Though Mother’s Day has passed, I have been thinking about the mothers in my life. For me, the word is plural. I come from a family of powerful, courageous, and loving women. My maternal side is full of estrogen, and though I was raised by my mom and dad, I was also raised by my three aunts, in various capacities. These four women are very different, and each have strengths that they have used to bless the generation after them.
More Moms for Listening…and Input
As my Aunt Phyllis (a.k.a., Aunt Phyddie) said in a toast at our wedding - she used to carry me around as a baby and pretend I belonged to her. People would compliment her on how cute her daughter was, and she would smile and say thanks, without mentioning that I wasn’t actually her child. My aunts were the ones I called when I couldn’t talk to my mom about something, or had already talked her ear off about the same topic and needed some fresh insight. My aunts played huge parts in raising me to be the woman I am today.
When I met Josh, my husband-to-be, we all joked that he had to pass a test and score enough “points” with my aunts in order to be approved as a worthy suitor. We joked, but at the same time it was important to me that they approved. Luckily, he passed the test with flying colors.
Moms Who Are There for Me
When it finally came to my wedding, my aunts were not just present as guests, they were an important part of the whole process. Several of them went dress hunting with me. My mom and two of my aunts graciously came to Harrisburg the week before my wedding to help out. While the third unfortunately had to work, she was there in spirit, no doubt, and got there as soon as she could.
I was not the best version of myself those stressful days before the wedding, I admit. My aunts (again, graciously) put up with my over-anxious, stressed, and dare-I-say, downright mean self. For that, I am very thankful.
But we did have some enjoyable, relaxing catch-up time together during the wedding preparation week. These four women always have lots of stories to tell, and they are entertaining storytellers. In the midst of the storytelling, at one point, I looked around at these amazing women, and realized that they have done some pretty unbelievable things in the past and present.
In their late 40s and 50s, these women are all in the process of reinventing themselves in some way.
Phyllis recently gave up a lucrative career in sales, finished her Master’s Degree in Education, and began teaching at an elementary school in inner-city Newark, NJ. She has a passion for people who are in need, and she is an amazingly gifted and creative teacher.
And then, there is Elise. After staying at home to raise her family and occasionally working part-time, she jumped back into the world of editing. She has worked on writing a book, and she has recently launched www.Circles of Faith.org …yes, this one! Her passion, among others, is stories – she loves to help encourage women to tell their stories, and in turn, inspire others.
My Aunt Shelagh is a very successful businesswoman who loves her job and continues to reinvent herself in her own ways, through her company, investing in real estate, and supporting her nieces in various endeavors. She is gifted at managing others, taking charge and organizing, plus she is one of the most generous people I know.
Then there is my own dear mother. After 27 years out of the workforce (most of my life), she recently made her debut on the real estate scene in Montclair, NJ. An award-winning (and one of the first) saleswoman at TimeMagazine over 30 years ago, she is made for this job. My mom can make the meanest, grumpiest, most disinterested person break into a smile and chat with her like an old friend. She is passionate about loving people and helping them to find what is right for them.
I am proud of these women.
I am so inspired by them. I can only hope that I will have as much energy, creativity, and courage when I am their age.
I love that they are taking their dreams and running with them, using their God- given gifts and desires to make a difference in large and small ways. Each one has overcome significant difficulties, barriers, and hurdles to get where they are. I am so blessed to have these role models to look up to in my own life!
Who are your female role models? Who do you look up to in your life? Tell us here...
Micalagh Beckwith Moritz is a social worker, a writer, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a community member...continually learning how to do a better job at each of these roles. She is newly married (if under 2 years still counts as "new"!) and currently working as a school-based clinical therapist. She is always contemplating how to love others better and to enjoy the small things of life; to see God in everything...and everyone. Also important to note- she loves cheese, speaking French, and experiencing different cultures (whether in or out of the United States)! Micalagh blogs at Only Small Things.