A Giveaway for the Girls!

Celebrating Women with a Great Giveaway!

See details below:

strong_womanA Woman is as strong as____?

Can you fill in the blank? I do most every time I start another story. It’s not an easy question, and it’s one that has a multitude of answers. I’m not referring to the minority with an “I am woman hear me roar” attitude. No, I’m talking about the ordinary woman, a woman like me or you. A mother, a wife, a sister, a friend—a less than perfect being who somehow manages to make her imperfection seem so beautiful.

Strength wears many faces. It can come disguised as the ability to survive hardship, or show itself in a bold death-defying act to save a child. Women give birth to babies, nurse them and teach them right from wrong. We often work outside the home as well as in it. Despite the endless hours, there is almost always time to listen to someone else’s problem, deliver a meal to an ailing friend, or provide the comfort of a warm embrace.  A woman can carry her family on her back when she has to. She can rise up to be the sole breadwinner when hard times happen. Even when a woman loses a spouse, she somehow finds the strength to move past her own grief and comfort her children, restoring their belief in a brighter future.

A woman is a shoulder to cry on, and a soother of hurts. Her strength is an inner-strength, not one that can be seen. She may look soft and gentle to the eye, but she is strong of heart and strong of purpose.  It’s inside of every woman. We have it long before we enter this world. It’s passed down from generation to generation and has been since long before anyone can remember.

My mom taught me that a woman's true strength is found in her heart

My mom taught me that a woman’s true strength is found in her heart

To fill in the blank, I would say a woman is as strong as she has to be. Whatever life demands, we give. I know because my mother was just such a woman. She made-do, when making do was all she had.  She taught three girls how to be strong independent women. She taught us to be cognizant of the needs of others, to love and to let ourselves be loved. She blessed each of us with the inner strength that she possessed. I treasure her memory and to honor it, I tuck a little a piece of my mother in every character I create.  Chances are you can see your mom, sister, friend or cousin in those women also. I hope so.

Please share your thoughts or stories of the women who have touched your life in a comment. Post it here on Words, Wit & Wisdom and the most heartwarming story will win my special prize –  a $25. Amazon Gift Card. 

And, who knows…that special someone might well end up as a character in the sequel to Spare Change.

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Now for the big giveaway!

Today we are giving away an iPad Mini and 60 ebooks by 6 bestselling authors!

To enter this giveaway, click on the link below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

You aren’t finished yet!

In addition to the iPad Mini and the eBooks, all the other authors are giving away prizes today. To enter their giveaways, follow the links below to enter to win:

Steena Holmes bestselling author of Finding Emma is giving away a chocolate gift basket to someone who leaves a comment about their fairy godmother

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Rachel Thompson, bestselling author of Broken Pieces is giving away an Amazon Gift Card to a lucky commenter

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Christine Nolfi, award winning author of Treasure Me is giving away a gift basket of Charleston treats as her giveaway

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Patricia Sands, bestselling author of the hot new release, The Promise of Provence is giving away a beautiful book on the Most Beautiful Country Towns of Provence from Amazon to a lucky commenter.

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Karla Darcy, bestselling author of 7 Regency Romances including The Divided Hearts is giving away an Amazon Gift Card to a lucky person

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To keep up to date with new releases and future giveaways, please visit, Her Best Books and sign up for our newsletter!

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141 Comments on “A Giveaway for the Girls!”

  1. karladarcy April 28, 2013 at 1:04 am #

    What a wonderful post. What a great picture of your mother. She looks as strong and caring as you’ve described her. It’s so important in this day and age for mothers to teach their daughters to be strong and self reliant. I love your books. Your characters are all strong and endearing.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

      Thank you Karla, she was a very specal lady and I credit her with giving me my story-telling ability. My mom was a master at it and could keep a room full of children enchanted for hours with her wonderous tales.

  2. Paula April 28, 2013 at 1:20 am #

    A woman is as strong as my Grandmother. She was a pillar of strenghh; a woman who raised her children in a logging camp and then, when they were grown, followed her husband to Alaska and became the Skipper of a fishing boat, overcoming her fear of the water to support Grandpa’s dream. She left behind a trail of strong women in her wake.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

      Whew, I am none too fond of water myself, so I can easily imagine what she felt. Brave woman, no question. Thank you for sharing this story.

  3. renée a. schuls-jacobson April 28, 2013 at 10:03 am #

    What a gorgeous post. And I love that all of you have gotten together to coordinate your efforts on this!

    What is a woman? A woman is a rock. She is strong and hard when we need to be. What is a woman? A woman is a butterfly’s wing. She is delicate and can be easily bruised. What is a woman? A woman is a gracious and growing thing. She is sick of not being paid, but she keeps working anyway. Some of us are black clouds. Some of us awake each morning with immense hope. What is a woman? A woman is a silver blaze. She can grow you back to your childhood. If you speak, she will give all her attention to you. She is neither an embrace nor a warning. This one cooks up a storm. That one? She always burns the rice. She is a feminist by day and an exotic dancer at night. We women? We are brilliant and confused. Dazzling and bedazzled. One day we will all be blown away.

    I have blessed to have so many important women in my life, and I have tried to capture pieces/parts of them all. Their complexities. Their insecurities. Their strengths, their weaknesses. But I love them all. I really do.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

      Oh Renee, I just love the way you phrased this reply. All of it is so true and you really have captured the essence of a woman. In mind mind the women like my mother are both strong and soft. Thank you for sharing these thoughts.

  4. patriciasands April 28, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    Bette, your words always go straight to the heart … here and in every book you write. I’m glad you made the comment about tucking a bit of your wonderful mother into the characters you create. I’ll be watching for her!

