“Who is your mothers’ mother?”
This is the question that Sallye McKee, Vice President at Roosevelt University asked this week when she was the keynote speaker for our DePaul Women’s Network Annual Event.
She said that in order to measure how far women have come we must answer that question for ourselves. Only then can we fully recognize our own progress as women through the eyes of our familial lens.
Mary Klotz was a rebel. Well, at least according to the standards of the 1940’s. She was the very last of her friends to get married (an old spinster at the age of 23!) and really interested in politics. Men told her to stick to “women’s topics” during dinnertime conversations. She refused. This explains so much. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, I suppose.
She was an active citizen who took her role as an advocate and an American seriously. She wrote dozens of letters to soldiers abroad, collected money for the war effort and sent nylons to army nurses during the nylon shortage.
While Mary Klotz would want to be remembered simply as a loyal wife of 50 years and mother to five children and two grandchildren, I know that her legacy lives on today through me.
I saw her eyes dance with excitement when I announced that I was declaring Political Science as my major in college. I sent her articles that we read in class as her interest in the topic never waned.
She is my mothers’ mother. My eyes are hers, our passions are similar and I am living out some of the dreams she only dared to think about. I can be, because of she.
Today, on the first day of Women’s History Month, I will take time to celebrate the amazing accomplishments of other women who made it possible for me to vote, go to college, make my own reproductive decisions and pursue any career I choose.
I celebrate the women who raised me, the teachers who guided me and the good friends who continue to support me on my journey to be a better woman, friend, employee and advocate.
Throughout the month of March I will use my Facebook status to recognize women who are making a difference in the lives of others. Some are women of faith, some are fantastic mothers, some I admire from afar and some have inspired me for years.
Mary Klotz isn’t on Facebook, but today, on the first of March. I celebrate her.
Who will you celebrate today? Share with me the names of those brilliant women!