How did she do it? How did she keep going? Simple, she is Brave
I know a woman who has lived through unimaginable things. She grew up in rural Mexico from birth through mid teens when she married an amazingly handsome fellow. She was over the moon.
Shortly after they got married, her dream came true, she was pregnant and would welcome a baby girl the fall of 1961. By then, the dream had started to become a foggy daze, which eventually became a nightmare.
During the summer of 1962 she gave birth to another baby girl, two boys followed. She worked hard and provided for her four kids. Where did the handsome fellow go? Well, he was a men’s man. He was delightful and charming, until he came home that is. At home, he became a monster. That strong, brave woman was beaten, almost killed even, her kids were mistreated and most nights she hoped he’d stay at whatever woman’s house he happened to be entertaining that week. She kept going. Never giving him a second thought, until he came “home”.
Her kids grew up, married, moved, and she continued to do what she had always known, be brave. She worked as a housekeeper in a neighboring US border town; she also ran a small business from home, and kept going. Eventually, the handsome fellow fell ill. Her kids tried to get her to put him in a home, as he needed specialized care but she didn’t. She is stubborn. She learned the cares he required and continued to tend to him. She said she had chosen that life and she would finish it.
Day by day the handsome fellow grew weaker. She bathed him, fed him, read to him, groomed him, until he passed away some ten years after his illness set in.
She continued to be brave.
She is now 78, and my grandmother. My grandmother who discovered the misery of my marriage and she reminded me to be brave. When I reminded her of her loyalty to my grandfather, she reminded me that she had been brave for my mother, and now I needed to be. To be Brave in a way she couldn’t be. Brave enough to leave and brave enough to make a better, happier life for me. She wants me to be brave, and because of her, I am.
I am brave for I am her granddaughter. She was brave enough to raise my mother to not let herself be abused or mistreated. Brave enough to teach my mother how to raise me into the self-sufficient, independent, smart woman who I have become. I am brave because she taught me how to be.