Saturday, January 19, 2008

Family...the we of me. (Carson McCullers)

I've posted a couple of times about my grandmother, and how much I admire her. But she wasn't the only strong woman and role-model in my family. Her daughters are really good for that as well.

My Aunt Robin was larger than life when I was growing up. Robin was loud, and fun, and laughed freely. She was so vivid that she actually scared me. (To be fair, just about everything scared me as I was growing up.) She rode a motorcycle (when she wasn't driving the station wagon full of kids), she dyed her hair black (although none of us kids were supposed to know that she dyed her hair), she wore hot pants and bikinis despite being the mother of 5 children, and she laughed. Now that I'm grown and have my own children, I frequently refer to my parenting style as Robinish. I'm not as good at the laughing as she was and is, but I try.

My Aunt Mickey is another woman who knows how to laugh. With five hyperactive boys, I guess it was laugh or go crazy. When she became a single mom, she waitressed nights to put herself through nursing school. It was easy, and not always appreciated. But she still manages to find the ridiculousness in a situation and she doesn't take s**t from anyone. (Did I mention that she can be tough when she needs to be? Another side effect of raising a bunch of boys, I guess.)

I don't know what to say about Aunt Leslie. She also managed to rise above a bad situation and educate herself into a better one. Like Mickey, she can be a tough old bird. But I like her, and I'd like to know her better.

I would say a bunch of good stuff about my mom (who is also my best friend), but she sometimes reads this blog and I wouldn't want her to get an inflated ego. But she's stronger than she thinks she is, and I'm glad that I had her to show me how to handle life.

The rest of the women in my family are pretty great as well. I could mention Renee (who I admired even before I learned for myself just what she was going through raising her boys on her own); Dorothy (who was never handicapped); Aunt Kay (every bit as cool as my gramma); Aunt Gail (I love you!); and my sister (of course I didn't forget about you). Instead I'll just say that the women in my family would make Helen Reddy proud.

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