Tuesday, September 22, 2009

One of my greatest gifts is called Trisha

One of the best gifts I received in my life was my daughter, Trisha.  I know every parent says their kid was the best of all but Trisha was and is.  As a baby she was always happy and very quiet.  She loved playing alone and never woke me.  I had her crib in my room and I would open my eyes in the morning there she was sitting in her crib smiling at me.  I was in awe of this little girl and deeply in love with her.

When she was around three years old she wanted to learn how to read.  She was very sure she could figure out reading so, I read to her all the time.  I even got so I would read my novels out loud for her.  She didn't care what I read just so long as I read to her.  I could see the magic in her eyes as she started to learn words.  We would sound them out and we would look them up.  To her it seemed to be a great treasure hunt.  One of her gifts to me was exploring words and meanings.

We always had structure in our home.  Spiderman was her favorite TV show and came on at four o'clock in the afternoon.  So I would tell her around 3:30 P.M. it is almost time for Spiderman.  She would pick up her toys so nothing would interfere with her show.  After Spiderman Daddy came home and we ate dinner, at the table and then bath and then... Books were read.  Sometimes Daddy would read Louis L' Amour novels about cowboys to her. Daddy's favorite books were the Sackett series and soon became Trisha's favorite.

Her brother Adam became her "audience" to read to.  Then along came James and the boys would giggle and clap when Trisha read to them.  She wanted to teach them to read but both were too rowdy to sit still very long.  She would not give up on them and tried everyday to teach them words.  So we started learning a new word everyday at the dinner table.  We would look it up and use it in sentences.  It does not surprise me in the least that Trisha is an English teacher.

When Trish became a teenager she decided she wanted a job at McDonald's.  Off she went on her own to apply for a job.  The manager told her she was too young but to come back when she was old enough.  She would stop in periodically and remind him when her birthday was.  And, lo and behold, she started working on her birthday!  Trisha made the biscuits back when the kids had to be at work at 4:00 a.m. and really make the biscuits!  Sometimes she would close and then be back in few hours to open up.  She loved working at McDonald's.

By now I was a single parent and was raising three kids on little more then minimum wage.  Trisha started helping with groceries.  At first she would bring home dinner once a week.  What a great help to me that was but she didn't stop there.  Soon she wanted to pay me "room and board".  I know most of her check must have gone to help our family out.  She never complained about having to buy her own senior pictures, class ring and stuff.  It seemed to me she felt it was an honor.

Trisha has always worked and gone to school.  Her interests are so varied it took her forever to declare and a major and stick to it.  She now has a masters a degree.  She did it all working in the fast food industry while she went to school.  She also took on marriage and motherhood.  She is married to a reader and their son is a reader.  I think fun to them is when a new book comes out and they wait in line at midnight for it to go on sale.

We lived apart for many years and I rarely got to see her and her family.  We live closer now and we have seen each other more in the last few months then in the last 20 years.  I am so very honored to get to know her, her husband and her son.  To this day when I look in her eyes she smiles and my heart melts.  I am so in awe of the woman she has become, Trisha is without a doubt one of my heroes and a great mentor.

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