March is Women’s History Month. It celebrates the contributions that all women have made to historical events and positive progressions to the society we have today. Women consistently have played major roles in history on a global scale, and I know most people have a list of admirable women that they know or have heard of.
My list is extensive of truly inspirational and admirable women, but there’s one that tops that list: my mother. Think about all of the traits that make a person great, and if you multiply that by fifty, you might be close to what my mother is.
She is an incredibly intelligent person, she’s the perfect teacher, and she cares so much about everyone she touches. She has really taken a major part in bringing the best out of everyone around her. Although, the biggest attribute I credit her with is her selflessness.
My mother formed a dance company called Afterimages in 1983, where she took on the role of wonder-woman. Along with dancing and teaching, she took on the job of three people: artistic director, executive director, and director of the Conservatory of Modern Dance. Dance was on her mind from the time she woke up in the morning until she went to bed. It was exactly what she wanted to be doing with her life.
She brought a major chunk of the modern dance world to Louisville, attributing to making it the cultural and arts center that it is today. Perhaps I’m just a bit biased because she’s my mother, but that’s a pretty astounding gift to give, and it’s what made her happy.
Louisville is where she met my dad, and that’s where they started out together. He had a radio show and she had a dance company: the perfect duo for the art world. They soon wanted to take the next step – raising a family.
The stress of running a dance company wasn’t conducive to a family lifestyle, and she didn’t want to raise a family in a city. So, she made the ultimate sacrifice of her hard work and dedication to the dance world: she chose having a family over her career.
As I said before, all of the attributes of a great person multiplied by fifty might put someone in arm’s reach of my mother. She didn’t take it as a sacrifice, but as a step forward; the next move up. Her and my dad moved to a small town in Michigan where my grandparents lived to raise us, leaving behind her work as artistic and executive director of her dance company, director of the Conservatory of Modern Dance, and guest choreographing for a children’s theater along with numerous, well deserved awards for her contributions as a teacher.
When she arrived to Michigan, she formed a small dance studio to teach a variety of ages. It didn’t take long for people to seek her out for the community of dance that she offered, and many of her dancers became as close as family. She pushed her students to achieve great things, served as a mentor for many of them, and influenced so many young lives.
I was born after the dance studio was established, and grew up with it. As a small child, I was frequently brought into the studio while my mother taught. She is the example of what unconditional love is. However, my siblings and I knew from a young age that we didn’t have her to ourselves. My mother continues to watch over and influence her students like family. In that sense, my family is enormous, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I am so proud to be my mother’s son for a great number of reasons, but her selflessness is something I’ll forever be grateful for. I know my siblings and I share a great deal of pride to have her as a mother. It’s something her students are lucky to have. She betters the lives of everyone around her.
There are a number of great women that have been spanned across history, but people like my mother are the ones who should be celebrated during Women’s History Month. She is someone who has not only achieved a great amount during her life, but is also a caregiver. The absolute best person I know. As Women’s History Month draws to a close, don’t forget to take a moment to be thankful for women like my mother.