HER Obsessions: Honoring our Matriarchs

Featured Sliders / Lifestyle / Stories / May 14, 2019

 As women there are things we truly become obsessed with – sometimes for material reason and other times for good principle. The latter helps us grow and shapes us into the women we become, and for most of us those “obsessions” are our mothers, grandmothers and family matriarchs.

In honor of May – the month of Mother’s Day – HER Magazine asked readers and staff to share why their matriarchs are so important to them and their families. Please continue this conversation on HER Magazine’s social media sites at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

From Brittney Furgeson, HER Magazine reader

Meet Grandma Dudie (Florence Dudenhoeffer) – front row, smack dab in the middle of this hot mess family! She truly is the glue that holds us all together. This women is among the best – ask any of us, and she is the best!

Our own mothers are amazing, but I know they would agree that Grandma Dudie is a person everyone should strive to be like. She not only raised her nine children (survived is more like it), seven of them were hell-raising boys. She has helped raise and mold her 25 grandchildren into the people they are today and now she is enjoying her 28 great-grandchildren. She has a beautiful life, one for the movies that’s for sure.

I try and try to be like this woman daily. She makes it look so easy, it’s not! I’ll be extremely happy if I can become half the woman she is. She truly sees the best in people, which in the world we live is a difficult thing to do. She keeps us grounded.

She is the strongest individual I know. She is hands down the absolute best cook … ask anyone, even her fruity pebbles taste better than anywhere else! Don’t even get my started on her fried chicken and ice cream pie! It’s gotta be all the love the woman has to give.

My grandpa is also an amazing man! He’s an amazing husband, dad, brother, uncle and friend. He passed away 20-plus years ago and she has loved him every day since – every, single day! Their love is what we all would give anything for. It may not have always been perfect but they made the best of it, every single minute!

The woman loves having a house full of people … and with a family our size that’s perfect!

People are always in and out; she loves it! My daughter who is 10 asks to have sleep-overs with Nana Dudie! How many of us can say that!?! That they’ve made the best memories with their grandma and now their children are getting to do the same! Lucky doesn’t even touch what we call ourselves. We are extremely blessed that she is ours, or that we are hers … blessed!

What makes my grandma special is she is gentle, good natured and soft hearted. She is the best storyteller, teacher and seamstress/de-stainer. She is the absolute best advice giver, sunshine on the most cloudy days, doctor, mentor, peace maker, problem solver and shoulder. She is the wisest woman, she loves deep, and she is the best friend anyone would ever need. Put simply, she is an inspiration!

My grandma is special for just simply being her. If we had more Grandma Dudies, the world would be a beautiful place!

From Katie Bedsaul, HER artistic director

I will always give a shout-out to my mama! Her name is Susan Bedsaul and she lives in Kansas City. She has been married to my dad for 31 years (this June 28 will be 32) and together they raised my brother and me. I am so blessed to have such a smart, funny, sassy mama who raised me to be strong, smart and independent. I’m the first woman in my family to get my college degree and have a job I love. My mom would stay up late at night, helping me write papers, critique my art projects and navigate emotional/mental breakdowns about life. I would love to write a full page thank you to her for putting up with all my teenage moodiness, sassy back-talk and the endless eye-rolls (which still continue to this day). Thank you for all you do, mom! Love you and let’s do margaritas soon!

From Samantha Pogue, HER Magazine editor

My maternal grandma’s name was Elizabeth Louise Logdson, but to me she was just Granny. Raising 11 children on a farm in northern Missouri, Granny had 30-plus grandchildren (me being the youngest) and countless great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. However, she made every single one of us feel so special. Every birthday, holiday or just because she would send every member of the family a card filled with some cute, crafty gift she made by hand. Her kindness, humor and nurturing nature was infectious. She always was helping someone through community service at St. Patrick Catholic Church, personal projects for friends or neighbors, or lending a good ear and advice to a member of her large, loving family. I have so many wonderful memories with Granny but some of my favorites are of the Butterfly Brigade. This troop was made up of Granny, her seven daughters and one daughter-in-law, Aunt Debbie, who would take annual sabbaticals to fun places and visit beautiful Catholic landmarks or churches along the way. As Granny loved butterflies, they dubbed themselves the Butterfly Brigade, each with their own special name and, of course, Granny being the monarch. They had multiple butterfly themed outfits, T-shirts, hats, pins and jewelry they wore, as well as a theme song by Garth Brooks “Friends in Low Places.” The pictures, videos and times shared with the Butterfly Brigade became a legend in our family, and butterflies became a staple family symbol that will live on forever. Granny had a full, wonderful life, and she passed away several years ago at 97 years old. But she will always be the monarch butterfly, the matriarch and the guardian angel to our clan. Every time I see a butterfly, I know my Granny is with me.

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Madeleine Leroux

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