Yesterday I spent the day in Peoria, IL at the Behold Women's Conference. It was a beautiful experience full of beautiful women, nuns, mothers, daughters friends, sisters and many more. The theme was all about our dignity and beauty of Catholic women. Afterward I began to think about who the beauitful women are in my life and I thought of three.
First my aunt Joy. She to me is beautiful through her faith and giving heart. She lives very simply without a lot of money. But first off her home radiates beauty. Her home is so warming and inviting. I never feel out of place there or unwelcome. And her cooking, specifically baking skills are amazing!!! I find her accepting of herself. She battles many health issues and yet never complains. I feel that she is a prime example of a woman of God. She makes me want to be stronger in my faith. She loves God no matter what he throws at her and she does it with such joy... Hence my Auntie Joy!
Next my grandmother Shirley. This is the woman who raised me after my mother died. She and my grandpa gave up retirement to care for myself and my sister. How unselfish is that!? We would come home from school to the smell of fresh cookies or cream cheese dip for pretzels. She made sure we always had everything we needed. I think she is beautiful for her sacrafice. She scaraficed 7 years of her life to care for us girls.
Lastly my mother will always be the most beautiful woman in the world to me. My mother suffered from breast cancer for two years. When I think of her beauty I think of the last big family event she attended, my cousin Karen's wedding. She wore this beautiful red dress, and her wig. She had tatoo marks on her neck that were exposed that were used for radiation treatments. And yet my mother's smile lighted up a room. We took our last family picture at that event. My sister and I wore matching flower girl dresses. I know my mother was in pain. I know she had to be embarassed about the markings and yet she was full of joy for her niece. I never saw my mother complain or shed a tear. She role modeled for me strength of a woman. She fought for her life till the end. And up till then end she cared for me and my sister. I remember her bringing Girl Scout snacks and reading to us at night. Whenever I feel a tiny amount of pain I think of her. Recently I had to get blood work and I was so scared for the pain. What a tiny prick compared to the pain she must have suffered.
What beauty these women have. These women are role models to me of the type of woman I want to be. One that has a warm home full of love, one that is generous and one that shows her beauty from the inside and lets it radiate out.