To the above women who made my life what it is today. This love that I hold was born by you all, my daughter, my mother, my grandmother and my great-grandmother.
Strength is often associated with many images. The Lion, the Bear, Samson, Hercules and so forth. More often, it is associated with masculinity; with men in general. But I have come to the true realization that strength is often misrepresented entirely.
To me, a woman represents and embodies true strength. This will always be so. And, I can absolutely say, without a doubt, that I wouldn’t be who I am today without all of the women who have made a difference in my life.
Over the years, I’ve been inspired more often by women than men. Having been raised with a strong respect and reverence for women, instilled in me by my family this wasn’t surprising. And since today is International Women’s Day, I find it appropriate to share my thoughts and respect for all of the strongest female figures who have helped mold my life in such an amazing and loving way.
Without my mother, I surely would not be here today. I can’t imagine a life without her. The strongest woman I know, and the kindest soul I’ve ever crossed. She taught me that dreams are not intangible, that passion is part of the heart and that love is the most vital part of who I am.
But most importantly, she taught me that home and family are always my refuge, my sanctuary.
Without my grandmother, I’d probably have missed my muse. She is the one who has been the nurturing voice for my creativity. Always of high knowledge, always introducing me to new things and inspiring my sense of adventure. Life would surely be dull without the memories that this woman has given me. At 80 years young, I hope she lives at least 20 more.
For my daughter, who if I were without life would have little meaning, I cannot express enough how I hope to show her what a man can and should be to a woman. I hope from me that she learns what unconditional love truly is, and that expressing yourself fully is how we move beyond our dreams and toward our goals.
And to those who have stood by my side, whether briefly or for many years shared, I owe you my everlasting respect and love. No matter the way we ever parted, no matter the situations we crossed, regret will never be a word I use to describe having walked with you through such wonderful moments of life.
Finally, to the one who still holds my heart, to the one who opened my eyes to a new love that I never thought existed. I am humbled to have stayed with you for the moments that we shared. And in knowing that our hands still long to hold one another, that we both will always feel this same passion for each other now and beyond time, my heart will forever be filled with joy in the memory of such wonderful, warm nights.
And if she should ever decide to walk home. May the light of my heart always lead the way.
In closing, I am deeply moved by all of these women, and it is our duty as men to say thank you…
Thank you all for making me a better man.