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I looked adversity straight in the eye, squared my shoulders and winked…..Livonne

Today is International Women’s Day.. The day is to celebrate the struggle for women’s rights.  While we’ve come a long way, we still have quite a journey ahead of us.  I went to see the movie Hidden Figures yesterday.  I was stunned by it.  Not just that it was such a fantastic movie, but that I grew up in the era of space travel.  I sat in school watching man walk on the moon.  The space program was such a huge part of the lives of those of us growing up in the 60’s.

But we knew for sure that it was a man’s job.  The closest any woman could get to being part of the space program was if you were a secretary or Barbara Eden.  It was too big and confusing for a little lady, wasn’t it? Well as it turns out.. the answer to that is a big fat no!  It seems women played a huge part in the space program.  And, shock horror, “coloured” women.

It’s more than 50 years since I first heard of the space program and I’m only hearing now that women played a massive role in the mission. Why?  I honestly don’t know.  I will be honest, as I’ve gotten older, the excitement of mankind in space hasn’t greatly inspired me so I’ve not paid a huge amount of attention but even so, this should have been spread everywhere.

These women were pioneers.  They broke down so many barriers.  They were not only women in a man’s world but also negro women in a white man’s world.  They had to jump through hoops to gain the chance to change the shape of the world and then to be ignored for it.  If you get a chance to see this movie, do it.  It’s extremely powerful and empowering.

We live in a world today where so many women don’t understand the sacrifices made by our foremothers to allow us the freedoms that we know today.  We still have a long way to go but the pioneer women that have walked this earth before us have given us a much easier life than they lived.

Even those who didn’t make history for changing the world still made life easier for us.  They worked harder than we could possibly imagine to make life easier for the next generation.  Between them, my beloved mother and grandmother raised 21 children on a shoestring.  They fed, clothed and most of all loved us all with little or no money.  How they both did it is beyond my comprehension.

Today on International Women’s Day, I celebrate the three women who mean the most to me.  My grandmother, Gargie who allowed me to dream and dream big.  She told me I was more beautiful than all the colours of the rainbow.  My mother, Mary, who taught me how to be a mother.  She taught me to love and to be loved.  I could never hope to be the beautiful sweet soul that she was but will be forever grateful to have been her daughter.  And last but certainly not least, my beautiful angel daughter Aimee who taught me what it was to love unconditionally.  While she didn’t get the chance  to grow to be a woman, she was the reason I did.  Until I held her in my arms, I didn’t know what love truly was.

Happy International Women’s Day…..Livvy xxxx