Diet, health and fitness tips for average women. Site created and maintained by Ann Chihak Poff.

The strong women in my life

Three generations: Sylvia, Teresa and Ann. This was taken at my grandma’s 80th birthday party.

I keep a notebook in my work bag where I scribble down post ideas or many times an actual post. A lot of times it is easier for me to find my voice if I jot it down on paper first and type later.

I also keep a notepad in my purse in case an idea comes and I don’t want to forget it.

I have a lot of ideas and little time to make them into something. But I have them at least documented for a post down the road. And if you have asked me about something, it is written down in the notebook or on a stickie and I will eventually get to it.

The whole job thing really gets in the way of the blog.

Anyway, today’s post actually morphed from another feverish jotting down of a different post, which made the blog last month.

Today’s post is a tribute to all the strong women in my life.

But the actual post is about three particular women.

I have strong women in my life.

I was lucky enough to grow up with very different, very unique and very strong women to look up to and strive to take on some of their characteristics.

My mom at some point in her marriage decided it was best for her and her children to get divorced. Now this was the early to mid-80s when few people got divorced.

My amazing nana having a great time at my wedding.

My mother became this amazingly strong and independent person who raised two children on her own while struggling financially. We were lucky to have such a supportive family.

My mom is my mom but also my friend. If she weren’t my mom I would want her to be in my life as a friend.

It’s hard for me to explain how I feel about her. I am grateful for all the sacrifices she made for my brother and me. I can never repay her for all that she has done. (Though I have tried–a trip to Paris is pretty good, right?)

My nana (who is no longer with us) was a wife and a mother who took care of her family as most women did in those days. She and my grandpa divorced before my parents were married, before I was born.

After the divorce she had to get a job to take care of her family. She worked hard. She truly loved her family with all of her heart. She loved her kids and eventually her first grandchild, me, and all of her grandkids, six of us total.

That was my nana’s greatest asset, her unconditional love.

My grandma was the only daughter in a house full of boys and grew up with a mother who believed men were superior to women. Being a young woman at that time she had few options. The only way to get out of her house was to get married.

Because my grandma didn’t have options she wanted to make sure her girls did. My mom and aunt were pushed and encouraged to work hard and do well in school and go to college.

Earlier this year when I was home for a visit I had lunch with just my grandma. We had a nice chat and it, of course, somehow made it to the baby conversation, which is the norm. But this time it was different. I got the sense that she was grateful that I have the option and the choice to not have children if I so choose.

I had a very humbling childhood. I didn’t have a typical childhood or typical grandmas. But I feel so lucky and grateful to have these three women mold, shape and all help raise me and make me the person I am today.


2 Responses to “The strong women in my life”

  1. Bridgette Burns Says:

    Such a nice post Ann… and especially timely to talk about being thankful for the strong women in your life, with Thanksgiving less than a week away. This would be a nice one to re-post for Mother’s Day too. 🙂

  2. Ann Says:

    Thanks, Bridgette.
    Great idea about reposting for Mother’s Day.

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