The next name on the diagram is "DziaDziu." This is the Polish translation of Grandpa. He is my father's father. The reason he is a part of my web is how much time he spent with me and my siblings as we grew up. He was our after-school caretaker. When school was over, DziaDziu would come get us from school and sometimes take us to McDonald's for Happy Meals. He also showed us respect and taught us manners and how to be polite. We learned about our Polish heritage through him and celebrated most holidays in a Polish style. I know I would not be the person I am today if I didn't have his guidance. A year ago my father passed away, so in honor of my dad, I asked DziaDziu to walk me down the aisle in my Wedding. At 92 years of age, despite walking with a cane, he walked with me so proudly that I will never forget his being there at such an important time in my life. (See Picture Below)
My grandma in the diagram is my mom's mother. She was always proud of my sisters and I when we accomplished something in school or sports. She always told the story about when I first began to read. "I was in preschool and at four years old I picked up the newspaper and read about George Bush as president." Grandma took us to the mall almost every Saturday and treated us to Friendly's lunch. She was also very helpful when it came to buying our dresses for school dances. I remember her being most influential in my learning/continuing to read. She always had library books and would let me take books out as well. I always knew I was well-cared for and loved at Grandma's house. In my life now, it is so important for me to remain connected to my grandmother as she is in a nursing facility. Because she took such good care of me, I must now make the same effort in return to her as she had such an impact in my life.
The final name on the diagram above is "Mrs. Reidy." She is an important community member, educator and family friend. As my fifth grade teacher, I learned many things from her. I also learned the importance of family at that time as my parents had a test of their marriage and Mrs. Reidy was there to listen to me as I struggled with understanding my parents' marital issues. My parents were able to work through their problems with the help of Mrs. Reidy guiding them as well as me and my sisters. It was evident to me even as a child that she cared deeply about the well-being of her students. She did her best to make sure everyone was happy and if not, took steps to help the child. In my adult years, I hope to a strong teacher and nurturer for my students as she was to me. I strive to be a compassionate person in my everyday teaching, having a special role in all of the students' lives.
|DziaDziu walks me down the aisle, 4/9/11|