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Chapter Two ~ Before My Time and Beyond
My heritage is quite an array of cultures. From
my mother’s side I have attained backgrounds from Ireland,
German, England and one that I find the most intriguing,
Native American. My great, great grandma was a Seneca
Indian and my great, great grandfather a member of the
Canadian tribe, French Canook.
My mother’s ancestors lived on the land which is
now New York. The settlers who took over the land of New
York were also our ancestors. My mother spent much of her
childhood moving from school to school, town to town and
even state to state. She was born in New York like many of
those before her, but moved with my grandparents and uncle
to Oklahoma. My grandmother always had a passion for
science and wanted to go back to college to study in the
science field. She found a university in Colorado that
sparked her interest and so my mother’s family packed up
and moved out west.
Colorado became the source of a majority of my mother’s
childhood memories and the birthplace of my aunt Richelle.
After my grandmother received a degree, she and my
grandfather decided to fulfill an aspiration of managing a
dairy farm. They moved their three children to America’s
Dairy land, Wisconsin. My mom entered high school in Rio,
and met my father.
My father’s background is a little less diverse.
His ancestors were Norwegian, German, and Irish. Past
Harvey’s settled on the west coast of America from England
and ventured out to South Dakota. There they went back
east to settle in Randolph, Wisconsin. My father was born
in Portage and raised in Rio.
My parents met when my mother was a freshman and my father
a senior. They became high school sweethearts. Once my
mother turned 18 she and my father bought an apartment in
Sun Prairie and started their lives together. My mother
started small in the big business of life insurance but
slowly worked her way up to service specialist at American
Family Insurance. My father got a job at Goodyear, but
when he was laid off for a year he drove a semi for Coca-
Cola to make ends meet. He attended college part time
while raising two kids and maintaining a job. Once he was
re-employed at Goodyear he also worked his way up to
Maintenance Coordinator which is the highest position an
employee in the union can hold.
My parents married young, bought their first house
and had my brother at age twenty-one. I was born four
years later and brought up in the house my parents created
the blue-print for. Looking back I realize how much my
parents have done for me and what role they played in my
development into an individual.
My parents both had humble beginnings. They did
not belong to, by any means, a wealthy family. Instead
they grew up as farm kids who worked practically everyday
of their childhood. They never had the possessions and the
luxuries that they have strived to give me and my brother.
They always wanted to give their children more than they
ever had. They wanted us to have the best they could give.
Some may say I’m spoiled, and maybe so, but I am by no
means what most would relate spoiled to, a brat. My
parents have instilled in me humility and self-efficiency.
They gave me all that they could materialistically, but
they never forgot about the characteristics important to
There are too many events in my life that
contribute to my individuality to mention. All who know me
well tend to see me as somewhat unique: Not your average
high school girl. Call me peculiar and I may receive such
a statement as complimentary. I believe my family and
memories made in their company have developed my
individuality. To give you not only an example but also
insight into what makes me who I am, let me tell about how
I came to respect my own peculiarity.
When I went on a trip to meet my Aunt Kathy, Uncle
Donny and Cousin Jessica, I felt as if I was meeting them
for he first time. At age six and Jessica at age seven, we
immediately bonded. For the first few days we were
inseparable. Our resemblance of one another was uncanny
and everywhere we went passer-bys would comment on
what “darling twins” we were.
Jessica and I became one in the same. We adopted
each others mannerisms and I picked up her accent.
However, as the week went on we started to argue more and
more. We started to get on each other’s nerves until it
almost got to a point where we couldn’t stand each other.
When my visit in Colorado came to a halt due to my
grandfather’s death, I was disappointed to leave. I, at
such a young age, didn’t understand what I would go
through when I got back home to grievance, and so I was
also somewhat relieved to be separated from my “twin
From this experience, I have found the beauty in
what separates a person from everyone else. Diversity is
Beauty: One of my own philosophies. I believe that week
with my “twin cousin” really made me appreciate not only
the divergence in my own personality but in everyone I
Another philosophy I have just now grasped is, “Have
no regrets”. I use to have too many regrets to mention but
I have recently rid myself of them. I realized that every
moment in my life and every event led me to where I am
now. It has led me to not only develop who I am but to
find who I am. This philosophy is not my own. I learned it
from someone who has also had a big impact in my life.
Someone who I, much like my cousin, immediately bonded
with upon meeting. We too became inseparable in a span of
a few days. However, we never got sick of each other. He
was my best friend, and also became more, my first love.
Things didn’t end well with him. We no longer disperse
with one another, but he will always remain another guide
that directed me on a path of self-development and self-
discovery. He adds a very distinctive chapter to my life
and created many cherished memories that I will forever
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