The Heroines

Jan Chandler Randle

is honored with a Brick from Ariella and Schehera Randle.

"The woman who survives intact and happy must be at once tender and tough. She must have convinced herself, or be in the unending process of convincing herself, that she, her values, and her choices are important. In a time and world where males hold sway and control, the pressure upon women to yield their rights-of-way is tremendous. And it is under those very circumstances that the women's toughness must be in evidence." Dr. Maya Angelou

We each claim a heroine sometime in our life: a woman whom we respect, admire, and strive to imitate. I am fortunate to have had this woman by my side, all my life. Some people live their lives concerned only with the frosting of life - my Mother tends to provide the flour for the cake. A silent heroine: the "Professional Volunteer." Ever since I was a young child I recall my Mother spending hours in meetings for the Junior League of Wichita, Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club, the Wichita Public Library, my school, and our church. It's a blessing to Wichita that Jan Randle doesn't have an understanding for the word "no."

She was always there, in the thick of things, making sure things were getting done. Her concern and heart for other people is overwhelming. Mom's selflessness shines with each day, as she places her own time, sanity, and health below the happiness of others. A heart is an amazing tool; everyone has one, but some choose to use it in a special way; my Mother chose to share it with others. We live in an age of the "me" complex, I thank God my Mother hasn't taken the "me" route.

Jan Randle is my heroine because: she's worked with high school kids on a Mission Trip, because she's led a Girl Scout Troop, because she's prepared TV dinners for her family, because she's tutored, because she's vacationed without electricity and running water, because she's let her daughters mess up, because she was sometimes late picking me up from school, because she fought for our education, because some of the clothes in the sewing pile are from eight years ago, because she's put her life on hold for friends in need, because she is never critical or judgmental of anyone's race or lifestyle, because every once and awhile she'd accidentally burn my ear with the curling iron, because she makes a mean chocolate milkshake, because she is there, always, for her family. I love my Mother dearly, and pray that I will be able to accomplish as much as she has (and continues to) in her lifetime. Congratulations, to my heroine, Mom.
Submitted by Schehera F. Randle

What is a heroine? Someone who defies the bonds of mortality and rises up against some evil force? Perhaps, if you're She-Ra. No. More accurately, a heroine is a woman who embodies strength of mind, body and character. Someone who acts as a mentor - defining herself through her grace, compassion, stubbornness and spunk. She has a sparkle in her eyes and a depth to her heart that defies mortal words. She is power and virtue; she is femininity and beauty. She is, most importantly, a mother.

She is Jan Chandler Randle - a woman not defined as much by her name as by her actions: mother, lover, wife, daughter, volunteer, friend, giver of herself at all hours in all ways. And how can I capture why my mother is my heroine? Because she has saved me from the mouths of wolves; she has gathered me into her arms when I have fallen, broken and needed to recover; she has listened with the eyes of God and seen with the ears of experience; she has transcended herself over and over in order to improve, in order to grow. She is my greatest teacher of how to grow and define myself in my femininity; she is my greatest friend in her ability to listen and not judge. She is fantastically woman, my mortal mother; she is strength and vision and love.

You are my heroine, not because I can put you on a pedestal, but because you will take my hand and let me walk with you. I look forward to the coming days, this growing age and the changes that it represents. With grace you will overcome obstacles, with love you will nurture everyone you meet, with hope you will plant gardens that will - and have - produced a beautiful bounty that you should revel in for the rest of your days. Hooray for sunrises, mountains and Momma - you are my heroine, and I love you.
Submitted by Ariella Randle

August 31, 1998