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

      Patricia, the same could be said for your books, they are just wonderful and The Promise of Provence is giving me a severe itch to return for another visit to France. One can’t help but fall in love with that beautiful countryside.

  5. Gail Johnston April 28, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    I, also, am lucky to have been raised by a mother who taught strength and independence and I believe my daughter would say the same. Now I see my son teaching his daughter these same values so he “got it” too! In the different places I have lived and at different stages in my life, I have met many women, some have become wonderful friends, others have come and gone; however, each woman had this strength and attitude – nurturing, supporting, going “the extra mile”, keeping the family together. I am blessed to have known many strong and independent women in my life.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

      Gail, I agree – the women in our lives are a special blessing and it is so awesome that you are sharing the love and strength that your mother gave you with your daughter. It is the most important inheritance a girl can have.

  6. Stella_ExLibris (@Stella_ExLibris) April 28, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    My grandma was a special lady. She lost both her parents in WWII when she was barely 20 and despite being all alone in the world she managed to survive and become the woman she was. She was incredibly well-read, elegant and had integrity despite her hardships. When my great-uncle told me for a moment he thought he saw her when seeing me at 18 walk towards him I couldn’t have been happier. I’m told I inherited my sharp mind, eye for detail and love for history and culture from her. She was a wonderful grandma, taking the time to talk with me about all the things of the world and she treated me as an adult even when I was a kid. She was my friend besides being my grandma. Sadly I lost her when I was only 9, but almost 20 years later I still miss her.

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

      Hi Stella, you are so fortunate in knowing a grandmother like that. All four of my grandparents passed away before I was born and I truly miss that I never knew them. This is especially true of my maternal grandmother because my mom told me such wonderful stories of her. In my heart I love her even though I nevere knew her.

  7. Kathleen Valentine April 28, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    I think “a woman is as strong as she has to be is correct.” Heaven knows I’ve had to be stronger at times than I thought I was capable of being.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

      How very true Kathleen, I’ve been in the same type of spot. We never wished for it and when it’s over and done with, we’re amazed that we made it through without falling to pieces. BTW – I read your book “Authur’s Story and just absolutely loved it! I would love to have you as a guest on my blog to share the story behind that story with my readers.

  8. emaginette April 28, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    Strong to the core. My grandmother was like that. She had a tough life and each event made her tougher. I hope I’m half as strong as her, cuz it would get me through anything.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

      That is exactly how my mom was. I don’t think she thought she was strong, but she really was. And every one of her life’s trials made her more capable of handling the next one.

  9. Gail Johnston April 28, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    …..as she needs to be! My grandmother was, my mother was, I believe I was and I now see my daughter, as strong and independent as any mother would wish for. I even see my son teaching his daughter the importance of strength and independence. I am blessed as you were. Thanks for this.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

      Gail that is such a beautiful thing to pass along to your children. I never knew any of my grandparents but from the stories my mother told, I truly loved my maternal grandmother. In my heart I see her as an earlier version of my mom. May your blessings continue as you reach that part of your life where you also can be a grandmother.

  10. jdh2690 April 28, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    I like to think I’m “as strong as I need to be.” Like my grandmothers and mother. They lived in different times, of course, but they went through the same “stuff” as I have (marriage, moving, financial difficulties, wars, births, raising children). Some things have also been different in modern times (divorce, step-parenting), but one thing I learned from the past and my forebears is that I must bend a little or else break. Not physically, necessarily, but mentally as well. That does not mean giving in to peer pressure or letting my moral standards slide…it just means trying harder to understand the present in light of the past…becoming more tolerant and foregiving…and find the strength to “go on.”

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

      Amen to what you have said, JDH. It is not always easy to find forgiveness or understanding but in finding it you often find richness of the heart and a strength you never believed yourself capable of. It’s so true about the changing times and changing challenges.

  11. Sandra Spilecki April 28, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    ..life demands her to be. She must meet each challenge head-on and never run from trouble but be ready for it. My mother always said she “didn’t raise weak children”. She was a strong woman and my sister and I don’t fall far behind. I raised strong children. I watch and wait to see if my grandchildren will fill the bill.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

      Sandra, I think our mothers must have been friends – mine said the same thing! When one of us did something totally dumb, she also used to say, “I didn’t raise any idiots, so get your act together!” Is there some school Moms go where they learn this stuff? I love hearing the various stories people tell about things their mom said – a favorite one is “Wear clean underwear so if you get hit by a bus and have to be taken to the hospital, I won’t be embarrassed.” I’m sure our generation will also find some gems like that to pass along.

  12. Jess Witkins April 28, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

    The woman that I always think of as strong is my sister. For starters, she has overcome cancer 3x! When other women were enjoying the wild, new lifestyle of college, my sister found out she had thyroid cancer at the age of 20. It came back 10 years later, and then another 3 after that. Each time, she’s had more surgery, more radiation, and more medication adjustments. Yet she has never acted or spoken of herself in terms of a victim. She’s never felt sorry for herself. And most excitingly, she is now expecting her second child. She may not think she’s brave, but to me she’s not only brave but inspiring. She is incredibly hard working and gone on to be the first woman in our family to receive her Master’s Degree. And I’m the proud godmother of her first daughter. Life has been anything but easy for her, and yet she goes out of her way to be a mentor for the new teachers she works with, to plan parties and share food with family and friends, and to try to build a stronger relationship with her husband. To me, she’s one phenomenal woman!

    Thanks for sharing your story! I popped over via Patricia’s blog!

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 30, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

      Bless her! She sounds like a wonderful person and I hope she continues to touch others like she has you.

    • Bette Lee Crosby May 8, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

      Congratulations Jess! I put names in a hat and you were the winner! I’ll be contacting you by email soon. Thank you for sharing your story.

