Legacy of strong women lives on
By JEFF JOBE
This year’s Mother’s Day weekend was especially meaningful to me. I got to spend quality time with my youngest daughter McKenna on Friday evening at a special graduating senior parents dinner, the night and most the next day with my mother and we were joined by other family members at McKenna’s graduation.
As I was helping my mother to my car to make the 1.5 hour drive to Morehead I was reminded of a drive I had taken the better part of 4 decades earlier with my grandmother. I was 17-years old and she 74.
We embarked on our trip to drive from Greenup Kentucky to Salyersville Kentucky. A trip she remembered taking her dad and sisters 2 full days in a wagon to make when she was 9-years old. I got my map and we planned the trip. My calculations would put us there and back in time to watch her favorite television show Sandford and Son; and sure enough we made it.
We didn’t tell a soul because we both knew my mom wouldn’t let us go. Looking back I am amazed that she embarked on such an adventure and that my 1959 Austin Healey Sprite convertible made it there and back on a tank of gas only a half quart of oil.
I still smile seeing her sitting beside me with silk scarf flying in the wind. She had to wear a scarf because my car was a hard top convertible and she couldn’t get in it with the top on.
This woman never drove a car, or worked a job outside the home but she instilled a very strong work ethic and sense of family. Her energy was amazing and her smile would melt your heart. With 11 children and marrying a seriously disabled veteran who was injured at Argonne Forest during World War l; she knew what work and family was all about.
She instilled in my mother the same principles for family and even though she endured years of abuse she got away and raised her children in a safe home. My grandfather instilled in me a belief than any man to raise a hand to a woman is not a man. My mom drove tractors, trucks and any vehicle around the farm since she was 13. She worked the fields with her dad, and later did years of labor in steel mills. I could fill a binder 10 inches thick with memories I have of how these women never allowed anyone to step on or over their children.
As I sat and listened to how my daughter was graduating from this wonderful school; the Craft Academy. With each mention of her 4.0 grade point average, being recognized as a member of the National Honors Society and being named a Browns Fellow for the University of Louisville I struggled to hold back tears.
After the presentation my mom said; “McKenna sure is smart and such a good girl. I’m so proud of all your children Jeff, you are a good dad and it shows in them. A mom can tell.” It was without a doubt one of the best weekends I have had in my entire life.
Looking back at my life it is because of these strong women that have been determined to provide a good life for my family and it is because of them I have encouraged my daughter to never accept anything less than complete equality.
My grandmother showed strength in her love for family while my mother proved she could work beside a man in a steel mill and I am thankful we live in a country where my daughters have to prove nothing to anyone any longer; while McKenna embarks on her civil engineering career her sister Reagan is studying abroad in London England.
For me and my belief in strong women it all started with a drive and seeing my mom come in from a 12 your shift with steel toed boots; my daughters are indeed taking the drive and work to new levels.
Please join me in honoring our mothers by witnessing to our daughters that we know they can do anything they put their minds to; and for my friends and readers in Edmonson County, Kentucky this means; showing them a woman with the best qualifications and the absolute purest desire to serve and protect is indeed the right choice.
I believe Kentucky is ready and Edmonson County can lead the way!
Jeff Jobe is founder and CEO of Jobe Publishing, Inc. His commentary reflects his personal views and does not reflect the views of personal or professional associations and affiliations. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his previously published commentary at www.jobeforkentucky.com
Mr. Jobe, that was a great story. Everyone should cherish every moment with there mother. Some people take them for granted, and all of a sudden they are gone. No one will ever stand by you and protect you, when everybody turns on you, like your mother. A mother will always have an undying love for her children.
I read this story and I was also raised by a strong woman. She worked hard her whole life raising her family and instilled the whole working ethic. My mother has been gone for 2 years now and I miss her terribly but she had taught all us girls not to let anyone run over us and to stand up for what was right. I also lived in Ashland and Greenup when I was a child and moved down here where I currently live. Thank you for such as great article about your family.