Tuesday, Sept. 3: Describe where or what you come from. The people, the places, and/or the factors that make up who you are.
This is a tough one, how can you adequately describe the people, places and factors that have made you the person you are in one post? Since I'm not sure where to even start, I'll speak in generalizations.
I come from a place that is flat, dry and dusty. The sky can turn from blue to brown in an instant. There aren't many trees and there is even less water. But who needs trees when you can look across a cotton field for miles? Who needs water when the sunsets are breathtaking? It is easy to overlook the beauty of the Texas panhandle... unless you're paying attention. Amidst the red dirt, tumbleweeds and brushy plains are the people. And the people.... well, they are the most beautiful scenery you could imagine. My people are people who care about each other. They subscribe to the idea that it takes a village to raise children and they show up to do it. They're there to help, to babysit, to hold one another in the darkest times. My people are the first ones to show God's love to the masses. They leave the "talk" at the door - they're too busy doing what needs to be done to listen to what others say they should be doing. They don't need to read Love Does (which I actually really enjoyed).... it is an innate part of who they are.
I come from a family that understands unconditional love isn't always easy, but always worth it. We are faaaaaaar from perfect but are as close to it as you can get in my opinion. We look forward to seeing each other and enjoy one another's company. We root for one another's successes and cry for each other when life gets hard. 45 years of marriage, 5 kids, 5 spouses and over a dozen grandkids - we leave an impression wherever we go, that's for sure. A normal gathering includes guitars, BBQ and lots of singing.(and a whole lot of dishes.) I come from factors that aren't politically correct. The obvious: we should strive to glorify God in all that we do. That pretty much summarizes the basis of my upbringing. But I was fortunate enough to see this in action, not just hear about it in a Sunday school class. You need a car? Here, take ours. We don't need two. You need somebody to care for your kids while you're in prison? We have room. You worried about where your next meal will come from? Here are some groceries that we really can't afford to spare - but are glad to share. The less obvious factors are the nights I spent as a child in smoky bars because my dad wanted us to appreciate live music. The summer vacations we took because my parents wanted us to know and love our relatives across the US. The barbie clothes my mom sewed even though they were a pain the the
The people, the places, the factors that made me who I am cannot be described in a blog post. (You can get a glimpse of it if you go to iTunes and download a few Eddie Beethoven songs - - just picture me as a 12 year old girl in Stubbs BBQ singing along.)
All I know is that I am Blessed to have had the people (parents, Fr. James, Bishop Sheehan, Richards, Cochrans, SJN teachers, crazy Whitney in the back yard, Lori, Jenny, Spice Girls, Sarah, Grand Prize girls, Stephanie, all of my students ), places (Canyon, Lubbock, Shallowater, Tech, Austin), and factors (too many to name - that is a whole other blog series) that I had.
There is so much that has made me who I am. But at the end of the day, I'll say that my mom's homemade pizza made all the difference.