Ruth Bell Graham was one such woman. The success of Billy Graham and his worldwide fame would have been far less had it not been for the silent efforts of the woman who was his other half.
Ruth was Billy’s closest confidant and advisor and most of the time when Billy toured the world she stayed back, and looked after their kids single- handedly. She shouldered the responsibility of raising five children on her own with great courage.
She understood that Billy’s calling served a greater cause despite his absence creating a major void in her life and the lives of their children. Billy was a man inspired by a woman to scale great heights in his life and his career; and he attributed his success to his wife Ruth.
When Bill Clinton chose to go into politics, his wife Hillary put her own political ambitions on the back burner to support Bill, all the while knowing she was just as competent as he was and she was just as likely as him to get support for her political career.
Kasturba, wife of the great Indian leader and Father of the Nation, Gandhiji, played the role of supporter to her husband. The undying spirit of Kasturba is what served as a supporting pillar to Mahatma Gandhi’s dream come true for a “free India.” When Kasturba died Gandhiji said, “The best half of me is dead”. It was a fitting tribute to the lady who had chosen to lose herself in Gandhiji and the ideals that he believed in without his even having wished it.
Narayan Murthy, director of Infosys, started Infosys with the seed money from his wife’s “rainy-day saving” stored in a kitchen almirah.
Narayan Murthy proudly mentions that it was her savings of Rs 10,000 that was instrumental in the founding of Infosys.
Sanjay Leela Bansali one of India’s most famous movie directors is so inspired by his mother that he has added “Leela” his mother’s name to his name. It is a tribute to his mother for the role she played in his life. Many scenes in his movies which have been blockbuster hits have been inspired by the hardships faced by his mother in his growing-up years.
There have been numerous women over centuries that have been the wind beneath their husband’s wings. Most of them have been ordinary everyday women whose husbands are ordinary everyday men who are neither famous, nor rich, nor intelligent.
These women have lived most of their lives unappreciated in words. Their only reward has been a hug from a son or a kiss from a husband or a ruffle of the hair by a father.
Yet despite the lack of appreciation these women have got, they still continue to be the shining light on their husband’s, son’s, and brother’s lives all the time shining on from behind, (not) expecting anything in return. Behind every man is first his mother to whom he owes his very existence, then probably his wife who goads him into achieving things that his heart desires, and then probably his daughter for whom he can stretch himself beyond even his own limitations.