Monday, December 21, 2009

...Tuesday...Guest Star Day...

So far, I have featured Lou Mongello, my DH Mike and my Little Man, Michael Anthony.  Today I am going to focus on my family.  Specifically, my parents.  Donna and Bernie Grote.  We are all a weirdly close bunch.  I moved from the fun and sun (and warmth) of Florida to be closer to my family.  I moved back to Saint Louis in September 2003 with my fiancee' in tow.  Mike was born and raised in the Sunshine State, so he thought winter would be exciting!!!  It was at first...until he got his job with the school district, and HE is the one who has to come in on Snow Days and scrape and shovel!!!

I digress...

My parents are two amazing people.  They met right out of High School and married right after my mother turned 21.  They will be celebrating 39 years of married bliss next November.  I am hoping that we can get a family trip together to WDW or DCL for their 40th.  Better make plans now!!!  My father retired last December after 40 years of service with AT&T.   He did not really want to retire, but his job/department was being phased out.  He worked in the coin phone division!!!  You can see why they no longer needed a whole 6 person department for coin phones!!!  My mother was a Stay-At-Home-Mom since the day I was born...she took care of many children in our house over the years...we consider them our family as well.  One family, we took to WDW for the big 25th Anniversary celebration back in 1996!!!  We still get Christmas cards and updates from many of these families!!!  My mother was a second mother to many of these mother got her first part time job back when my (now 21 year old) brother started kindergarten.  She got a part time job at a local grocery store checking at night.  She was at the store about every day anyway, so they offered her a job and hired her on the spot!!!  She worked part time until this past May. 

I believe that I was called home from Florida for a reason.  We moved to Saint Louis in September 2003, married in October 2003...I was pregnant by the end of 2003, my father had a "sort of stroke" in March of 2004 (to this day, ask me and my sister Ellen how one has a "sort of stroke").  He recovered quite nicely after surgery.  No therapies required.  My mother had a massive heart attack in May 2004.  That time of my life was a blur.  I was 4 1/2 months pregnant...I shut down so badly, that I had to actually be reminded to take care of myself for fear of something happening to the baby.  My mother came through...stronger than ever before.  I am so proud of them, they both stopped smoking after fighting that battle since they were teens.

Their favorite place in the world IS Walt Disney World.  They visit often, especially since my sister Melissa is still in Florida.  They joined Disney Vacation Club back when there was only one resort as part of it...and Old Key West was then called the DVC Resort!!!  My dad is a big kid who truly believes the magic that is Disney.  We took the Keys to the Kingdom tour a couple of years ago (still exciting to a former Cast Member!!!) and he freaked out when he saw the characters in various state of "undress" (Woody without his head!!!).  They have been very generous to take us when we may not have had a lot of money in the bank.  They also took Little Man in October for Halloween.  What a lucky little guy!!!  They are awesome grandparents!!!  It is so much fun to watch them with my son and my nephew, AJ.  I love watching them have fun...relax and enjoy life.

Raising 5 kids on one income, there may not have been a lot of money just lying around...but we never went without.  My parents gave me excellent gifts...three sisters and one brother!!!  I am the oldest of the five children, and there are 15 years that seperate me from the youngest (my brother).  My parent also gave us a pretty good work ethic; my father rarely missed a day of work...perhaps because going to work sick was better than staying home with a housefull of kids!!!  ;)

My parents have never been hugely affectionate people...I am not sure if that is from the environments they grew up in...but I don't feel like I was ever neglected.  They always tell each other that they love one another, and they always kiss three times (which I picked up on, and now always kiss Mike three times).  They tell us that they love us.  We share laughter, tears, good times and bad.  I do have some issues to deal with...I still look at my parents as being 38 years old (just a few years older than me).  In reality, they are 60.  I still see them as when they had Daniel, a pivotal point in our lives.  I truly believe that Daniel keeps my parents young.  My therapist and I are working on the reality that my parents are aging and they aren't going to live forever (DON'T get me started on that...).

I hope this gives you a little insight into the two people who helped shape me into who I am. 

Love to All.

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