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An Appreciation of Women

Updated on October 3, 2013

I am an observer of human nature. In truth I think I have always been and I hope I always will be. I find humans fascinating and the more I observe the more I come to the realization that we are all alike in so many ways. Despite the masks we wear from time to time we all have some very basic similarities. We laugh….we cry….we hope….we have dreams….we love….we hurt….we experience pain and joy and we all have the capacity for compassion and empathy as well as cruelty and selfishness.

Watching others struggle between their higher calling and their need for self-gratification, not in an attempt to judge but rather in hopes that I might learn more about myself, makes me realize that finger-pointing is a rather enormous waste of my energy. I cannot in good faith judge others until I judge myself and oftentimes I will come away from the experience realizing that it is I who has work to do rather than others.

I have only reached this realization by understanding the importance of humility and how it is the polar opposite of ego. With humility comes peace of mind. With humility comes a quietness of heart. With humility comes a willingness….no, a need….to help others rather than the self-serving nature of the ego.

It has taken me decades to reach the point in my life where humility outweighs ego and for the most part I now have that long-sought peace of mind. I am now free to appreciate the finer things in life, things that cost nothing other than the time and effort to discover them. One of my discoveries along this journey is the appreciation I now have for women. They really are extraordinary creatures and I shudder at the thought of not having some very courageous and loving women in my life. If you don’t mind I’m going to take you along with me as we take a look at my observations over time regarding women.


My sister Darlys
My sister Darlys | Source

Let’s Go Back in Time

Without a doubt the first woman of any significance in my life that I can remember was my mother. To say that she loved me would be a disservice to her; she in fact adored me and remained my number one fan until the day she died in 2003.

When I think about my mother there is one word that comes to mind more than any other and that word is unconditional. Her love for me had no requirements and came with no price tag. She loved me despite my transgressions and selfish acts and she loved me long before I learned to love myself. For decades she was the quiet anchor that gave me refuge from the stormy life I had created. No matter the crisis, usually self-inflicted, no matter the mistakes and self-destructive behavior, the one safe harbor for me was my mother.

My mother was the first glimpse I had into the unselfish nature of good women. She gave of herself, often at great sacrifice, and then would give again and again, always there for me, always providing support, always providing love. Mind you I didn’t really see this when I was young; one grows up taking this kind of love for granted. It’s what we expect from parents and especially from mothers. They are always in our background loving us, going quietly about their lives providing comfort for their children. The real abnormality would be to have a mother who didn’t do these things; I know people who are close to me who did not have that type of relationship with their mothers and I feel bad for them because I, in fact, had a gold medal type of mother.


My mother on the left
My mother on the left | Source

Growing Up

I began to see glimpses of a woman’s nature when I was young. I had many friends who were girls and I greatly enjoyed their company. They were sweet and kind and did not judge this nerd and his nerdy ways as I stumbled through adolescence. My oldest and dearest friend, Judy, who I have known since I was three, is as kind a person as you would ever want to meet. There have been countless others from my early years who showed me the true nature of a woman, that selfless state of being that offers love freely without expectations. My sister instantly comes to mind when I think of the loving being that is woman. I was always her little brother and she always treated me with love even though there were times I questioned her sanity for doing so.

I learned early on that the girls in my life were kindred spirits. I was a quiet, sensitive and emotional youngster and in girls I found others like me. I was allowed to be me around girls instead of the constant male posturing that was so exhausting. I was being given free schooling in the ways of being a better person and although I did not realize it at the time the lessons were deposited in my psyche for later years when I would be more receptive.


ADULTHOOD

Oh how slow we men are to learn. Hormones and testosterone seem to block our good sense as we move into our adulthood. The games we play to attract a woman; the lies we tell to hold onto them. All for naught because the greatest lesson I learned after surviving those adulthood years is that women are much more attracted to a man if he is sensitive and honest and willing to show his true self. I sense that women need to reach this growth stage themselves just as men do, but ingrained in each of them is the desire to be with a man who will be supportive, truthful and appreciative of them for who they are and not some manufactured image of them. It took me seemingly forever to learn this lesson. If you strip away the bull and toss away all the pretense a woman simply wants to know that she is respected and will be loved years after the beauty of youth has left her.

