People who nurtured and cared for me when I was a wee little one…
Terry Eaton -My father
He is my hero and my first love. He is kind, caring, compassionate and sincere in all that he does. I cannot imagine or fathom my life without my dad! My father makes me feel special even to this day.
As a little girl he gave me undying support and I was never wrong, but the teachers were…hahaha. If I was upset about something that happened at school, he would be sitting right next to me, willing to listen and always giving sound advice. My father taught me to be wise from a little girl and to always think and ask questions from different angles. He always attended my school events, extra-curricular activities and my favourite times would be our special date nights, where we would go out for ice-cream and a movie, just him and I. To this day when I visit South Africa we still go out on date nights.
As I reflect, my father has influenced my life in positive manner and that is to be kind, compassionate, think out of the box and be wise in everything I do.
Linda Eaton- My mother
What more can I say, my mother is the reason why I am so strong and motherly-like. My mother never stopped caring for me and loving me. Her care and her love not only to me but to the people around her imprinted and had a huge influence on my life. If I was to ask people around me how would you describe me they would use three words “loving, caring, strong” and I owe this to my mother.
My mother never pushed me to achieve but she allowed me to achieve as best as I could and more often than not, I achieved way more than what I and my parents thought I ever would. I will never forget as a little girl that my mother would not be disappointed in a low mark that I would receive for something, she would just turn around and say “You tried your best and next time you will do better.” In everything I do, I remember my mother saying this to me and I never felt pressure to perform, all I was asked to do from my parents was to try my best in everything. This is my motto in life and this is what my parents gave me to live by.
Anita Gray – My grandmother (My mother’s mother)
I did not get see my grandmother very often as we lived in different cities. However when I did see her over vacation holidays, she would always be proud of me, as if I could never let her down. I was and still am the only granddaughter in my mother’s side of the family. That in itself was special for my grandmother and I felt her love. She taught me to love words through playing the game scrabble. She would never be too busy for me, she was very frail and crippled but she would sit and play with me for very long periods of time. Every Sunday she would call me at 7pm before I would go to sleep. She would ask me about my weekend and encourage me to do well in the upcoming week. She made effort to be in my life and yet I was far away from her. I was special to her and that is all that mattered to me as a little girl.
My grandmother influenced my life by teaching me to make time for the people that I love and enjoy the little details in life.
My grandmother and I when I was a baby
Raymond Eaton – My grandfather (My father’s father)
My grandfather lived with my father, mother and I at home. He was always around me as a little girl .
He was the person who fetched me from school everyday and he would often have a pink milkshake waiting for me in the car to have on the way home. My home was not very far from my primary school, in actual fact you can see the school from my home. When I was in Grade 3 I felt I was ready to walk home by myself from school and no longer needed my grandfather to fetch me. I remember when I approached him to say I want to walk home by myself, he never questioned the confidence he had in me to do this, he was rather proud and sat down with me to advise me as to how to walk on the pavement, look left and right before crossing the road and all the other precautions to take when walking in a road.
I would say my grandfather influenced my life by giving me the confidence to never doubt my abilities and that I was able to do anything that I put my mind to.
My grandfather and I when I was a baby
Mrs. Ferreira – My Grade 3 Teacher
Mrs. Ferreira is the reason why I am a teacher. She was a warm, compassionate, professional and sophisticated lady who understood me. I began to find mathematics difficult in Grade 3, especially word problems and she would often take the time to sit with me individually to work through what I was battling with. Her patience and kindness towards me, made me remember that when I become a teacher I must be just as what she was to me – warm, compassionate, professional, sophisticated, patient and kind. I would remember the great big stickers or stamps she would place into my books for achieving well and I could see that she meant it and she was sincere about how proud she would be of me.
To this day when teaching I try and model what Mrs. Ferreira was to me as a teacher, to have the patience to get to know each child in the class and to help each child no matter how long it takes. When rewarding my children’s efforts in class to look them in their eyes and make them know and feel how proud I am of them, just as Mrs.Ferreira did that for me.
My life is summed up in the following quote by George Eliot:
“Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another.”