Wednesday, May 16, 2018

You Asked, I Answer (First Years Of School, Influences, Worldview)

Last week I was in Montreal and never got around to answering your questions. Today I'm getting to the last two of the year.

Let’s do it!

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Jim asked:
Your first couple of years in school......what incident/situation/event stands out the most for you?

There are a few such moments. One of them is my first day of school. I was overjoyed to finally be going. I even remember one of my teachers very well (we had two). Her name was Miss Brennan and she had long brown, silky hair. She was wearing a pretty mini dress and those exceedingly popular Dr Scholl's exercise sandals that were all the rage back then. I thought she was the goddess of wisdom! Read a post about that first day here.


Another incident that stands out is the first sentence I read. This was one of the most exciting moments of my young life because I was really eager to learn how to read and write, so I could enjoy the stories in books. My fanaticism love for books goes way back, possibly while in the womb (slight exaggeration).

Then there’s my first crush in first grade that makes me feel all gooey inside whenever I think about it. His name was Michael, and I liked him so much that I snuck him into my home one day after school. We made a beeline for my room where I showed him my toys and books and all the things that were special to me. Things were going well until I realized that although I had successfully snuck him in, I might not be able to successfully sneak him out. You can read the full story here:

But the most precious thing during those first couple of years of school was my father’s pride in me and how he affectionately called me his “little teacher”.

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E asked:
Who has had the greatest influence on your life and worldview?

My brother Steve, my first best friend, had a huge influence in my life. He was only 11 months old when I arrived into the world and we were inseparable from that moment on. We created an abundance of memories and we adored one another.

The second person who had an even bigger influence in my life is my father. No matter how busy he was, how far he’d have to travel, what was going on or what was needed, he’d drop everything and be there for me. He loved me unconditionally and made me feel special. The sun rose each day for him because of me and he never failed to remind me of that until his very last breath many decades later.

My father died in 2007 and my brother Steve died four years later. These were two of my biggest allies in life and you can just imagine how devastated I was when I lost them, and how misplaced I felt for the longest time. It was like the foundation beneath my feet had been shattered.


As for my worldview, I’d have to step outside of my inner circle, or upbringing, really, because it’s possible that I’m the most liberal and free thinking of them all, aside from my two daughters. Most of the influence for that was brought on by books, inner reflection and research, and by meeting diverse people throughout my life that opened my mind and broadened my horizons. Had I simply adopted the view of the community I grew up in and the church I attended, I’d be a completely different person than I am today with completely different opinions. Early on in life, I decided I didn’t agree with many of the things I’d been taught, so I changed direction and paved my own road. I’ve never looked back since and have zero regrets.


And that ends this year’s questions to all your answers. It’s been a lot of fun. Thank you to everyone who participated. I really appreciated it! Enjoy the day.

36 comments:

  1. I love how you were able to sneak Michael in, but then wondered how it would be to sneak him out at the end of your play date. I think you were wise to pursue the path you decided to pursue in life in shaping you to be the wonderful person you are today :)

    betty

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    1. Thank you, Betty, that's very kind! I think we all need to find our way and be who we are.

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  2. That must have been so hard losing both your Dad and brother so close together. I don't think you ever get over something like that. I agree with that quote.

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    1. It was very hard. I've gotten used to living without them but it's never been the same.

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  3. Thanks for sharing these wonderful answers!

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  4. You think deeply and thoughtfully about most things, judging from your blog posts over the years. More people should do that!

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    1. Thanks, Debra! That's a nice thing to say :)

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  5. It's very interesting that you had such supportive males in your life as you are growing up, because I think I remember you had a rather unpleasant first husband? The general 'received wisdom' is that women are more likely to put up with men who treat them badly if that is what they grew up with - that is what they learnt to expect from men so what they think they deserve. Of course that is only a tendency, not a rule! And you have found a wonderful man now.

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    1. Generally, yes. But so many other factors come into play. It takes a village to raise a child, as the saying goes. And sometimes the community you grow up in has a huge impact on you in every which way. I wrote about my story and even touched upon that topic about having gone in the wrong direction with my first husband I chose despite having had an amazing father. Let's just say that I rebelled against the whole community and when to the extreme by throwing my father under the bus, too. Such is youth. I changed and fixed that when I grew older and more mature. So not everyone fits into the 'received wisdom' explanation or some classic psychological profile. Life isn't black and white like that.

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  6. That would have been very tough losing your dad and brother in such a relatively short time. Excellent quote; it captures the feelings of loss so well.

    I loved hearing about the "little" you! A lifelong learner who started very young :)

    Thanks for sharing your answers to all of our questions, Martha.

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    1. That is very true. I've always enjoyed learning and I imagine I'll always be that way. There are just so many interesting things to discover! I'm a very curious person.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting on these posts. It's been a lot of fun putting them together!

