Ten Women Heroes who have helped make me who I am...
Grandma Ruth and my mother Susie who both lived life with so much gusto that their spirits never grew old despite being blessed with long lives. They stayed in touch with current events and poked fun at the world as it changed in ways they deemed questionable. They understood the gift of service both volunteering with "old people" well into their own eighties. They neither one took themselves too seriously modeling senses of humor that helped them take whatever life dished out. My mother often told me that "sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying". It took me a long time to understand that laughing despite problems and irritations reduces their power.
My sisters who never made me feel like a pain in the neck despite being older and much more cool than I was. Who looked out for me and made sure I had what I needed and were always my biggest cheerleaders.
Janice, a Sunday school teacher, the first to point out to me the strength of my faith.
Mrs. Payne, my Story Hour leader from preschool was the first person outside my family who seemed to understand just how important books would be in my world.
Linda Leebrick who taught me art my freshman year of high school. She exuded kindness and encouraged me to try things I wasn't sure I could do. She showed me how to look more closely, noting details. When a murderer ended her young life too soon, she taught me about loss.
Bettie Brooks who taught me in 4th grade and again in 8th. She encouraged my love of reading. When I graduated college she helped orchestrate my first teaching opportunity sharing her classroom with me.
Carey Van Sickle the supervisor of my Social Work internship with the public schools during graduate school. She gave me my first job as a school social worker and modeled for me smart practice serving clients well while maintaining boundaries that protected my sense of self.
And Wanda Warner, the mother of my friend. Wanda saw the diamond in the rough within my teenage self. She asked questions about whatever I was into at the time listening intently with a sparkle in her eye. She had the ability to bypass the prickly rough edges and get down to the potential she believed lived inside me encouraging me to tap into what she saw.
Thankful for the women who shaped me this week at Ten Things of Thankful.