I was born in the 1960’s when divorce was rare. Forty years ago it was different; back in those days divorce was not something you heard about, read about, or openly discussed. It was taboo.
My vibrant mother was unexpectedly faced with a unique responsibility. While it didn’t require formal training or a prerequisite in child development, she was forced to be a jack-of-all-trades.
Once divorced, she magically became a full-time waitress, plumber, carpenter, chauffeur, referee, chief, nurse, teacher, and activities coordinator all wrapped into one. Not a typical job for the weak or fearful!
Feisty and courageous, my mother took the bull by the horns. One month after the divorce, she packed our belongings into her old station wagon along with coloring books and crayons. Determined to independently raise five little girls, she relocated us to start a new life.
At two years old, I was the youngest daughter. From early on, I had no male influence. It only made sense that I grew up a girly girl. Barbie dolls, ribbons, and ruffled dresses were my favorites. I wholeheartedly embraced my femininity. It is no wonder I eventually pursued a career in the beauty industry. Yes, I thrived living the girly life.
The funny thing about being so girly is that I considered myself weak. I avoided all forms of sports and competition. I considered it not of my nature to participate in any activity that required me to sweat. After all, I could not risk my stylish hair going limp or flawless makeup melting away.
Despite how weak I viewed myself to be, my beliefs about my mom were the complete opposite. I believed she was the strongest human on earth. Undaunted, my mother was one tough cookie. Time after time she persistently overcame daily obstacles: big or small.
Nothing was too difficult for her. She was like a mamma bear protecting her precious cubs. If anyone double-crossed her, she was like a fierce grizzly who would not hesitate to rip an enemy to shreds. Trust me, under no circumstance was she someone to mess with.
Looking back, I realize my mother’s positive qualities of enormous strength had a great impact on me. Through the years I have been unaware of my own perseverance and inner strength. All the while, my mom has cheered me onward.
It was not until I suffered unfathomable circumstances when her words of wisdom became life-changing for me. Her four bold words stopped me dead in my tracks. During my weakest point struggling with Fibromyalgia, she firmly declared, “You are an overcomer!”
It was one of those brilliant moments when the light bulb clicked on. One minute it was dark, and the next minute it was light. Instantly, I could clearly see my mother’s unstoppable strength in ME. With her loving encouragement I learned to believe in myself, and this has empowered me to be the woman I am today.
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Dana Arcuri is an ordinary wife, mother, sister, and daughter of an extraordinary Heavenly Father. She began her love of reading and writing at the age of eleven. What began as a fun hobby gradually turned into a faith-inspired passion. Dana writes for the heart and soul to provide encouragement, inspiration, and hope.
She is a contributing author for Inspired Women Succeed, published in May 2011. Her work has been published in TotallyHer and she is a frequent blogger on ADDer World.ning.com/. Dana is currently completing her first book, Harvest of Hope: Living Victoriously Through Adversity. Her captivating message is one of hope, healing, and rising above unrelenting hardships.
When Dana is not busy writing, she is enjoying Starbucks, dark chocolate and being a girly girl. She blogs at http://writing4theheart-n-soul.blogspot.com/.