The most influential person in my life.....
Wow... my own topic and I've had a terrible time with it... I can't seem to really narrow this down because there have been some amazing folks in my life and some who have had a great deal to do with me developmentally - not just physically and mentally but emotionally too.
When I think about someone who's been influential, to me it is someone who's touched on all areas of my growth. I've been really blessed and I know it.
My mother and my father are tied for the lead with someone I've never met but I know, I've never hugged but I've felt, I've never heard but His voice rings beautiful and true in my heart. I have read His words and followed His life and tried to walk the walk not just talk the talk. I hope I never offend Him but if I do, I hope He can forgive me. I hope my life brings ultimate reward and if I screw up (and I do - don't we all?) I know He will help guide me to the right path.
If I had to say I've known someone perfect you'd call me a liar when I said yes - pretty darn close to it. My parents are about as perfect as they come.
Mom when she was living was the epitome of all that is good. She was kind, beautiful, loving, wise, faithful, generous, intellectual, talented, sweet, spirited and sweet spirited, a good friend, wife, mother, sister and daughter. She smiled and the room lit up no matter where ever she went. When she sang, the heavens stopped to listen and so did everyone else. When she spoke, people made sure they heard her because she was wise and soft spoken and what she said was always important, relevant and good. No one wanted to miss what Jeanne had to say. She literally glowed. There was a glow about momma that was amazing. She taught us to believe, have faith, be kind and good. She lived her life by the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have done unto you. She expected us to live this way and would accept nothing less than our best at all times. And she always gave her best - ALWAYS. She lived not only by her words but her actions and they always walked hand in hand. She led her clubs, ladies groups, music lessons she taught, choir, her family and her home by example. If she told you to practice your instrument, she did too. She never asked any more of you than she asked of herself. She was about as close to perfect as it gets.
Daddy was too. In a different way. Being the "breadwinner" of the family, Daddy was gone a lot working. He worked long long hours and he worked hard. Daddy was a key player in education in Virginia when things were really awful. He was instrumental in the desegragation of the school not just in the two counties in which he worked at the time it all began, but in another were he moved and then at the State level too. He worked 12 hour days at the office and always brought work home to do after we went to bed. We missed him a lot growing up but he seemed as though he was always there too.
He was like momma. Kind, generous, spirited and gentle spirited, firm but gentle as a man, intelligent, faithful, wise, honest, and good. His name was synonymous with what was fair and just. He was a fabulous role model and father. He was a great son, leader, friend, husband and educator. When he spoke people listened and it was always important. Even when he told a joke, it was important. People hung on his words just as we did at home. He too walked the walk, not just talked the talk and led by example. He was always above reproach. If he was guilty of anything, he was guilty of working too hard to make our lives the best he could help make them.
My parents were amazing. I could never have asked for a better family life. I could not have wanted more from them. They taught me the importance of faith, love, generosity, hard work, dedication, never being afraid to try new things. They taught me that God doesn't love me any more than He loves the next person but that I should always strive to make Him proud of me. They taught me to be sure to offer my thanks and praise every day and not to take today for granted, we're not guaranteed tomorrow. If it comes it's a gift. Be accordingly thankful.
This and so much more they taught me. So if you ask me did I ever know anyone personally who was perfect, I'll tell you yes... They were pretty darn close. I hope I've made them proud.