“Lyn, thank you so much for having me today. I wanted to share with all of you a little about one of the strongest women I’ve known. My grandmother.
Nanny was born in 1900, and I remember being enthralled to hear about all the changes that took place in her lifetime–the airplane, TV, computers, microwave ovens (which she refused to use!). But in some ways, she was a woman before her time. When she was a young woman (about 18), she decided to go to business school. After a year there, though, she got meningitis and had to leave. Then sometime after that, her father died from the flu epidemic of 1918. That left my great-grandmother with five children, the oldest already married, with his own family, so he couldn’t help out. My great-grandmother wasn’t able to hold her family together, so they had to put three of the younger children in an orphanage. But my grandmother was determined to get her family back together.
Using the limited schooling she had achieved, she took her mother and moved to Jenkins, Kentucky, where she got a job as a bookkeeper for a coal company. Once she was able, she got her youngest sister out of the orphanage and took care of her and my great-grandmother. (The twin boys were nearly old enough for independent living by then.) My great-aunt always praised my grandmother for all she did for their family. And you know, my grandmother took care of her own mother for the rest of her life, even after she married and had a family. My grandmother also helped my grandfather start a dry cleaning business.
Then she opened her own clothing store—where I got all my clothes while I was growing up! Even though Nanny was a career woman, she still made time to spend with her grandchildren. She was only 5 feet tall, but I would sit in her lap while she rocked me in her rocking chair even after my feet dragged the floor, even into my college years. I loved Nanny so much. She died in 1990, and I still miss her.
So during this month of Mother’s Day, I’d like to honor my grandmother for being a strong woman with a brave story. For being a determined woman. And a loving woman.”