Today (March 8) is International Women’s Day 2021. It’s a day to honor women. This day first officially occurred in 1911, and this year’s theme is “Choose to Challenge.”
Also, March is Women’s History Month in the United States, observed annually since 1987. It is a month to commemorate and celebrate the contributions of women in history, including a recognition of the struggles and achievements of American women. The theme this year is “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to be Silenced.” (https://nationalwomenshistoryalliance.org/)
One American woman who could not be silenced during her lifetime was Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910). Yet recently when I looked at various lists on the internet of women in American history, Eddy was conspicuously and consistently absent. Therefore, I think it’s important to note that in 1875, Mary Baker Eddy authored Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures – a book selected by the Women’s National Book Association as one which has changed the world. She was an influential American author, religious leader and teacher, business woman and publisher, and spiritual healer, who founded a college, international church and The Christian Science Monitor (which has been awarded multiple Pulitzer Prizes). And, she achieved all this and much more when women in the US couldn’t vote! Moreover, Eddy’s writings and sermons show she was a longtime advocate for women’s rights and human rights. She continually challenged the rigid and restrictive norms of her times. For me, Mary Baker Eddy is an important influential American woman who all people should know about and recognize for her works. (https://www.marybakereddylibrary.org/)
So, in celebrating women such as Mrs. Eddy at this time, I’m sincerely grateful for several select women who have also blessed my life.
The greatest gift my beloved mom, Delores Virginia Boettiger, ever gave me was introducing me to Christian Science. She was a lifelong student and practitioner of Christian Science, which benefited our family in many ways, including healing. My loving mom loved nature, the outdoors, especially the California coast and Pacific Ocean. She was an artist, an activist, a musician, an amazing homemaker, a creatively intelligent human being, and, in my estimation, a beautiful renaissance, Soul-filled woman. She loved visiting new places and countries. In parting, she used to say to friends and strangers, “Thank you for being.” My mom continues to bless me!
My sister, Claudia Hanson, as a young woman, broke many barriers and so-called glass ceilings in the highly competitive, male-dominated high-tech industry in California. In childhood, she helped lovingly nurse (with my parents) and encourage an often-ill brother. Throughout her lifetime, she has demonstrated intelligence and perseverance. Claudia has blessed my life!
Notably, my dear friend of many years, Auriel Wyndham Livezey, has been a very influential woman and spiritual mentor in my life. She is a former longtime Christian Science practitioner. In following the teachings of Christ Jesus, she has devoted her life to the Christian Science movement, in obedience to Mary Baker Eddy’s teachings and to God, with sincere hope to bless all mankind. Auriel is a truly noteworthy thinker and an author and publisher of numerous books, poems, plays and songs. She has blessed my life in immeasurable ways! (https://mountaintoppublishing.com/index.html)
For more than 18 years, I’ve closely worked with Sue Wood, a remarkable Christian Science nurse who has devoted most of her adult life in sacred selfless service to those who need care. She embodies so many fine qualities of a nurse. As Director of Christian Science Nursing at Wide Horizon, Sue has played the largest individual role in keeping this ministry of Christian Science nursing and healing in motion for more than half of Wide Horizon’s existence. I’ve certainly been blessed in this work together!
Now nearing the finish line, my dear daughter, Christa Saige Boettiger shines her beautiful light daily. She earned the honor of high school salutatorian, was a decorated distance runner in state cross country and track & field events, and is an accomplished college graduate. Christa is a young entrepreneur finding her way professionally and spiritually during this unprecedented time. She lives artistically with intelligence, beauty, good humor, acceptance, and love on a daily basis. I’m truly blessed to be her dad! (https://www.christasaige.com/)
Lastly, words (even for me) cannot capture my gratitude for my beloved wife of more than 30-plus years, Brigitte Boettiger. Among her many virtuous qualities, Brigitte is strong, fearless, joyful, kind, loving, intelligent. She earned both a Master’s degree and a PhD in Education and has raised two children who are remarkable caring young adults. Brigitte is resilient, inquisitive, understanding, honest and beautiful. She is a wonderfully creative woman with confident business acumen. We have worked and grown together in divine Mind, Love. I’ve been blessed beyond measure!
Respectively, these remarkable women clearly choose (or chose) to challenge themselves and others. And, all refuse (or refused) to be silenced!
D. Brian Boettiger
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