Everybody inspires somebody.
Several years ago a friend told me I inspired her.
Me? Really? Why? How?
She went on to explain how I inspired her. Turns out, it was by living. I told her I didn’t have a choice.
“Yes you did.” She said, “You could have depended on your kids to make your life better.”
“No I couldn’t.” I argued.
“Sure you could’ve. Lots of women do. That’s what I find inspiring, you didn’t take the easy path. You forged your own.”
Really? I hadn’t thought of my choices as being inspirational, or encouraging. No, it was more stubborn, independent and determined.
When my husband died I was determined to take care of myself and not depend on my children. After all they had lives to lead, spouses to care for, children to raise, jobs to attend to. They didn’t need to also be taking care of their mother.
My independence was important to me. My husband had always delighted in, and encouraged my independence. Turns out I’m not quite as independent as I thought. Still, I could take care of myself, pay my own bills, mow my own grass, and hire people to do the things I couldn’t. Sometimes I was too stubborn, there is that learning curve. Seems we never get away from learning, about life, about ourselves.
Then there’s the stubbornness. It’s a joke in my family that my stubborn children couldn’t have gotten that trait from me, I still have all my stubbornness. Sometimes I’m too stubborn for my own good.
Like the time I tried to put my own mailbox up without the proper tools, or even good makes-shift tools, or the know-how. In this case google and YouTube were not my friends. When my son learned I didn’t have a mailbox, and my mail was being returned he came over and in an hour or two had me a working mailbox. Stubbornness on my part kept me from having a mailbox sooner.
Inspiration from Others
Other widows inspire me. I learn from them. Watching the strong women around me continue to live after the death of their husbands is inspiring and encouraging.
Some women go out and do big things, they travel the world or become involved in campaigns. Other widows keep on keeping on doing what they’ve always done, take care of their family, immediate and extended, they go to work or begin working, they are involved in their community.
Go Big or Go Home
It’s not just the widows who go big who inspire me. The ones who do something spectacular. Widows like Katie Couric who became a spokesperson for cancer education and cancer screening after the death of her husband Jay Monahan, are wonderful inspirations.
However, the women who stayed home, like my friend Linda, are equally encouraging. After the death of her husband, Linda continued with caring for her family, just as she’d always done. She went to stay with her sister when her brother-in-law was ill. She continues to cook family diners every couple of months. Linda helps keep her family grounded. She inspires by living her life.
Who is someone that inspires you?
What do you find inspiring?
Do you think you inspire others?