April 8, 2011

My grandma had brass balls

Come on mamas, join the carnival and celebrate Mother’s Day:

When I decided to write about mother’s day I originally thought I would wax poetic about my baby’s smell fresh from a bath, or the gentle feel of my children’s soft breath against my cheek. After all, my life is rich with these wonderfully poignant moments. How do I choose just one, or two or three, when they are all vivid reminders of how blessed I am to be a mother. However, this mother’s day I can’t help but feel this overwhelming need to pay tribute to the women who have gone on before me, and in particular one woman – my grandmother.

Her name was Mary Elizabeth but everyone called her Selina. She lived to be 97 years old, spunky and cracking jokes in her hospital bed during her last month with us. She gave birth to 14 children at home without epidurals. Sadly, she knew intense grief as she had to lay nine of her children to rest. Before the word feminism came into popular usage my grandmother was challenging shady politicians and advocating for social reforms. According to her friends, my grandma had ‘brass balls’. She was a strong, complex woman who laughed hard and loved even harder. To her, strength was synonymous with being a woman and being a mother. It’s not surprising that she passed on these traits to her children and grandchildren. She was a major influence in my life and I still get teary eyed or chuckle out loud when I remember something that she said or did. We all have women like that in our lives and it’s important that we don’t forget them.

So let’s raise a toast to all the female trailblazers who came before us and fought in their many varied ways so that their daughters and granddaughters wouldn’t have to. Let’s acknowledge their sacrifices and challenges. Let’s choose to pick up their torches and stalwartly carry them so that our daughters and granddaughters will inherit an epic legacy.


  1. Nice to connect with you,
    Jackie Ladner

Speak Your Mind


Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.