Today is the real reason why I wanted to focus on heros in February. Today, one of my biggest heros would have turned 88 years old.
Yep, that's right. My Gram.
I know I've talked about it before, but right now, I need to think about and look at this again.
To me, she is a hero in so many different ways.
She's the girl who had enough guts and hutzpah to go into a very technical job interview with only a fraction of the skills she would need to excel at the job and wow the socks off the men and land it. She had enough forsight at a young age to realize that going into government work would probably mean she'd have a job for a long time, long after WWII was over and the men came home. My spunky little Gram worked her tail off and put in lots of extra hours learning as much as she could and doing very well in a man's world. (I still think it's cool the munitions she helped develop down at Frankford Arsenal.) She never rose to the levels she could have or been paid what she should have, but I blame that all on the times, not on her or her drive.
In many ways I feel like I'm in the same position. Admittedly, there have been more and more women that I've been working with, and working with me as well, but the power industry is still a very male dominated world. It's taken a lot of work, and a lot of tounge biting and pushing at the right times to get where I am. I'll admit I've been struggling lately, a lot of it is me, but a good part of it is the not quite disfunctional relationship I have with my manager. I don't dislike him, but we don't really get along all that well either. But, that's neither here nor there.
She's the woman who stood up for her and her baby girl (my mom) and walked out of a bad situation. This just wasn't done in those days. I know she was terrified. She was terrified to stay, but almost equally scared to leave. She was scared of what her dad would say and scared of trying to raise mom all on her own. I'll have to say, she did a pretty darned good job of raising my mom to be a wonderful, smart and caring woman. I hope to do half as well as my mom and Gram have done.
She's the woman who had a strong faith, but would listen to what others had to say. She wasn't closed to other points of view, especially if they were presented rationally and with thought. She would talk to just about anyone, and be friendly. Everyone knew her, and she knew everyone and was friendly to many, many more people than not. She was never a mean person. If she didn't like you, she ignored you. She would be polite when dealing with you, but then just let it go once you left.
I hope to handle people and life with that much grace, but I tend to hold on to grudges a little too much for my own good.
I am so thankful for the time that I got to spend with her. She taught me so many things. She taught me about crochet and needle work and how to handle problems big and small. She taught me it was just as important to listen as to talk, and to see the fun in everything and that hard work paid off in the long run.
I will miss her very much in the years to come, but take comfort knowing that as long as I remember what she taught me, she will always be with me.
Peace to all and may you have your own personal hero.