Are women insecure? I believe that many are but honestly no more so than men. We of the male persuasion are very adept at masking our insecurities and we may appear to have our act together but deep down inside each of us is a need to be accepted for who we are. Throw away the male bark and bite and you will find a frightened little boy who is afraid to show who he really is, a human cauldron of emotions with no way to express those pent-up feelings.


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Beautiful Beverly
Beautiful Beverly | Source

The Freedom Associated with True Love

So now I have reached this point in my life where I understand what I need to do to have a meaningful relationship with a woman. I need to simply be me. I do not need to impress nor do I need to fabricate or enhance..I simply need to be me and allow others to see me for all of my warts and blemishes. I need to open myself up for inspection and risk being honest. I need to offer my true feelings freely if I am to expect a woman to do the same. I need to be not only a lover but a supportive friend for a lasting relationship will be built upon a foundation that includes both love and friendship.

Once I realized these things and put them into action I found the love of my life. Bev personifies all that is good about women and in her I have finally re-discovered that which I have always known about the finer half of creation, namely that women are inherently selfless, trusting and loving. I cannot imagine my life without Bev for she brings out the best in me and when I am with her I want to be a better human being. That is her finest gift to me, the unspoken urging for me to be all that I can possibly be.

A FINAL THANK YOU!

And so I say thank you to all the women who have been such an important part of my life. I say thank you to those I have just met and those who have been with me for decades. I say thank you to all of you for your support, your kindness, your humanness and your gentleness. My father taught me to be a man but I needed some fine-tuning before I could be a complete person and for that I needed a woman’s guidance.

2012 Bill Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, I'm glad I'm your Olympia fan! I really do love having you as a friend, Paula, all kidding aside. You are a no nonsense lady who calls it like it is and takes no prisoners, and you can play on my teams any day of the week.

      Thank you my dear, and God bless the women of the world!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Don't know how I missed THIS hub

      I LOVE it......very nice, Bub!

      Good to hear a man who knows

      women are more than sexy clothes

      You're pretty smart there, bill my man

      I'm glad that I'm your NY fan!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Au fait....hey, I'm an interesting guy! LOL I have a busy mind my friend, filled with questions and random thoughts. Who knows what will come next? Thank you for the compliment and for reading.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 5 years ago from North Texas

      Interesting introspection.

      You have so many interesting hubs it's hard to choose which one to read next!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Theresa, it was my pleasure and I'm very happy that you liked it. I'm just sorry it took me so long to learn certain lessons in my life.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Bill- This is a treasure of a Hub. You have done a marvelous job in this essay and we women thank you, We also hope and wish that all all the men in our lives would read this with an open heart and mind -- many relationships would be strengthened. Much appreciated. Theresa

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Denise, thank you and I'm so happy you enjoyed it. You are right, I am a lucky man in so many ways, but Bev has been the icing on the cake for four years now and will be for the rest of my life. Wishing you peace and happiness...

      bill

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Bill-what a beautiful tribute to women, and the song is a lovely addition.

      Humility is a characteristic that not all grown ups learn, but by the grace of God, when we are touched by humility, we are truly blessed.

      Thank you for sharing this beautiful hub, and lucky you to have found the love of your life. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sonya, I will be sitting in eager anticipation for your next work and will continue to be grateful for your friendship.

    • Sonya L Morley profile image

      Sonya L Morley 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      Bill, I'm experiencing a bit of a 'lull' in the writing department, due to my crazy life, but once the dust settles I shall write about it all... Until then, I'll be doing a lot of reading instead. Take care my friend over-the-pond!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sonya my friend, where have you been? Have you published recently? I'll have to check to see what you have been up to. By the way, you are the epitome of why I admire women so much. Thank you for your kind words.

    • Sonya L Morley profile image

      Sonya L Morley 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      Fabulous article, you have insight, that's for sure. I love it when men truly 'get' women and I appreciate your wonderful honesty as always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I know one man who would have never made it if it weren't for the loving women in his life. Thank you and you are most welcome my friend.

