To The Women Before Me

Leanne Pittman Personal Story Self-Care

Do you know?

~I am eternally grateful to the women before me who fought for my rights~ 

Have you thought about just how strong those women were?  Where do you think they got it from?  The strength.  A forward thinking family perhaps?

I went to our family farm for the last time this past summer.  The Spence farm has been sold.  It had been in our family for well over 100 years.  It was time to let it go, everyone who farmed has retired, including the people who’ve leased quarter sections and farmed.  I knew I wanted to go, I had no idea what I actually headed to.  This summer, the last reunion at the farm, had 400+ people. Everyone from cousins to former farmhand family members to community surrounding showed up to say good-bye.  It was great and sad and the lessons….

What would a farm have to do with strong women?  EVERYTHING!

My grandmother was born the year Alberta became a Province in Canada, 1905 and named accordingly.  Her parents passed away approx. 3 years of each other.  My grandma became one of the first women in the Province to own land.  It was illegal for women to purchase property at that time.  Her parents left her a section with a house on it and her brother a section where a house was built directly across a dirt road. She was young and lived with her brother until she married my grandfather, Gordon Spence. 


I love that she got that start in life.  She passed away when I was 1.  I have no memories of her directly however, she put forward the strength she was given by her parents.  My mom became a teacher and met my father, who was an accountant.  They dated for about 5 years before becoming engaged.  They set a date to be married.  My mom was offered an opportunity to live and travel in the UK.  She initially said she couldn’t because they planning a wedding.  Her parents took a page from our family tree and advised her to put the wedding off and travel.  Who did that back then?  My grandparents did.  She went and has said, she came back more prepared to have a family.   My parents have been married for over 50 years.I am first to admit I assumed they got married, he bought a farm and they settled in.   In fact we all did.  My uncle Don started telling the story, within three sentences he had all eyes on him!  My grandparents were married, they moved onto HER farm & settled.  For the rest of her life the money made off milk from cattle sold was sent in cheque form, made out to Alberta Spence!  They bought up all the quarter sections touch the original land.  It became the Spence farm.  When she passed away the original homestead was still in her name.

Listening to our family dynamic, it suddenly made sense how SO many strong women came from our family. My great grandparents were WAY ahead their time.  Forward thinking.  The men in our family were raised to respect and encourage women.  Our foundation is concrete with bricks, mortar and more concrete.

I am so thankful for all the women before me who fought for my rights.  I am eternally grateful to be a member of a family who nurtured women to be independent, strong and smart.  We are all better because of this.

I challenge you to ask your family history….


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