This week is dedicated to our personal heroes. Enjoy.
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Whenever people speak of hero’s I always think of my grandmother and aunt.
They lived together in a two-story house in Bronx, NY when I was a little girl. They were warm and giving without asking for anything in return. So many stories about them but here is one for each person.
My grandmother was Josephine, she loved to crochet and made the best shawls.
We would listen to the Spanish radio stations and she smoked Kool (which at the age of 9/10is I would run to the little market BODEGA and buy for her). My sister and I would spend holiday, summer vacation or long weekends at her house. Whenever my Mother would come to pick us up, Josephine would always want to give my mother a little money, even if it was all the cash she had at that time. My mother would decline and when we got home, there would be money in someone’s coat pocket or stuffed in our suitcase. She was a giver, it was her way.
My Aunt is Nancy. In Spanish it’s Titi Nancy, and she is a force of nature.
She curses like a sailor, is loud, and would give a kidney to anyone in need. Once she was visiting my family in North Carolina and I told her she had a nice ring. She had purchased it in an estate sale and while she was telling the story of the estate, she took the ring off and gave it me. All I said was it was “nice”. Now I had a new diamond ring!
The lesson I learned from the women in my family, “To give is a blessing. A reminder that you can give instead of need.” I live with this every day.
My aunt- Rachel Mosqueda is my inspiration.
My aunt is not a blood relative, but an aunt by marriage. She married my uncle when I was 6 years old, and unfortunately they divorced a few years later. However after the divorce my aunt had no obligation to stay in my life, 20 years later she is the woman that inspires me! My aunt is loving, caring, genuine, selfless, judgement free, and has taught me to live life by faith.
I am beyond blessed to have her in my life not only as my aunt, but now as the woman I strive to be.
My hero loves unicorns and tacos. How could I not adore that 🥰. Darren says he isn’t a good role model. But Deadpool how I love your sarcasm!
My Dad is and always will be my superhero! He has taught me so many things and has always been my biggest support along with my Mom!
My great-aunt Marie was born in 1900, and, never having children of her own, she was like a 2nd grandmother.
She reinvented herself at the age of 40 when her husband ran off with his secretary by going to college and getting her teaching certificate. Her fun-loving spirit and independence really had an impact on me. She was quite attractive but never remarried. She was so much fun I used to travel to Tulsa just to hang out with her. We would try on her hats and jewelry and giggle like we were best friends.
When I’m in my 90’s I want to be just like her. Never grow old!!
There are too many people that inspire me or motivate me to be better, to narrow to just one is too difficult.
I will take a moment to highlight a few that are important to me and why. Some are very common and others are personal but all are meaningful to me.
Noah (from the Bible)
- In my opinion, has to be a hero of the faith. To do something new and different for 100 years with constant rejection, persecution, and no tangible reality of purpose.
- This teaches me the upper limits of acting in faith and obedience that came with a great price but ultimately a great reward for himself, family, and mankind.
Martin Luther (Theologian 1500’s) & Martin Luther King jr. (Civil Rights Activist & Nobel Peace Prize Winner)
- Both of these men stood up for what they believed in, without apology, and without short term gains. They imparted leadership and wisdom to those who would listen.
Craig Biggio (Baseball Player- Houston Astros)
- Although he was a 7 time All-Star (in multiple positions) he wasn’t the best at any one position but might have been the best all-around team player. Not a lot of people know who Biggio is/was with only 9 home runs short of the 3,000 hits, 300 homers and 300 stolen bases mark; he would have been only the second player in history to reach that club, the other being Willie Mays.
- As I have and will love the game of baseball, watching Biggio for almost his whole career, has taught me aspects of dedication, work ethic, and teamwork.
Anthony “Tony” Dungy (NFL Player, Coach, Author, & Public Speaker)
- I never watched Dungy play football but have lived in the era of his coaching and sports broadcasting. I don’t think that anyone who has been coached or worked with Dungy has ever said anything bad about him.
- He has taught and encouraged me to “coach as you would want to be coached” to encourage others and to hold tight to character and moral over temporary success.
My Mom, Leah Thompson (no, not Back to the Future Lea Thompson! 😂) is my hero!
She’s always believed in us and would help us make a dream come true.
I mentioned that I had always wanted to ride on a train across the country. Well, it wasn’t this country, but she did help me figure out a way to ride all the way from Dublin to Galway. You dream it, she can help you make it happen. Obstacles melt in her path, and memories are made like clockwork.
She used to read all the books we kids were reading.
She used to read all the books we kids were reading, to see what all the fuss was about, and, to this day, my mom can debate Harry Potter with you all day long. One time, she watched all 12 hours of Lord of the Rings, just so she could play Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit with us!
My brother once bragged that his mom could type 100 wpm. When my mom heard that the teacher had reproved him for telling this lie (as no one could type this fast), my mom called the teacher and asserted that she had indeed clocked in at 100 wpm more than once and was happy to come in and demonstrate.
Furthermore, when my friend stole my new scooter and refused to give it back, my mom marched me to her house and informed her mother that we would be needing my scooter back. So, look out, if my mom heard that you had been a bad friend to me, she’d stoutly defend me to the death. We got the scooter back.
Mama Bear Thompson is not one to mess with.
Making a mistake was usually nothing to cry about; it was often something to laugh about.
My mom is the sort of person who figures that if you’re going to laugh about it later, you might as well laugh about it right now. So, that’s why my mom, my sister, and I were found, doubled over in my new apartment, laughing, as hot syrup bubbled and oozed out of the closed microwave door, after a recent Mrs. Butterworth explosion. Apparently, microwaving syrup should be done in seconds increments, not minutes increments…. We’ve also been seen driving around lost, laughing until we cry. (This happened a lot more in the days before GPS…) Mishaps make the best stories, and we’ve got plenty of them.
As our birthdays are exactly 2 weeks apart, we often celebrate together, to this day, crafting fun stuff side by side, like homemade gingerbread cookies, confetti casserole, personal pizzas, bulgogi, and lumpia (Filipino egg rolls, which recipe she received from a friend while living in Hawai’I; see apron photo for lumpia prep!). And, when I was little, she made the most amazing cakes to celebrate, and I felt so special. From dream Barbie getting breakfast in bed, to Patty the caterpillar, to a castle cake with royal subjects, a dragon, and a moat, to roller skate cakes with real doughnut wheels, she made the most exceptional birthday cakes! Birthdays were cause for big celebration. (And I still remember the taste of the white cake with 100 frosting roses that my mom made for my uncle’s wedding.) Cake is my love language.
Aside from always rooting for the underdog (so long as the underdog Is honorable) and having the strongest work ethic of anyone I know, she is warm, engaging, empathetic, cheerful, creative, and loyal. She worked her way through temp jobs with tenacity and perseverance, taking on the tasks that no one else wanted, getting promoted regularly, landing at top jobs in places like Xerox back in the day, and then Dell surviving 20+ years, through however many rounds of layoffs. Thus, you might spot her in Japan, Brazil, Taiwan, Ireland, or India, traveling on a big business project. She said, “Not bad, for a North Dakota farm girl.”
Recently retired, she’s still a legend; overheard at a staff meeting: “We need a Leah Thompson on this project!” They sure do.
My mom is one of a kind, and I’m lucky to call her mine. (I also sometimes share her. Let me know if you need an awesome mom in your life.)