5 People Who Helped Me Become Me
1. My former best friend - When I was 12, my best friend killed himself. That in itself can have a huge impact on your life. Not knowing what happened or why almost defined me. But because of his death, I grew up, maybe too fast. His death caused me to decide to go to the high school on the other side of town where I didn't know anyone. I didn't want to be that girl whose best friend killed himself. Deciding to go to that school greatly impacted my future. It is where I participated in JROTC, which led to me going to military college (and just going to college), and eventually joining the military. Since I didn't know anyone, I was able to get over being the shy, quiet, weird girl and grow into who I was going to become. That may have happened if I'd stayed on the other side of town, but maybe I would have just gone deeper into my shell and become a completely different person.
2. My grandmother - I call her my grandmother, but she's my former step-dad's mom. She doesn't have to be involved in my life at all, but she chooses to be. For most of my life, she was my hero. We call her Pope Joan for her devout Catholicism. I used to think she had a direct line to the Pope. We've had our moments where we didn't get along, and as I've grown up, I've seen that she isn't the perfect infallible person that I thought she was. But she's human, and a beautiful person, and I'm grateful that she was brought into my life. When I met her at three years old, she said to me "Hello Lindsey, I'm your grammy." I didn't say a word, I just climbed up into her bed and took a nap with her. That says something I think.
3. My Uncle Bob - I realized just the other day that I am at the age now that my Uncle Bob was when I went to live with him and my aunt. I don't know how he did it. At 27, I can't imagine having an obnoxious 16 year old just thrust into my life and having to parent her. Luckily, I have the most awesome uncle ever. He became a father figure without trying. His sense of humor probably saved me from having the worst teenage years ever. He became someone to talk to about anything really. We would talk about crazy things like the JFK conspiracy theories on the way to school. (School that I was supposed to take the bus to, but would miss it and have to wake him up to drive me.) He read me from The Hobbit while I was sick in the ER with SARS. I still remember how he kept giggling because the medicine made me twitch. His letters to me during military school and basic training kept me laughing when I thought was going to die. My aunt says that it is eerie how similar we are considering we aren't genetically related at all.
|Uncle Frodo (Bob) and I|
4. My first boyfriend Joe - Before Joe, I couldn't even look at a boy, let alone talk to one. He encouraged me to come out of my ridiculously shy shell and get to know people. He introduced me to a whole different set of people that I never would have met and helped me to learn the power of being a woman. That probably sounds corny, but it is true. When someone tells you everyday that you are beautiful, you start to see yourself differently. You start to think, oh, maybe I am an attractive person. Joe isn't really a part of my life anymore, but I am grateful for his having been in my life.
5. Mr. Hancock - At least, I think that was his name. When I was young, I was a "troubled" kid. I got in trouble and fights and raised hell in school. Mr. Hancock was the school therapist. We never talked in his office though. We would take walks around the neighborhood while we talked, we would go get a slice of pizza and talk, we would go to a playground and talk. He was the first adult that I felt listened to me. I can't even remember what he looked like, but I still appreciate his being there for me when I felt like no one else was.
So that's my list. Like I said I could go on and on. My son, my husband, my aunt, my mom, my sister. So many people have come together to make up my amazing and wonderful life. I'm grateful for each and every one of them.