I graduated from High School when I was 16 years old. I started teaching nursery school children during the day at my church and attending night school at the community college two streets from my home. I was a biology major. I had no actual plan, but I had a dream. I wanted to be a doctor.
My first college class was general biology. Everyone in class worked during the day like I did. They had plans too. I was naturally shy, but because everyone seemed to understand me and my dreams, we all became friends. One man in particular and I talked about our plans. Decisions became confusing during that first year. Since I started night classes, I decided to pursue a career as an ambulance driver. I told my friend about this and how my friends and family wanted me to study nursing, but I still wanted to be a doctor. He said, “Don’t stop at being an ambulance driver, and don’t stop at being a nurse, go all the way to being a doctor. You can do it.’ His words encouraged me for all the years I studied. I am thankful.
My family left Ohio and my Grandfather allowed me to live with him. He was patient and kind and allowed me the freedom to attend my college classes and work when I was able. He took care of me and protected me for many years. I was able to attend nursing school at a large hospital near our home. After graduating from nursing school, I began pursuing a career in veterinary medicine. It was because of his care I was able to do so.
My Grandfather was an immigrant and only had an eighth grade education, but he was the smartest man I have ever known. He supported all my educational endeavors. After attending graduation from veterinary school, he told me how proud he was of me. He told me it took a lot of courage to do what I did, but it was only possible because of him. I think it took a lot of courage for his family to come to this country and for him to roll steel every day for many years and raise a family and take care of the people he loved. I am thankful beyond any words to express how much to this man who taught me everything about courage and doing the right thing and always taking care of family.
Over the past years, my Father and Mother have helped me in many ways. They gave me a home in a foreign state, helped me find gainful employment, pay off all my bills, and have the courage to find a new life enjoying the ocean, rivers, manatees, pelicans, sea turtles, and many more things. I am truly grateful.
Friends and family always make a difference.
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