I have known this woman since I was ten years old and she amazes me more every year. She was born on a farm in Wisconsin, boarded in town to go to high school. She went on to nursing school and was an Army nurse in the Phillipines during WWII. She later went into public health nursing, including a period providing services to migrant workers in the bracero program.
When she married and became a stay at home wife, she and her husband became our neighbors and close family friends. As my life progressed she became my confidante, my "other" mother and my best friend. She taught me most of what I know about housewifery, she taught me how to be a feminist (though she never would have called it that, she just was one), she showed me the value of higher education both academic and practical and she supported me through some of the most difficult parts of my life.
She is 96 years old now and has been challenged by many significant health problems in the past few years, but she never gives up, never stops trying and never says never. She is stubbornly insistent on continuing to be independent and I am fortunate in being allowed to help her achieve that.
My hero, my role model, my friend.