A famous poem was written called ‘All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten’. It made quite an impact on its readers and I loved some of the lessons. My favorite one was ‘Hold hands and stick together’.
My family has taught me several lessons over the years and I am fortunate to have benefited from their wisdom. My sister Abby continues to teach me every day by her phenomenal example she sets for all of us. She is smart, caring, filled with faith and never, ever brushes me off. My sister always has time for her family and puts them above all else. She is always there and although may be busy, she never says I will have to call you back. Having someone you can always count on is a gift of unmeasurable wealth.
My sister Sissy is funny and witty and loving and also loves her family. She has taught me the importance of laughing more than crying and to always speak from the heart. Praying together over the phone has been a meaningful experience for both of us.
My brother Kevin has had to step up and be the man of our family after our beloved Dad’s passing. He is tall and handsome but has a gentle soul. Being raised with three older sisters will teach you all about compassion and relationships. Kevin has taught me to be patient and the importance of believing in yourself. Sissy and I teased him mercilessly growing up and he endured our wrath on several occasions. No permanent damage done!
Even our mother Mary and our stepmother Beatrice have taught me many lessons. One that stays with me always is to speak up for yourself. Lord knows they certainly did! None of us are afraid to speak our minds. The difference is that we weigh our words before speaking.
That brings me to my first real teacher and the professor of life for all four of us. Dad taught me to believe in myself even when Miss Hedrick, my guidance counselor, said I was not college material. Dad let me know that I most certainly was. He taught me to find my passion in life and then embrace it and give it everything I had. He loved to laugh and shared so many stories with us that we have all become story tellers too. He loved life and taught me to embrace the everyday wonders of the world.
Finding beauty in nature and ordinary experiences has served me well. Of course his love of reading has been mentioned before. What a wonderful gift! But most of all, when all is said and done, Dad’s pure love for his family set such an example for me that I remember how important it is to keep them close in my heart!
He always had our back and would be proud that we do the same for each other.
Amidst our trials and tribulations, we share a common thread called family. The bond is sometimes a bit frayed but never broken.