I am from fried chicken and chocolate meringue pies,

from large nap-inducing Sunday lunches after we returned home

from Sunday School and church.

I am from a large, loud, loving family, even if they were stubborn and at times ignorant.

I am from a grandmother who insisted that anything could be cured with rubbing alcohol

or an enema.

I am from serious studies and straight A’s,

from a college degree – the first ever in my family.

I am from young love, married to the handsome guy who flirted with me

from across the high school marching band field.

I am from a partnership that has enjoyed the best of the best and endured the worst of the worst.

I am from music – flute, guitar, trumpet, drum, french horn and hammer dulcimer,

melodies that have flowed in and out, dancing lightly around the scenes of my life.

I am from pain – a pain so deep, so dark, so devastating

it could only be dealt with in very small pieces at a time.

I am from honesty and good manners, yes ma’am and no sir,

politeness and friendliness.

I am from life is a gift – take all these things together and use them to make it count.

~Kathy Shoaf