I kept seeing the images on television and on the internet of thousands of women marching and protesting. These were not women I knew. They were angry and vulgar. They shouted obscenities and mocked those with different opinions or values. They wore costumes depicting private body parts and carried signs declaring their right to “healthcare” and reproductive “choices”.
As a woman, I was disgusted by the actions and hateful speech of these women. These women ripped apart the dignity of womanhood and denigrated our special God-given gifts. These were not women I knew.
I have known many great women in my life; women who gave everything for their families and loved ones. Women who taught me about unconditional love and self-sacrifice. Women who taught me to have faith in God and to find Jesus in everyone I meet.
I have truly been blessed with the wonderful women with whom God has chosen to be apart of my life. My mother put her nursing career on hold so that she could be at home and raise her four daughters. For eighteen years, she lovingly cooked, cleaned, shopped, did laundry, carpools, and budgeting. She and my father took us to mass every Sunday. I witnessed my mom pray her rosary and read her bible. She never wavered in her faith.
As a child, I did not look upon women who were housewives as “less” of a woman or of not meeting their potential. It was rather the opposite. I looked forward to the day that I would marry and have children and could be the best wife and mother I could possibly be. Times changed, and although I was able to marry and spend some time being home with my babies, more often I worked outside of the home as a second income was needed. My children are now all grown. I treasure my memories of those years that my husband and I spent raising our daughter and two sons.
Over the years, I was very blessed to know and love many special and unique women. There was my childhood neighbor, Mrs. Larson; my Girl Scout leader, Mrs. Gloria; my husband’s grandmother, Mama Nu; and my mother-in-law, Carmen. These women and many more all had a special role in forming the woman, wife and mother I have become and also in forming the woman my daughter has become.
The women marchers would probably say I am old-fashioned. They would argue that women are much more than a “wife” and “mother”; that women can have the world and should take whatever their heart desires. These marchers are sadly mistaken.
The women who had the most influence on me were strong and independent, but also gentle and compassionate. They took pride in their status as a wife, a mother and sometimes a grandmother. What was done for their husbands, children and grandchildren was done with love. There was no sacrifice too great.
I love being a woman. I love being a wife, mother and grandmother. It gives me great joy to love, support and encourage those around me. I am not angry. I never feel cheated. I feel blessed.
“When a man marries, he gets the finest thing he will ever have – a wife to help and encourage him.” Sirach 36:24