We lost one of my heroes today – Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady. A barrister (court lawyer in England) and Prime Minister for my formative years, I watched as she ruled the world stage from her 10 Downing Street arena. She was an inspiration to me, as well as many folks my age I would assume. Unlike most female rulers in the 1980s, she was more than just a figurehead – she ruled, and people listened – but she ruled with her heart and her mind. A sharp wit, and even sharper tongue when necessary, she was what we would term, “John Wayne Toilet Paper in a Crepe Dress”. She inspired me and millions of young girls like me, letting us know that we could be anything or anyone we wanted to be. The sky was the limit! For those of us who paid attention and believed, we have reached those goals.
I remember watching her speak with Regan and Bush, and I remember when Regan said to tear that wall down. I was in college – first year – and in one semester, both the Berlin Wall fell and part of Candlestick Park as well. It was an exciting time for those of us who had grown up during the Cold War, where Soviet Russia and the USSR were our sworn enemies, yet where we knew that Mother England had our back. I often wonder how Regan and Thatcher would handle the enemies we face today, most certainly with the strength and grace they did in the 80s.
I want to send out a huge thank you to Mrs. Thatcher tonight. She inspired me more than I know she would ever know, pushing me to fulfill my dreams of being more than a housewife, more than a bank teller, and more than a secretary.