International Women’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to stop and reflect – on what it means to be a woman, and on the women that have impacted on our lives. My thoughts immediately go to my maternal grandmother. Myra Belle (Pryor) Eidson Bruce. She was my best friend. She treated me like I was the most fascinating person she knew. She not only listened when I spoke, but she hung on every word I said. We played cards together, shopped together, dined together and laughed so much when I was a teenager… the age most adults disconnect from teens. That’s why I visited her at least twice a week when I got my driver’s license at 16.
As a child she showered me with love, had me sleep over regularly, served me English muffins and tea for breakfast in the kitchen where I got to watch cartoons. We went to concerts together, toured art galleries, played piano, read stories. She was a wonderful cook, devoted wife and mother – as was expected of women at the time. Nevertheless, she always encouraged me and challenged me to be whatever I wanted.
Grandma adopted my mother and my uncle and gave them everything she could…. and she always embraced my brothers and I as if we were her own. And we truly felt we were.
I miss sitting at her kitchen table, eating grilled cheese sandwiches… which she made with love and I now make my grandkids. She was amazing…. truly, a wonderful role model.
Under Grandma’s wing…..
Under grandma’s wing I learned many things… appreciation of the arts, pride in achievement, joy in the simple things, and contentment in loving relationships. Life is so complicated now. I’m a mother of eight, grandmother of two, I work full-time and volunteer my time to worthwhile organisations like IFCO. And like many women, I have days when I feel overwhelmed…, however, I know if my grandma was here… she would listen and somehow make me feel like I can handle every challenge I face.
My dad often tells me he’s proud of my resilience… I think I developed that under Grandma’s wing. ❤️
Written by Dr. Stacy Blythe. Stacy is a foster carer, academic and IFCO board member based in Australia. You can read her IFCO profile here. You can also read a recent publication she wrote with colleagues about “Challenges to Promoting Attachment for Hospitalised Infants with NAS” and how hospital is an institutional setting for babies and not able to meet all their needs by clicking here.