Funny the World...


April 13, 2000

I was kind of stuck for what to write today. Audra, Chris and the dogs left, I had a meeting that wasn't very interesting, and I spent the rest of the day doing normal, mundane things. But then I received an e-mail from a friend, who starts out by saying, "Okay, so this is definitely spam...but the point is, you each do make a difference in my life and so I wanted to share this story...." The story was long and traced the effect on people's lives by someone acknowledging how they'd Made a Difference in their lives. And I knew I'd found my subject for today. If you'll indulge me, these are the people who have Made a Difference in my life, in more or less chronological order:

The people who have had the biggest influence include:

Sister Anne, my typing teacher, but so much more. We became mentor/student, then friends, and then lifelong friends. She was a confidante when I was in high school, and offered support throughout my life. Our oldest child is named for her. I last saw her in the mid 1980s, when I spent a weekend at the convent. She died five years ago of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and I still miss her today.

Fred. Fred was one of my first bosses. I worked for him for four years, during which time I typed the textbook he wrote three times (pre-computers! We were in the carbon paper days back then). He also became my friend. He introduced me to physics (I can't believe the stuff he had me reading), got me involved in politics, and challenged my mind. We remain friends today, and I cherish his friendship.

Walt, my husband, without whom I would never have the wonderful children we have, who has put up with my eccentricities and who has loved me through it all. Thank you, honey.

Gilbert. The most intelligent man I've ever met, yet quiet and unassuming. He was interested in everything and knew something about everything. Like Fred, he challenged my mind, opened my world to so many incredible things. We learned about computers together. He died in 1986 and I miss him every day; how he would have loved the Internet!

David turned me into an activist and made me realize that when you care about something, or someone, you can't remain silent. He also demands that I give him chocolate.

[entry deleted, by request]

Steve came into my life last year, shortly after Paul died. By his example, his music, his courage, his dedication, his calm and quiet and his non-judgmental love, he has inspired me to look at how I am living my life and to make life-changing decisions. He also gives great hugs, even if he does think I'm a bitch.

To a lesser, but no less important degree, I am grateful for the difference these people have made in my life:

Char for the years of laughter and camaraderie, pumpkin pies, silly stunts, unpaved roads, and memories.
Jeri D for lifelong friendship and for always remembering special occasions.
another wonderful friend with whom I have shared so many highs and lows. I value her place in my life.
for making me believe that I could, too, write a book.
Dair, one of the most giving people I know. She's taught me so much about volunteerism by her example.
Lynn for being Lynn. For loving me and everyone so unconditionally...and for teddy bears.
Olivia for continuing to push me to expand my horizons and for creating my own little corner in her world.
Peggy, my new Internet friend whom I hope to meet in person soon. She's already had an impact on my life.
Laura believes I'm worth something and she inspires me by her faith, her talent and her sensitivity. She moved in the week after Paul died, even though we hardly knew each other beforehand. And she sent me this great idea for a journal entry.

Not to be overlooked is my mother, who gave me life, taught me right from wrong, proved that it's possible to follow your dreams against overwhelming odds, and continues to inspire me every day. Also not to be overlooked are our children, Jeri, Ned, Paul, Tom and David, without whom none of it matters anyway.

I am truly blessed to be connected to these wonderful people.

I love you, guys.


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created 4/13/00 by Bev Sykes