great-grandmotherWhile March is officially Women’s History Month in America, I’m wondering about the women in your history. What remarkable women played a significant role in your personal history? In my personal history?

Okay, I’ll go first in sharing a bit about two women who made an indelible impact on my life outside of my immediate family. I’d love to hear about the outstanding women in your personal history too. (Please do share in the Comments section.)

Beyond Words of Wisdom

Growing up in a quaint rural town, I didn’t have access to Big Sisters or a Girl Scouts troop leader. Instead, God gifted me with two older women who could help mentor me when my mom was busy at the gas station or tackling pressing home responsibilities.

During summers in particular, I would visit often with two of my favorite elderly friends: one was my Aunt Nettie. As a dear neighbor just diagonally across the street, Nettie always welcomed me for a chat over iced tea.

I don’t remember our specific conversations, but I do remember the secure feeling of knowing I could talk to Aunt Nettie about anything. School. My dog. The Bible. Aunt Nettie was my Sunday school class teacher (gosh, was that second grade?!).

I loved learning to play Chopsticks on Nettie’s piano or just sitting a spell in her living room. Again, I don’t recall exact words of wisdom she shared, I just remember that Nettie shared herself. Her smile. Her kindness. Her patience.

When Chores Are Never a Chore

My other beloved woman in history was my Grandma Anna, my dad’s widowed mom. To visit Grandma, I had to hop on my trusty, blue Schwinn® and pedal about five blocks to her house.

Grandma was known for her scrumptious homemade lemon-drop cookies. Just one per visit was just right. Oh, the hours I would spend thumbing through her photo albums of my dad and his five siblings.

When I was old enough, I started mowing Grandma’s yard every week and helped her haul stored potatoes from her basement cellar. Grandma and I trimmed back her garden flowers. We took laundry off her clothesline. Chores with Grandma were never a chore.

“Hey, Grandma . . .”

Grandma graciously taught me the value of keeping up a home, garden and yard while answering my gazillion questions. “Hey, Grandma, why does this caterpillar have so much fur? Why did Dad go into the military? Did all your grandparents come over from Germany?” (That’s my great-grandmother Lueders in this post photo.) 

Never once do I recall Grandma scolding me or telling me my questions were too much. Grandma was just her calm, reassuring self and those confident threads wove deep within my heart.

Just Be

So how about you? Who are the remarkable women in your personal history? Were you fortunate enough to be blessed with a relative, a neighbor, a family friend, a teacher who mentored you outside your home?

Perhaps just as equally important: Are you one of these women (or men) for a young person today? Are you that reassuring, kind neighbor who plays Chopsticks with a young girl or lets her poke around in the garden with you? Do you sit and listen to her questions about family photos, caterpillars and the Bible?

You don’t need to be a world-famous inventor or public figure to be a notable woman in history. You just make yourself available to sit, listen, answer questions, hand out a cookie and just be.

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