My grandmother was born in 1941 to a mother and a father that died when she was in her thirties. Over vacation when I visited her beautiful house in southern South Carolina, I took her out to lunch and was able to catch a glimpse of the woman underneath the grandmother that nourishes, cares, and provides for my siblings and me.
She was a teacher, a principal, and had attended Hollins and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She worked in the Deans Office to make money and I learned that the reason she could even attend university was because of her mother. Women working and earning and prospering, even in a predominantly man’s world. Unfortunately alcoholism stained and poisoned her parents at a young age (and even a touch of depression) but today a wandering eye would never know. My grandmother cooks, cleans, and cares for everyone that enters her house. I wish it hadn’t taken me eighteen years to realize just how incredible she really is.
This is a testimony to being a mother working from home. Mothers work when they raise children. It’s dirty, sometimes frustrating, and taxing on emotional and physical health. If only we gave the same value to raising the future doctors, lawyers, social workers and teachers, that we did to those who have made success and swim in riches.
Before we walked out of the restaurant just over a week ago, my grandmother looked at me and said: “I really want to take the family to Disney World. I really want to make some money of my own.”
If only she could pick up her paycheck from the last 50 years. She has been hard at work every day and never showed up late. And never forgot. That deserves more credit than it gets.