We Women Will Make a Difference
As I travel the area with the 93-year-old woman that I call "Mountain Mama," I am struck by the privilege it is to be accepted as her honorary daughter. Wherever we go, there are people who exclaim that she is a legend in their lives and in the towns we visit. Her story is an example to women everywhere as to what we can accomplish, even though we face many challenges.
The people of the Appalachian Mountains of South Eastern Tennessee, in the United States of America, in the century in which Mountain Mama grew and reared her family, were almost as lacking in services as many of our undeveloped world neighbors are today. Mountain Mama came to the area as a fourteen-year-old, and within less than a year almost died giving birth to her first child, whose life was also threatened by pregnancy-related illness.
She faced near-death experiences in the births of two of her three children, as well as in the birth of her first grandchild, a grandson. She and her husband pulled through the difficulties and worked at many different endeavors, training all of their children to work as productive parts of their family and the community.
Mountain Mama is credited with bringing electricity to the area, keeping the area on the map by operating a post office for 50 years, and training innumerable people in how to work and earn an honest living in various owner-operated endeavors. There was no work that she and her family wouldn't tackle.
At 93, she is still living on her own, doing her own housework, tending chickens, and selling eggs. She also manages a large number of rental properties without the help of a staff. In addition, she teaches all who ask anything they are willing to learn from her vast store of knowledge and experience. I am allowed to assist, and I am grateful for that gift.
Hard work, honest relationships with community, and a willingness to learn are what made Mountain Mama and her area prosper. The women of WorldPulse seem to be cut from the same cloth.