Behind Every Strong Woman Is Another Strong Woman

Song Lyric of the Day:

But there’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark / You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are / And you don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart / No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful

Alessia Cara / “Scars to Your Beautiful

Today is International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is #PressforProgress in the quest for gender parity. While I wholeheartedly support that, I thought I’d make things more personal and instead give a shout out to all the strong women in my life. I have to start with my mom, who was the glue who held our family together through the worst of my dad’s drinking. She’s always been at the top of my list of women I admire because she’s always been so strong. There’s a reason she kicked breast cancer’s ass almost 17 years ago. She’s shown me how to find strength I never knew I had, how to be a good mom, how to pinch a penny until it screams, how to make a fantastic lasagna — and countless other things big and small. I’m so proud my kids, especially Coraline, have her as a role model in their lives.

My younger sisters, who had kids before I did, also showed me how to be a good mom, and how to do it alone, both by choice and by circumstance. My other sister, who demonstrates remarkable strength in dealing with an “invisible” illness. My friends Pam and Julia, who have also kicked breast cancer’s ass. My sister from another mister who showed depression the door via yoga and with her little dog, too. My pale twin, who is always there for me, while also dealing with chronic illness. My friend and travel buddy Nan, who managed to rise from the ashes. Friends who have ended up single parents through choice, circumstance, and tragedy. My friend who puts her family above all else. Bosses who don’t play games and are role models for all of us who serve under them. And too many others to list in one post. All of these women have helped shape who I am, even in tiny ways they would never have guessed. All of these women are strong, amazing, kick-ass, fearless, inspiring, and I wouldn’t be where I am without them.

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