I have been thinking a lot lately about the women who have influenced, impacted and changed my life. So I am going to do a series on these women. Because of the positive influences in my life, I made great choices, the best of which was getting sealed in the Temple for Time and all Eternity to the love of my life. And there are women who help teach, guide and influence me to try and be me best self today. Not all stories are from the past, and I can't wait to discover the future ones!
The stories I will tell about each of them is special and dear to me, and hopefully you will see how much the things you do and say affect others! I know some lessons I learned I was probably taught multiple times or by several different people, but I understood those lessons when these women taught me. Please enjoy reading about the women who have helped shape me, and who I love and am grateful to!
My Grandma Bessie Hatch: She is in Heaven now, and I know she watches over me. She is my hero, and saved me. When I was born she already had dementia, and my parents told me it makes it hard for people to remember what day or year it is, and that is was very difficult for her. I can only imagine. But she never forgot me. She noticed I was often left out from the cousins ( I'm the youngest) and in all I have over 60 first cousins, so she would send me fancy dresses with frills and lace, and once a sock puppet doll with a green checkered dress that I still have! And remember that dementia? Well when the family got together and when it came to me, she didn't forget me. She saved me. One day when I was around 5, a much older boy cousin brought me into a room to play doctor. Do you see where this is going?
Well my grandma may have had dementia but she watched out for me and was so in tune with the Spirit. Before he could hurt me she burst into the room, pulled me away from his reach, gave me my shirt and shielded me as she yelled and handled him. I don't know what happened to that cousin and that situation, but I was never left near him ever again. She saved me, I had no idea what was coming, and though I have experienced abuse other times earlier and later in life, I was saved that day. No one else came looking for me or to check on me, but she did. She always did. I love her very much and cannot wait to throw my arms around her when she greets me in Heaven one day and thank her. She is my hero.
Another hero in a different sense: Sister Bibber. She taught me compassion, selflessness, and the importance of visiting teaching. In our church each month the women go visit other women they are assigned to. They teach a message about the Savior, become better friends with each woman and are there should that woman, or Sister as we call each other, need any help. It was my senior year, I woke up at 4:45 every morning, went to early morning church class, school, college class, then to my nanny job, then home. I helped around the house when I could with cooking and things, but was much too busy. My mom worked as an X ray tech and loved it. Then she got sick. Like in the hospital, surgery, no real answers scary kind of sick. She was sick for 6 months. And here comes my hero, Sister Bibber.
She brought us food at least once a week and came to visit my mom once a week. I don't think she ever missed a week the entire 6 months. And in Maine, people live far from one another so she sacrificed so much for our family by giving us her time, her love, her support, and meals. She also organized the other women in our branch (congregation) and we had at least 3 meals a week brought in. For 6 months. I learned from Sister Bibber the importance of service, of doing whatever it takes to meet the needs of the women you are blessed to serve. I believe in visiting teaching, I try to be just like her and know how to best love and serve the women I now visit teach since I'm all grown up! When I tell others this story I always cry. The qualities of a choice and amazing woman were shown and taught to me. I watched and learned that I wanted to be like her. That she was a hero. I love her and am so grateful to have been able to be on the receiving end of such kind, generous service and compassion. It changed my life.
Thank you to these women for teaching me, saving me, and loving me. I am so so grateful to you.
These are just some of the women who have changed my life. Keep checking back because there are many more stories of gratitude to be told.