The Fidelis Care Blog

Women’s History Month: Celebrating Generational Influences
3/11/2024 • Posted by Alysha M. Metty, MS, OTR/L, Fidelis Care Utilization Review Clinician in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, In The Community

Women's History Month

It’s amazing the influence one generation can have on the next. When I look in the mirror, I see my mother’s eyes. I have my grandmother’s creativity and love for music. Over and over, physical traits are passed from generation to generation, along with interests, talents, personality, and character traits. One thing it shows clearly - we influence others more than we think we do. And this doesn’t just happen in families. Each person has their own sphere of influence regardless of their family ties. As I look at my life, I can clearly see that I have been influenced strongly by the women who have come before me.

I think of my grandmothers - both so different and yet they’ve taught me so much. My maternal grandmother was a petite Puerto Rican woman with a sense of humor and attitude to spare. She was full of life - she loved to dance and was known for hosting parties at her house with friends, filled with good food and good music. She was someone who wasn’t afraid to speak her mind and to stand up for what she thought was right. Over the years, she helped me become interested in cooking Puerto Rican food, something I’ve worked at and continue to explore. Christmas dinner every year wouldn’t have been the same without Grandma’s Puerto Rican rice. To this day, as much as I try, I can’t make mine taste exactly like hers. Hers was special and unique to her, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My paternal grandmother was a generous, kind person - someone whose hospitality and hugs were given freely. She had been through many struggles in her life, but she always maintained a positivity and a love for life that I will never forget. Recently, she told me that she felt like she lived many distinct chapters in her life and had enjoyed and appreciated each one for its uniqueness. Her first husband passed away when he was only 48 years old, leaving her with seven children to raise on her own. How she managed, I don’t know, but she did. She took herself to the library to learn more about topics she was interested in, sought out opportunities to support her family, and raised those children to be the kind, generous, successful people I am thankful to call family. When I recently visited her at her assisted living facility, she was proud to tell me she was on the resident council. She’s inspired me to be an active participant in my own life, to know what I want, and to not be afraid to work toward my goals. She’s also inspired me to appreciate each stage of my life for what it is - to persevere through the challenging times, appreciate the good times, and to always be thankful and see the positive things around me.

Lastly, I want to talk about my mom. Growing up, our home was a welcoming, warm place. She learned early in her marriage that her house didn’t have to be perfect to be a place where she could welcome people and where they could feel at home. Her example showed me what it means to be truly hospitable. My mom is also one of the reasons I chose a healthcare career. She works in healthcare and inspired me to pursue an area where I could help others. She has also encouraged me to pursue the things I am passionate about, and to challenge myself in ways that have helped me grow. She’s been a powerful example to me of perseverance – she’s dealt with many hardships, and yet, she’s never given up hope. Since we were young, her faith has stood out to me as a source of comfort, strength, and hope that has helped her through many challenging times. Like my grandmother, she lost her husband at an early age. She grieved, but it didn’t shake her faith. To this day, she encourages me to lean on God for strength, comfort, and hope, and to look for the good around me.

Lately I’ve been thinking about the legacy we can have as women - about how our lives so naturally touch and influence the lives of those around us. I can see the way these three lives have influenced mine, and I’m so thankful for the blessing of knowing each of them. The beautiful thing is, influence doesn’t just happen in families. We have the power and privilege to influence the people we encounter every day. I try to remember that and look for those opportunities. If we pay attention, I think we’ll find they’re happening more often than you might think.

Alysha M. Metty, MS, OTR/L, Fidelis Care Utilization Review Clinician, is part of the Rehabilitation Team, which helps members receive appropriate rehabilitative and long-term care services. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in occupational therapy from the University at Buffalo.




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