Women’s History Month

It’s Women’s History month, commemorating the vital role women have played in American history.

There are so many women who have helped shape our future, like Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Harriet Tubman, and so many more it’s hard to find space for even the highlights. Here’s a couple of sites if you’d like to read about some of these amazing women.


I’m choosing to talk about one woman. My grandmother.

She didn’t shape worlds, but she was the rock that shaped our family and she taught us all what it means to be loved unconditionally. And also what was right and wrong and how to be a large family with opinions and differences, but to still remember the love. And what a sparkle in her eyes she had. 🙂

My grandmother, Lila, was one of seventeen children. She gave birth to eleven children, who gifted her with twenty-five grandchildren (including me!) and seventeen great-grandchildren.

That, in itself, is a legacy. But there’s so much more to Gramma Lila. She raised all those children during the war years and the depression. When her husband went off to war, then later, traveled for up to two years at a time for work, she called upon her strength and endured.

Devoted to her family, she loved having us visit and it never mattered if it was one of us or twenty of us. Case in point… Every Thanksgiving Gramma Lila cooked dinner for as many kids and grandkids as would show up. There quite often were more than fifty people sitting down for the meal. And right afterwards, she was back in the kitchen making turkey sandwiches in her famous rolls (that no one has ever been able to duplicate) for us kids to snack on.

(I’m the blue shirted girl hiding on the right. 🙂 )

She taught us that family is everything. That listening was important, as were compassion and understanding. I am who I am today because of her gentle tutelage.

And that pioneer spirit is the backbone of our family’s legacy. Last month, it was forty years since she passed away and we all still reminisce about the our wonderful grandmother and mother.

For more information about Laurie Ryan:

8 responses to “Women’s History Month

  1. I love your blog this morning. And the pictures. How often have we shared how very blessed we are with our families. I read “Women In American History” so much I hadn’t read or heard before.

  2. Reblogged this on Laurie Ryan's blog and commented:

    My blog on Over the Backyard Fence today is all about Women’s History month and my grandmother, the salt of the earth woman who shaped my life. Even after forty years, I miss her.

  3. What a beautiful lady and a treasure trove of family photos. She sounds like an amazing lady. I love that you have such beautiful family memories and wow at what she and your grandfather created as a family. A great legacy indeed! JIllian

  4. Lovely post, Laurie, you look so like your grandmother, and she in turns sounds a lot like mine wa, both amazing ladies. 🙂

    • Thank you, Kit. That’s high praise. I wish my kids had gotten to know her. Only my oldest has a brief memory of her. I really need to write some of the stories from my childhood down.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s