Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Who Does She Think She Is . . .

My niece, Rian, posted in the comments from the previous post that she "is still a work of art in progress." That comment spoke to me because even at my age, I could say the same.  All of us are the sum of our parts. There are certain events that have happened during my lifetime that have heavily influenced my current world view.  So to help my descendants give context to my life, here are some of the events that have influenced me.

Within the family:

  • Being the first-born of seven children, five boys and two girls.  The first four of us were born in less than four years.
  • Being the product of a "mixed marriage" (non-Catholic father and Catholic mother), and all that implied in my earlier years.
  • Attending Catholic schools from 1st grade through high school.
  • Growing up in a family with a strong work ethic and an underlying assumption that we would all go to college, etc.
  • Being a part of a large extended family, especially on my maternal side.
  • Although there wasn't a lot of money, I never missed a meal and was never without a necessity. 
Within the world:
  • I was always greatly interested in the space program from the time that Russia launched the Sputnik through the U.S. putting a man on the moon.  I wish we still had a vision for space, innovation and exploration that we could afford.
  • I was heavily impacted by the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy.
  • My generation was heavily impacted by the War in Viet Nam.  I think it took a toll on my ex-husband  who fought in the infantry. I tend to be a pacifist. I hate war.
  • I've always had a strong sense of social justice and a desire that all Americans be treated equally and have some of the same opportunities that have made all of the difference for me.
  • As a child who grew up in the idyllic 50s and came unto my own as a young adult of the 60s, I am a part of the Boomer Generation.  I have always believed that when we as a group were ready to retire, we would then be thought of as the problem.  I'm seeing that more and more.
In the next (and final) post on this topic, I will discuss the challenges I've experienced in my personal life.  So, dear descendants, do you think you have me figured out?  Can you put me in a box?  I hope I've convinced you that it's hard to really know someone.  As my sister Karen asked, wouldn't you love to be able to ask your own parents what they believed and what influenced their ideas?


  1. I missed this one the first time around. How great! Yes, it would be wonderful to be able to ask parents and grandparents these questions. I think I know some of the answers because my family wrote so much - journals, letters etc. Can't wait until part 3 appears.

  2. I agree with Kristin. Great. The names and dates and data is all well and good but the personal view into our ancestors would be such an interesting thing to have.

  3. I like your insights into your formative influences. You are right we'd all love to know what are the influences that made our parents' lives.


Join the conversation. Comments are appreciated and keep me motivated.