The True Grit of our Grandmothers

~by Kristin Wall

As we get ready to celebrate Mother’s Day, I reflect on the unique and tremendous strength I’ve seen from my grandma.

The “grit” of the women who went before us is truly remarkable. In this current day, we can hardly imagine the difficulties they faced.

My mother told me a story of my grandma as a child on a remote hunting trip with her family. Grandma and her brother were playing tag when her brother stopped in his tracks.

The distinct rattle only intensified the terrifying sight of the coiled rattlesnake.

Grandma and her brother started running, and surprisingly, the snake started chasing them. They ran into a nearby tent, and the snake actually followed them into the tent. Grandma bravely encountered the snake and killed it with a shovel!

Her toughness didn’t end there. Growing up in the depression, her family lost their farm. They were forced to split up and move around frequently. I imagine that being on the move helped to make her the independent and resilient woman she was.

Despite her difficulties, she was determined to go to college to have a better life. She received her degree in education and ended up being a school principal during tumultuous times in San Francisco. She had the opportunity to mentor many women during that time and beyond.

Being her granddaughter, I got to witness her softer side. Her unconditional love was evident as she silently watched my parents take their turn at parenting. Her lessons learned had taught her to have the confidence that everything would be all right in the end, and that receiving support and encouragement was more important than rules.

She had a zest for enjoying life and sharing it with family.

My grandmother passed away two weeks ago at the age of 93. She was an amazing woman. She was a fighter to the very end.

Just days before she passed, when she no longer could speak, she held up her fists to my mom in a fighting stance – to indicate she was fighting so hard.

Even when my mom and all that loved her were telling her it was OK to let go, she was fighting to the very end, as that is all she knew.

Let’s all reflect upon what we can learn from the strong women from generations before us this Mother’s Day.


Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published