      • Jess Witkins May 9, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

        Woohoo!!!! How exciting! Thank you and all the ladies from Her Books for celebrating female authors and women all over the globe! Such fun!

      • Dana Leal May 9, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

        Congratulations Jess!! Enjoy! 🙂

  13. Tina Connor Myers April 28, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    A strong woman is both powerful and soft..Love this saying!! Thanks for sharing this with all of us!!

  14. Dana Leal April 28, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    Your story sounds familiar to me, … My mother! She took on 4 and 5 jobs at a time to support her 3 children alone. I understand the making-do with what you have to make do with. My mother .. soft and gentle yet stern and firm. Mamma was all things wrapped into one little woman. A little package full of spit fire and dynamite. She made it look easy working 12 hour days and showing up to the school recitals and plays. I was always so proud of her. Her courage, determination, commitment to us, the way she smelled even. I am still to this day her biggest fan! She is my hero!

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 30, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

      Women’s experiences share so many threads and strength is just one of them. Mothers all over are heroes. Thanks for sharing!

  15. bn100 April 28, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    Lovely post. My grandma moved to another country without speaking the language, but she learned the language on her own, became a citizen, and raised me all while teaching me that she anything is possible

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  16. Sara April 28, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

    I am kinda stealing your answer! But a woman IS as strong as she HAS to be. My mom has Rheumatoid Arthritis. I remember going grocery shopping with her and many times in tears cause the bones in her knees were rubbing against each other and was so painful. She has had surgery to replace or fuse that can be done. She as gone through Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and was so had to get a colostomy bag. She has had to watch a daughter go through breast cancer (she survived) She is is constant pain and has had a pain pump put in her back that can relieve some of the pain but not entirely. And through all this she doesn’t complain, to much, she has her days like everyone else, but she always says there is someone else out there worse off than me. She is an amazing and STRONGEST woman I know!

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 30, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

      How inspiring to carry on and see the good in life no matter what. Thank you!

  17. Donna Jo Panzardo April 28, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    A women is as strong as she feels she needs to be.

  18. acorley84 April 28, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    A woman is as strong as she allows herself to be. I have struggled through a domestic violence relationship as a teenage, the loss of two of my very best friends in tragic accidents, as well as the loss of a child, and I have learned that I can make it through anything as long as I put my mind to it. My mother left me alone when I was 13 years old, so I am the only real role model I’ve ever had in my life, but I am a survivor, and I always will be. I would have never gotten there without the love and support of my friends and family but in the end, I had to make the choice to survive!

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 30, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

      Thank you for sharing your story! You’re a great reminder of what we can be through our choices.

  19. Catherine Lemanski April 28, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

    My mother-in-law is one of those strong women you talked about. She and her three sisters raised six children and countless foster children between them. They all lived in one house and had no man to help. They had a system that worked for them and I never heard a cross word pass between them. Even though she is suffering from rhemetoird arthritis in her hands she still manages to make meals for the needy in her church. I hope when I am her age, I have as much gumption as she does.

  20. Deborah Murrill Blanchard April 28, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

    My Mom always said ” when you think you have no strength left, just reach down deep inside yourself and you’ll find you have more”

  21. Darci paicebailey April 28, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    Strength of the mind is a definite gift that so many women possess and share with their children. There are many inspirational women in my life who take care of their family, work & continue to be involved in their community. Your characters possess that strength, wisdom and compassion.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 30, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

      Oh thank you Darci. I believe that strong characters make the best stories.

  22. KarenM April 28, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    My mom is strong enough to make it to 90 with an alcoholic father-in-law, husband and son. I can’t imagine being that strong, but I hope that I am.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 30, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

      It’s amazing what strength can do for us in our life. Bless her!

  23. Doreen April 28, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    A woman is as strong as a man, if not stronger. She can give birth after hours or days of labor. She can raise 4 children on her own and hold a job, cook dinner, keep the house clean, and even when she is sick, she can still do all that and more. My grandmother was and is that strong. I hope to have that kind of strength someday. 🙂

  24. shawaad April 28, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

    A woman is as strong as the situation demands. The women in my family are just so. My grandmother was a woman who reared 4 children, was a midwife for 27 years, lost her husband when she was 49 after around 20 years or so of marriage, and later 2 of her children yet she carried on, strong and determined that whatever came her way she would overcome. She was the last of her friends and next to the last of 14 siblings and a way of life that we read about in books. She fought valiantly for 100 years and 7 months before leaving to join her husband and 2 children.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

      Thank you for sharing this story Shawaaad. I can think of nothing sadder than a mother who has to bury her own children. I had an aunt who also lived through that and ultimately went on to see a ripe old age. My aunt buried all three of her children – one when she was just five years old. It’s a hurt those women carry in their heart every day, and most of the time they say nothing, wear a smile, and move on. That’s strength!

  25. jeannemiro April 28, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

    Hi Bette –

    I always thought I was a strong woman until my best friend Sheilah was facing terminal cancer. I had gone through cancer surgery several years before and she had always been there for me.

    When she was facing surgery of her own I went and stayed by her side after her operation. When the doctor came in the first thing she said was they had to pick out date for her chemotherapy.

    The first thing Sheilah did was lean over, pick up her pocketbook and take out her day planner. She looked at the doctor and said I have people to see and things to do so let me see where I can fit it into my schedule.

    Sheilah was given only a year to live. Well she ended up living for 5 more years and was there for the marriage of both her sons.

    Sheilah, you taught us all what true strength really is!

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

      Jeanne, I have to tell you I have a friend who is exactly like Sheilah – day planner and all. She also is going through a cancer ordeal that I would not wish on anyone. I think she might well be the bravest woman I know. ….Joann I am talking about you!

