Brave Men and Strong Women

         Here’s stories of people I love:

         I always admired my grandmother and mother. They both embraced the lives they were dealt, each losing her husband to divorce at almost the same time. My mother had to change gears from missionary service to solo breadwinner as a teacher. My grandmother took in children to babysit. She depended on that income and annuities as long as I remember. Both of them, however, chose to be open-handed and generous. Grandmother offered her home to missionaries on furlough, and to various people in transition. They were both strong women, but they’d never admit it. My grandmother was strong in one other memorable way. She loved to give “adjustments,” crushing hugs meant to straighten your spine. We hated them!

       Lately, I’ve been thinking of other remarkable people in our family. My niece works long hours at Amazon and then returns home to care for her three men: husband, father and brother. She recently “put hubby through” as we used to call it, working so he could finish his degree. She logged many miles on her car driving back and forth between his campus and her dad’s home. She’s also come through a medical crisis with her dad this past year.

       Then, there are my sons. The older one owned a music store in a trendy area. When the pandemic hit and commerce closed down, it looked like he’d lose his business. But immediately he made plans to cut expenses and eventually found a new shop space. Four months of hard work, mostly alone, involved clearing out the old building, going online to sell his stock, then renting a new space. remodeling and moving in. All is completed now. His customers are returning.  Check out (a shameless plug).

       Younger son has shown himself brave and loyal, the way he’s always been since he was a boy. His job entails working with a lot of tribal elders and he does that with dignity. He’s a good listener, and willing to let the knowledge-keepers be recognized for their unique information. He’s stood up for racial justice, too, as he pointed out to the private library he works for. That library and archive contains the papers on only one Black American anthropologist in their system.

       My husband ranks as a brave man for learning a new, complex job recently and mastering a containerload of technology as a second (volunteer) career. Taking me on many years ago showed fortitude, as well!

       Acts of courage, perseverance and generosity of spirit are not the sole province of “The Great Generation” or any other generation. It’s wonderful to me to see younger people rise up with selfless values and integrity in the face of difficulty.

Bravo, my dears.

© Beryl Carpenter 2013 - 2020