Joy D. Beck

Honored by:Cathy Beck-Cross
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As an adult I finally recognize that my mother gave me the freedom to make choices whether wise or poor and that with this freedom came the responsibility to live with the choices I had made. Now that I am a parent I realize that allowing your child this freedom can be very difficult at times. Raised in a single-parent family during a time when that was something to be embarrassed about my mother's own choices were limited by poverty and the gender roles of that era. My grandmother gave my mother the choice of going to school to be a teacher nurse or secretary. However my mother wanted to be a lawyer which was not one of the choices. While she never did accomplish that early desire my mother developed into a strong businesswoman during a time when career-minded women were not the norm. Perhaps due to her financially meager upbringing my mother planned for a strong financial future for her husband and child but this plan was interrupted by a divorce which caught her by surprise. However my mother responded to the shock of losing her marriage by living the saying "When God closes a door somewhere He opens a window." This window has helped my mother become a stronger more caring person. She is active not only in her church but also in the lives of family members and friends who need her support. My mother continues to be nonjudgemental and has supported me as I have been confronted with choices in adulthood that I never thought I would have to make. As I was growing up my mother gave me many lessons on life except I did not recognize the full impact of those lessons until I reached adulthood. My mother imparted to me at an early age that I should stand up for what I believe in even if my perspective is not a popular one. My mother also modeled a certain feistiness and an attitude that in the long run absolutely nothing would keep her down. And I in turn have taken on many of her characteristics: the belief that I can do anything I set my mind to that hard work and perseverance do pay off and that with a positive attitude almost any adversity can be overcome. For these traits whether given to me by nature or by nurture I say "Thank you." With love Cathy Beck-Cross 7/1/96