When I think back on the passages in my life, there was a perfect 12-year period. How fortunate was that? 12-years without a care in the world. It began when I was 46-years-old. I had completed one year of mourning the loss of my late husband (though in truth mourning is never quite finished,) and was fortunate to be introduced to my Ultimate Concierge. My world for the next 12-years was magical. It was perfect. And then, a downpour of problems began to rain on our lives. I have weathered these storms because I am resilient and adaptable. These are two of the characteristics of a strong woman.
Passages of Life Come and Go
As I replay those 12 blissful years in my mind I sigh and become teary-eyed. Why? Because they were so ideal, so flawless, so divine. How fortunate we were to have had such a long and tranquil grace period filled with laughter, love, and adventure.
Unfortunately and true, idyllic passages come and go. They are replaced with unforeseen problems, often beyond our control, and they do their diligence to invade our happiness as we try to avoid a variety of explosive landmines. We accept our situations, find a cure and move on; but not without scars.
The Character of a Strong Woman
My life has a cast of scars, as does yours, yet I live a productive, delightful, and interesting life. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t laugh and learn and get excited about a new series! And, I want you to know that I have faced very serious problems… a family suicide, the takeover of my husband’s company by family, cancer, life in Elsewhere (ongoing), an adult child who no longer speaks to me and took her family along, acknowledging my Ultimate Concierge’s age is frightening because he is my love, my rock, and my best girlfriend. Lastly and least important is the disappointment of friends and events. But that is ok. It is life and I am strong. And, so are you. The character of a strong woman focuses on the positive and rises to each situation with a positive attitude.
I am sharing my life with you because everyone’s life has hills and valleys. No one is immune. So, don’t feel sorry for yourself. I have never felt sorry for myself. Darling, I pick myself up and start all over again, as the song goes. That is the character of a strong woman.
I do my best to make amends. And, I have no problem apologizing; I think it is a strength rather than a weakness. As well, I change my attitude when I am wrong. I am very, very, forgiving. I never hold a grudge. And, I have learned to accept what I cannot change after making an effort (this is so hard.) I sleep at night because underneath my sadness I am also a woman who is hardy, adaptable, and looks forward with positivity to living each day to its fullest. And so must you. That is the character of a strong woman.
A Woman of Substance
I have met many weak women. And, I have met and cemented relationships with many loving and strong women. I call them women of substance. Darling, I am drawn to them because they are teachers. I am not threatened by this type of woman. And, I embrace her. This, too, is a characteristic of a strong woman.
I remember a memorable day I spent at Pearl Harbor with a powerful and strong woman, Gerta Klein. Gerta was in a concentration camp and survived because she had resilience. She was liberated by an American soldier, who she later married.
I was living in Honolulu at the time and I had asked Gerta to be a speaker on the Holocaust because she had become renowned. So, I picked her up at the airport and her first question was: “Would you please take me to Pearl Harbor?”
We crossed the water in a Pearl Harbor dinghy, our hair blowing in the wind, walked up the plank of The Arizona when she asked, “Would you walk me to the oil slick?”
Never Forget to Remember
As we bent over the side of The Arizona we watched the continuous flow of oil surface. Gerta opened her large handbag and took out a rather large evergreen branch, held it in her hand and looked at me (she was 20 years my senior) and said, “If Japan had not attacked Pearl Harbor, America would not have entered the war and my grandchildren would not be here today.” She then took the evergreen branch, ‘alive and always green’, and dropped it into the oil slick. We both cried. Gerta Klein lived through a dreadful time, survived, and spent years of her life traveling America and the world, educating others to ‘never forget to remember.’
Why am I relaying a portion of her story? Because Gerta had the characteristics of a strong woman. She was resilient, adaptable, positive, rose to the occasion, never felt sorry for herself, did not carry a grudge, was strong, quick to recover and bounce back, and sensitive and loving. She was one of my teachers; a treasure in my treasure box of women I admire. Amen.
What do you believe are the characteristics of a strong woman? Let me know in the comments below or share your ideas on Facebook. As well, send me your question at: email@example.com! All names will be confidential and questions will be answered by me.
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