Happy International Women’s Day

My grandmother is my SHERO! She embodied strength, love and kindness like I’d never seen before. After raising 8 boys, 9 girls, having 4 miscarriages (10 of her own kids and raising all the step children her abusive husband brought home and treating them as her own) she still managed to pass on all that she could to her grandkids (way too many to count).

As her favorite grandchild (we were all her favorite) she taught me about God. She taught me that to love God also meant to love and forgive others.

She introduced me to the two greatest books I’d ever read in life, the Bible and the dictionary. Two books that never left her sight.

She taught me that the way you would treat a President should be the same way you’d treat the garbage collector – as a human being created in God’s image and likeness. And her actions were always congruent to her words as every night growing up I’d witness the simplest, most random and quite frankly to my tender eyes weirdest gesture I’d ever see in life. My grandmother would fill water in two 2litre soda bottles and put it to freeze overnight, then wake up very early the following morning to greet the men who collected her garbage with it, asked how they were doing by first name basis, then send them off with a prayer. It didn’t matter if they came in hot sun or heavy rain, it would be the same every single morning.

Who makes friends with the garbage men? Like seriously, do you know the name of the guy who picks up your trash every day? Have you ever thought about even saying hello to them? Or carry on full conversations while they are on that smelly truck? Me either.

“Why are you so excited to give boiled water to strangers Granny?” Is what I always wondered. “Water isn’t a gift.” Oh, but it is. And more than just that, it was all that she could offer them. But to my surprise, the men always received it in such gratitude and with happiness as if she’d given them a pot of gold. I was bewildered. My granny was a unique woman.

She also believed that orange peel tea could cure any sickness, “boys and books don’t mix” and “sugar water never hurt nobody” as often times she couldn’t afford juice or soda either.

She was solid as a rock, yet gentle and loving as a baby. Although she never attained a doctorate, Granny had something worth much more, Granny had wisdom. She had a natural wisdom about people, an understanding of their hearts that doesn’t come from most books. Her wisdom came from knowing and living out the precepts in one book, the Holy Bible.

She is the reason I am the woman I am & continue to strive to be everyday.

Days like International Women’s day & Mother’s Day are everyday when you come from a household of STRONG women! And so, as we celebrate this entire month of March as Women‘s History Month, I encourage you to take a moment to celebrate a strong female figure in your life. But, if you happen to look around and can’t seem to find any, then I urge you to take a look in the mirror and decide today that you’ll become that woman.

There are so many positive female figures around me and by extension millions more worldwide that I admire because they continue to break through that metaphoric glass ceiling in all fields and aspects of life on a daily basis. Women who are brave, strong, resilient, powerful, who aren’t afraid to break the status-quo and so on but the reason why I chose to highlight my grandmother today is because I want to let you know that you already have what it takes to change the world. Like granny, you don’t need much to make a difference. You don’t need to wait until you get that head corporate seat at the men’s table, a ring to prove your worth, produce an heir to be considered a real woman because you’ve given birth unlike others, or have any amount of accolades to your name to be a girl or woman of change.

Deep within all of us is that little girl waiting to be acknowledged. Unfortunately, society taught us to be “seen but never heard”. We were told, “You can dress like the princess” leaving the sword and shield for the boys, because we’ll always need someone else to do the rescuing. We were always cautioned to “be careful” instead of take risks. To be submissive; to be a “good girl”; to strive for perfection but we were never taught to be brave. The result, we become adults who lack courage, we suffer from dependency syndrome, and because we weren’t treated as an equal sex, we retaliate by turning amongst ourselves so we compete and bring down other women. This must change.

And there’s good news. That brave little girl is still there and she’s waiting for you to accept her. So today, as you are, exactly where you are, if you just make the decision to cultivate one simple habit, one positive thought, one selfless gesture, one kind word, one brave act, you too will make a difference.

This post is for my men reading too. One sex can’t exist without the other, so you’re included too. And so, as we women and young girls make the effort today, I also implore you men to stand by our sides. Because we don’t need rescuing, we just need unity. If we make this simple change together, then everyday will be a day worth celebrated internationally.

HAPPY “LET’S CHANGE THE WORLD TOGETHER” DAY!!!!!!

It’s been 7yrs 3months 4days since your earthly departure but not a minute goes by that I don’t think of you. Forever my angel, Monica Gibson. R.I.P 06.05.1940 – 04.12.2010

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