Taking cues from strong women

Published 1:05 pm Saturday, March 26, 2011

I come from a household with a very strong mother.

My dad has always made his presence known. But, throughout my life, it has been my mother that has typically served as the glue of the household.

That is a tough job for a woman who has spent her entire adult life as the only female in the home. But my mom has known about tough tasks for most of her life. She is the youngest of four girls, all of them strong. I have been fortunate enough to have relationships with my aunts like I imagine most people have with their grandmothers. They have been friends when it has been needed, chastisers when necessary, encouragers when possible and helpers always.

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Growing up in my family, I had to come to understand that there is just about no task too great for my mom and her sisters to undertake. They are nothing short of spectacular in so many ways.

From them I have learned so much about grace, patience, kindness, forethought and love.

And aside from my dad and my fiance, there is probably no one in the world whose opinions matter more to me than my mother and her sisters.

While practically everyone has fond thoughts and emotions regarding their mothers, my admiration is even more galvanized for a specific reason.

My mother lost her mother at two years old. That is a tough thing for anyone to endure at any age. But to never get to know one’s mother, to never get to learn all that she had to offer, is an unthinkable tragedy.

I have long wondered how my mom managed to be a good mom without knowing her mom.

However, over the years, I have come to get a pretty good picture of the grandmother I never knew. I have learned to see aspects of her in my aunts. I have long thought that my mother was an uncanny cross of many of her sisters’ traits. I now know that is because she was the youngest child and they all had a significant role in her development, often filling the holes where my grandmother would have been.

So my mom has, whether knowingly or unknowingly, taken many of her cues from my aunts. And my aunts must have taken theirs from my grandmother. And for me, I feel blessed to have learned a little bit from each of them.

Jeremy D. Smith is the community editor of The Demopolis Times.