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My mom continues to teach me and my sister (and two brothers) about the strength of a woman who believes in herself and what she is capable of doing. My mother dropped out of high school her sophomore year to get a job in a drugstore and help support her family after my grandfather died. In her early 20s, she married my father, and despite the fact that she was a "city girl," agreed to move with him to a small farm seven miles outside my tiny hometown of Ackley, Iowa. I've watched this 5'2'' woman throw bales of hay and shovels of manure. She stayed up with sows all night to help them give birth, and she still made it to all our ball games, plays and 4-H activities. When something needs done, my mom just steps up without ever questioning whether she can do it.

My parents are in their 70s now, but they still live on the farm. They call it being "semiretired," but it would look a lot like work to most people. They do take time to travel now, but it is still centered around visiting family and friends. I am a 51-year-old doctoral student at Ball State, and if there is ever a day when I'm not sure I can do something "at my age," all I have to do is call my mother and there is no doubt in my mind that I can do what needs to be done.

Karen Neubauer; Anderson, Indiana


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