Today as I have listening to the radio 'they' keep remarking about the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King. One show in particular made me want to write this. The show is 'Rabbi Shmuly' which I get on my satellite radio. Today his subject was Heroes. He made alot of good points about how this country worships the sports figure because of what they do when they perform in the sport or the Hollywood 'celebrity' because that's who the press focuses on which is probably the reason why our youngsters are so screwed up!
That got me thinking who my heroes are.
Well my heroes are my mom and daughters.
My parents divorced when I was less than 6 years old. She raised 4 daughters (my sisters are all younger than me) while working 2 jobs, one of them was third shift at Pratt & Whitney, paid off all the bills my father left AND still found a way to travel with us.
She bought a hard top camper and would load it & us into the car and take off on weekends. Picture a women with 4 girls pulling into a campground, getting the camper placed correctly and directing all those young kids. Now, picture doing this in the mid 60's! When she bought the camper, she didn't even know how to back it up! She asked AFTER she bought it and was TOLD how to.
We lived with my grandparents. The driveway had a steep entrance and was not that big. The trick was to pull the camper close to one side and angle the car the other way. Then we kids could unhook it, get the wheel on it and push it out of the way. She got so that she could do this maneuver in one shot even in the dark. Oh, and the car was a 3 speed on the floor stick with power steering and brakes. We had a few adventures with this car that I'll save for another blog.
Our first trip out with it, Mom met our first stepfather. He had rejected a campsite because he couldn't get his camper between 2 trees. He was recovering from back surgery and couldn't turn around to look over his shoulder. He even went so far as to tell the campground people that it was impossible to get a camper on that site. Along came my Mom and she looked at it and just pulled through the trees to get the camper set in the right spot!
When he died, Mom was now left with 5 girls, all teenagers and his mom to take care of. Money was always tight but we never went hungry, we had the basics for clothes and lots of love. She taught me the value of working for what you want and how to keep going when life throws you a curve ball or down on the ground.
After he died, she took a course on car maintenance so she wouldn't have to spend money on oil changes and tune ups. She took up square dance for exercise and sewed her dresses, which in my opinion, were much better than anything that could be gotten in a store. She did all the finish work on the new living room, which included taping and sanding the drywall, installing the carpet and installing the woodwork.
She always been there, leading by example. At no time in my life, no matter how bad my sisters and I acted or however we screwed up, did she not let us know how much she loved us.
My oldest is so much like me and yet so different. She repeated alot of my mistakes but she learned the lessons so much quicker than me. She is a phenomenal mother. I am constantly amazed at her ability to juggle 2 kids, work and school. Many's been the time that I wished I could win the lottery just so I could help her finish school faster, see her in a reliable car and a home of her own. I know someday she will achieve all of this on her own simply because she will find a way to do it.
My youngest has a genetic defect but she is one clever person. Her speech is very difficult to understand, yet she will find a way to make you understand her. She is passionate about country music, NASCAR and her favorite driver, 'Junior', the Pats and Red Sox, her nieces and other family members. She is always willing to try something once and will work hard at being able to do alot of things that we 'normal' people take for granted. I remember that it took 2 years for her to be able to use a pair of scissors. But she kept at it until she could cut along the lines. Oh, and she's left handed to boot!
So, if I'm ever asked who my heroes are these are the people that top my list. I admire alot of people. People like Abigail Adams, Rosa Parks, alot of NASCAR drivers, certain sports figures. But, my heroes will always be close to me.