Nurture. This one through me for a bit but the more I thought about it the more my Grandma came to mind.
Frances Mary Stewart Witherwax (1922 – 2004)
Whether it was her own children, the children she watched, her children’s friends or my dad who got chicken pox at her house as an adult. She was a caregiver.
There are so many Strong Women in my family. They tended to not sit on the sidelines but to dive right into the fray. From my Dr. Sarah Larkin Beardsley who went to medical school in 1880 and became a practicing doctor in Jonesville, Michigan before her untimely death in 1886.
To Hannah Bartlett Kelly who gave money to help fund the American Revolution after her husband died to my immigrant ancestors who left Italy to come to New York and left there families behind. Strong Women run in my family.
To me the strongest woman I know was my grandma Frances Mary Stewart Witherwax. She was born on Lyon Mountain in 1922. Married my Grandpa (Earl Elmer Witherwax) in 1940 at Schuyler Falls at the age of 18 and he was 30. Had my mom at almost 20 and then 6 more kiddos followed. She buried 2 children, raised her family and ran the farm while my Grandpa, who was an operating engineer helped build the Northway. She then also buried 2 sons and she kept moving forward. She never gave up and never quit. She had a stroke when I turned 14 and she still kept moving forward and overcame it. She was not a quitter and I will be honest it has been almost 14 years since she passed and I still miss her daily. I hate not seeing her and sharing the expanded knowledge of our family. She is the one who started me on this crazy journey. She would be so happy with all we have found and what we continue to find.
Love you Grandma and you are in my heart and big part of who I am.