Who Has Had the Biggest Impact on Your Life and Why?

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A lot of us remember our mother, and for good reason.

Should someone pose the same question to me that I have asked of you, I would never hesitate to talk about the most important person in my life, my mother.

I had two fathers, one that left when I was only a month old (he was not sure I was his son, and so he divorced my mom), and one that arrived when I was 5 (he had a 40-word vocabulary, 20 of which were cuss words). I did not realize until much later that he did not know several foreign languages (he actually did know cuss words in at least three languages).

It might be sad to admit that I have no idea who my father is, but in the greater scheme of things, it does not really matter all that much because he was never a part of my life.

My mother was.

Both of my fathers provided examples of what not to do when being a husband, father and role model. Given the circumstances, one becomes what one sees, or one makes it a point to never become what one sees. I chose to ignore the fathers who never were.

My mother apparently had a somewhat rocky start in life, and was probably not the best mother a child could have had, but she became a fighter, for herself and her children.

She suffered through two of her daughters preceding her in death, and often said "It is a great life if you can stand to live it."

I was raised essentially by my maternal grandparents for the first 5 years of my life, and everything good that I first learned was from them.

After living more than six decades I can tell you without qualification that my grandparents were the salt of the earth. They started out as farmers in Illinois before the turn of the century and moved north to Michigan when farming became impossible.

They were Midwest stock, always recognized and honored God, and whatever homespun wisdom I have came from watching them very carefully, and always loving them as they loved me.

That said, my mother was the biggest backer that I ever had.

She...
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