“I have come a long way since my life as a single mother, but I have never forgotten all I had to do to give my children the life and security they deserved, and that I deserved.”
Susan Hickman Sater, Published Writer and Retired Business Administrator — In a world that continuously moves forward and faces new challenges with every generation, it’s surprising that we still have to take stands to have our voices heard as women. We have come so far, but we must keep striving to unite our arms together and believe in the strength within us, regardless of anyone or anything that attempts to keep us from being all that we are meant to be in life. Sacajawea is a wonderful example of a woman who had great strength, and her story is such an inspiration. I am honored to have an opportunity to share my thoughts on this site.
As a woman, I have endured many moments in life when I have had to reach deep within my soul to find the strength to endure sadness, betrayal, disrespect, disappointment, failures, and grief. From the time I was a little girl, I have prayed faithfully that God would guide me in the direction that I was to follow, and would provide me with the strength needed for my life journey. Even in despair and moments of weakness, I believed I could rise above anything that tried to shadow darkness around me, and I knew with certainty that I would always need to maintain a positive attitude, with faith and determination.
At times, I had great challenges to face (in my childhood, my teen years, and in my adult years), but I never turned away from what I believed I could accomplish. The experiences that I went through of sorrow and frustrations certainly tried my patience and left me with feelings of loneliness. The best solution for me during those times was to face things just as they were. Then I knew I had to figure out how to make things better, and how to lift my spirit. Family and friends, and the good things in life can certainly bring joy back into our life — and that joy and the belief in ourselves, as well as in our tomorrows, can be a great strength to help us endure some of life’s most difficult moments.
Now that I am in my senior years, I look back on my life pathways and can see how they connected with each other. Each path helped me to prepare for the next. Each one held its own weight in wisdom. And each one had women who represented such strength to me, and who became wonderful role models to look up to. My life began with strong women in our family, and our ancestral bloodlines of women include a Ute tribe ancestor, European ancestors from England, Germany, Italy, and Ireland. Plus, I personally have witnessed and learned from five generations of women in my lifetime here in Indiana. Most of it was learned through their examples, their faith, their loyalty, and their love. Through them, and through my own life experiences, I appreciate how important a woman’s role is as a mother, a grandmother, an aunt, a friend, a sister, and a wife. We must always be there for each other with support, encouragement, and love — especially when difficult times attack our well-being.
One of the most difficult moments in my life was when my first marriage failed. My husband left me to raise our two small children on my own. During that time, I had to lean on the strength of my faith to endure moments that would have otherwise been too difficult to bear alone. There were times when I didn’t even know how I would survive those moments but during those times my paths connected to other women who helped me with employment, with building up my self-esteem, and with friendship. I have never forgotten those women, and have never stopped appreciating how we were there for each other.
Nor have I ever taken lightly the two greatest blessings I have received in life; my children. I wanted to be the best mother I could be to my daughter and son. I still strive to be what they need me to be as their mother in their adult years, and now as their children’s grandmother. But, there were many years during their childhood when I had to work hard to provide for our family of three. Being a single mother for twenty years, I had to learn to climb over many hurdles to succeed in the challenges that life threw at me, but I never felt I was doing it all alone. I held on to my faith and the strength that I felt from family and friends who were there for me, especially when I needed emotional support. With such strength behind me, my bond with my children grew, and our family of three not only survived but we prospered. My children grew into wonderful, responsible adults. I am so proud of them both and have felt such blessings from all that we shared and continue to share today. And when my paths have crossed with another woman who needs encouragement, or another woman is going through something similar to what I have been through, I am thankful to be able to help her in any way that I can.
In addition to this, I also was blessed with a second husband in my life. We have been married for sixteen years and together for over twenty years. Our marriage extended my little family into a larger family that now includes five adult children and their spouses, and a dozen grandchildren. We both recently retired, and I have more time today to sit back and reflect on my life. It is good to be able to look back and see the gifts that have been received, and the accomplishments that have been achieved, and the blessings of strength that await us when we reach out for it.
I have come a long way since my life as a single mother, but I have never forgotten all I had to do to give my children the life and security they deserved, and that I deserved. There were times when I had to work several part-time jobs for income during my children’s childhood while I also attended college. And, there were times when I had to work very long days in my business profession as my children grew into their teen years and then into their early adult years. On top of regular work, I was given the opportunity to do some freelance writing that turned into extra income over the years. I believe with everything in me, my writings were a gift given to me, to use for inspiration to others, as well as comfort and expressions of love. My writings began with greeting cards, calendar thoughts, and poetry. Then as the years went on, I narrowed my writings down to one publishing company that had been publishing my poetry and writings for over thirty years.
Now that I am retired, I am taking on new writing challenges and hope that my thoughts will continue to offer inspiration and encouragement to others, especially to women. Today, more than ever, we need to support each other with love and kindness. I continue to live each day of my life believing that each step I take, each word I share, and each smile I offer will be a blessing to someone….just as Sacajawea was, and will continue to be when people hear of her journey and achievements.