There are so many wonderful women who make up Grams' support system that deciding where to start has been more of a challenge than I expected. So maybe it's a little obvious, but I've decided to start with the person who has been the number one most influential woman in my life for 30 years now, my daughter, Katy.
Where to start and what can I say? I'll start by saying that Katy is the most supportive person I know, bar none. And she doesn't support and encourage only me, it is innate in her personality. She's encouraging, upbeat, and uplifting to everyone, family, friends and coworkers. Friends and family members have often commented to me about how just spending time with her raises their spirits. She's beautiful inside and out.
It was clear to me very early that her vision is different from mine. And I mean that literally. She has an artist's eye and she was born with it. When I look at something, I see the thing. When she looks at the same thing, she sees what it is made of ... the lines, the textures, the curves, and the shadows. And she has the talent and skill to translate what she sees into something beautiful and artistic.
When I need it, she's not shy about giving me a good healthy dose of reality. When I was investigating gastric bypass surgery in a desperate effort to regain control of my weight and my health, she went with me to visit the surgeon. She listened to what he had to say and asked lots of questions. She was straightforward and honest about her expectations. She turned to me and said, "Mom, I'm willing to support you in this, but you have to do what the doctor says. You can't do this for a while and then stop. This will be for the rest of your life." So there it was, not said out loud but powerful even though unspoken. Without being unkind or mean-spirited, she'd just made her point. What she didn't say is "Mom, you've been on every kind of diet there is, but you've never stuck to any of them long term." But her point was made and it's stuck with me. Every time I get discouraged or think I can't do it any more, I remember the commitment she asked of me and that I made to her, simply this, that I will do what the doctor says. And the few times I've strayed off plan, she doesn't hesitate to remind me of my commitment.
The morning my Mom died, I called Katy and she immediately offered to come home. We already knew that the funeral would not be here in Corpus Christi, but 500 miles away in Northeast Texas. We also knew that Grandad would be having major surgery within the next few days so I told her just to wait until the arrangements were made and then we would decide in a day or so who would go to the funeral and who would come home for the surgery. But as the day passed and I faced the reality of coming home alone to an empty house, around five o'clock I realized that I didn't want to be alone. I called her and she was here within three hours. It was such a comfort not to have to face that night alone.
When I wanted to climb Enchanted Rock, she was the very first to volunteer to go with me. When I struggled that day, both physically and emotionally, she stayed right by my side encouraging me and truly understanding why this was an emotional thing for me.
Our relationship has not always been sunshine and roses. After all, she was a teenage girl for six or seven years. And don't even get me started on some of the young men she chose to date. But when it came to choosing a life partner, she chose wisely. She has a wonderful husband and they are building a great life together. We still don't always see eye-to-eye on everything, but we love and respect each other. Over the years we have successfully redefined our relationship to keep it suitable to our ages and where we are in our lives. And, she's the mother of Our Little Princess. What more could I ask for?