Happy International Women’s Day! My father, charming and wonderful on the outside, did evil things. My mother, pushed right up against the wall by the damage he did, somehow got her hands on a typewriter like this one. She set up a card table in the corner of a hallway. Every morning, she had a hot breakfast on the table for my father, me, and my four sisters. By the time we sat down to eat, she was at that typewriter, writing anything and everything she could find a way to sell. Cooking articles, parenting articles, editing legal documents…anything that would pay.
The entire time, her siblings were becoming rich and famous writing award-winning novels. She didn’t have the luxury of being supported by a spouse while she spent years perfecting a novel before it made a dime. She had to keep the roof over our heads and food in our bellies and school tuition paid.
Finally, years later, she managed to write some novels. To her great dismay, they were not well-regarding in the US. French readers, however, adored her.
By then, her spirit, hopes, and dreams had worn thin and weak from the long struggle. She had lost the joy and the nerve to pick up and move to France, where she could have enjoyed a life among people who cherished her for her great talent. Fate stepped in and she re-married to a man who adored her and spoiled her, giving her everything she’d had to give up during the hungry years.
Now there’s a woman who deserves to be honored on International Women’s Day.