Strength Of A Woman

On January 17th during a family vacation to Cancun, I was sitting at the table after dinner with my grandma chatting about life. She’d mentioned that she and my grandpa would be meeting a close friend the next night for dinner that had recently lost her husband of 30+ years. I’d asked my grandma (who has been married to my grandpa for 52 years), “Grandma, how after having been married to someone for so long how can a person go on after a loss like that?” She responded, “It would be extremely difficult Jenn, but with family and through faith you would somehow get the strength to continue on.”

Photo courtesy of Brenda Starr

Two days later, my grandpa passed away unexpectedly; on his way for a routine swim at the resort pool and just like that, he was gone.

Without going into further detail out of respect for my family, I’m writing this because I want to honour the strength of my grandmother and focus on why women, in their nature, are simply amazing creatures.

My grandma now faces a new stepping stone in her life- being without the love of her life for the first time in 52+ years. There are many things that stand out in my mind from that day, but the one thing that seems to stand out the most was her bravery; her bravery to face the unknown, broken-hearted. I’ve always seen my grandma as a “grandma”, but that day I saw her not only as a grieving wife but also as a mom. In having to phone my two aunts, uncle and dad from Cancun, the pain was fresh all over again-the way she switched roles from wife to that of strong mom is almost indescribable — a way that only a mom can soothe her children. It’s like that smell or soft touch unique to moms….you can’t put it into words and it can’t be compared. It’s incredible.

I remember my grandma saying the moment she’d seen that my grandpa had passed, “How will I go on without him?”

Photo courtesy of Algo

Over the past 52 years, my grandma was always the type of woman who did it all. She stayed home with the kids while they grew up, did everything in between to keep her house in order and later went on to pursue a career of her own. She’s always tackled anything that comes her way- she’s spent the past five decades proving it. And that’s the thing about women: we can do it all; we always have. Whether a mother/wife of another generation or one of modern day- we’ve always worked, raised the kids in a way that only a mommy can, taken care of the household, disciplined and comforted- we are the heart of a family. My grandma breathes this and it’s why the strength of a woman in any circumstance is so special.

I’m unsure how she made it through that day the way she did. Maybe it was that she was surrounded by those who love her or maybe it’s her faith in god. Being married for 52 years is a love story in its purest form; her loss is profound.