this is my mom. i love her more than anything. she has been through a lot in her 83 years. she has been through the depression, world war II, growing up in beaver, utah..yes, you heard me right, she was born and raised in beaver...she was even the first girl student body president of beaver high school! her father was the town pharmacist and owned beaver drug store. he helped the local physician care for the residents of beaver. this gave my mom the love of medicine. she wanted to go to medical school, and started taking biology and chemistry classes at utah state, but was quickly told in a round about way, she could not compete because she was a woman. she regrets giving up, and is still mad at those professors who discouraged her, but has since moved on.
she attended the boston conservatory for music, took a train all by herself back east and studied voice. she was an incredible horsewoman, who was expected to do the work of a grown man with no complaining when she was an child. she lived on another large cattle ranch when she was a newlywed in ely, nevada with my dad and grandpa (and numerous hired men)...was responsible for cooking, cleaning and laundry for all of them with no electricity, a coal and wood stove and gasoline powered primitive washing machine. she baked homemade bread, pies and casseroles all from scratch on a stove stoked with coal. all the while being pregnant, then caring for a newborn baby. she is a real woman.
in the winter time, ice formed on the inside of the windows of the "house"...it was really a thin walled cabin with no indoor plumbing. my oldest brother was born in december of 1946, while they lived literally in the middle of nowhere. she has told me of the many nights she desperately kept him bundled up in layered wool so he wouldnt freeze to death. he survived polio, and she survived supporting my dad through many years at Berkeley, then CalTech, while he got 2 engineering degrees and raised 3 more kids. she is a true pioneer, one who is still alive to tell the story. every time i am with her i am constantly quizzing her about some amazing episode from the past. i hang onto every word that comes out of her mouth.
she is an amazingly strong woman who i admire so much. she has taught me how to stand up and do the right thing, be a person of integrity and the most important thing she has taught me is how to work. even better, my kids feel the same way i do. she is the perfect grandma to them. i was able to spend this last weekend with her. it was way fun. she's an inspiration to me.