But destroy the patriarchy she did. Over and over again. One of the first women petroleum engineers, the first to work on oil rigs, one of the first to not change her last name, the first to many, many things. I imagine the amount of paperwork that had to be changed because of her mere existence and it always makes me flash a wicked smile.
The most amazing thing about her is how humble she is about all of this. Throngs of women have looked up to her for generations and all she’ll ever admit to is being a hard worker. There’s more to her, though. She’s always a steady snowball that simply knows how to move forward. I wish that certitude of hers had splashed down to me through her DNA strands. Alas, the only thing I’m certain of is that she has always and will always be my hero. My she-ro.
Most people that meet her, remember her. And not just because she is a gargantuan career lady, but because she is warm, jovial, funny, and (let’s face it) awkward and clumsy. Now, awkwardness and clumsiness, that I did get tons of from her.
Today, it’s her 70th. She is retiring from her second career.
She lost her first career (and her pension) to Venezuela’s socialism. She dared to manifest against what Chavez was doing to the oil industry. She was right, once one of the most prestigious companies in South America, these days PDVSA struggles to maintain minimum production. We are bleeding heart liberals who have known the dark side of classical socialism.
She started her second career in the USA in her 50’s. She has ascended in this second career as lithely and unencumbered as she had in her previous life. She got to prove herself all over again. Her strength and ability to work unstoppably is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. She would seem an impossible figure were it not for the fact that I can hear her snoring as I write these final lines.
Happy birthday Mom, may you find rest and just the right amount of challenge you want from these days forward!
And for the record, I’ve never heard my mom fart or say the f-word. So she may also be a saint.
My #1 fan