First, I have to name my parents, who are still happily married after 46 years. I really think that they were the people who played the most significant role in my development. They are the reason that I am a successful adult today.
My Mom: She was always there for me and providing loving guidance and support throughout my life. I would consider her to be my best friend. (I admit, there was a time in my teens when she wasn't, but that's normal right?) I owe a lot to her. She loved and supported me no matter what. Through good decisions and bad, she was there and was never judgemental. My favorite saying of hers is, "When one door closes, another one opens." She always said this to me when I was disappointed about something. Sometimes I hated hearing that, but she was right. As I age, I realize how much wisdom my mother shared with me. I will always love her and she will always play an important role in my life.
My Dad: My dad is so smart and can do anything. He is my superhero. When I was young, he was the coach of all my basketball and softball teams every year until I started playing for the school in 6h grade. He could fix anything and knew everything about everything. To this day, I still call him when I have a problem about almost anything. He is an extremely hard worker, but always found time for his family. What I love most about him now is how he interacts with his 5 grandchildren. He loves them so much and it shows.
Three more to go....
I will start with my Grandma Nelson, my Mom's mom. She was a quirky soul. She was ornery, but she loved my brother and I so much. We were her only grandchildren. I didn't get to see her very much since she lived in the Edinburg, Texas, (down south in the Rio Grande Valley) and we lived in Lubbock (in the panhandle). It was a long drive and my parents weren't able to make it home very often. We did go more when we moved to Plano (a suburb of Dallas) when I was ten. My brother and I called her the fun grandma because she would take us to the park and hang upside down on the monkey bars. Shortly after we moved to Plano, grandma started to change. I was 10 then and we finally got a diagnosis when I was about 15. Grandma had alzheimer's disease. It was so hard to see her slip away. She forgot my name, she called me one of her sister's names, then she didn't know me at all. She became confined to a wheel chair, then a bed, and finally passed away on August 21, 2009 at the age of 96. I have missed her a lot longer than 2 years and it still makes me cry thinking about her.
Two more to go....
I could name some teachers:
- My kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Schwartzenbach, from Williams Elementary school in Lubbock, Texas. I remember she was very caring and kind. She had also been my brother's teacher and my mother always commented on how much she liked her. I also remember the photographer could not get her name right on the board for the class picture.
- My third grade teacher, Miss Hess. I remember how nice she was to me.
- Mrs. Baber, my middle school history teacher. She was so nice and worked at Dillards in the evening.
- My 12th grade marketing teacher, Mrs. Begis at Plano Senior High school. She never marked me tardy even though I was late every day.
I think for the last 2, I will pick my Grandma and Grandpa Test, my Dad's parents. They were not the fun grandparents, that was Grandma Nelson, but they loved my brother and me. They ended up with 4 grandchildren, my brother and I and then 12 years later, my cousins in Ohio, who I have seen 4 times my entire life. I have learned more about them from Facebook than from seeing them in person. I guess you have figured out that we were not a close family. Sometimes I think that is why I married my husband. His family is so close and they always have big family gatherings. Anyway, back to my grandparents, they did the best they could. They weren't affectionate people. I think a lot has to do with the way they were raised and the time period. They were born in 1915 and times were hard back then. Anyway, I felt loved by them and their influence contributed to my strong sense of family. I cherish the china my grandma gave me for my wedding gift. It had been her mother's, my great-grandma's, who I am named after. It is Haviland and is very unique. I proudly display it in my china case and tell everyone who asks all about it. Grandma is still alive, I need to visit her this summer. Grandpa passed away December 18, 1995.
So those are my five people. Each one of them has played a role in who I am today. I thank them, because I am happy and well-adjusted. I can only hope that my children turn out the same way.