Celebrating Strong Women: A Vivacious Grandmother

As the third post in our weeklong series before International Women's Day (March 8), another member of the Kahina team shares a story about a woman who has inspired her. We invite you to comment about a woman who has served as an inspiration to you and be entered to win a Kahina Travel Basics kit!

"I come from a family of extremely strong women who are very independent, and I suppose at the very top of the list is my grandmother. My grandmother is about to turn 95 in a few short weeks, just a week after my own birthday.

My grandfather died almost 30 years ago and my tiny under five foot tall grandmother has lived on her own ever since. She has the most amazing spirit. Not only is she an absolute fireball who spent her last birthday dancing in the front row at a Motley Crue concert (she tells me that she blew kisses at the cute drummer the whole time!), she rides the public bus every day to see her friends and attend a particular favorite bingo game that is quite a long distance from her home. She balks at doing things any other way even though family and friends are always offering car rides and other types of assistance. "You know I need my independence and I don't like to rely on anyone else," is probably her favorite line. She is a very tough cookie and you don't want to argue with her either!

Despite offers from family and friends to help her with her daily chores, she cleans her apartment herself nearly every day (and it is always spotless) and brings her own laundry to the Laundromat down the street. When I asked her if I could maybe have someone do her wash for her instead she responded with words to the effect of "but that is my social time with the girls! Why would I want to give that up?" The only thing she ever asks me for help with is changing light bulbs in her chandelier - she will often wait for visitors to change them as she is so tiny! My five foot seven stature (a giant by my family's standards) made me her favorite bulb changer.

She is also always saying that she loves when women look beautiful and she herself is always sporting a perfect manicure and coordinated lip color.

My grandmother's doctor recently said that she has the “insides of a thirty year old”. When asked what her secret to good health and longevity is, I have heard her respond with "I never ever ate a vegetable! (and I can personally attest to never having seen her eat anything green other than mint chocolate chip ice cream) or at other times "I do what I want to do and I don't care what anyone thinks. And I always have a great time no matter what!”

While I don't think the lack of vegetables in grandma's diet is a good idea for most of us, I think she's on to something with the second part. Her incredible positive outlook and fun loving zest for life has inspired me not to take myself quite so seriously, but more importantly she has also taught me that that you can do quite a lot for yourself on your own without needing help from anyone!"

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