Mom wanted to leave dad for years, but she didn’t know how she’d provide for us. All she had was a high school education.
Somehow, she found the courage to go back to college at about age 40. She started going at night. She rode the bus back then in Denver when it used to get really cold. She graduated from Metropolitan State College in 1975, with a Bachelor of Arts. She was 44.
From there she got a few jobs, then got a job with the State, where she worked until she retired.
Mom was still thinking about plastic surgery up until a few years ago. She was still going to therapy up until about a year before she left her body. She could have gave up. Instead she fought — for herself. She kept living — not surviving.
I can convince myself that I’m doomed, or I’m one swing away. I can get up and see nothing but clouds, or see sun coming through the clouds. Pack it in, give up — or get after it and live each day to its fullest. It’s all up to me, what perspective I have.
We’re bombarded each day with advertising and now social media, all of it seems, wants to shape our lives and how we see things. The women’s movement had barely begun when mom started going to college. The meme was women stayed home. She found the courage to begin, to get on the bus.
When everyone is thinking one way, everyone is doing the same thing, that’s the surest sign of the need to break free. To be a person you’re proud of, when no one is looking. To be the only person on the bus. To have courage and the will to endure, when it’s really cold out.