Obviously everyone becomes who they are, in part, due to the way they were raised. It’s where we get our moral compass. It’s where we get our foundation to know right from wrong. We learn all kinds of lessons along the way that mold us into the adults we eventually become and our family has a huge impact on helping us learn those lessons. I come from a relatively small family. I think that, for me anyway, was for the best. Some people come from huge families that spend all of their free time together and rely on each other 100%. But I think coming from my small family and not relying on family too much has helped me become the independent guy I am. Now, with that said, that doesn’t mean my family isn’t important to me because they are! My immediate family:
Dad – My dad’s name is John (which is where my name came from.) He makes his living as a mechanic. Ever since I can remember, my dad has worked hard for what he’s had, never having anything just handed to him. Growing up, my dad never really was the kind to outwardly show me affection. Oddly enough, I was ok with that. There was an understanding that he was my dad, and since he was my dad, he loved me. My dad was always busy working, either at one of his full time jobs, or on his friends’ and family’s vehicles in the garage at home. There wasn’t a lot of free time for him to do things with me or my sister, but whenever he would get a chance he would come out to one of my baseball games. We didn’t do a lot together really. We went to some sporting events together. A few Indianapolis Indians games here or there and a Colts game or two. We never really went outside to throw the baseball or the football around. He was typically too busy working on vehicles or trying to catch up on sleep. Now that I’m older I can understand where he was coming from. Dad and I have had some talks about things here lately and I’ve been rather enlightened. Things weren’t always as they seemed to me when I was a kid. There were a lot of things that Dad and Mom kept from me and my sister. I suppose I can see his reasoning now.
Mom – My mom’s name is Pam. For as long as I can remember she has worked in the restaurant scene in one capacity or another. She’s currently a manager or something at Wendy’s. Like my dad, my mom was always busy working. They pretty much had to in order to get the bills paid. I remember hanging out with my mom quite a bit when I was younger. Then my sister came along and I became the “older child” which was fine for me. Once my sister got past that cute baby stage we used to fight and argue about things that brothers and sisters fight and argue about. My mom used to have this way of saying things that would get our attention in a heartbeat. Simple things like “shut up” would become “shuuuuuuuuuuut uuuuuuuuuuuuuup.” That always made me laugh. Mom has always been a smoker. As a youngster there wasn’t anything I could do about that. Now that I’m older though, I certainly voice my opinion about it. She did quit for a short time, but picked it right back up. My mom is living with me for now. That’s pretty interesting sometimes. It’s nice because I get those home cooked meals that only moms can make. At the same time though it’s kind of weird. Sometimes I feel like I’m the parent now and I have to keep an eye on her.
Sister – My sister’s name is Amanda. She’s my only sibling; my younger sibling. There were times when we were growing up that I wished I had more siblings, like an older brother for instance. But now that we’re older, I’m glad it was just the two of us. Like I said earlier, after she was no longer a baby, we would fight about things. Nothing major really. Except for this one time, there was an incident with a calculator hitting her in the head and making her bleed. (Sorry Sis!) Even though we would fight and argue though, nobody else was ever allowed to fight with her. After all, she was MY baby sister, and nobody messes with my baby sister! Going through school she was always a few grades behind me. After elementary school we didn’t go to the same school at the same time again until she finally got to high school. I was a senior her freshman year. I’m sure she was tired of following in her big brother’s footsteps all the time. I mean, really, I was an outstanding pupil! She thought she’d be cool though and always try to one-up me. I graduated with a Core 40 diploma, so she graduated with Honors. I got a great job right out of high school, she decided to go to college. Whatever…anyway…I’ll always be the cooler of the two of us! All kidding aside though, I’m really proud of my sister. She went to college, got a degree, then got a job in the field that she chose. She too has a strong faith in God despite our parent’s lack of going to church or otherwise encouraging us to seek our faith.
So there you have it. That was it in my house until I was about 13 years old. That’s when my Aunt Kelly passed away. I’ll tell you more about that and our acquisition of her three kids some other time. The three people I’ve listed above; my dad, my mom and my sister, are three very important people to me. In one way or another they have helped me become the person I am today. Mom and Dad did a great job of providing for me and my sister. We never went without the necessities and we even had more than what we required. They always wanted what was best for us. Which leads me to the scripture I want to leave you with today:
“Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” – 1 Timothy 5:8