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  7. Your last paragraph fits me to a tee. I was a square peg with nothing but a round hole. I was strongly urged to conform. i couldn't.

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    1. We need to be who we are. Forcing ourselves to fit is not the right choice. I'm glad you paved your own road, too!

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  8. I like hearing about your close relationship with your brother and dad. I'm sorry you lost them too soon. I think I also abandoned a lot of what I grew up hearing and thinking, and became my own person. -Jenn

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    1. It has to be that way, Jenn! We have to be who we truly are.

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  9. Always nice to learn more about you. I am sorry that your Father and brother are no longer with you though. XO

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  10. I am realizing after reading your responses to these questions, Martha, that we have a lot in common.
    Life events have shaped you into becoming a very introspective and caring person......whether the death of a family member, things we learned in school/church, and from books we read and people we met.
    A lot of hard and difficult 'work' to get to where you are today. Congrats, you made it!
    have a great weekend.

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    1. Thanks, Jim! Life lessons certainly do shape who we become. And I agree that we have a lot in common! That's why we are friends :)

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  11. Oh yes, Dr. Scholl's. Those were so cute...on everyone else. But they were probably not comfortable.
    Take care, Martha.

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    1. I never had a pair but they really don't look very comfortable!

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  12. Have you ever looked up Miss Brennan and told her what a great influence she was in your life? Where is Michael now?

    I still haven’t been able to find a really good life without my mom. It hasn’t just been her dying but our family falling apart at the seems ever since.

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    1. I haven't looked her up. I don't know her first name or anything else about her. I'll have to check and see if I have any information saved. As for Michael, I have no idea what happened to him or where he is now.

      It sounds like your mom was the glue that held everything together. Some family members are like that.

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  13. It was nice to read the questions and answers. It says more about you than just reading your blog does, which it should do.Today is apparently a very important day. Prince Harry gets married today. When i all of the flags on show I had no idea why. What was it all about? Was it St George’s Day? And then someone mentioned Harry. Then I realised.

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    1. That is the biggest news story right now! Everywhere I turn there's an article or a video about it. I can just imagine how crazy busy it is where you are!

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  14. I must be a lot older than you. As I think about my first teacher...a mini dress for teachers wouldn't have been allowed back in the day, and certainly not any kind of sandals with bare legs. All my teachers wore heals/pumps and hose. Even right up to when I graduated from HS. What I remember most fondly about the early years was one particular teacher who had a soothing voice and read aloud a lot. She read Little House on Prairie............long before the tv show. Fond memory.

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    1. I went to kindergarten in 1970; that was the start of the hippie styles! Mini skirts were popular and so were these shoes. It was an interesting period for fashion. Or rather, unusual :)

      That is a lovely memory of your teacher. Some of those moments stay with us forever.

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  15. I too can remember my first teacher, and many others too. They play such an important part in our lives don't they.

    Losing family members is never easy, and although time can and does ease the pain and loss, I find there are still so many moments I think of those who are no longer with me ... yes, it is life's cycle but sometimes the road can get a little rocky!

    I do hope you've had a good weekend.
    My good wishes.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Some teachers are so good at what they do. They play key roles in the lives of young people.

      We never really get over the loss of a loved on. We simply get used to a new normal.

      Thanks for your lovely comments, Jan! I hope you have been enjoying a wonderful weekend.

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  16. sad about losing those two in your life... and because of this post I now remember that i also owned Dr. Scholl shoes. I had forgotten completely about that. I also enjoyed your story about your first memories of school.

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    1. It was very sad, Sandy. And both in tragic ways. But the worst of all is that they were the most special to me and life has never been the same since then.

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  17. Hi Martha :))) Oh...your memories of the first day of school are sweet. I REMEMBER those exercise sandals, though my memory of them wasn't so sweet lol...our family doctor...his receptionist used to wear them, and she was a 'HARD' walker...meaning she tromped around like Sasquatch in those sandals and all you could hear was "clomp clomp SLAP SLAP" when her heals slapped the back of the sandals lol...she got up constantly and when you're sick...it ain't a sound that is pleasant lol!

    I know how much your father and your brother mean to you...it's nice to have good memories even though they aren't here physically anymore. :) I have to think of some good noodle scratchers for your Q&A posts! ;)

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    1. HAHA! Yes, that sound cannot possibly be appealing when you're not feeling well. I never cared for those shoes. They don't seem very comfortable.

      Next year I'll do this Q&A again, so you've got plenty of time to think about it...LOL

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  18. I always feel sad when I read of your loss of your brother and father, Martha. I've made some kind of peace with the loss of my father, but I can't imagine what it is like lose a sibling, and selfishly I hope that I go first. I appreciate the honesty of your answers to your readers questions. Take care!

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    1. Losing a parent seems to be in the normal sequence of events if they are elderly. But losing a sibling when they are still young isn't. It makes the grieving process that much more difficult! Thanks for stopping by, Louise.

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