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How They Built Me

For a long time I thought about starting a blog where I could write freely about what inspires me on a day to day basis. For literally YEARS I told myself "yeah you'll do it one of these days," and one of "those days" just never really came. Yeah I did some random writing here or there when I thought I had time, but never committed to it. What changed that is I started thinking about my grandmother (as I often do) and the profound impact she's had on not only me, but my entire family. There will never be a kinder, gentler soul to grace this Earth. I consider that a fact, not an opinion. That's how great this woman was. But many of you know her generosity and selflessness as I've written about her before. To officially start this blog though, I thought it was important for you to know what lead me here. And it starts with Doris and Bish Wheatley.

12 children. TWELVE CHILDREN. And a hard headed, but loving husband. I struggle with my one child daily and think "How in the world could you ever raise 12 kids and have them all turn out to be good humans?" Let's be honest, the odds aren't great, but that's what happened. And I live in a constant state of awe of that achievement. They laid the foundation that built me.

When you have 12 mouths to feed you have but one choice, work hard or don't eat. And its that hunger, or the idea of your child in need that propels you forward even when you think your tank is on empty. Since my son was born I've sat up many nights wondering what my grandparents thought about when they laid their heads down to rest at night. The struggles, the worries, the sheer weight of providing for a family so large had to be overwhelming. But not a day in my life did I see that weight shouldered by my grandparents. And not a word has ever been said by their children to make you think otherwise. Skyscrapers of strength standing in a five foot frame. They didn't have to tell us how to be strong, they showed us.

My cousins were my first friends. They're still my best friends to this day. Call it a "Kentucky thang" but that's just how we grew up. Every single Sunday for what felt like my entire childhood we "went to grandmas" to play and have dinner. There could be anywhere from 15 to 50 people in that three bedroom house on any given Sunday. And it didn't matter because my grandparents were masters at not only providing but showing their kids and grandkids what it meant to love unconditionally. They brought us together at every turn to show us what family means, and in that bestowed upon us what it means to truly love someone. Again, they didn't tell us how to love someone, they showed us.

And if I'm honest, the hardest part of the journey I'm on now is being without those that have built me. I've alluded to that before. But there's also a new found strength you're willed into finding when you journey into the darkness. There's a beauty you can never see until you've truly let go of the rope without knowing how deep the water is. Fear is but a vessel of growth if you're willing to steer through the storm. And because of how I was built, I steer with my eyes wide open awaiting the next storm.

It is my hope that if you get anything from this blog at all, its positivity for your life. I hope you can take my words of the week and apply them in a positive manner to whatever it is you're facing. Or maybe for just a laugh or a smile. Truthfully this blog stands to be an open forum for my life past, present, and future. I'll even throw in some fictitious short stories from time to time for fun I think. But that's why I chose the name "Music For Life". I hope this is the song you always love to sing along to because of the good vibes it brings.

Thank you for reading.

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