes up courageously by herself -- and acing  it all.  We're so proud of her!  Another strong and dear woman.
Pictured here: Mary the Mother of God.  Lived in poverty, crowned Queen of Heaven and the Universe,  raised the Saviour of Mankind, crushes the head of Satan, given to mankind as our Mother by Christ,  steps into help her children wherever and whenever she's asked, always  listens, always understands, always knows what's best.  Our Mother, Mary.  The strongest, the dearest, the most loving.
Happy Mothers' Day to the Queen of Mothers!

Happy Mothers' Day to all the dear, strong women out there!


GrandmaK said...

Such a lovely tribute! Thanks be to God! Cathy

Kim @ Starry Sky Ranch said...

I loved this Lisa! Loved it. Wonderful pictures and memories.