Choose between 1 and 10 people, alive or dead, who you feel are or were positive role models. What are their names? Tell us a bit about them. What do you admire them for? How do they inspire you?
1. Grandma Frances - My grandma and my namesake. Classy and quirky all in one. She was athletic and smart and easy to laugh and delighted in victory. She played a mean game of horse rummy and took no mercy, even on eight year olds. She played basketball when she was seventy some years old. She was deaf and never apologized for raising her voice to an accidental yell in public. She could be quiet too. She could sit in the sun and nap and read for hours. She made the most delicious peanut butter cookies and had a way of making root beer floats the most exciting grandma treat EVER.
2. Mr. Nish - My high school cross-country coach. This is going to sound strange but the most overwhelmingly amazing gift that Mr. Nish gave was listening. He was the greatest listener I have ever come across and it's no surprise he was the most popular and beloved teacher at my high school. From what I hear, he still is. All of us want to be heard and when we are, we don't forget it.
3. Father Roberto - A priest I very recently met who has the most contagious smile I've ever caught. He can share and lend joy to anyone within moments. His eyes are clear and his gaze is free of doubt. He is joy, embodied.
4. My sister and brother - My best friends and the greatest siblings anyone could ever have. My brother and sister taught me how to stick by the ones you love, no matter what. They taught me how to forgive in the purest sense. No love is lost, the harm is left behind and the bond gets stronger with time. I don't know where they learned this stuff, but I know I learned it from them.
5. Mom and dad - They never ever gave up on me and will never ever stop teaching me how to live. My most natural desire is to be with others, to socialize and enjoy the company of others. I love people and I love the relationships I've formed today. I have learned to communicate and to add to a relationship because my parents have always sought to give more than take to one another and to the people around them. They are my examples of married life and the finest I know.