By Pamela Muñoz
They are my steel women. No, they are not Ironman relatives, they are far from it. But they are two women made of pure steel, resistant to whatever, wonderful examples. Both were left alone orphaned as children. Their lives have not been easy. However, nothing has stopped them.
Carmen and Irene are two very valuable and admirable women, a very important part of my family. Carmen is my maternal grandmother and Irene my great-aunt -maternal too-, although for me, and for my family in general, they are my grandmothers alike, or “totes,” as my nieces call them affectionately.
From an early age, Carmen and Irene had to find a way to keep up, working in homes, restaurants and factories, always accompanying each other. When they grew up, they took separate paths, but always keeping an eye on each other.
My grandmother Carmen gave birth to my uncle and my mother, while my grandmother Irene got married and soon widowed, after that life reunited them. My mom tells me that my grandmother Irene was also like a mother to the family. Irene took care of her food, education and maintenance, and even took care of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
When my uncle and my mom were very young, these powerful women started a small clothing business in the center of Mexico City, which was their main source of income for more than fifty years. Tireless, every day they went to their work, whether it rained, trembled or flashed (a very Mexican expression). Until the 90th birthday of my grandmother Carmen, when they finally decided to stop working.
Carmen and Irene have been my source of inspiration, discipline and perseverance. I have never seen such stronger, tireless, enterprising and independent women. Who have taught me the value of work, perseverance and discipline to get ahead and take home the best for their teachings. They have left me as a teaching; the love for the family and the beautiful complicity that there can be between sisters, as companions of life.
Currently, Irene with 90 years old and Carmen with almost 92, remain self-sufficient, deciding on themselves; and I hope that God keeps them that way until the last day of their lives, being my steel women.
Pamela Muñoz Graphic Designer
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