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      Shauna L Bowling 5 years ago from Central Florida

      For all the women and mothers in the world, thank you from the bottom of my heart for such a beautiful recognition of a woman's strength, nurturing, caring being. It's nice to be appreciated!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Eddy! I keep meeting the most remarkable women (you included) who teach me about compassion and love and how to enjoy life. It is a wonderful journey and I am so glad you are on it with me. Peace and love to you...bill

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      I am a little behind with my hub reading due to the Eater weekend but what wonderful hub of yours to return to.

      It obviously comes from your heart.

      However I didn't need to wait to read this one to know that you are a man full of compassion and morals.

      It doesn't surprise me either to read this hub. It simply fits in and Bev is a lucky lady or you are both lucky to have found each other I suppose would be the correct phrase.

      Beautiful;awesome and all the rest Billy.

      Take care my dear friend and have a wonderful day.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rosemay, I have met some pretty special women on HubPages as well and you are certainly one of them. Thank you my friend and I'm glad you enjoyed my words of thanks.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rosalinem, I appreciate that very much; I don't want to imagine my life without some very special women in it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Coffee, those words of yours are one of the many reasons why I appreciate women so much. A genuine outpouring of feelings...what a beautiful comment and I thank you sincerely.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      A wonderful tribute to you Mother and the other women in your life. Those ladies have tought you to be such a sweet caring, understanding and thoughtful person. The love and appreciation of the ladies ladies shines with every word of this hub.

      Take care

    • Rosalinem profile image

      Rosalinem 5 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Billy your words flow out so smoothly and I enjoyed reading this very much. You have a special place for the women who have touched your life.Voted up and awesome.

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image

      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      It is very beautiful, Billy! You deserve all the loving from the most loving women in your life...your mother, your sister and the "love of your life". How appreciative you are about women and how delighted we are as your women readers and that we admire you for sharing this story to us. Have a great life!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, you are very welcome! You, my dear, are a living testament to what this hub is all about.

    • AnnaCia profile image

      AnnaCia 5 years ago

      Aww! This is so nice. I love this hub. Thank you for sharing your point of view and thoughts about the women in your life. Thank you for loving nature thru one of the most powerful and unique forms…a woman.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kelley, I'm glad you read it too. :) thank as always for being so nice and receptive to my work.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gail, so nice to hear from you again. I've truly missed you! Thank you for your kind words; I have been blessed to have some extraordinary women in my life, and I have you as a friend so things just keep getting better for me.

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      kelleyward 5 years ago

      Wow Billybuc you are such a poet. Your words are so deep and reflective. So glad I read this.

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      Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

      Loved this hub and all the hard earned wisdom in it. What a great tribute to the women in your life and I agree with what you've said women want and need from men, especially this sentence: "If you strip away the bull and toss away all the pretense a woman simply wants to know that she is respected and will be loved years after the beauty of youth has left her."

      Great hub. Voted up across the board except for funny.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tammy, I say this in all honesty, you personify everything in this hub. I am more impressed with your generous and kind spirit daily and I'm proud to call you a friend and I am humbled by your words.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, I did have a wonderful mother, the best support system I could have ever hoped for. In addition I have had the pleasure to have been schooled by some other remarkable women in my life; this tribute was for all of them. Thank you kind lady!

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Wow Billybuc,

      This is a wonderful and gracious tribute. You have reached a plane in life that many men and women never get to. In realationships, every one seems to be more concerned about what they can get for themselves. It takes someone with a higher sense of purpose to really appreciate another human being outside of the material and the physical. Any mother would be so proud and honored to be so wonderfully regarded. Beautiful!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This hub is a beautiful, eloquent and very sweet tribute to women in general and to the special women in your life, billybuc. It sounds like you had a wonderful mother.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww Ardie, there you go saying nice things about me again and making me blush. I agree with you, that you have only met me after some pretty wonderful women had time to work out my character defects for me. :) Thank you my friend; I happen to think you are pretty cool.

