“When you’re a middle aged woman with three children, you can’t go off to the base of Mt Everest to find yourself.”
Alexandra Fuller, author of Don’t Lets Go to the Dogs Tonight
As Mother’s Day approaches, I thought about how women find their own heroes. We avidly read and watch movies about true survival–Louie Zamperini in “Unbroken”, Aron Ralston in “127 Hours” or frontiersman Hugh Glass in “the Revenant”–because we wonder how we would survive? How would we act in such terrible conditions? But as Alexandra Fuller noted in her interview with Book Circle Online, while these male survival stories are well-known and dramatic, women’s stories are often overlooked. Women think about their children before putting themselves in physical danger or undertaking a challenge. A woman’s inner journey is as important as the mountain climbed. Or if a woman does survive danger, her story is discounted. We need to read women’s survival stories to find our own heroes.
Tei Fujiwara, a mother of three small children, was forced to test her physical, intellectual and emotional strength when she and her family became refugees in North Korea at the end of WWII. Expecting not to survive, she wrote down her story in the hope that her young children would gain strength from this remarkable account after her death. But instead of dying and her story disappearing into the attic, Tei’s memoir was published, became a bestseller in Post-war Japan and has now been translated into English. Tei not only survived, her story inspired an entire generation of war-weary Japanese as they rebuilt their nation into an industrial giant. As of this writing, Tei at 98 years old, is still alive in a senior home in Tokyo, although she suffers from Alzheimers. The paperback version of Tei, a memoir of the end of war and beginning of peace is available for a special sale price of $9 through the Facebook Page.