|Reggie, Ryan and Bryna Greenlaw
People often have to make difficult choices in their lives. Sometimes those choices affect many people and sometimes only a precious few. Sometimes these choices offer great rewards or great costs. Sometimes difficult choices are made that very few people will understand or appreciate.
Barbi Jo Greenlaw has made difficult choices throughout her life. An excellent student and honors graduate, she chose her first career as a kindergarten teacher because she felt it was important. She could have been exceptional at any career she chose. She chose to be a mother who stayed home with her children. This was a decision based on her knowledge of child development as well as the fact that she couldn't bear the thought of sending her children to a day care center. At the time, this was an unpopular decision in her community.
Often she would be the only person in her neighborhood at home with her children. She devoted enormous amounts of time and energy to raising her children and doing the best she could with them. Her selflessness and sense of conviction enabled her to raise two exceptional children. Barbi has always been able to postpone personal gain in order to do what she felt was right. She certainly could have found careers that were more lucrative. She could have been involved in activities that had a higher profile but chose to quietly do things very well. Her reward often was simply in the knowledge that she had done something important and done it very well.
Barbi has always given to her community. As a state level leader in La Leche League, she touched the lives of many new mothers and their children. As a result of her dedication, she has possibly affected the lives of generations of people for the better. Her gentle support enabled new mothers to give quality nutrition and care to their children. Barbi is a spiritual person. Her volunteer position as religious education director at the Ames Unitarian Fellowship was very demanding. However in typical fashion, Barbi graciously accepted the challenge. The religious education was exceptional under her supervision. It is with much pride that we award this brick to Barbi.
As her husband, I am very much aware of her hard work, trials, joys and sorrows. To my mind, no one works harder at trying to do the right thing than Barbi. I salute her courage, intelligence, dedication, gentleness, spirituality and hard work. The world is a little better place due to her presence.
-By Reggie Greenlaw
Why Mom Deserves to be Honored with a Brick
I feel that Barbi Greenlaw, my mom, deserves a brick in the Carrie Chapman Catt building. She is overall a generous person who doesn't like to see anyone unhappy. Also Mom is working to make Ames a better community the way of volunteering at places such as the Ames Animal Shelter and our schools. Whatever tight budget we're on Mom always makes sure to give to charities. Not only has she made an impact on Ames’ future she has on mine also. She taught me how to read instead of leaving it to the schools and now I'm a better reader than I would have been. She taught me through her own example to always be compassionate to humans and animals alike. When we heard that you could put bricks at the Carrie Chapman Catt building thought she deserved at least that.
- Bryna Greenlaw
Actors get their handprints in cement for jumping into safety nets from burning skyscrapers. Talk show hosts swear to gain notoriety and audiences of thousands. My mom gets a pile of dirty laundry and two dogs that want to go on a walk. This is why she deserves her name engraved in a brick. Mom accepts the laundry the dogs the task of making dinners and any unfortunate combinations thereof gracefully without any safety nets and (most of the time) without swearing.
When my sister and I were born she decided to stay home to teach us to read Dr. Seuss and watch episodes of Sesame Street with us. She read several books with titles like "Stanley the Screwdriver" and "Terrence the Torque Wrench" to us repeatedly until she could recite the entire books by heart. All of this she did for us and no matter how many times she recounted Terrence's troubles in the land of hardware she always acted like she was reading it for the first time.
She had a special drive to become the perfect parent taking several parenting classes in college and getting to know Dr. Spock on an almost personal level. Now that we're older mom has begun helping other people. She is an important member of several support groups where she lends ears to people who need sympathy. Without Mom these people might not have anyone to turn to. When she's not empathizing Mom volunteers with my sister at the animal shelter giving dogs walks and replacing the sawdust in guinea pig pens.
Mom deserves a brick for affecting more lives than any stunt man or shock-jock radio announcer ever has. She needs recognition for her pains she took and still takes to support and guide a vast network of people through their problems. Considering the lasting effect Mom has had on so many people, she needs her name carved in stone.
- Ryan Greenlaw