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Women 2.0

February 16, 2012

father and daughter by liam spencer

During the 60’s and 70’s, I was raised by a strong, single mom. Maybe too strong, but that’s a conversation I should probably have with a professional while horizontal on a couch. Anyway, my perspective comes from that life experience. I guess it’s no surprise I’m surrounded by strong women now.

As the father of daughters and now granddaughters, I wonder what my influence has been and will be on their lives. The two generations in my home are very strong young blondes, so hopefully it’s positive. The influence cannot be overstated. I have two female friends over 40 who are still strongly influenced by their fathers, gone from this physical world for years. One once wrote to me, “Every day I remember something I’ve wanted to ask him, something I really need to talk to him about. I shared so much with him. He had an opinion on just about everything.”

I wonder if they ever think, “What did my father hope I would be?”

My friends are amazing women who excel in their professions, work on behalf of their community and the less-fortunate, and are faithful friends to many. They are leaders, destined for greater things, yet they never lose connection to all the people who rely on them. They make our workplaces better and our organizations stronger. Their offices are fronted by turnstiles ushering in those looking for perspective, guidance and support.

It’s funny. They don’t see it. It’s just who they are. Recently I wrote “you amaze me” to one. Her incredulous response, “but what about me amazes you?” Well…

  • Your strength and independence
  • Your too-regular 12-13 hour work days
  • The mother and friend you are to your son…
  • …and the friend you are to his father
  • The love you show my son
  • The sister you are
  • The daughter you are helping your mom so she doesn’t worry about bills, doctor’s appointments or medications
  • The charity boards and events you lead
  • The extra effort you provide to build organizational morale and teamwork at work
  • The help you provide friends seeking work…
  • …or struggling with a significant other
  • The free consulting you do at church
  • The evening hours you do even more consulting

With all that, I’m even more amazed she has the energy to do yoga, go power shopping and put up with me.

That’s all I can think of right now.

So, to answer the question for my friends, “What did my father hope I would be?,” these men, products of the 40’s and 50’s could not have imagined the women their daughters would become. They came from a different world and what their daughter’s have accomplished probably wasn’t conceivable then. Then again, unconsciously, what these men wanted their daughters to be they taught by example. They were hard-working, strong, and independent men devoted to family and community.

They’d be proud and amazed how their daughters honor their legacies today.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 16, 2012 8:25 pm

    I hope the “other Joyce” knows how lucky she is!


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