Monday, March 28, 2011

Amazing Women

Yesterday my Behind-the-House-Across-the-Canal Neighbor taught the lesson in our women’s auxiliary meeting at church. I love when she teaches – she’s a great teacher! Heck, I just love her…period. She can always make me laugh – even when I’m in a bad mood. She and her husband are currently going through a "Life Struggle" – those times that are trying and difficult, but hopefully pull you together and provide those “one of the best times of our lives that we NEVER WANT TO DO AGAIN!” memories. She’s had probably more than her share of those…and yet you won’t meet a more positive person. She’s got seven kids (one on a mission for our church, one a special needs child) and she runs a day care in her home, but she reads lots and blogs and does other wonderful things – I just don’t know how she does them all (but then Time Management was never really my strong suit – you may have noticed I don’t have a lot of Strong Suits). I just think she is totally amazing.

And it got me thinking about the Amazing Women I’ve had in my life, and still have, and how blessed my life has been because of them.

The first and foremost Amazing Woman in my life would be my mother. The most amazing woman (she managed to put up with Dad all those years before he “mellowed”…not to mention putting up with my brother and me!!). She was a teacher – she, too, was a great teacher. And she loved her kids…every one of them. She might not have liked their behavior at times, but she loved them all and saw potential in all of them. She touched so many of their lives for good. Mom also loved learning – when she wasn’t teaching classes she was taking classes. She was a voracious reader – I never really had to read any books, she’d give me detailed reviews of every one she read. She learned lots of crafts – calligraphy, tole painting, papercrafts, crocheting. She made the best bread on earth, and the best pies and cookies and candy. She was a peacemaker and a crusader, and loved life. All of the good things in me I credit to her (and Dad), and all of the not-so-good things are mine alone. She was (is) my best friend…and I miss her dreadfully, but thank God she was, and always will be, my Mom.

My mother’s older sister, Grace was an Amazing Woman. She was a teacher, too…in fact both of the Rooker Girls got their education at the Albion Normal School in Albion, Idaho. Both taught in Idaho…but where Mom moved to California and taught the remainder of her career there, Grace taught in a little town called Malta. It was a 60 mile round-trip from her home in Almo to Malta…and the winters can be brutal there, and the roads aren’t so hot either. She taught school, raised seven kids and worked on the ranch. She also read voraciously, crocheted, quilted, sewed, canned, made cheese, and did all those amazing things you do living on a ranch to keep your family clothed and fed. "Aunt Grace's Place" was my favorite place on earth was I was a little girl.

My friend Vicki was an Amazing Woman. When I read the tribute on the program from her funeral I was literally blown away by her accomplishments and the things she was remembered for by her family and friends. I mean, I knew these things about her – but when you see them listed and filling pages, it amazes you all over again. Vicki had the same gift as my neighbor – she could always make me laugh, no matter my mood or current circumstance. And that was amazing because her circumstances weren’t always so good either. I miss her dreadfully too…but am grateful for the knowledge that I will see her again one day and we will take up right where we left off. (I’m sure she is already part of a Book Club in Heaven with her mother and mine!)

My dear friend Kay is an Amazing Woman. She also raised a good sized family – six kids. She’s done her share of canning and sewing and quilting. Kay is that special kind of person that everyone loves…and it seems that everyone knows. (I’ve hardly been anywhere with her where we don’t run into somebody that she knows!) I met her when I was serving on an office professionals’ advisory committee at the university where I work. Representatives serve for three years – they sponsor a series of brown bag luncheons throughout the academic year and host a three-day conference with speakers on various topics. Kay came on board part-way through my first year, as a replacement for a woman who had retired. The next year Kay was chosen as chair of the committee – a tribute to her amazing leadership abilities and the almost instant bond she seems to form with people. (And that’s the way it was…within days it was as though we’d known each other all our lives.)

My boss Julie is an Amazing Woman. She’s smart and funny, she can handle almost any crisis with poise and aplomb (and believe me, there are always crises!). She juggles a very demanding job with raising four kids and a church calling that takes a good chunk of time. She is a great mentor, a great leader, she’s organized and an incredible multi-tasker. She knits really amazing stuff (!) and makes luscious baklava (and provides it yearly to a huge group of lucky people at Christmas!). She gives amazing gifts – she searches for the absolute perfect gift for the recipient. Her professional CV is awe-inspiring (and intimidating!) She gets upset when I call her “perfect” and says “Whatever…” but she’s pretty darned close! And I’m privileged to work for her and associate with her daily, and blessed to call her my friend, as well.

As I was thinking about these women in my life, I realized that I am really surrounded by Amazing Women. For instance there are, within “spittin' distance” of my house, lots of them – women who deal with those “Life Struggles” every day, who raise families (sometimes alone, sometimes as they support their husbands), who work hard and still find time to be good neighbors and good friends, women who put themselves last and give of themselves and constantly find ways of serving others. Women who are talented and accomplished, who share those talents and minimize their own accomplishments while supporting others and cheering them on.

And while these Amazing Women often leave me feeling incredibly inadequate, they also inspire me to become better and give me hope that I may become an amazing woman in someone else’s life.

For now,


1 comment:

  1. I love you:) You cheer me up a ton! There are times I search you out when I need to smile:) I love this blog and you better not stop. Also, I loved reading about your mom. I wish I'd known her.