They are common and undistinguished as the world sees women. No national heroines, no poet laureates, no great wealth or fame among them. They are alike in many ways. The common thread that runs through all of their lives is what women the world over share and have shared throughout history: love of family; hope for the present and the future; sorrow at the loss of a loved one; anger at injustice (especially when it’s her own child); and an interest in passing on knowledge and teaching worthy principles to her children.
Yet their commonality does not make them alike. Each is an individual, each distinctive in her personality, interests, abilities, likes and dislikes. When I look at these ladies I wonder what I inherited from them. Am I similar in appearance to any of them? Or in character traits? Which was strong-willed? Who was more of an introvert? Did any of them have green eyes? Did one of them need to overcome the challenge of making quick, impulsive decisions? I wish I knew these ladies and could draw from their knowledge and experiences of life. I expect to meet them some day and learn more about them. By knowing more about them, I think I’ll learn more about me.
I am thankful to these women for the choices they made and the courage they had to live through difficult times, to marry who they did, to have children, to live where they lived. Because of them I exist and to them I say, “Thank you!”
These ladies are, left to right, top row then bottom row:
Audrey Meinzen Doyle, my mother
Emma Bickerstaff Meinzen, my maternal grandmother and Audrey's mother
Mary Thompson Bickerstaff, my great-grandmother and Emma's mother
Elizabeth Armitage Meinzen, my great-grandmother and my maternal grandfather's mother
Beulah Gerner Doyle, my paternal grandmother
Elvira Bartley Gerner, my great-grandmother and Beulah's mother
Tressa Froman Doyle, my great-grandmother and my father's paternal grandmother
Elizabeth Jane Laws Doyle, my paternal great-great-grandmother
This post was created as a tribute to the women in my family to commemorate Women's History Month, 2011, and to participate in 103rd Carnival of Genealogy. Thanks to Carnival host, Jasia at Creative Gene and to footnoteMaven for the delightful poster.