I’ve been fortunate enough to have not only one influential woman in my life, but to have four influential women that have shaped the girl that I am now and the woman I hope to become in the future.
It all starts with the matriarch of my family, my grandma (or my Vovo). She left Portugal and came to America by herself at 24 to go to school, she was in a foreign country with no family and no idea how to navigate this new world that she entered. She found it difficult to live here because she had to leave my mom with my great-grandma, struggling with the feeling of having to leave her daughter behind, but also knew that in order to give them both the life they deserved, she needed to come to America to pursue her educational goals.
If she hadn’t made that tough decision, I wouldn’t be here today to share her story. My grandma taught me that any dream is possible if you just push yourself through the difficult parts. Her journey into America may have been tough, but the outcome was a greater feeling than any doubt.
I hope that I can only be half of the person that my mom is when I’m older, she means the world to me and everything I do is essentially for her. She taught me to be selfless and that kindness will take you further than anything else, and I will always carry that with me. I don’t think that words can ever express how much my mom has influenced me and how big of an impact she makes in my life. She is the person that I will always look up to and the mom I hope to become.
My two aunts are two women that inspire me daily and push me to work hard and reach my goals. My older aunt is a mom of two and a nurse, and I grew up watching her pursue her dreams and seeing them come true and also watched the girl who I would annoy for hours on end turn into the most caring mother to her sons.
My younger aunt is again one of the strongest women that I know. Two years ago she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and she didn’t let that stop her from living her life. Even though there were bad days, she still came out on top. I look up to her so much because I know that it wasn’t an easy thing to go through, but she did and she came out stronger in the end.
I am lucky enough to have been raised with these four women by my side for the last 20 years. So in honor of Women’s History Month, I dedicate this post to them and all that they have done for me.