Monday, March 8, 2010

International Day of Women

Did you know that today is the International Day of Women....

Its doesn't seem very celebrated, really. I looked up this day on "Google" and found some cool articles. Today was established 99 years ago... and its a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, IWD is a national holiday.

In the 1960's, when I was very young, it was said that women were repressed, didn't have equal rights, and were considered second class. I must say, I didn't know this. I was raised by a very strong woman, who never let us think that we, as girls, couldn't do anything that anyone else could do. My mom was a business woman in the 50's, managing a cigar store in Quebec City when she was just 25.


She had very little education but could do math in her head faster than anyone I know. She was highly organized and a tireless worker. My dad supported her independence, and he shared in housework and cooking well beyond the norm for that time.
(taken in Quebec, my Aunt Therese was "training" dad to be a good husband)

Her first language was french but she learned english on her own, after being totally immersed in an english community in Manitoba and married to a totally english hubby. Her years in Manitoba (1957-64) were tough years for her, never being a "stay home" mom before, being french with not great english, in a french hating community, thousands of miles from her family (for the first time), with winters harder than she had ever thought possible. This was all during the "Cuban Missile" era, and my military dad seemed to be gone all the time. She took on the challenge and we never knew how hard those years were. She never let on... Later, in discussing the hardships of being a military wife (meaning me ... whining), did she share her many challenges when we were young.
Once we moved away from there, she became a working mom with two young daughters and later a baby.... and the only working mom that I knew. Not one single solitary friend of mine had a mom that worked. Sometimes it was embarrassing for me, that my mom worked... because she was not "like the other moms"... but I never thought it was wrong. In my teen years she managed a department store, while running social organizations, heading up the CWL of our Church and this was all just par for the course. She taught us to be independent and that we had to work hard if we wanted to get ahead.
So, like I said.. I didn't grow up thinking women were ever less than anyone else. I truly am proud to say that my mom taught us well....to always know that we are strong and proud ... we can do anything ...

Seems sort of fitting that today... the International Day for Women... I remember with love and gratitude... my mom.. who died 17 years ago this morning...

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful tribute. I wish I could have known her.
Jill

Mick said...

Man I love her :) And I have so little memories of her, but she was so awesome! I adore this picture of her she's so gorgeous!
<3

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful tribute to your mother Donna! I feel like I know her, even though I never met her. She would be so proud of her daughters and granddaughters...all strong independent women!!!!! She taught you well and you have passed it on!

:) Debbie

ancient one said...

Loved this post of your mom...

GailM. said...

I knew you would do something nice on this day to remember Mom. Those pictures are all so nice to see again. It's been a while. I can't believe she has been gone so long.

Jacklyn Craft said...

That's a wonderful tribute. She was a very strong woman to face those challenges and come out on top.

cpm said...

What a beautiful post in honour of a truly amazing woman. I wish I could have met her. Your Mom would be so proud of the two strong, independent women you've raised! Sounds like you take after your Mom in a lot of ways! xo