The most inspiring and strongest woman I know is my grandmother, Brigida, pictured here at 20 years old in 1955. She left her home, family, and friends in Cuba to start a new life in the United States with her two young sons. She felt she needed to escape communism and feared for her sons' lives. All young men were forced to join the military, and at the time Cuba seemed to be heading into a war with the US. She was able to make a new life for herself and her two sons in West New York in New Jersey. She is incredibly stubborn, loving, and determined—all traits I believe helped her on her journey to better the lives of those around her. Once financially stable, she sent supplies back to Cuba to help her family improve their living conditions. She has always helped others and never asked for anything in return. She's my role model and best friend.
Yeoun Won is a true artist who paints her life so beautifully that anyone she interacts with becomes more vibrant and finds their true colors. She believes in the goodness of all people. She stands by people through their darkest time and guides them to the brighter side with her wisdom and love. She believes in people even when they doubt themselves. She teaches me how to cherish my being, care for others, and when to let go and stand up for the people I love. Thanks to her, I am growing to be a better person every day. I'm grateful and proud to be able to call this amazing woman, 엄마 (Umma, mom in Korean).
Consolacion Cervantes Micua (1903-2005). Woman. Daughter. Teacher. Sister. Seamstress. Wife. Community Leader. Mother. Traveler. Lola (Grandmother). Dancer. Great Grandmother. Filipina. Matriarch. Immigrant at 78 years old. Survivor of WWI, WWII, various occupations of the Philippines, and everything in between. Caretaker. Lover of Golden Girls and Whose Line Is It Anyway. Jersey City senior citizen. Banaba leaf tea drinker. Keeper of family memory. Sinigang (sour soup) maker. Open mind. Ampalaya (bitter melon) slayer. Integrity. Story-teller. Compassion. My La.