I rely on my husband to update me on the most important pieces of current news. Like the political climate in North Korea or movement of the stock market as it relates to our investments. But a couple of days ago he threw me a real whopper—a piece of news that really seemed to matter to me. What, you ask? Well, the woman believed to be the inspiration for the iconic Rosie the Riveter had died! My sorrow at this was assuaged by the fact that I actually had not been aware that Rosie had a ‘real’ identity…I had kind of thought that she was an artist’s interpretation of WWII female strength, you know, sort of the tough-girl equivalent of Betty Crocker, who is an artist’s interpretation of the composite of all things feminine and domestic.
But no such thing! Rosie was real and her passing has given me a moment to reflect on why she is sprinkled all over my little world. She adorns my trusty laptop, one of my favorite t-shirts, and a pill box that goes everywhere with me. She presides over my walk-in closet on a large metal plate and hangs out with me on a bumper sticker in my office. When my teenaged daughters told me that she is basically my spirit animal, I willingly believed them. I didn’t know what the heck that meant, but it sounded right.
So why my love of all things Rosie? Let me take a stab at it. She represents feminine strength, courage, and grace. I see women like that all of the time and I kind of hope that I am becoming one. I think of one who fought a debilitating mental illness for the better part of ten years and having finally overcome it, now goes about helping others by telling her own story so that they may feel hope and become freed from the bonds of isolation. I have worked with many strong and gracious women who have weathered the storms of their spouses struggles with sexual addiction and find the courage to stay and work towards healing or peace in the choice to leave.
I have worked with numerous incest survivors who show a strength that blows me away as they learn to trust in the love of others. I know a strong woman who has spent years making meaning of her infertility and countless others who feel as if they are drowning in the struggles of the various stages and challenges of motherhood. I could go on but I think I have made my point. We are all surrounded by our own ‘Rosies’. So let’s flex those metaphorical biceps and remember that together WE CAN DO IT!…whatever ‘it’ means in our own unique journeys.