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Celebrating the women in our lives on International Women’s Day

International Women's Day

As I child I grew up knowing my grandmother as an elderly person. She often sat in her chair rocking and making sure we knew about her many pains and aches. However, I also knew something more about my grandmother and that was that during the depression years she was a midwife in the north end of Hamilton. She worked for a doctor and after he left in the afternoon, she would read his books. He caught her once and threatened “to thrash her within an inch of her life”. She literally ran home. The next day he showed up at her home with the books and apologized saying she should read them. She did.

Gramma would go to homes with her black bag and the children would ask her why she was there. She would hold up her bag and say that she was bringing their mommy a baby! I later learned that Gramma also helped women with many other medical issues. Their husbands left them and went to war and they had no food or money. Helping these women was her priority in her life. In my heart I was a proud admirer of my grandmother who was a leader, who led by service in the North end of our city.

My sister Wendy was a woman of great leadership and strength. She was a teacher, principal, university instructor, an uber-aunt to her nieces and a woman with a myriad of friends. Seldom did she ever sit down. Unfortunately, she died far too young but not until she battled several cancers so valiantly. Wendy taught us so much in her dying. She was a leader in the educational community in Hamilton and she continued to teach by word and example until the moment of her death.

When I chose to move on from my previous life, my Aunt Alice who just recently died, pushed me (and John) along the path of building a successful business. Her skills were amazing (far more than I ever realized) and her leadership was strong and convincing. We owe her for being where we are today.

Here is the point… it is International Women’s Day. I want to acknowledge that women have led us in so many respects. I could tell dozens more stories, but perhaps these are enough to say that women are deserving of huge credit in our society. They are of course equal to men in every respect. We are just ‘people’ together. And where that is not the case (locally, nationally, or internationally) everyone of us should stand up in any way that we can to create an equal and just society. I want to acknowledge the women in my life who have made a huge difference. I am very humbled by them and hope that they, and all women, are treated with equality throughout the world.

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