I posted this to an online community forum that myself and friends have, but the more I thought about it, I wanted to capture it on my blog as well. Looking back on growing up and becoming who I am, I wanted to thank my mom and three others who had a major influence in my life.
I learned lots from my mom, but I think there are four very key qualities that makes Jay who he is:
1) NEVER EVER let the bad things in life take control of you; even if it means your husband and two of your children are killed in a car accident and your back is broken in three places, there are still things that you are responsible for (in her case a two-year old, me and a 15 year old, my sister).
2) ALWAYS honor your word. This has a lot of different application too, not just personal. For example at a job where you are working, you deliver to the best of your ability just like you said you would.
3) ALWAYS GIVE to others in anyway you can; you WILL reap what you sow someday.
4) LISTEN to what older folks have to say and apply their experience to your own life. It took me until 25 (and I still forget sometimes) to figure this one out, but now I am constantly amazed at what experience in entirely different areas can mean to what I'm involved in today.
I also had THREE male role models since my father passed away when I was 2. Each who taught me other qualities growing up:
1) All three taught me an over-abundance of:
a) GIVE and HELP others all that you possibly can. Sacrifice for yourself is rewarded in many other ways.
b) WORK your ass off and just get it done.
2) Gene (my now step-dad, then close friend of the family): Is where my love and desire to explore technology came from. He also taught me a whole heck of a lot about patience (though again, took me till 25 to realize it start applying it).
3) Champ (close friend of the family, passed away to cancer when I was 18): This is where any "chauvinestic" tendancies I might have came from, but I think they are all good in my opinion, basically the quality to do for and to respect the weaker (ie: women, the sick and the elderly in particular). Physical labor can be fun (I still don't really have this one down yet!). He would work my butt off, but looking back on it, I loved it! He had me on a riding lawn mower by 5 years old mowing the yard, chopping wood with a gas wood splitter by 7 or 8. It is a wonder I have all my digits!!!
4) Robert (cousin's husband): If you put your mind to it, you can figure out how to build or fix just about anything without prior knowledge or books. Common sense is VERY valuable, don't over look it. Also, at the time, a big spiritual influence for me, though not so much these days as I examine my beliefs.