Thursday, January 9, 2014

Our beloved mentors

   We all have them. Teachers who've touched our lives, siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, perhaps a grandparent, or coach. One thing is certain, we wouldn't be who we are without them and their guidance.
     One of the first inspirational mentors in my life was a teacher in fourth grade. Her name was Kathy Clark. She was a quiet, simple young woman, soft-spoken and kind. She took me under her wing when she knew I had some difficult issues going on at home. Her compassion in that crucial year of life stuck with me all my life.
     I've had others who touched me in important ways. A tough English teacher in high school. She pushed us hard, and it was difficult to get an 'A' from her. But her drive and determination made us all better students, better writers.
     My own dear Nonna was another who taught me so many things in life. Resilient, kind, full of laughter, always a song in her heart. A woman who had lived through the depression and came out on the other side. I would learn virtues from her which still are a big part of who I am.
     A counselor I spoke with several years ago would be another who'd guide me in good ways. It was his belief in me and the advice he gave, coupled with his faith in God which moved me to better myself.
     And my own beloved parents. Through my father, I'd learn patience, strength, a sense of humor, goodness and kindness. Through Mom, I'd learn compassion, deep-thinking, laughter, a love of people and morals. I owe so much to these two people who gave my brother and I so many good qualities, who helped mold us into the people we are today.
    Where would I be without them?  And yet I have so many others to learn from as well. A pastor friend whose spirit soars. Who's taught me to remember to pray before everything and anything. A co-worker who continues to help me better myself. And my amazing children, each one with special talents and so much to offer. It is through their eyes at times, where I learn the most. For it's in their lives where we've once been the mentors, the ones who've guided them that I can now see new things opening to me and my life. Things which would never have been possible without taking a step back to learn something new.

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