  26. Barrie April 28, 2013 at 8:07 pm #

    My mother has always been my hero and rock. Even now at 46, I still talk to her everyday and cherish her thoughts and support.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

      I love the description of your mother as a rock. That is probably the best description. Like it or not, we become the rock and the glue.

  27. Mary Roya April 28, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

    A woman is as strong as she needs to be. She is the healer of the family, she is the one everyone wants to be and every boy cries for his mother in time of need. God gave the woman the ability to be whatever she needs to be. I am honored to that my mother trained me to be the same. Great blog. Thanks roya-clan@sbcglobal.net

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

      You are fortunate to have a mother who trained you that way Mary. Although I think there is something inherent in being a woman that give us that instinct. Some women are no doubt a better mother than others might be, but I think we all have certain survival skills and a need to watch over those we love.

  28. Rita Wray April 28, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    My mother was a very strong woman, I don’t know how she did all she did. She is my inspiration so I would say A Woman is as strong as she has to be until she’s finished with all she has to do.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

      LOL – Rita, does a woman ever get finished? I don’t think so. There is almost always one last thing that needs doing before she goes to bed each night and even though she is the last one to bed, she is often the first one up.

  29. Andrea Minier April 28, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

    Boy, that is a question with a million answers. A woman is as strong as her toughtest moment. My best friend has had to deal with so much, a lost child, a very sick father and a mother who is legally blind. Through it all she remains, strong in her faith and family. She helps anyone who is in need. I strive every day to be like her.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

      I agree Andrea, Faith gives us more strength than we ever dreamed possible. You are fortunate to have such a friend and I hope you will share the words of this post with her. I think it would make her very happy to know that you feel this way.

  30. brendat59 April 28, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

    “A woman is as strong as the love of her family”….You never know how strong you will be, until you need to be. With my husband being in pain for many years, and now having had major back surgery, and I’m his full time carer, I feel a strength I didn’t know I had, and I know it’s because of the love of my family, and my love for my husband that is getting us through. With my mother’s strength throughout our lives, it’s a flow-on effect…something that comes to the fore when it’s needed.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

      Many women have agreed with this sentiment Brenda. It is so true, love of family makes us stronger than we ever thought possible. Witness the mother who can lift a car to free her toddler. When need be, love makes us strong physically and emotionally.

  31. Marie Pinschmidt April 28, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

    A mother is as strong as her LOVE. The degree of her love gives her the strength needed.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

      Beautiful way of putting it Marie. Even Our Lord said LOVE is the greatest commandment of all. Do that and all other things will follow.

  32. McGuffy Ann April 28, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

    A woman is as strong as she believes she is.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

      True, Ann. A lot of times we have no idea how strong we will be when the need arises and then when we meet challenge head-on, we are surprised to find ourselves not just standing, but victorious.

  33. Dawn Doyle April 28, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    A woman is as strong as she has to be. I agree with this statement…no, I BELIEVE in this statement. It is brought home to me by my sister, and the strength she has always had. I am the 5th of 6th children that my sister became a mother too at the tender age of about 12. Yes, my “mom” was there, but between work, drinking, getting high, and going out to party, my sister was the real mother. Working at a young age so me, my sisters and brother could take the bus to school in the winter, protecting us when my mom felt abusive and a million other things, my sister really was my mother. She grew up way before she was supposed to. She didn’t get a childhood, but she NEVER complained, she just did what she had to do. I will forever love her, and regret that she didn’t get a “mom” like we all had. I love you sis!

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

      Dawn, you sister sounds like an amazing woman. I think it is particularily admirable that she stepped up to the plate to care for her siblings, when a lesser person may have hidden their head in the sand. Please encourage your sister to read this post, as I think she would feel very proud of what she has done. All too often we carry the love and gratitude in our heart but don’t often take time to tell the person. Please send me your sister’s name – I have a little something I would like to send her.

      • Dawn Doyle May 1, 2013 at 3:07 am #

        Thank you Bette, she is an amazing woman 🙂 I did call her and let her know to come here to see a post I’d written about her. She was very touched. I don’t think I’d ever really let her know how much what she did meant to all of us, you are right about that. I am glad that this giveaway gave me the “kick in the pants” to let her know how I felt about her and what she did for all of her siblings. Where should I send her name? I’m not sure what email to send it to…and Thank you for recognizing her. I really appreciate it.

  34. Mary Preston April 28, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    A woman is as strong as she needs to be!! We struggle, we endure, we overcome. We are remarkable!!


    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

      Mary, I am smiling – my sentiments exactly. Women who do this make wonderful protagonists…the kind everyone loves!

  35. Maxie Lloyd-Hamilton Anderson April 28, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    I believe that a woman is as strong as life demands she be. She can do more than she ever thinks she can when a situation demands of her. I always looked at my mother as a strong woman, tho yet a tender-hearted one too! She married back in the 20’s when only 15 years old. She lost her mother when she was only 5 and,grew up to do whatever was needed at the time. She delivered her first child at just over 16, and things were not easy back then, as far as doctors and medicines. Then she went on to have 7 more.She went through the great depression and the great Dustbowl days while living in OK. She had her 8 children at home. No hospitals. When times were rough, which were many, she always found ways to keep us fed, tho not like people eat today.There were many trials in the time she lived in and harder even with so many children. My dad was a hard worker, and many times had to walk long distances to jobs, in order to make a living, so all of the child rearing was for her to do. We didn’t run to doctors back then. You did the best you could with what was available. She taught us to be strong and able to keep house and cook and all of the necessary things needed to be good wives and mothers.My dad made sure along with her that we were raised to know the Bible and GOD. When we needed correction he took care of that and talk us to respect our mother, others, and ourselves. Now, people are looked down on for spanking their children, and so many have no respect for others or the laws. If we needed spankings, when a talking to didn’t work it taught us to follow rules, and they raised 8 strong daughters and sons. Strong, dependable.respected, and loving people. None of us were
    ever in trouble with the law and have raised good strong children also.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

      Maxie, that is a great story. Families like your are what made America great. Those were tough times and just putting food on the table was a daily challenge. You are most fortunate to have grown up in such a family and your children are fortunate to have such a heritage passed along to them.

