Archive | November, 2012

Why am I the person I am today. Let me tell you where I came from, who my family is.

22 Nov

I been thinking the last few days on the good values I have that I feel I can pass down onto the next generation. What have people taught me? What was the main drive pushing me to be better? I have asked these questions to myself and wondered what I took away from each person who raised me. I don’t pull myself out of their light of what they have created in me. There is no possible way I could ever declare myself apart from them for that is all I have in them in me. I love them and love myself to not drift from their teachings.

Let me start with my aunts and uncles. I’ll start with my mom’s side. My mom has a number of sisters and brothers. I would first like to mention my uncle Dave and Richard. Both of whom, have always supported and shown their love from day 1. I remember as a kid my uncle Dave making us believe we were super cool. He instilled confidence in me for telling us that we were cool. He didn’t just say it, he made us believe that we were cool and the moment he put his sunglasses on us, we were super duper cool. I remember the pictures of us in his glasses. If you could see my eyes, they would be glittering with a big grin. My uncle Rich was a guy who taught us to work hard and you’ll have fun regardless. Always time for fun with him. He is a tough son of a gun. Our mission was to try tackle him down or be tougher. This is where working hard came in I think…be strong. My aunties Denise, Angela, Louise, and Lorie. The twins Louise and Lori are two of the most hilarious people I know. When they’re both with my mom, you can count on non-stop laughs. I love being around them for being who they are. They have both always cared for me as I have cared for them. It was so much fun scaring them as young’ns. I learned from them that nothing comes easy with no effort. My auntie Denise is a kind caring woman. She isn’t one to shy away from being there for you. She has a welcoming warmth and elegance that is hard to find. Auntie Ange is a great energy to have around. She loves to have fun and laugh. You can try to be down around her, but it won’t last long. She can bring a lot of good positive energy to you when needed. Auntie Juanita used to babysit me when I was a grasshopper. Her smiles and hugs were what was needed when you were feeling down. I have a ton of admiration in her abilities to make you feel at ease. My uncle Chuck was a great guy. He always made sure you were taken care of and had everything you needed when he stopped by. If you said you needed something, he would say, “let’s go then, there has to be some on sale somewhere”. I have that belief of taking care of your family at all times if you can. Gary used to babysit me too as a kid. He sure tells stories about that. For as long as I can remember he always made me laugh. He was always there for me and I don’t believe that will change. He does his best for himself and what he can do for others. He isn’t afraid to be himself. I enjoy the I spend with Gary because no matter what its always for a good time.

Now, on my dad’s side. My aunties Joyce and Charlotte. I lived with both for a time as a child. On weekends I’d live at my auntie Joyce’s house to hang out with her boys, my bros. Always made sure we ate, showered, and had what we needed. She had a passion for us to be all we can be. She cheered you on so loud and proud in anything you did. She is a quiet strength in me. You want to make her proud just so you can hear her cheer. There is nothing as delightful as being cheered for by auntie Joyce. There are people I want to make proud and she is definitely one of them. My godmother, auntie Charlotte. I usually called her auntie though but the recognition of godmother stands to a tee. She was another mother to me. She treated me as her own. I was always grateful for what she did for me and my brothers and sisters. Being a leader, she inspired me to be more than I think I can be. She was a driving force into me believing I can change things when needed. She was so gentle and kind. She was so loving and caring. There is nothing like being woken up at 11am on a day you try to sleep in and be told, “you can’t waste the day away”. I watched her work hard at everything she did. She made sure everything that needed to be done, was done. You couldn’t be let down by her no matter what. She was nothing but absolute love. Strict as she was, there is no life without structure, cleanliness, and order.

My godfather, uncle Roy too has a big influence in my life. He has a natural ability to be there his loved ones. I can find no fault in him for his ability to do what is right. He does everything he can for his loved ones. Even when he can’t, he will try to find a way. He makes sure that things are taken care of. I look to be like him as I grow older.

