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Front Page » May 12, 2009 » Opinion » Rantings and Ravings
Published 1,928 days ago

Rantings and Ravings


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By TERRY WILLIS
Sun Advocate writer

I'm writing this on Sunday as I watch the sun come up on Mother's Day. I sent my Mom a box of chocolates and will call her a bit later. I know it was a day invented by a greeting card company, but it is now a well embedded institution. Having had a great mother and having been one for over 30 years now, I can say that the day of honor is well earned by those who take on the role.

I have several friends that are facing this year without their mothers for the first time. The generation that my mother and theirs is part of is shrinking fast. The women who are now in their 70's and above were truly a remarkable bunch.

Most were raised in the depression era and World War II. They lived frugal lifes for the most part and many still do. They saw the development of women's rights from an even greater perspective than those of us raised in the 60's and 70's.

I have heard many stories of women not being allowed to attend college because it wasn't a women's place. They broke work place barriers for us during World War II when they stepped into the nontraditional roles because the men headed off to war.

These women also adjusted to changing technology that has evolved unbelievably since they were born. Many were young during the age when just having a phone in your house was a luxury and then it was a party line shared with all the neighbors. They really grew up in the birth of the TV industry. Computers were just a comic book fantasy.

Yet most of them are now carrying the cell phone we have gotten them "for their safety". We buy them plasma TV's and DVR's so they can see their favorites shows. And to their credit many have learned computers and are almost as computer savvy as any of us.

They survived our hippy years and how we threw our noses up at every thing their generation stood for. But they still loved us.

They stood quietly behind us as we burned our bras and fought for women's rights. They finished raising their families and helped us raise ours. Many went to college later in their years and started new careers. Many have outlived their husbands.

Now they volunteer in our hospitals and schools, soup kitchens and communities. They are a generation that has never sat still and let the world pass them by. They were led by some truly great women who became "firsts" in their fields.

Their trailblazers were the likes of Pearl S Buck, who was the first woman to win a Nobel prize and Sandra Day O'Connor, who was the first woman to be appointed to the United States Supreme Court. Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, Ella Fitzgerald and Indira Gandhi, to name a few more.

These women and that entire generation shaped our lives in ways we still don't fully understand.

To all the daughters and sons who are mourning the mothers that passed away this year, my heart goes out for you. We are all mourning the losses of that great generation of women.



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May 12, 2009
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