  36. Linda S Moore April 28, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

    First of all thank you for that wonderful and beautiful story Bette and to all for the wonderful giveaways… 🙂

    I didn’t have a mother that cared about me. I had a horrible mother. But I did have a foster mom that was a true, dear, sweet, wonderful lady in every way possible. She already had three biological children she was raising on her on and took me in, not really legally, but I was hers in every way that counted from the age of 10 until my mother finally made me come back to keep house and take care of her, my brothers and alcoholic stepdad. But I would rather talk about my mom, Lynda. She was the most amazing woman ever and everyone that ever met her loved her. She had several health issues one being RA(bad horrible in her hands) but nothing stopped her. She taught me what love was. What it was to have a family even if for a short time. I loved her so much and knew beyond a doubt that she did me too. She was always doing for anyone that needed her and was always on the go helping others and was there for all 4 of us. If she could have she would have kept me safe and away from my birth mother forever, but legally there was nothing she could do. We lost touch for a few years but after I married and moved to another town we was reunited and it was just like we had never been away from each other. She was the only grandmom that my daughter ever knew on my side and she loved her just like she did me. She got really sick a few years ago and we lost her. That was a terrible loss to so many people, not just to me. I could always talk to Lynda about anything and we talked on the phone every single day and sometimes a few times a day when we found each other again. Losing her was one of the most horrible things I ever went through and I miss her so much still. Her daughter and me are still very close and we see each other all the time. She was expecting her baby when we lost Lynda and that was so sad. Lynda was so happy with the thought of being a grandmother again. I know in my heart that she is still with us though. Anytime I feel down about anything I can think about her and I always know what she would tell me to do and I feel so much better. She gave me the strength to be a good mother, wife and person by always being honest with me. She never told me I was right if I did something wrong and that to me is what a real mom does. I don’t know what would have happened if I had not had her at a time when I truly needed someone to give me the love and guidance that a young girl needs, but she was and I will be grateful for that as long as I live. Sometimes a mother is not the one that gives birth to you, but the one that gives you life. Lynda gave me life when I thought I had nothing. Thank you my dear sweet wonderful mom, forever you are in my heart and in my thoughts.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

      Linda, yoou are quite right when you say bearing a child does not make a woman a mother, caring for and raising one does. I love that you took time to thank Lynda publicly for all she did for you. I hope her daughter has the chance to read your beautiful post. And, although Lynda is gone from this earth, I’m sure she knows exactly how you feel.

      • Linda S Moore April 29, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

        I know that Lynda is with me Bette and Renee, her daughter is like a sister to me and knows what Lynda meant to me. She was the most wonderful woman to do what she did for me. I will love her forever and always remember the things she taught me. 🙂 I got a little emotional writing that and worried that it would sound dumb. But nothing about what a mom does for you is dumb.

  37. TIFFANY M April 28, 2013 at 11:58 pm #


    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

      Tiffany, your post made me smile.It is short and sweet but definitely to the point and spot on.

  38. bratschespeilerin April 29, 2013 at 12:00 am #

    A women is as strong as meine Herze Mutti. The daughter of missionaries, she was born in Germany, traveled to India as a very young child, and then back to Germany at the outbreak of the War. She survived that, met meiner Herze Vatti at University in Western Germany (he got out of Berlin soon before the wall was built), and married. Soon after that, he was offered a position at UW – Madison, and they came over in 1969, expecting to stay just a few years and then go back. They’re still here. Margaret had good English when they got here, but she had to learn more to be able to work in her field of horticulture. Over the years, she and Klaus have had three beautiful daughters, who I consider my sisters (and they me), and taken me into their hearts and lives, and enriched my life so very much. I couldn’t make it without them. Now, Margaret faces the challenge of dealing with that insiduous disease of Parkinson’s as it ever so slowly takes Klaus from us. While it’s not too bad right now, she knows all too well what is to come, somewhere down the road, and will face the agonizing decisions necessary with a strength of mind I wish I had half of.



    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

      Lynn, stories like that of Margaret are so often lost to the passage of time. It’s so wonderful that you have shared hers here. Aging illness is such a heavy burden, Margaret is fortunate that she has you and her daughters to help her stand strong for whatever lies ahead.

  39. Kai W. April 29, 2013 at 12:28 am #

    My mother has always been a strong woman. She has survived World War II when the Japanese occupied China. It is hard to image what she has seen and experienced since she was four years old and for six years. That is probably why WWII fascinates me so much.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

      Kai, that era spawned many strong women. They had to be strong because the alternative was unthinkable. It’s tragic that she had to go through it as a child. I’m sure she has had to move beyond many hidden scars.

  40. Linda Rorex April 29, 2013 at 1:05 am #

    I met Prime Minister Indira Gandhi when she visited Los Angeles and was inspired by her helping women in her country.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

      Hi Linda, I’ll bet many women (and men) have been inspired by Indira Gandhi, so I don’t think you’re alone on this one.

