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My Mom is My Hero

I raise a toast to my mom, who is my International Women's Day hero.

I have spent the past two years interviewing ordinary people, who do extraordinary things, despite challenging and at times almost insurmountable circumstances. And within my body of work, there are so many stories of amazing women with such creativity, resilience, attitude and approach to their life and the lives around them. A standing ovation to all of you on International Women's Day. The entire library is here and it starts with this week's chat with Dr. Nyagoy Nyong'o, the Global CEO of Fair Trade International, and her fight for Mother Earth and Small Scale Farmers.

And to my Mom,

You are my hero. A Depression baby who at age 12 learned her older sister Anna was her Mom. At 13 you left home, worked underage to support yourself and joined the airforce where she met my Dad.

You were tireless, and you managed to keep a roof over our heads, food on our table, hand-sewn clothes on our backs while also coping with a bi-polar husband who self-medicated with alcohol and would sell the roof over our head to feed his demons. You found time to paint, and create, and make sure we all something under the tree at Christmas.

You died in your fifties from cancer, with a body too tired to fight, and too young to see your husband make out right.

You left behind my three fantastic sisters, and your values of what it means to be strong and independent yet kind have passed on to my two daughters and my niece Mae.

And a personal story.

When my Mom left us, she came to me a few days later in a dream, with such clarity I remember it like it was yesterday, not decades ago. She was eating a tuna fish sandwich. I asked her why Tuna Fish - and I knew she hated fish, and she said...' up here everything is beautiful.'

Raise a toast to all the women here, and then raise another toast to all those women who have left us with so much, let us hope that it is as beautiful up there, as you made us down here.


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