Friday, April 3, 2009

My heroes

In my life, there have been a few people that I can look back and say that without them, I would not be the person I am today. I was standing in the shower (where I do my best thinking) and wondered what that list might look like. Keep in mind, this is always a work in progress. I'm still developing.

Mrs. Cox was my English teacher in grade 7. She taught grammar very thoroughly. I can't remember one single class that year when we didn't spend at least half the time parsing sentences. You get pretty good at it after a while. She left me with a life-long love of the word puzzle that is the English language.

Mr. Barclay was my Latin teacher in high school. We all called him Cuddles because he looked like a teddy bear. But he wasn't at all squishy. I learned integrity from him. You either did the work - or you didn't. You achieved the mark - or you didn't. He had no half-way measures. This wasn't a one way street. He applied the same rules to himself and there were never any favorites. I've never again met anyone so above reproach in his professional life.

My father was always involved in community service. We didn't always see eye-to-eye but I turned out to be more like him than he knew. The lessons of volunteering weren't lost on me, Dad.

Anne, who has taught me generosity of spirit. Independence, not sharing, were the lessons learned in my family. Charity did not begin at home - it was for the rest of the world. Humility and forgiveness are very hard things to learn. Really.

It seems a pretty short list now that I've written it down. I didn't include the many friends who have taught me in various ways over the years. Or my children who have been very good teachers of parenting. Or my grand-children who show me how to be joyful - out loud.

So, when I think of heroes....I'm thinking of these folks.

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