There have been many times when I've looked up to someone. My grandma is one of the first I remember. Her name was Leona, but because I couldn't say her name when I was younger I called her Grandma "Loney".. My mom had a hard time giving birth to me, and was in and out of the hospital for the first few months of my life. Grandma Loney stepped in and took over while mom was sick. I have the fondest memories of spending time with my grandma and Grandpa (Shep). They just treated me like a mini-adult. I would go to dinner with them every Friday night to Weatherford to visit Grandma's sisters.. We would go to the Mark, and I would order some weird random children's meal that was like "Jack and Jill" or "Humpty dumpty" and we would all sit there and talk like Adults (This is when I was 2 & 3 years old).. I never cried to go back to my parents, because I was so enamored with my grandparents.
Grandma made everything from scratch. I would watch her for hours making rolls, cakes, and casseroles.. I always loved baking cookies with her because she would let me mix the batter with my hand (she would always say only ONE hand) and then of course let me lick the spoon. Every night she would read me a story.. One day she was reading a book to me while I ate a lifesaver candy.. I was leaning back on her lap and it got stuck in my throat.. I was choking, and without missing a beat, my grandpa lept up, reached down my throat, and pulled out the lifesaver! It was like they were meant to watch over me, and meant just for me. He also saved me another time when I fell into a lake (In my Easter dress, Mom was NOT pleased, lol).. I got too close to the edge and he just grabbed the end of my hair before I got too far under, and pulled me out. To this day I do not remember ever watching my grandma or grandpa fight, or say a harsh word about someone. Grandma read the bible front to back more than 3 times. Grandpa was always there to lend a helping hand when someone needed it. They always knew someone might be watching..
They had so many friends that they enjoyed.. Grandpa played dominos every weekend.. and went to the Blue Goose in Gotebo where they would still fill up your tank when you pulled in. Grandma took me grocery shopping at the United in Cordell, (while grandma waited on the bench at the front of the store and visited with people) and then afterword they would take me to the TG&Y and let me pick out one stuffed animal. I would agonize over what to pick..and grandma said I'd go back to the ones I didn't pick and say "I'll get you next time, so don't be sad"..
When I think back of how much time and energy they gave to just entertain me it makes me smile. I'm so grateful for that relationship, and hope someday my kiddo has a relationship like that with my parents. They have both been gone for over 10 years, and tears roll down my face as I write this because I still miss them so much.. They lived their lives always knowing that someone might be watching.. Little eyes might be watching.. and they set a great example.
When I was in college I volunteered for Big Brothers/Big Sisters. I had a 9 year old girl as my mentee.. She was shy,quiet, and not a confident girl. Every week I would take her somewhere and talk to her, but I never felt like she was listening to anything I said, and that she probably dreaded the times I was coming to pick her up! I mentored her until I moved out of state.. Her mom called me a few years later and said "I just want you to know how much Melana loved and respected you".. I never would have known..but I'm glad I always kept in mind that she might be watching.
There are so many great examples of people I look up to in my church, and I'm pretty sure they have NO CLUE how much they mean to me, or that I'm watching. There is a 93 year old man that sits in front of me every Sunday. He's always by himself, and each time I see him, he's greeting people, and welcoming them to church. When we sing, he raises his hands and voice up to heaven, and it just moves me to see his spirit.
Our choir leader writes the most amazing bulletin messages for us. They are so heartfelt..watching the way he leads the choir, and shares his music gifts inspire me to be a better Christian. I look forward to seeing him every Sunday, and I'm pretty sure he has no clue who I am. There is a woman who sings in the choir who I just Adore. I'm pretty much insane about her.. to the point I saw her in the food court and ran after her to tell her how much I love her, lol.. She was probably freaked out. I know I would have been.. but I didn't want to pass up that moment to tell her how much I enjoy her singing and enthusiasm for the Lord while in the choir. I'm so blessed that I was able to get in touch with her, and have her sing at my wedding. I can now call her my friend, and I've been able to tell her what a great blessing she is to me.
There were days when I was on the radio, and days that go by now when I think; "What am I doing to make the world better? What am I doing to inspire somene else?" and some days the answer is "Nothing." I try not to have too many of those day. I remember getting off the air and thinking "That was a terrible show, no one cared".. and then later that day getting an email from a listener that said "Just wanted you to know that joke made me laugh, when I was havin a really crappy day".. You just never know when someone is watching or listening.
Now that I'm older, I look back at my parents and step-parents and appreciate them so much. The fact that my step mom, and step dad were willing to allow me into their families and take care of me.. How my mom and dad put me before everything and didn't put me through a messy divorce. At my wedding seeing all four of my parents talking and being friendly to each other just made my world. I'm so happy to have all of them in my life! They have all set such good examples for me in different ways, and I'm grateful for them all. I love hearing my daddy sing, and I love how much everyone loves my mom! Even though we made some mistakes, they taught me lessons that I will forever remember because they always knew someone might be watching, and they still continue to inspire me to be the best person I can be..
I decided to write this blog because each day when we go to our jobs, or go out in the public, we just never know what other people are going through, and how a small smile, or kind gesture might make their day. If someone cuts me off in traffic, I try not to take it personally..Maybe they are going through something in which they need to get somewhere quicker than I need to get.
When I am at those nursing homes, I'm constantly shocked by how the lick of a dog in a dress brightens someone day. All this time I'm trying to teach Payslee not to lick, and then when she licks an elderly person their whole face lights up!
I've done a lot of things that I would never want anyone to see, or know, but I also try to do a lot of things to inspire people, teach people, and love people, because you never know who might be watching, and what that could mean to them.
So take time to be kind to each other.. Quit being bitter about stuff that isn't going to matter in 10 years.. Stop living so selfishly that you can't see anyone but yourself.. Enjoy your friends and family.. Praise your God and give thanks! We only have this one time to get it right, and we shoudn't waste our time.. There are so many people who have inspired me... County singers, Preachers, writers, Family, and just regular people.. and some of them know they have, and some of them don't.. So live your life thinking.. "Someone might be watching..is this how I want them to see me?"