    • Ardie profile image

      Sondra 5 years ago from Neverland

      You're such a sweetie - how could someone NOT adore you?! However I have only met you after all the teaching of those wonderful women. You're such a sensitive soul and yet you have a wonderful sense of humor. You love and appreciate life. You've come to where you need to be.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jenubouka, if that is the truth, and I did get this accurate, then I am satisfied with it and proud of it. Women are amazing and I adore the women in my life. Thank you kind lady; I greatly appreciate you and your words.

    • profile image

      jenubouka 5 years ago

      Awesome, and a wonderful tribute indeed! Now one may think I am biased but I think you told this to the tee of truth of how we are (women) Such a great heart felt read!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kelly, thank you so much; I have no doubt your kids will be sweet and thoughtful; just look at their mother for proof.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ava, you have been a stranger of late. I hope all is well and your store is about to be opened. Thank you dear lady!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Debbie, we have indeed been blessed. The older I get the more convinced I am that I led a charmed life. Thank you my friend for all the beauty you bring into this world.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I sure hope I can raise my kids to be as sweet and thoughtful as you:) I love the part about how your humility surpassed ego! I'm there with ya buddy...!

      Beautiful tribute to the ladies!

    • profile image

      onlooker 5 years ago

      Bill this is awesome. You are right one word that comes to mind when I think of my Ma too is unconditional and so is love. Thank you.

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      Deborah Brooks Langford 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Billy this is wonderful.. thank you for being a wonderful caring and sensitive man that you are. Your wife is a very lucky woman. of course you would probably say you are the lucky one.. how wonderful and you describing your mom sounded just like mine.

      we have been so blessed haven't we.?

      voted up my friend.. I am sharing

      Debbie

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, being quite familiar with your writing abilities I have no doubt you will say exactly what you need to say about your mother and it will be filled with heartfelt emotion. Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Always, thank you for always saying the nicest things to me. Your words warm my heart....peace and happiness to you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Steph, that is so nice of you. People like you feed my passion for writing and make no mistake about it, this hub was for you and all women like you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jama, I'm glad you recognized the fact that this hub was for all women and not just those I had direct contact with during my life. I can easily say that as a general statement I respect women in this world much more than I do men, for all the reasons I mentioned in the hub. Blessings to you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vinaya, your words are so accurate and true. Thank you my friend and may peace and love follow you each of your days.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shampa, thank you! A man is a fool if he thinks he can make it through this life without the love of a woman. I greatly appreciate your kind words.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Angela, that was one of the nicest things you could have said to me. You are a very sweet person and I wish you happiness and love.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda! It took a long time to learn to do so.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Christy, thank you! The hub was for all the women in my life, you included.

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      Mark G Weller 5 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      This is beautiful Bill. I could not have said anything about my mother that you did not say and feel. I need to complete the one I am writing for my mom who passed away in 2010 with me at her side, and I hope I can say what I need to as eloquently as you did.

      Bravo!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Beautiful tribute to your Mother and other women who have helped shape your life. So many times we take love in stride, knowing that it is there, but unable to express our deep appreciation. You have done that and very well i might add. Thank you for sharing..Peace..

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Simply a beautiful tribute to the special women in your life. I hope that one day my own sons will remember me in a similar manner. Bill, I always look forward to reading your hubs! This one is amazing. Best, Steph

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      Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      What a wise man you are, Bill! The current "War on Women" in the halls of Congress and elsewhere makes one wonder what sort of childhood the men waging it had. Sadly, obviously not the loving, nurturing one you had.

      This hub is not only a lovely tribute to your mother and the other women you mention, but a welcome validation of women in general not heard often enough these days. Bravo to you for being the voice of reason and goodness!

      Voted up, awesome and beautiful! ;D

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      Home is a place where we have women as mother, sister, aunt, daughters. Without women there is no home.

      Billy, thanks for this wonderful article.

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      Shampa Sadhya 5 years ago from NEW DELHI, INDIA

      Voted up and awesome!

      I am touched. The last line where you wrote about fine-tuning for which you needed women's guidance said it all. This one-liner is a supreme tribute to the ladies in your life. I simply loved it. Thanks for sharing and sharing it with others.

