Monday, July 23, 2012

RIP Sally Ride

Nasa Photo, 1983

When I was growing up I pretty much figured my lot as a woman was cast. I'd get married and have babies. I didn't question it. There was nothing else I wanted to do. In 1970, at the age of 18, I put that plan into action. I got married. Had my first baby a year later. A girl. While I have never been what you might call a feminist, I certainly appreciate the work that other women did to open doors I didn't choose to walk through.

My daughter, Weneki, was 12 years old when Sally Ride became the first American woman to travel into space. I tried to instill in her she could be or do anything she set her mind to. Her gender wasn't an issue. I can't tell you if Weneki had specific role models. She was, however, full of ambition and drive from a very early age. She pushed to be her best in everything she did - from school, to sports, to her job, to caregiving, to relationships, to making CD's and doing the happy dance. She still does.

President Obama called Sally Ride, "a powerful role model" who "inspired generations of young girls to reach for the stars." I say she was one tough cookie. 

My Weneki's achievements haven't taken her into space, but they have inspired and encouraged her mom and others.  She's a tough cookie full of chocolate chips.

One Tough Mudder
Today I'm grateful for the women who came before me, who taught me things and took chances I wouldn't dream of, who took me by the hand and said "you can," every time I said "I can't." And I'm grateful for the women who came after me - daughters, nieces and granddaughters - who continue to show me the sky is the limit.
Merry ME


Anonymous said...

I love the pairing of the pic of Sally Ride and me covered in mud looking like a goofball.

I too am thankful for the strong women who blazed the trail before me. Can't imagine not being able to do whatever it is I set my mind to -- what a gift that is.


Anonymous said...

Wenecki is a champ in many, many ways in part due to her courageous spirit and also in part of the many strong women who showed us women that "we can do it!" ld