There is a special place in my heart for others who were not related to me by blood but have had a profound impact in my life. Sister Danaher, Sister Pierette, and Sister Mary. I cherish my time spent with them. I hadn’t realized that until recently. I sure miss there kindness, generosity, and love. Sister Mary’s voice and presence was all you needed to smile. I love going to church just to hear her sing. Sister Pierette was my teacher for a time. She was always proud of me. I look to her for smile and love. Pierette was a passionate person, there were times you want to learn as much as she wanted to teach. Sister Danaher is one woman you can look to for more inspiration. I loved Sister D for her passion and drive to better our people. She had so much energy. Everyday you could count on her. She would do everything in her power to keep pushing people to do better and to be better people. Her education goals and dreams were being pushed constantly. She wanted nothing but the best from you and she let you know that. No time for B’s, get A’s! Only 72%? Get 100%!  I remember being her assistant for adult education in our community. If no one showed up for class, she threw me her keys and told me to go wake everyone up and get them here! So, I did, and behold, they all accepted the ride and went to learn. She wasn’t pushy in a negative way either. She pushed you with positivity, passion, and energy. She was MAD! Her initials prove it in the sense that she was all energy and all passion. All her accolades and achievements never swayed her from her humility. If you told her, that she has achieved so much, she would tell you that you can achieve this as well. Always humble. This is something I will carry forever from her, no matter how much greatness you can get, you spread it and share it with everyone so that they may be great too. Don’t make yourself great, make everyone great!

My grandparents from both sides are some amazing people. I have spent so much time with them as a child and even now. My grandparents from my mom’s side took care of me as a baby. My granny Shirley and grandpa George. I can’t think of a more quiet strength that I see in my gran. Her ability to cope in stress and chaos is beyond me. I haven’t seen grace such as hers. She can still crack jokes at everyone else’s expense. She can still box your ears in yet too. Nothing like a hug from granny Shirley. She still holds you like the day she first held you. My grandpa G always doing all he can to be sure to make sure everyone has what they need. When there is no hope, he will pull through for you. He is a warhorse that old man. He will always try to do more than he can. There is no stopping for him. An awesome man that’s for sure. His smug smile can ensure you that he is all about being tough but kind. My dad’s mom, Dora, is a determination of knowledge and loyalty. When I look at pictures of her I see knowledge and loyalty personified. She had so much knowledge and information about a lot of things. I wish I had gotten to talk to her about what she know of. She listened to so many stories, its hard to imagine what she didn’t know of. I remember once talking to her about a story I thought I knew everything of, she told me more on it. I was amazed! If I had tapped into her knowledge earlier, I’m sure I would have learned so much  more. I am sure that all who knew her, was amazed at her determination to be living as much as possible. All her hardships and struggles and still able to get up greet you with a smile, a hug, and a kiss. My dad’s dad, Joe is a legacy in our community as much as his mom Eliza is. The epitome of working hard and doing everything for your family. He started working at the age of 12! He skipped school to bring money for food for his brothers and sisters. It’s not a sacrifice to take care of your family. It’s a sacrifice only if you lose something. In his later years you can tell he never lost his desire to learn. He didn’t know how to read and write til he was a grandparent. When he was able to learn, he went to school everyday. If he didn’t have a car, he would walk to school, in the snow, uphill, both ways! This is a guy who was always calm and never angry. You could burn his house and all his cars, and wouldn’t have anger in his heart. No matter what he lost, he would never hold it against anyone. “That’s the way it goes”. He did everything, and I mean everything, for his family. He was a great husband, father, grandfather. If you want to know how to be a husband, ask the stories what he did for his wife, and you will know. If you want to know how to be a great father, ask his children what he has taught them and what they miss most about him. If you want to know how to be a great grandfather, remember who he opened his house to and what he gave to all his grandchildren. I know what he gave me, he gave me inspiration and love. The greatest love you can teach someone…unconditionally.

All that is left to look to, my parents. My mom is everything you can ask for in a mother. She loves you like no other no matter what. She has proven this to me in many ways. She always wants to know her children are alright. You cannot mistake it for anything other than having ease of mind. If ever there was a time you needed something and no one else to look to, she tries and does whatever she can. My mom is old fashioned with her ways. I look at her and see my gran in her in a lot of ways. In her own light though, my mom is one of the strongest people I know. It is by her actions that she shows how much she loves her children. By this, I shall always know that it isn’t good enough to just say the words, but by showing.

My dad is gentle man. He has all the knowledge of being whatever you can be. He has done everything he has done for his children. He worked hard to put all the food on the table and give them a good life. I never felt lacking in my life. The reason I never felt this way is because all I needed was my family. I always had the basics and this was enough for me. You can always depend on him to do something for you when you ask it. He has given almost everything of his to his children. His being is shown in all that his children have achieved thus far. Quiet, kind, and a skilled worker. It never is enough to achieve any education without having something to live for. Don’t worry so much for what you could achieve when all you need to do is just take care of your family and do what’s best for them.