    • angela martinez67 profile image

      Angela Martinez 5 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      That was such a beautiful expression of ur thoughts and love for these great women that meant so much in ur life. Lucky are they to have a not-so-perfect man as u figured and admitted urself to be through the course of time and mistakes u've done along the way. But that indeed doesn't make u any less better but simply the most sensible man i've ever come across. Thanks for sharing this wonderful hub Bill. *huGs*

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      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      You did your Mom, sister and Bev proud with your tribute to them. You are a man who shares his emotions very freely. Good for you!!

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      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love your explanation of humility. Your hub offers kindness and wisdom too.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Easter Natasha and thank you! You are kind, loving, intelligent and caring...not a bad legacy at all! :)

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      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      This was a really nice memoir - thanks for sharing your memories. I especially like the part about the freedom associated with true love. Additionally - neat pictures! Old photos are great.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audra, thank you...and seriously, thank you for the person you are, a person of support and caring and obvious love. I appreciate you and wish you a peaceful, blessed and Happy Easter!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Xavier....that was a lovely addition to my hub. Thank you for sharing that. I absolutely love it. Wishing you a blessed and Happy Easter Sunday filled with love and contentment.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lord, a hug would be nice but I'll settle for your kind words. Have a blessed and Happy Easter and thank you so much!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Teaches, thank you and of course you are part of the reason for this hub! Every woman I meet helps me to better understand the importance of women and how beautiful the truly are. I appreciate you, your support, your love of life...thank you!

    • profile image

      iamaudraleigh 5 years ago

      Bill, this is a wonderful tribute to women, especially your Mother!

      It wa especially poigniant when you said, "she loved me long before I learned to love myself."

      I voted up because this was beautiful!

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 5 years ago from Isle of Man

      A baby asked God, "They tell me You are sending me to Earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?"

      God said, "Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you."

      The baby asked, "Who will protect me?"

      God said, "Your angel will defnd you even if it means risking her own life."

      The baby then asked, "God, please tell me my angel's name!"

      God said, "You will simply call her Mommy."

      What a lovely tribute to womanhood. Thank you Bill.

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 5 years ago

      Bill,

      I feel like giving you a hug for Easter...On my way to see actually my family, and just caught up with your hub. Women are an important part of our lives. Without them we would no be on earth, and most of all we would never knew the real meaning of Love. Behind any great man, there is a woman. At time we have paid them wrong with this double standard society, but in the end...at the end of the day, we come the realize that life is worth living it, if we share it with the best gift from God. Happy easter my friend!

      LORD

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bravo to you, Cyndi; I think you said it better than I did in my hub! Good to have you back and thank you for the support you always give me.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Katrine, I have said those exact words many times. Until I found love for myself there was no way I could fully love another. Thank you as always for your meaningful comments.

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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I can't think of any higher honor than giving tribute to the women in your life, especially your mother. She is to be commended, for the true love she gave to you. God rest her beautiful soul! Also, your wife sounds like a wonderful person and she must be a woman of great beauty inside and out. Thanks for the lovely support of a woman's role in life. This should be given out at the start of every marriage or couple's relationships! Voted up across the board, except for funny!

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Aw, how refreshing to read this. I personally have delved at one time or another into the Sacred Feminine, and this hub reminds me of that. I wish men everywhere would read this. I also realized that until I found my true love (my awesome, supportive, sensitive husband), I had kissed some frogs and found a lot of toads, so to speak. Once I found my prince, I knew that my life would never be the same. Now, we grow together as a tree does: rooted in one another and growing strong in one another's support and love. For this I am eternally thankful. It sure helps when I meet a sour, disgruntled human to know that real love does indeed exist and flourish if we let it. Bravo.

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      KatrineDalMonte 5 years ago

      Bill, I think the true appreciation of one comes from being able to see their true self. Surely we can only truly value and love those who are honest, who live their life with dedication to high purpose, whose genuine character and personality and inner beauty reflect and shine through. There is nothing more beautiful than pure clean thoughts, self-esteem, self-appreciation, respect for self and others. Before we can love others we have to be able to love ourselves, with all our imperfections too, for nobody is perfect :-)