Helen Reddy sang this song in the 1970’s. And yes, I know most of the words; don’t tell anyone, OK?! My mom had the LP, my sisters and I sang some of her songs at the kitchen sink while we did dishes.
The reason that I bring this up is that I want to tell you about a woman that I admire more than any other – my Mom!
I met the woman I call “Mom” when I was 8 years old. And I wasn’t very nice to that woman…at all. In fact, I was a complete little brat and downright mean! You see, this was the woman that my dad had started dating, and I didn’t like it! I was the number one girl in his life; I was taking care of things! We didn’t need some woman coming in and messing things up!
But, I’d never met a woman like her before. She is not someone that gives up easily. She doesn’t give up at all! She put up with my crap, my brother’s crap, my sister’s crap, and my little baby sister’s diapered crap! Oh, and my poor Dad’s cooking of crap! LOL!
She persevered. She listened. She scolded. She cooked. She cleaned. She consoled. She mended. She wiped. She laughed. She believed. She helped. She loved. She stayed.
She stayed…She stayed…She could have left, but she stayed.
She became the mom we all needed. She didn’t give birth to any of us, but she was more a mom than anyone could ever ask for. She didn’t leave us when we yelled at her. She didn’t leave us when we hurt her. She didn’t leave us when we pretended we didn’t need her. She didn’t leave us when we went away to school. She didn’t leave us when we got married. And she certainly didn’t leave us when we had babies of our own.
She stayed. Through thick and thin. She has stayed. Through it all.
This woman, who didn’t have to be my mother, has never ever given up on a single one of us. She refuses to let us be less than we are capable of. She sees the great things we can be, even when we doubt ourselves. She has always pushed me to be better, to never give up, never surrender. Many a time, I’ve thought she’s been too tough on me, but it was because she loved me. Loved me enough to see beyond my self-doubts, beyond my fears. In her strong, fearless way she has pushed me to be my best.
This is the woman who has never backed down from any fight. She always taught me to stand up for what I believe in. Even if I’m standing up to her. We’ve had our share of fights, fewer now as I get older and wiser and find that she is often, very often, right and I am wrong! She accepts when I am right too. She is ferocious in fighting for truth and what is best for those she cares about. I am that way because of her. The best way to be, in my opinion.
She taught me to be a woman. Not the meek and mild kind, afraid of my own shadow. No, she taught me not to hide behind anyone or anything. No man, no excuse, no “friend” who wasn’t really a friend, no circumstance, nothing or no one. No one can ever keep me down. She taught me to stand up tall and believe in myself. I didn’t have to hide. I am who I am – strong, proud to be woman. She has always believed in me, even when I didn’t.
My definition of superwoman has always rendered a picture of her in my mind. She is all about family and hard work. She has given so much to all of us and to our children. She has given her entire life to us, she will until her last breath. Even then, she will be too stubborn to leave us behind!
The words from Helen’s song will ring loud and clear each day in my mind. She has taught me that I am someone special. I am someone important. I can do anything. No matter how much I may think I’ve messed up, I can always come home. She will always believe that I am better than I think I am.
I love you Mom!
She always has been and forever will be (and now I am too, thanks to her) the woman in those words of that Helen Reddy song:
“I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman!”