I had the honor in one day to visit with three rural women who were as diverse as they were similar. I personally knew all three and each was genuine, pleasant, and glad to see me. I was thrilled to see them. I wish I could have spent more time with each person. I had not seen one of the women in twenty years.
Nancy had brain surgery and her memory, speech, and physical ability were challenged. Even with the tragedy of the medical complications she smiled, laughed, listened, and added comments when she could. She knew who I was, and shared how she misses her husband who had passed. I told her about my Rural Women Stories project and she said, “If I had it to do over, I would do it different!” When I asked what she would do differently, she looked square at me, laughed, and said, “Oh, probably nothing.”
Peggy was woking on a embroidery quilt square. It took a few minutes to recognize her, but when I did, we had a great visit about her family and life on the farm. She said they moved to town when their youngest had to travel so far to school. She said she wanted to move back to the farm but her husband didn’t want to move. She said she missed her home and doesn’t go to the farm anymore because it is too painful.
I met Rose for lunch and we visited about many things, but I wanted her thoughts on her 400 word story and my Rural Women Story project. She knew most every person who walked by us, and spoke of many people she knew and cared about while living on her isolated farm. She said she was thinking seriously about moving to town as her water well was going dry. She spoke kindly of her husband who she lost seven years prior, and how they didn’t have a lot of money or material goods, but they were rich in relationships and helping neighbors.
They all spoke of their husbands and we parted with hugs. They are in my thoughts daily.
Rural women are connected – I hope within their stories I can find some patterns or commonalities. If nothing emerges it doesn’t matter. I mainly want them to be remembered, and that will happen with their stories.
Until the next time: Live while you live!