Spiders & Mentors (or Things That Leave Marks on Your Life)

A few months ago I awoke in the morning with a few spider bites in a rather inappropriate place (my left bosom). The bites were nasty, but with medication and time the infection stopped and I was left with 5 small scars to remember him by.  One night with my eight legged intruder that I will remember each time I get dressed!

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There have been a few people in my life that have left their mark as well. My Mom, whose strength and courage never ceased to amaze me. Mom raised seven girls by herself after my father’s death. Five of us were the ages teenage to four years old. Mom taught us that we could do anything and be anyone we wanted, that no one could stop us – she gave me strength, courage, humor, patience, love and so much more. (I’ll write more about Mom later.)

Mr. Owen, my 10th grade English teacher who taught me to never take myself too serious but always have a purpose! Mr. Owen, kept things light and fun but taught us along the way. I remember him swinging from the desk to desk and speaking to “Harvey” (the invisible rabbit from the James Stewart movie Harvey). Not everyone in the class understood “Harvey” but thanks to my Mother’s taste in good movies and Sunday family movie night, I knew exactly who Mr. Owen was talking too. Mr. Owen was also the first person who got me interested in writing; his feedback was never negative and he was always open to my point of view.

My high school Guidance Counselor (her name escapes me but trust me I will remember it!) – she left a mark on my life when she told me that if I continued to hang around with a certain young man, who later became my husband, that I would regret it and that he would amount to nothing and bring me down with him. I ended up marrying that young man and while after 26 years of marriage we separated (and still are) – I NEVER regretted marrying him as it is because of our wild ride over those years that I grew to become who I am today. I also have a wonderful family because of him so there is no doubt it was a good decision!  She was even wrong about him amounting to nothing as he was a very good Soldier who saved many lives and continues to serve his country today.

I met Becky in grade nine. Becky was “an original” she never caved to peer pressure or cared what others thought, she was a free spirit and that sometimes got her a bit osterized. But Becky danced to her own drummer (probably one playing a bad TV series theme song) and I loved that about her! Her strength always amazed me and when she “outed” herself to me – I admired her strength and conviction. Even though over the years we have lost touch, as we leave in 2 separate counties, whenever our lives do cross paths it is like we are back in high school dishing over the latest gossip.

My former boss and friend, Tammy, who showed me that women can be a strong influence in the work place. Tammy ran the large organization, that I still work for, for many years – she has since moved up the ladder to a position of higher authority where she can make a bigger difference. Tammy always held her ground and stood up for what she knew was right, but also knew how to give a little when necessary and pick her battles. Tammy treated everyone with respect and encouraged her employees to reach beyond their limitations to accomplish their goals.

These are just a handful of people that have moved in and out of my life. As a Military Spouse I have met many, many people who have left footprints on my heart, who have taught me many things (good and bad). Everyone who I have ever spent time with, from my youth to present, is etched within my soul and has altered my character – you can say that I am the product of many.

charolette

Like that spider who befriended me that fateful night, I see the marks of all the people who made a difference in my life. I see them in the decisions I make, words I speak, and paths I travel. I hope that in turn, I will be able to make a mark on the life of at least one person – a friend, a coworker, a family member or a stranger. I hope that in my life time, I will be able to make a difference, even a small one, to someone.

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