  41. Deborah Murrill Blanchard April 29, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    What a wonderful post about your Mom. My Mom was my rock. She still is, but with angels wings. I could talk to her about anything and she was always there to listen. She was more than just a Mom, she was my best friend. There is no friendship like the friendship you have with your Mom. I am lucky enough to have that loving kind of friendship with my own daughter now. I credit my Mom for all that I am, as a person and as a Mom. Mom, if you’re listening, I Love You.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

      Deborah, this post touched my heart. I’m sure your mom heard you. I dedicated my favorite novel “Spare Change” to my Mom even though she’s been gone many years. I’m certain she knows the dedication is there, even though she’s never read or seen the book.

  42. Doug Glassford April 29, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    First let me say Bette, your article is as right on as it is endearing. Next, I would like to say that I am a first time visitor and a 60 year-old man. I hope this doesn’t exclude me from joining in. As a storyteller and avid reader I do not shy away from stories targeted to women. I am so blessed to have been surrounded by strong beautiful women my entire life… and, I am gratefully married to one.

    Just like most of the of those who have posted her, including you, Bette, I have to say that a woman is a strong as my Japanese mother who is a youthful 83. She has been the quiet inspiration in my life as well as that of my brothers and only sister. Strong mothers also produce strong sons.

    My amazing mother has survived so many struggles including the loss of her spouse of 50 years on their wedding anniversary in 2001. She survived losses of her older siblings in WW2 Japan, including cousins whose only evidence they were home during the blast at Nagasaki was their scorched skeletal outlines as chalklines in the ash. Other members of her household died of disease and starvation.

    When my father brought home to Northwest Indiana where he was raised, she suffered at the slights of the small town ignorance of those who blamed her and her young children for their loses in a war that broke out when she was only seven. My mother was always polite and refused to talk against them or my father’s siblings and extended family that caused her grief. She is truly a person who practices the old saw: “If you can’t say anything good about someone, then say nothing at all.”

    Through my years growing up with a mother who judo-chopped me as needed instead of using a switch or a belt, I learned that in many situations size and sex did not often matter. My mother is 4’8″ on the outside but she is 8’4″ on the inside. She has recently survived colon cancer, had at least one stroke years back and suffered heart attacks and overcame breast cancer through prayer and determination.

    If I want comfort she is there. If I want sympathy I don’t seek it from her. She will tell me to tell my body to shut up and tell the devil to go. I have never met a tougher or more tender person than my beloved mother… and, I thank God for her every single day.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

      Doug, with such a beautiful response there is simply no way I could exclude you from participating. This is an awesome story of your mother. She sounds like someone I would love to know. I am delighted to have you aa a follower. Some of my most eloquent reviews have come from men with understanding hearts and a sensitivity about emotional issues. Your wife is a very lucky woman. And, by the way – my mom was the same about us looking for sympathy. If we came to her whining about one thing or another, she’d say “Get over it.” and that was the end of that.

  43. Kelly B April 29, 2013 at 11:19 am #

    I had the honor of meeting and becoming a friend to a wonderful woman that I had met through a new friend at church. (That was a bit confusing huh?) This woman I will call R and she wanted to start a book group for anyone interested in becoming empowered and wanted to grow. The book group is based on Louise Hay’s teaching and R brought more insight and wisdom along with the teaching. R, passed away right before Easter this year and I still feel a big loss. When she shared her story with us, I understood where she came from and how she felt. She shared how one day everything turned around and she never looked back. She did things that weren’t done by women during that timeframe and it never stopped her. There were a few men that were in her profession that took her under their wings and helped her soar. This woman was a big bundle of joy and love. She loved everyone and never met a stranger. Once you met her, you adored her. In the short time that I got to know her, she has helped me grow. I still have a long way to go, but she has gotten me started on that path. Thankfully our book group is continuing and I am blessed to call them all my friends. I love this group and hope we continue meeting each Sunday afternoon. It warms my heart and blesses my soul.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

      Kelly that is such a beautiful story. I had a friend like that, an older woman who long ago passed away, but I think of her still. She was wise beyond her years and she gave me the love she would have given a daughter if she’d had one. When her husband died he left her almost penniless and for a month or more she lived out of a shopping bag and went from house to house staying with friends. That woman was unbelievably strong and I am happy to say that she ultimately was rewarded for all she had endured.

  44. Shaila April 29, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    A woman is as strong as she dictates herself to be. There was once a women I knew, she is no longer with us. She suffered a life of violence from the one person she thought loved her as much as she loved him. Her hardships and exhaustion got the best of her. But she fought. Every breath she took was work and effort, and when she did finally depart this world, it wasn’t without her consent. Till this day, her word ring in my head as loud as a gunshot, ” never bow down to what you don’t believe in and have faith in yourself, as faith gives you a world of choice, a world full of strength to decide your life, and no one can take that from you.” My grandma never feared what would become of her, as long as it was defined by her own actions.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 30, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

      Thank you for sharing! I loved her saying. Faith in yourself is so important.

  45. Patti P April 29, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    I think it is very difficult to describe women’s strength. We have to be physically strong and withstand things like; hard work, house cleaning, yard work, and child birth. We also have to be emotionally strong and deal with heartbreak, love, loss, ,friends problems, family needs, child’s woes and hurt feelings. Mentally strong having a great mind, maybe a career outside the home and holding all things together when it seems like everyone else is too tired or too busy to handle what has to be done. And we are expected to do it all with little sleep and a smile on our face. Some of us get little or no training and I know that some have no role model and still managed to do it which is amazing. We are master magicians capable of pulling off amazing feats and if we are lucky our families recognize our value.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 30, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

      “We are master magicians capable of pulling off amazing feats and if we are lucky our families recognize our value.” So true!

  46. edythewhalen April 29, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    A woman is a strong as a Humming bird and as gentle as a butterfly. I fly with wings that beat so fast they cannot be counted. My tasks are many. I fly sideways, forward, backward, and even motionless my wings still beat. I am restless in my jobs and accomplish much. The beauty of the butterfly. Her slow, melody of song as her wings sway to and fro. My wings slow and I sway with the music of my color and song.

