Once upon a time, there was a group of people who came to work with me. They came from all over, from many different places, and from many different circumstances and to begin with they came just for a job, just to make a living, and perhaps to learn a little, but somewhere along the line, it changed.
I used to think that it changed in them, and I believe that in fact they all did change while there, but that is not what I mean. I thought for the longest time that it was they who changed, but in fact, I know now, that it was me who changed and that it was because of them. It was they who changed me, offering all of their talent and work, offering their friendship and caring. Offering to each other their help and dedication, and their willingness to come face to face with confrontation and challenge, to do again and again tasks that others could not, would not, or just preferred not to do. Always smiling and having fun.
You changed my life my friends, you let me know that it was all possible and reminded me what was important. I hope you know how much I miss you. It was you, who inspired me to reach out again.
My father is one of those men that you hear about, when stories are being passed around the locker room, or the campfire, or the water cooler. He is the center of all fishing stories, and the stuff that legends are made of. My Dad is one of those men who can make you happier to be alive, someone whose presence brings hope and inspiration. He is a man who can lift your heart with a word, and who seems to fill the very world with light as he walks through it.
I can think of nothing better, I can think of no experience in life that would benefit you more, than you could be so fortunate, so very lucky, as to live near a man like my father, that you could have in your life one of those rarest of souls, which surely, has been touched by God.
My mother is the source of my power you know. She is the example of “I can do anything” that gives me the certain knowledge that I can in fact do Anything. She is a women who crossed the country alone, at a time when single women did not, just drive across the country alone – and she did it twice. She is a woman who forged an entire life for herself, who served and healed others as a profession. Who then opened her heart and her mind and took as her own the children of others and who has never in all of my life demonstrated anything but love and selflessness. It was she who told me I could do anything. I think it surprises her sometimes that its true (grin). It is my mothers love that gave me strength when I was not quite strong enough alone. I card here, a softly spoke word there, and of course what would life be without some soup, which even today my mom will cross town to bring me when I am sick. I could never write enough to give you the real picture, I can hope only that there is someone like my mom in your life. She has been the person who was always in my corner, I so hope that there is someone like her in yours.
My mother never brags about the things that she has done, you would have to know her for many years before you could begin to see what an extraordinary person she is, what an amazing life she has led, what an inspiration she is, and what a really good Scrabble player she can be. (which of course is why I love words so much).
Today I celebrate my mother, Gladys Linsenbardt, my hero and mentor,
without whom I would surely have been lost.
I Love You Mom.