People you admire..
I saw a post on twitter earlier asking who you admired and why. I occasionally get amused at some of the responses. The response is often something similar to asking a 5 year old what they want to be when they grow up… There is one person I admire above others. She never had a drivers license, carried a paddle with her everywhere she went, never traveled out of the country and rarely out of the state, she was known to be stubborn and contrary, but she was one of the wisest, kindest, and loving women I have ever been blessed to know. Her name was Rose Garland Cole and she was my great grandmother.
She was born on September 26, 1911 to Perry and Ida Townsley Garland. She had several siblings who were equally talented and amazing, three brothers James, Beckham, and Charles Garland, and one sister Etta Garland Bargo. If I am correct all of the siblings attended and graduated from college, several of them working in education. My great grandmother graduated from Union College in 1933. Amazing, huh? Most women weren’t even dreaming of college in that era. I would have loved to have known and befriended her back then, I can only imagine what a feisty and spitfire woman she was. She started work at a very small school in Cole’s Branch, Kentucky which is in rural Southeastern Kentucky. She met and eventually married my great grandfather, Delmar Cole. They had two handsome sons Earl and Freddie, along with a daughter Ruby Lenore who died shortly after birth. She continued teaching following the birth of her sons, working their modest farm, and being very active in their local church.
|Dewitt School 1950-51|
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She loved me unconditionally and never missed an opportunity to remind me of that.
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I am a better person because I knew her.
|Mrs. Rose Garland Cole with one of her many school classes|
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I have spent too long focusing on how I failed her instead of how I could please her. I hope she is proud of the woman I am, and she knows that every day I am trying to be better than the day before. Her life is a testament to never giving up and overcoming whatever obstacles may be thrown her way. She stood out in a crowd and was well ahead of her time. She is my inspiration, and I still miss and think of her daily over 10 years later.
Tears of joy
So if your reading this blog to get to know me, then you have to get to know my son Gabriel.
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He is the purest light in a world full of darkness. He saved me from a deep despair and he was Gods promise I would be okay. I was already having a rough spring in the May of 2009. I took a job at the University of Kentucky in January. It was demanding but I had great co-workers and I learned a great deal about diagnostic laboratory medicine. My husband who had returned from a tour in Iraq several months before was diagnosed with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP). I’ll save that story for another post too. He underwent medical treatment but it failed. His physician suggested a course of a chemotherapy drug called Rituxan. We were counseled that not only could Rituxan make you sterile, it was teratogenic. If Arturo and I wanted to get pregnant, it had to happen immediately. We had one month to try before his treatments began. The week following his first treatment my brother was murdered. Two days later I took a pregnancy test that was negative and I had double devastation. In one week my brother was murdered and there was a significant chance that my husband and I would never have children. It was rough the weeks following. I sat watching them fill Arturo with poison, I grieved over my brother, and I wasn’t having a baby… Or so I thought! I didn’t want to drag myself out of bed, I was always sick and exhausted. I assumed the overwhelming stress of everything was getting the best of me. I reluctantly made an appointment to see my physician. I knew the first thing they would ask was if I could be pregnant.
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I decided to prevent any embarrassment I would take another pregnancy test as a precaution….I cried the first tears of joy in weeks.
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It was a miracle.
I hope everyone will read that message and really think about it. If you have ever lost a loved one suddenly, you will can better understand it. My brother and I were in different states when he passed away. I sometimes wonder how other people treated him the last weeks, days, hours, and minutes before he died. Sadly I know he died alone, lying in a pool of his own blood, after begging for help. Every person that we cross paths with, we have no clue when their life will end. What if you were the last smile or the last frown someone ever saw? How would you want your loved ones treated? We all have bad days but need to recognize how we influence others. I don’t always feel like smiling but I would rather be the last happy face someone saw than the grimmest. Has anyone ever randomly done anything for you that changed your day? What if you could do that for someone else? How different would this world be? If we all set out in the morning to make a positive difference in someone else’s life, no matter how small. I could be grim and pessimistic, but I refuse to let the act of one evil person negatively change the outcome of my life. If I let him make me scared or angry, he wins. My brothers life and his death would be in vain. Instead I try to live positively, helping others with an open and kind heart. I ask each of you to do something simple today to help someone else. Don’t do it for me, do it for my brother and his memory, and others that have been lost to evil and violence. Smile my dear friends, today is going to be a great day!