BURGDORF BEAUTY INSIDER
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HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
March 8 is International Women’s Day, and, of course, the first two women I think of are my wife and my mother, two inspirational women I’ve written about before. But in my life, I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by more inspirational women than I can count, starting with my grandmother. She was Polish, and around Easter, she always brought each of us a Polish blessing: hard boiled eggs and horseradish. The story was, if we ate it, it was good luck. My grandmother was selfless. She would spend three days in the car with us, driving all the way from New Jersey to Disney World, even though she had a bad fall that left her with chronic back pain. Once we were at Disney World, she’d wait two or three hours with my sister to go on a ride. The whole thing would be over in two minutes or less, and then she’d be back to wait in line with me to do the whole thing over again. Staff would always say that anybody with neck or back pain shouldn’t get on the ride, but she’d go anyway. She was unstoppable like that. My own children are blessed with an unstoppable grandmother of their own: my mother-in-law. She’s in her 70’s, but if she plans to slow down, she hasn’t shown it yet. She worked full time as a chorus director and choral teacher in school, but she still always found time to raise her kids in a wonderful way and volunteer at church. Still, to this day, she is active and involved in the church. She’s remarried — she lost her first husband 11 years ago — and together she and her new husband have taken on a project called The Giving Garden where they raise food and
donate it to charities. Last year, they donated around 30,000 pounds of food to people in need. She might be in her 70s, but she’s still out there tilling the garden and giving back to her community, and she looks elegant and put together while she does it. They say that when you meet the woman you want to marry, you should look at her mother because that’s your future. Well, when I met my wife, I looked at my mother- in-law, and I thought, sign me up . There’s nobody I trust more to watch our children than my mother-in-law. We know we can trust her to get them washed, dressed, and lined up for church, no problem. Maybe all those years teaching choir at school taught her a thing or two about managing kids. Outside the family, I want to acknowledge my fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Gerba. Mrs. Gerba had a mole on her nose, and she used to joke that she was a witch, and the bigger a witch’s mole was, the more powerful she was. Mrs. Gerba had a way of making learning fun and engaging. Every holiday, she would completely redecorate the big chalk board at
the front of her classroom with big, beautiful decorations. She brought all of her creativity into her classroom, and I loved that about her. I stayed in touch with Mrs. Gerba all the way up through high school. I’d go back and check in with her and give her updates on my life. I loved sharing my academic successes with her. Mrs. Gerba helped inspire a love for learning in me, which helped take me right to where I am now. I can’t get into the specifics, of course, but I’m also inspired by my patients. In my line of work, we learn the intimate details of people’s lives, and I’m so impressed by the things my patients have overcome and accomplished. On March 8, on International Women’s Day, my hat is off to all the inspirational women in my life, whether you’re a teacher, a family member, or a patient. You inspire me.
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