I’m a woman and I’m a writer. When I die there won’t be any monuments erected in my name nor will there be any National Parks named after me. But I will die with the knowledge that I made someone proud, that is my grandmother Lillian Norton.
Lillian Norton was beautiful. She had stunning beautiful blue eyes. They were so beautiful that you had to say something when you saw her each and every time. She had such a tiny physique. She was smaller than anyone I have ever met.
Lillian Norton, my beloved grandmother, was beautiful. Ivory skin, strawberry blonde hair, and beautiful hands. Somehow what we remember about the people we love is strange, but I remember her hands. She always had beautifully polished nails, and she didn’t go to a salon. She had them perfectly manicured herself. I never saw my grandma without polish on her hands.
Yes Lillian was beautiful, and I wish I looked like her but I don’t. On the inside, where God lives and breathes light into our souls, I am like her in many ways. She was a woman and a writer. The importance of that fact is the reason that I am writing this post.
Inward beauty exudes from the inside out as a light beaming through the clouds. Her beauty that lay within came through her smile. Lillian Norton was stunning in every way a woman can be. My grandmother had a smile that could stop traffic. It was a Julia Roberts “Pretty Women” type of smile.
Most importantly and predominately, is the overwhelming love and admiration that I had for this petite German woman. I can say that my grandma and I share the same positive outlook on life. We both smile whether days are dreary and drugging or they are gorgeous and delightful.
She had lovely handwriting, and a beautiful pink signature pen. When she passed away several years back, I kept her pink pen for myself. It carried the weight of a thousand karats of gold in my eyes.
Now divorced, and having left my home for a very different world, I lost the pen. I can’t express how much it hurts. I don’t need a pen, as this amazing writer lives in my heart. As I write about my grandma I make her sound like a saint. I’ve lived in this world for nearly thirty-seven years and she was a saint.
She never complained, and she never stopped my overwhelming grandfather from talking. Oh how I loved that man, but he could talk the hind legs off of a mule. I remember thinking this man is so lucky to have a woman who will listen to him nearly six hours a day. I’m not exaggerating in this case, he was an expressive man. I have no recollection of quiet being synonymous with my grandfather. He was a talkative fellow, and he loved my grandmother more than I have ever seen a man love a woman. He adored her, we all did.
As journalism became a profession, women were restricted by custom from access to journalism occupations. The extreme discrimination that women faced is heartbreaking. My grandma faced these challenges. Before the 1890s women were not journalists at all, very few were but the amount is so insignificant that it’s sad.
Many of us women that graduated from Journalism school have no idea how lucky we are. It truly is heartbreaking to think we are lucky, but we truly are. You see this wonderful, beautiful, little bit of a woman had so much more than outward appearance.
She was as smart as a whip. She could write the most beautiful poem that it would send your heart souring toward the heavens, and at times the ones that made you cry out loud. What a talented writer. What a wonderful graduate of UW-Madison, Wisconsin.
Surprised? Well, women went to college in that day but it was rare. Had she not gone, maybe she wouldn’t have experienced any heartbreak. Maybe she could have been the wonderful mother and wife that she turned out to be, but she was destined for so much more.
I believe that inside of us lives the greatest part of everyone we love. I know that I carry her smile. I as she does, smile through all of it. The harsh, the hurtful, the painful. But isn’t that what we should do. After all what type of legacy do I want to leave behind?
What type of person do I want to be? I have this light within my soul that beams from her. When she was only 20-years-old she graduated from UW-Madison, Wisconsin. Not only was she a woman living in a man’s world, but she graduated from one of the top ten schools in the nation.
She as I did, graduated with her Journalism degree. She began to write for a local paper in Madison. As no one understands anymore, at that time you actually had to buy a printed copy of what was going on in the news.
Ladies, when you finish a story for a publication isn’t it wonderful to slap your name on it and call it a day, knowing that maybe someone will see it, maybe. Either way it was your hard work and a no-brainer.
My grandma would finish her articles for the newspaper she worked at and write her bosses name on the top. Was she embarrassed or shy? Absolutely not, my grandmother was anything but embarrassed of her work, as a matter of fact she is one of the best writer’s I’ve ever known.
I may seem partial, but I’m stating the truth. My grandmother collected no recognition for her hard-earned article. In those times women weren’t allowed to have their names in print. She had to type a man’s name who took credit for her writing.
I can feel the anger coming from all of the wonderful women I know that are writers, and most likely beautiful friends of mine. We are so free-spirited. We are free.
My grandma had to swallow her pride and let the newsroom lead take the credit for her research, her interviews, her art.
Thinking of it truly breaks my heart, I love my grandmother. I love her immensely, and can’t imagine the torment that this must have been for her.
Little did she know that in 1980 a big-green-eyed little girl would be born to her daughter that would have the same passion for writing that she had.
My grandma never thought anyone in her family wanted to be a writer. Although my uncle is a marvelous author, my uncle was too preoccupied with the family business to pursue the career he dreamed of.
I followed in her beautiful footsteps. Her graceful footsteps are the ones that paved my way. The first writing contest I won was when I was in 6th grade. I won first place in a writing contest nationwide. I won first place and I was just a tiny girl myself.
But I had brains and a love for the art of language. How to piece words together and come out with material that could make other people emote, or bring them knowledge.
My grandma was so happy. What no one noticed was that when she picked up my prize-winning paper, her finger was placed right by my name. She had tears welling in her eyes.
In true grandma fashion, she made me a special cake for this momentous occasion. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Every time she made it she knew how excited I would become, and it made her so happy.
My grandma had swallowed all of the tears of anger and frustration for so many years of her life as a writer and a Journalist. Now she had tears of joy, and I can’t ever imagine how wonderful it felt to make her this happy.
She deserved so much more, but she was satisfied. My grandmother loved her family more than anything in the entire world.
As a woman writer I realize how lucky I am to be able to print my name on anything I write. As a woman, it’s important to be true to yourself.
It’s hard to realize the measure of one’s life, and what makes it important. Is it money, your career, or your family?
As a woman who has recently been divorced I feel like family is more important than anything in this world. I have a small family composed of a mother, father, and sister. My grandparents are gone and the people that we love leave us.
We hold onto the memories that are good and lasting in this life. You can’t be angry or bitter. You hold onto jealousy or anger and it eats every ounce of flesh that you can muster. I was hurt and betrayed, but I forgive. I know that my life has so many doors yet to open. I know that the most exciting times are still ahead of me. I know that in my heart, my grandma is proud of me.
I believe in heaven and in angels. This belief keeps us grounded. I don’t know who I am without having these angels, that lived to allow us to live even fuller and richer lives. The measure of your life doesn’t amount to how many friends you have on Facebook.
I believe in angels, in sacrifice, and in forgiveness. I believe that writing saved my life a long time ago, and it still does. We write to make a living, and we write to inform the public of daily news and happenings.
More often than not I look back and realize that the women in the past have helped shape the future. We are blessed as women and writers that my grandmother lived to fight for us.
Acceptance is the answer to all of my problems today and it always will be. If you find yourself, then you have found peace. Writing is a gift that God gives us to use. If you choose to use your gift and to be true to it then you please God. My grandmother did this with grace and dignity.
All Women Writer’s should be graced with the dignity and blessings that our former ancestors didn’t have.
By conducting myself with integrity, class, and love, her memory lives on.
I know I make her proud.