The Norman Transcript

March 28, 2014

Keeping a united front

The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — The other day I had to turn the page of my big desk calendar to check out a new month. Yes, it’s almost April.

Usually when I flip over to the next month, it’s a sudden reminder that its time to pay the mortgage. But March has been a bit different.

Since March is Women’s History Month, I instead reflected on all of the women I’ve met over the years that have had some impact on my life. So many professors, colleagues and strong women role models have crossed my path over the years.

My first job out of college I never knew that hard work really was, well, hard. When I graduated, I got a professional job and made it on my own and I was pretty clueless.

I had the opportunity to take on the crime and court beat at the first newspaper I ever officially worked. My editor told me that he liked the fact that I had no experience on the crime beat. And he was right. I hadn’t a clue about anything court related.

Thankfully, I had the opportunity to befriend a county judge that sort of took me under her wing. She was very stern, sometimes brutally honest and had the most unruly natural curly hair I’d ever seen. Even more unruly than my own. She ruled with an iron fist, but she also had a soft spot very few people saw. She made me realize that not everyone is going to like me all the time, but working hard and doing the best job possible was going to get me far in life. And, so far, she’s been right.

As the years have passed I’ve looked to other women in my life, most of them in my own family. My mom is a walking testimony of how to live an honest life. I’ve got an aunt that beat the heck out of breast cancer not once but twice and another aunt who managed a demanding career while also caring for her two children and a husband.

Earlier this week I met Yannet Hodson as she stood on the site of her soon to be new home being built under the guidelines of Cleveland County Habitat for Humanity. Hodson stood proud with her son as the walls of their new home were raised under a perfect Monday afternoon. Hodson lost her home in the May tornado but was just grateful that her son, who was at school when the tornado hit, was alive and well.

The Hodsons lost everything, but they had each other. It takes a strong woman to realize the true meaning of life. She has picked her family back up, sheltered them from the harsh reality of life and she’s setting a good example for her 12 year old son.

It seems that no matter how things go in my life, good or bad, I’m constantly surrounded by women that lift me up in spirit. Women who proudly wear red Mohawks. Women who stay up at night worrying about their children’s safety. Women who make bold decisions about their professional lives in order to take a new step in their personal lives. Women who are amazing.

We all have it in us. We are all like that judge I knew. We are all like Yannet Hodson and we are all women who wear red Mohawks. Who has helped you along the way? Who has shown you how to be strong when you were weak? Remember them and also remember to pass it along. There is always someone out there who is needing a strong role model. Someone to tell them they are important and someone to tell them they matter. Red Mohawks are optional.

Shana Adkisson


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