During Women’s History Month, I often think of the sheroes who have influenced my life. My mom, Dorothy, and my aunt Louise are two of my favorite women who continue to nurture me.
I did not grow up with a sister, so I admired their stories of being sisters and laughed as they shared tales of growing up, sticking together to support one another, and the adventures they had playing together.
They grew up with a bold mother who taught herself to play the piano and then gave lessons to children in her church and community.
Their mother, Ms. Catherine, was a housekeeper, chef, and caregiver for a local doctor after his wife passed away. She raised his three children and her two daughters. She took pleasure in caring for her daughters and instilling in them faith and education essential to their life and family.
After Ms. Catherine retired from her job with Dr. Smith, she decided, at 70 years old, to go back to school to earn her high school diploma. This was a rewarding accomplishment for her and an achievement of perseverance she shared with her daughters. After graduating, she began tutoring school-age children at the library to fulfill a promise to continue learning and growing.
Dorothy and Louise, educators, retired 20 years, continue to live out their legacy to connect with women and children. Dorothy teaches and mentors the younger women in her family and neighborhood, and Louise is an active member of her church choir and mentors women on their faith journey.
My sheroes had a calling to ministry. Check out the free resource “Called to be Women in Mission” under our Called To series and find how you are called to serve others, possibly as a mentor.
Eva James Yeo is director for membership for Women of the ELCA. Photo by Elizabeth McBride of Eva showing Iyana, grandaughter of former executive board member Deborah Banks-Williams, how to sew on National Quilting Day 2019.