2005 Amy Green - Garland, Texas
Words of Women 2005 Essay of the Year
Such a concept this is. The most important woman in my life.
It is the 16 year old country girl who gave birth to me, feed me, and loved me despite everything against her. She gave me life-a debt repaid only by giving it to another. This uneducated country girl was loving, honest, and good hearted. But the same girl (I don’t think she became a woman until I was grown) in her complete and total subjugation to any type of patriarchal authority-taught me to have a mind of my own-to think for myself and to tell the truth about that. And the truth of it is that she never, ever wanted to teach me that.
Yet it could be so many other women. Women who turn their back on you as soon as a man enters the picture. Those women have taught me to take care of myself. The scared-of-their-shadow women who I worked with at Wal-Mart in East Texas. And the one that working there was the ultimate dream job. Those women taught me to work through desperation to the other side, who ultimately helped me decide to leave that crazy place in my life, and make it on my own.
Sometimes, a woman teaches you not to trust anyone but yourself-an ex-mother-in-law who helped her son steal my not quite 2 year old child out of my arms on an icy day in January (I got her back).
I cannot fail to tribute the women authors who changed my life for good when I was looking for answers-Gloria Steinem, Barbara Mor, Monica Sjoo, Barbara Walker, Demetra George, and Riane Eisler, to mention a few Or the women who run the New Beginnings Center in Garland, or the woman who helped me find food, clothing, and a job when I left a nightmare of a marriage and returned to Dallas with 2 kids to take care of-$10.00 in my pocket, and a dress to look for a job in. My oldest son’s girlfriend who gave ma $100 towards a deposit on an apartment (out of earnings as a waitress). The women who befriended me in that godforsaken—run-down-government-subsidized apartment complex. The loan officer who worked with me exhaustively to obtain the loan on a house I now live in. The instructors in my first course in Women’s Studies at TWU. These women taught me hope, understanding, and courage.
My daughters are the most important women in my life. They will lead the world-the time has come.
It could be me. I look in my daughters eyes, and I see it is so. I look in the mirror, and I see that it is so.
Every woman I have ever met has been-and is-the most important woman in my life. The way women need each other to depend on, and the response given, decides the way the world will be and the future of life on this planet. “Be the change you want to see”-to paraphrase Gandhi.
You are the most important in my life. I am the most important woman in your life. We must collectively decide what we will do with this awesome power, you and I.
Amy Green, WiseWoman - Garland, Texas