  47. Celina K April 29, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    A woman is as strong as she believes herself to be. ACtually..I take that back. Women are generally much stronger than they believe they are. My mother, for example, has been through so much in her life. I don’t believe she would ever call herself a strong woman, and I couldn’t disagree more.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 30, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

      It’s true sometimes we don’t acknowledge it ourselves but it doesn’t make it less true.

  48. Doug Glassford April 29, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    I just wanted you to know that I posted about your article and my enjoyment of it on my blog at: http://dougglassfordstoryteller.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-woman-is-as-strong-as.html

  49. Theresa April 29, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    A woman is as strong as she needs to be to face what life throws at her. I’ve been told many times that I’m strong or I need to be strong for my family, but I don’t feel strong. I’ve lost two sons, most recently my youngest who had moved back in with me after losing his home. He killed himself while I was on vacation. I’m in therapy with people asking me if I’m suicidal because I’ve been diagnosed with severe depression due to profound grief. I’m not because my remaining children and my elder Mom couldn’t take it if something happened to me right now. A woman has to be seen as strong to family and the public, but can let go in private.

  50. Linda Foust April 29, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    I feel a woman is as strong as her Faith. When she gets up each day putting all worries in His hands, she can overcome obstacles in her way. Nothing can beat her down as long as she has the Faith that He is beside her, walking the path with her, and carrying her when she gets weak.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 30, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

      Faith plays a big role in my character’s lives for that very reason.

  51. billie April 29, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

    I’m not really sure what I could compare to a woman’s strength. I’m not sure you could compare it to anything. It’s incomparable. My grandma was a strong lady. She passed away Feb. 17th. this year. I miss her so much, she was the last mother figure I had in my life. I loved to listen to her stories and her experiences of life. She was full of wisdom.
    She went through a lot in her life, including losing her son to cancer when he was in his late 30’s.I’m not sure how she did it. I’m not sure if I could face the day in that circumstance, but she did. She was always there for me, especially after my mother passed away.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 29, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

      Billie, I think sometimes a woman never really knows how strong she is until she is in that type of situation. After hearing about your’re grandmother, I’m betting there’s a little piece of her inside of you and when you need it most, it will surface. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story.

  52. kitten18blog April 29, 2013 at 11:54 pm #

    I believe a woman is as strong as she needs to be, but her heart, will, determination, faith, family, friends, trials, & tribulations give her this strength.

  53. Rachel Thompson (@RachelintheOC) April 30, 2013 at 1:55 am #

    Wonderful post, Bette. I could relate to the comments about your mother — I had a wonderfully strong, interesting grandmother and my mom is amazing. Sadly, I didn’t inherit her cooking abilities 🙂 but thankfully, I now live just around the corner.

    So honored to be part of this group with you!

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 30, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

      Oh cooking isn’t everything! o.~ This has been a great event, thank you!

  54. Kayla West April 30, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    A woman is as strong as her attitude toward life. My grandmother is a wonderful woman who does not let hard times get her down. She is always wearing a big smile on her face, and takes each day with a grain of salt. She is probably the strongest woman I know of, and I am so proud to have her in my life.

  55. Rachelle Lerner April 30, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    I loved your story about your mother.
    A woman is as strong as a diamond because it is a hard substance. My Curves owner, Dawn Egan is such a woman. She has been very supportive of her husband who has many problems and has raised a wonderful daughter. Her daughter was found to have some learning issues in college and Dawn has been there for her. She makes sure the older members get something on their birthdays. She even managed to come to work a few mornings during the beginning stages of chemotherapy and radiation for sinus cancer. She has just finished her last treatments and is suffering from burning due to the radiation but still took the time to wish my husband well during his tests at the VA. Her husband has been helping her and so have some of family at Curves. She makes us feel like we are a family.

    • Bette Lee Crosby April 30, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

      Family and friends who are like family, is so important especially when we’re going through a crisis. Thank you for sharing!

  56. Emily Breder April 30, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

    A good woman is strong enough to know when to step back and let her loved ones learn from their mistakes. As a mother and wife, sometimes that’s the hardest thing to do – to not soften the blow of the consequences of my loved one’s actions.

    So often we wish an easier life for them than the one we had, only to bemoan their shallower character for not having lived as full a life later on. The middle way is to be there to catch them when they fall, but not deny them the learning experience that comes with watching a bad choice come back on them.

    • Bette Lee Crosby May 2, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

      Oh I know, learning from mistakes is a necessity of life. You probably learn more from them than anything else.

  57. melly801 May 1, 2013 at 11:47 am #

    A Woman Is As Strong As Faith, Hope, and Prayer. Don’t ever think you can’t do something or handle anything, Ladies. And don’t ever let anyone push you down!!

  58. Liz15000 May 1, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

    Her love for her family.

  59. tricia May 1, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    When I was a kid, I had a best friend who was a mean girl. I never really knew what friendship was until I moved to a new town for high school and met Cheryl. I met her on the very first day of school. Over the next four years, we navigated high school together and the whole time, she modeled for me a way that I wish all girls and women would treat one another. With praise, with support, with kindness. Cheryl and I remain close, although we have lived in different towns all of our adult lives. As an adult, I have had opportunities to have friendships with women who are snarky, a little biting, a little cruel. But I just won’t abide it. Women are awesome, we should be kind to one another. Life is too short to have toxic relationships. I know have a strong network of female friends, and I owe so much of that to Cheryl.

    • Bette Lee Crosby May 1, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

      I agree with you 100% Tricia. It’s a shame that some females behave the way “the mean girl” did – but we shouldn’t allow one bad apple to spoil the barrel. There are few things as rewarding as a BFF.

