“A strong woman knows she has strength but a woman of strength knows it is in the journey where she will become strong.” -Unknown
History has often recorded stories of women they called “strong women”- politicians, activists, adventurers and yes, many humble everyday women. When I was a young girl growing up in the deep south many of us were taught to be “dainty” and to hide our strength. Thank heavens my granddaughters were born into a generation where strength can be celebrated.
I have been blessed to know many women that I admired over the years for their strength as they fought battles during their lives. Some battled privately and others in public. Today, as I write this there is a woman of courage and strength that is truly hard for me to comprehend. Her name is Tracy.
I first met Tracy when she was still a young teen in high school and I might have best described her as adorable and spunky. Years later, reconnecting, I still saw the spunk and a zest for life. Beautiful woman, beautiful heart full of love for those around her. Energy was her middle name and she was up for anything. Maybe a long hike, a race, an obstacle course and did she ever challenge herself. One challenge that comes to mind was when she decided to do a mud run. The photos were hilarious as she ran through the finish line covered in thick mud and yet her beauty could still be seen.
Over 6 years ago, Tracy began another race, a battle really. Not just any battle, but one for her life. During these years, she has fought back from ovarian cancer, brain cancer, spine, now lungs and pelvic and she still fights. While her courage and strength are beyond believable, it is how she faces these horrific challenges.
Over these 6 years, I have NEVER once heard her complain, not one time when asked has she ever replied anything other than, “I’m doing great.” On a very rare occasion she has replied, “today is a little tough” or “it’s not the best day” but NEVER has she said to anyone how bad she feels, how much she hurts. WHERE, HOW does she have the strength? It is clear to me she has been determined to make things easier for the ones around her by encouraging them by letting us know she is still fighting and not giving up.
She is my inspiration every day to try to ignore the little aches and pains of life and aging. I wish I could say I have been as successful but I can’t. After a very serious and painful surgery recently the words “I’m hurting” flowed out of my mouth too many times. Each time that little voice in my head would say “Tracy has never complained. Be strong.” Every moment of pain in physical therapy I would think “Push through this. If Tracy can do what she does, I can do this too.”
Hands down, she will always be my inspiration to try to be better, to be stronger and to always keep up the good fight. I doubt that I will ever attain the status of “no complaints” but at least I will continue to try. We are stronger than we think we are, we can stand up to more that we think we can. Here’s to a woman of strength with much love…to Tracy.
Find more from Tricia here.
You can also find articles by Tracy here.