Anyone who truly knows me, knows I am one of the last people to ever trump (pun intended) out the gender card or give any preference to one side or the other. To be clear, I’m not doing that now, just making an observation on progress.
I actually got a little teary eyed tonight during the convention speeches. Now don’t look away just yet. It was during the moment when Arizona declared their delegates and the 102 year old woman belted out the number for Hillary.
I wouldn’t say I take it for granted, but I do forget sometimes how many amazing, strong and inspiring women have been in my life and have come before me in my own family.
My ancestors pilgrimaged across the ocean to have freedom and landed somewhere near a rock in Plymouth MA. I grew up hearing stories of how my great-grandmother marched in suffragette parades in NYC.
That tenacity carried through in the women in the family. My mother has defied stereotypes all her life. For all the craziness she’s also been a rock and an example of boldly moving ahead, hell or high water. Her sister runs her own business and works hard to make a difference in her community.
Her sister-in-law redefined feisty, fierce and determined, as an educator, mother and more. Her other sister-in-law worked tirelessly in government as a social worker on difficult cases for those who could not support and protect themselves.
Branching out just slightly to the cousins of the same generation as my grandmother, there was a PhD in Library Science. A genius level IQ scientist who I wish I had known better. A woman who still lives on her own in NYC.
I could easily write a book on the stories of the many women who I have been fortunate enough to have met in my life. Those who have never once asked me to view them first by their gender, but rather their accomplishments and intellect.
My grandmother (at 92), right up until last Fall, was the first person to call me after the Paris attack and we extensively discussed the geo-political issues of Syria and the middle east. When I hung up the phone at that moment, I knew how lucky I was to be able to have that conversation with her. That she still cared, passionately about the world around her.
She passed in March this year and she had the tenacity and spitfire of that 102 year old woman, and would have loved to be emphatically making her voice heard.
Feeling both proud and sad in one moment. She would have loved the speeches of the past few days and the progress being made.