Last week was my birthday and I received an extraordinary present from my parents. My grandfather died shortly before the war of independence in Indonesia. My grandmother and her four children came to the Netherlands in the mid-1950s and had to rebuild their lives from scratch.
Tante Toos already lived in Holland and every summer my mother visited her in Bennekom. During her stay with her sugar auntie, Tante Toos used to tell my mother all the stories about her father, the family history and their journey to the cold Netherlands.
This week I received a present from my parents. It is the royal honorary recognition that Tante Toos, working for the PTT, received for her efforts in the realisation of the first POST-flight Amsterdam-Medan in 1924.
My mother wrote me a very nice birthday card about the strong women in our family and how proud she is of me. She called me a strong woman and therefore I am the right person to have this important decoration.
Me, a strong woman? The attribute ‘strong’ is not something I list when asked about my qualities. Why is that? Because I see strong women as ‘out of my league’? Or do I associate ‘strong’ as a male characteristic? An interesting question that I have been thinking about for the past few days. In fact, I don’t really have a clear explanation. I was raised by a strong woman, who taught me independence and autonomy. The fact that I do not see myself as a strong woman is clearly in my head and that has to change.
I owe it to tante Toos, my strong mother and all other strong women to embrace this trait. I am proud to be a strong woman and with this contribution I would like to salute all strong women out there!
If you know a strong woman who finds it difficult to embrace this characteristic as well, please forward her this contribution! For more information to get to know your characteristics, visit my website.