This is a tough one! I can’t really think of any one event in my life that specifically made me what I am today, other than possibly finding my husband, Derek. He brought about the most amazing light of both of our lives, our daughter Jennifer. He has also shown me the incredible depth of compassion that is within him, by spending the majority of the time during the months of my mother’s illness with her and my father, and after she passed away, helping them out in any way he could. Seeing this has shown me how easy it is for people to become mired within their own lives and concerns, and how awesome it is to help others with their troubles. I have always aspired to be as compassionate as he was with them and is with others; I don’t believe I will ever reach his ability, but I do my best to try to be there for others who may need it. We have also done our best to show our daughter how wonderful it is to be that kind of person, both for the other person and for your own soul.
This is my “happy place.” I have been visiting the Apple Farm in Fairfield since before my 17-year-old daughter was born, and will do so every fall as long as I am able. It is killing me that I have had to have surgery on my foot, so I can’t walk around there, but I’m hoping I’ll be in shape to get there for the last part of the apple season. The orchards are amazing, the food is amazing, the people are fantastic, and I have so many memories of awesome family times there. I go to remember my mom, most of all, since she loved the place almost as much as I do.
As a writer, I will consider myself successful when I am able to convince someone, based solely on my writing prowess, to change their ideas about a major life choice. For example, I have an online friend who has been a smoker for many years, but she intends to try to have a baby in the near future. When discussing this, it never enters into the conversation whether or not she plans to quit smoking during her pregnancy. She is very, very attached to her habit, unfortunately; I am afraid that anything I do to try to convince her will either be ignored, or have the completely opposite effect!
If I can impart the importance of quitting, and the effects that smoking will have on an unborn child, not to mention the second-hand smoke after the baby is born, enough to cause her to actually quit, I will feel like I have accomplished a truly positive thing that will affect multiple people’s lives. I know a couple of people who smoked during their pregnancies, and those moms’ stories about their kids’ severe medical issues, I think, will go a long way towards convincing my friend that she needs to quit.