I’m going to shift gears here… I was thinking about all the wonderful stories I’ve heard of women in my family’s courage; stories of hardship and loss. Stories like my grandmother’s traveling across country in covered wagons and different things like that, not that what they did wasn’t great or amazing, because it was. But I feel like the most heroic story, in my minds eye, the greatest story of strength, I’ve ever heard…

When my husband Anthony was nine years old, he loved to siphon gas out of a car into a can – yes, he did that – over and over that day. He was that kid in his family. He did it all the time so it wasn’t anything unusual. He came from a family of gear heads and that’s just what they did.

But on this particular day, he had siphoned too much gas… and his lungs collapsed. He was panicked and couldn’t breathe.

Now his brother Mark just a year older than he, was standing next to him and witnessed it, but he didn’t panic at all. He went in the house as if nothing was wrong and told his mom a big story then started to walk away. He then stopped and said, “By the way mom, Anthony is in the driveway and he can’t breathe.” Well that’s Mark for you.

Anthony’s mom Lula Mae ran out and didn’t hesitate for a minute. She grabbed him up and reached down his throat and opened his lungs. Anthony told me that he just heard a pop and then he could breathe again.  She saved his life.

She didn’t freak out – she was calm. She didn’t scream and call 911 (if they had that then) as I probably would have. She just took care of it. I can’t even imagine what she was thinking at the time. But to me, she showed true strength in a time of desperation. When it comes to your children, I know there is nothing you won’t do for them.

Lula Mae Pearson Metcalf was an amazing woman. I never had the opportunity to meet, she died when Anthony was only thirteen, but I am forever in her debt.

Nothing is impossible; we just don’t know how to do it yet. ~ L.L. Larison Cudmore


Share a story where a female ancestor showed courage or strength in a difficult situation.