I have many strong women in my life. I am related to strong-willed, strong-minded, hard working women. My nieces, sisters-in-laws, aunts, sisters, and the strongest of all, my mother. But I have been fortunate to have many friends that have come through difficulties in life, and became even better than before. Here are a few.
When Max was little, I met this woman who was brilliant. She also was dealing with a son with special needs. She was well off and had the money to go anywhere to get him the help he needed. But while researching, she discovered little in our area where we were living, that had the advance treatment our sons needed. So she started a school. This school had many children that parents had very low income and would never been able to afford the treatments they needed.
I have a friend who I find so endearing because she is kind of an odd duck like me. She had four children who even though she was a great mom and worked hard raising them, they always seemed to choose the rougher road in life. She never gave up, always guiding and praying for them. Now, they are all adults. One is still struggling but on a better path, the other three are doing great and are as unique of individuals as their mom.
I have a friend who had three children. Two with special needs. One passed away young, and the other special needs child, when given the choice, will almost always make the wrong choice. But she hangs in there with him and never gives up hope while still trying to guide him. While doing this, she worked in her family's business, got her bachelor degree, then her masters and is now a special education teacher. I find her remarkable.
I have a friend who belongs to a conservative family. She has great kids. Recently she found out that her child is going through some difficult challenges. I won't go into too much detail because she is still dealing with this. But she has been supportive and has helped this child deal with all the ups and downs of living with these challenges and helping him find the support he needs.
I have a friend who at one time was heavily into drugs, she lost her children, was a prostitute and lived the roughest life imaginable. With the help of a wonderful man who is now her husband, and meeting good friends at a church, she has been clean and sober for many years, finished raising her kids that are all adults and are doing great. And my friend has become one of the most honest and sweetest people I know.
I have a friend who years ago was brutally attacked in her own home. If you can imagine the worse things happening to some one, well that is what she went through. She was smart enough to get a lot of counseling and became a great mom, teacher, and is one of the most caring and loveliest woman I know.
When being sick this last year, I had all these friends praying for me, bringing food, calling to check on me, and understanding when I could not talk or was not up for a visit. I bet if you really thought about it and looked around, you too are surrounded by steel magnolias.