Strength of a Woman
The strongest person I’ve ever known was my mom. She has always been strong. Whatever came her way she handled it seemingly with ease. My mom was diagnosed with cancer and it seemed that the impossible took place. She somehow became stronger. When I say strong I don’t mean like the strength of Thor. He carries around tons of steel in the form of a hammer and somehow my mom seemed stronger to me than he does. She was in fact a superhero though. She embodied the strength of a WOMAN! Although women were meant to be the weaker vessel, I believe we retain a strength unmatched. Silently we take on the weights of the world and while we struggle to provide for everyone we keep the hidden strength beneath a twinkle in our eyes. The twinkle that assures all around us that everything is okay.
For as long as I can remember my mom’s eyes maintained that twinkle. Happy and healthy Lisa along with cancer bearing, weak Lisa. The twinkle never went away. The twinkle in my mom’s eyes was wrapped in warmth. It was a calming expression that could settle a roaring sea. It was relaxing, calming and assuring. The day after Thanksgiving in 2012, my mom slipped into a semi-comatose state. What was surprising to me was that twinkle was still there. Even with the slight lift of her eyelid, there remained that ever so calming twinkle. Was she speaking to me with her eyes? She was unable to speak but the sparks in her eyes confessed that she was okay. Although she possessed such a reassuring expression, I was a mess. I didn't want to believe the words her eyes spoke. “How could she be okay?” I questioned myself. But, something assured me she was just that. She was okay. Somehow I felt like I could ride out the storm and be okay. Would the last sound from my mom be her laughter I heard just one day ago?
I watched as my Maw Maw sat right by mom’s side day and night. The feelings inside of me had grown into a Katrina like hurricane and I couldn't even imagine what Maw Maw was feeling. But, she sat. She sat and she cared for and tended to every need and want of my mom. Even when my mom couldn't utter a word, Maw Maw was there right at her side. Once I caught a glimpse of my grandma as we sat beside my mom in her hospice bed. That same glimmer my mom possessed was there in my Maw Maw’s eyes as well. In that very moment I realized that that twinkle that was so ever present was their strength. It was the strength of a woman. In the face of straight disaster, the strength of a woman calms. Roaring seas find peace in the strength of a woman. As Maw Maw and I witnessed my mom exude her last breath, I suddenly searched for the twinkle in Maw Maw eyes. Because I needed to be assured. Eyes full of tears yet it was still there. I couldn't for the life of me understand how that strength could still be present. Her daughter, my mom was gone, yet there was this certain peace that filled the room. But, I soon learned that God gives that womanly strength and God can do ANYTHING, So…
Since the passing of my mom and now being a mother myself I have been in search of the strength that both my mom and grandma embodied. When faced with trials in my own life I sometimes close my eyes and try to recall that assuring twinkle that I witnessed in their eyes. That strength hidden behind their lids. Life gets rough for me and all I can wonder is how my mom could feel so strong with everything she faced and I cannot get pass these simple things. I often search for the strength that my mother held. I wish to have another look in her eyes and be assured. One day while crying my eyes out I happen to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. What I saw was breathtaking. I had it. I now carry the strength of a woman in my very own eyes. Whenever I feel weak and like I couldn't possibly go on. When I reminisce about my mother and am overcome with all sorts of emotion. When life beats me down and I'm too weak to put forth a jab, I open my eyes and reveal that twinkle. There in that twinkle lies the strength of a woman. I am the strength, THE STRENGTH OF A WOMAN.