I’m actually not a huge fan, but celebrating some of the women that have inspired me during my life is something that I can do!
But I am going to exclude my immediate family...because they would all inspire me in different ways, and you mostly know why by now..
So here goes.
My Dad's Cousin
When I was growing up all the women I knew well were mothers and housewives. They actually seemed very happy with their lives, but I was always restless and adventurous and couldn’t imagine living in the home for years on end. But one woman was different, she was my Dad's cousin. Her life seemed almost impossibly glamorous to me as a child in the 1960s. She was a bank manager who travelled all over the world in her spare time, visiting places like China, decades before the country was opened up to tourists. Now in her 80s, she is still invited to give talks to local groups about her adventures. Sadly, I don't know her nearly as well as I would like, but her life has always inspired me.
I was looking for something to do after I lost my job in 2008, and a chance plea on Irish parenting site rollercoaster.ie led to a meeting with Irish Mammy (Treasa Dovander) and offer my services to PACUB her newly established group to fight cuts to child benefit.
Within 6 months we were influencing party political policies that are still impacting on Government decisions today. I'd like to include every one of the group, but Treasa was the tireless leader, only taking a week or so off to have a baby. She never showed any fear or doubt, and had the energy of six ordinary people.
|Some of the inspirational women in the PACUB group, and me.|
Until the 1990s children with disabilities could be excluded from the Irish Educational System, but that all changed thanks to a landmark case taken by Marie O'Donoghue against the State on behalf of her severely disabled son Paul, who sadly passed away recently. That case and the organisation that she established for children with severe and profound disabilities helped me greatly in my fight to get an education for Smiley
Well I couldn't ignore my Lord of the Rings obsession completely now could I? Éowyn was the character that I identified with the most. She tried to do the right thing even when she found it really hard, she made mistakes, falling in love with the wrong person, but learned from them, she was brave, she was kind and ultimately she turned her back on battles and became a healer. What's not to like?
And apparently not everyone has seen the movie. Really? So here is her most famous moment, there were cheers in cinema...
The quiet women of the world, the ones who just get on with being mothers, helpers, healers, who cradle their poorly children even when their own tiredness makes them feel sick with lack of sleep, who walk miles under a hot sun to fetch water for their families, who work all day and sit with dying relatives all night to make sure they don't leave this world alone. The mothers who are thanked at awards ceremonies, but no-one remembers to give them a name. Those are the women that I admire the most. They don’t get obituaries written about them, or awards or biographies, but they make a real difference everyday in the lives of all of those whom they love and care about.
I may not have admired them so much when I was a child (see above), but I certainly do now xx
Check out Listography for more inspiring women.