  60. Janie McGaugh May 1, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    A woman is as strong as she needs to be.

  61. Roni Lynne May 1, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

    My mother has always inspired me. She left an unhappy marriage to raise her children on her own, often working double shifts at the local convenience store to make ends (barely, most times) meet. She’s a very personable woman who makes a lasting impression wherever she goes. I’ve always known I can make it on my own, no matter how challenging the circumstance, because I grew up watching my mother do just that!

    • Bette Lee Crosby May 2, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

      She was an inspiration not only to you but I’m sure everyone she came in contact with.

  62. Crystal Woodmancy May 1, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    My Grandma is my inspiration. She taught me that going out of your way to help someone in need will lead to a rewarding life. If you live life without worry, God will provide for you, and he has with my family. If I have it to give, I do, without worry of it being returned. I am hoping that my kids will pick that up in time also. 🙂

    • Bette Lee Crosby May 2, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

      My mother taught us to be aware of others who need help as well. I’m sure you’ve taught your kids well. 🙂

  63. Nikki Greis May 2, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    I feel like I’ve written time and time again about the women how have changed my life. But here’s a story I haven’t told yet: my grandmother.

    My grandmother has been through hell and back and stayed strong the entire time. There has been a lot of death and tragedy in her life. One brother died in a car crash when he was a teen, another died when he was crushed by a wrecking ball. The latter’s toddler son passed away shortly after his own death when he was hit by a car while riding his tricycle. Her sister Patty died of cancer, leaving three young children behind. Her father died of black lung, and her mother died of COPD. Recently, she has lost a number of cousins as well as another brother. Yet through all this pain, she remained a strong woman and held on to her faith.

    She has been married three times, twice to men that probably couldn’t even spell ‘abuse.’ To this day I’ve never met my biological grandfather, because when they divorced she escaped him forever. Her third husband, the man I knew as my Grandfather, was an amazing man. When he died in 1999, his brothers refused to help his mother, my Great-Grandma. So my grandma took her mother-in-law under her wing and stayed by her side until the day she died in 2008.

    My grandmother has also helped us through a number of emergencies, like my brother’s near-death accident that put him into a coma for six weeks and changed his life forever. She was at the NICU every single day when my brother was there (born at 29 weeks, stayed in the hospital 12 more) and my own daughter (born at 30 weeks, came home after 35 days). She was at the hospital for every seizure my sister had, ever twist or sprain I had, every bump and bruise my daughter has had.

    My grandma is not very young anymore. At 68, she is plagued with COPD and diabetes. She’s whittled away to nothing, barely passing the 100 lb. mark on any given day. She carries an oxygen tank with her everywhere, and can’t stop the tremors that run in her hands. But I’m blessed, because my grandmother still makes the 30 miles trek everyday to our house. You see, my grandmother is also my daughter’s babysitter and has been from the day she was born. She has trouble keeping up with Cora sometimes, but wouldn’t give it up for the world.

    This may not be a heart-warming story, but it’s her story. My grandma is a strong willed fighter and the foundation of our family. Each and every day when my daughter wakes up and asks where “Mawmaw” is, I smile because I remember asking my mom the same question, and knowing that Mawmaw is probably already on her way.

    • Bette Lee Crosby May 2, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

      Your grandmother will leave a rich legacy of strength and inspiration to everyone she’s touched. Thank you for sharing!

  64. Crystal J. Otto May 2, 2013 at 10:30 pm #

    Diamonds. And just as beautiful !!!!

    • Bette Lee Crosby May 2, 2013 at 10:33 pm #

      Aw, thanks Crystal. I am now off to follow your blog and stay up on all the news

  65. Lynsey Peterson May 2, 2013 at 11:45 pm #

    A woman is as strong as the adversity thrown at her and then one step tougher. I am living proof that no matter what life throws at you, it is never too late to overcome and even thrive. I survived years of abuse by my now ex-husband and one of the nastiest divorces ever being screwed every which way by my own lawyer as well as my family who I thought were there to support me. My kids are what pulled me through. It was because of them I got away from the abuse and was able to find true love. I still have a lot of healing in front of me, but I’m no longer afraid. Life is all about how you take it and I choose to make the best of it.

    • Bette Lee Crosby May 3, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

      Children really do draw out the strength in a person. Thanks for sharing!

  66. Open Up Life May 3, 2013 at 8:40 am #

    A Woman- strong as the love she gives to others, no matter the circumstance in her own life. She cares with the all of her heart, while radiating a beautiful smile. My grandmother was a true stronghold in my younger years. Her life was rocky, but she always was there for me. My mother and I love and learn from each other every day. She is my best friend and glad that she is my mother.

    • Bette Lee Crosby May 3, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

      The power and strength of love, there’s nothing else like it. Thanks for sharing!

  67. Joder May 4, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

    A Woman Is As Strong As she needs to be given the situation. When a life or death situation arises a woman can call on unused and unbeknownst to her strength. When a childhood accident left me a quadriplegic my tiny mother lifted a 100 pound tractor tire off me to keep me alive.

  68. Bette Lee Crosby May 8, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

    I tossed the names into a hat and we have a winner. Congratulations to Jess!

    I want to thank all of you that took the time to leave a comment. I really enjoyed reading your stories. They were moving and touching and inspirational. Thanks for making this a great event.

    I’m planning on running some monthly giveaways so stay tuned….


  1. A Woman Is As Strong As __________? | DustIn LeVent - April 29, 2013

    […] A few moments ago I clicked on an email link that took me to: http://betteleecrosby.com/2013/04/27/celebrating-the-strength-of-women/ […]

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