You’ve seen the Facebook posts: “10 Little-know facts about me” Well, I’ve chosen to do mine here.
1. Regarding weddings: I have been a bride’s maid, a bride, a maid of honor, a best man, and an officiant, in that order. I was first bride’s maid for my BFF Pattie back in 1979. I was a bride in 1982, then maid of honor for my sister Laura in 1983. In 2008, another BFF – Steve – married and I had the honor of being his “best man” so he wouldn’t have to choose between his two brothers. In 2011, I had the honor of officiating the civil union of a med-school-mate and her partner.
While I am currently very single, I’m not ruling out being a bride again some day in the not-too-distant future, and perhaps a maid of honor as my divorced girlfriends re-marry. However, although I’ve been a best man, I’m fairly certain I have no interest in being a groom.
2. As you may have caught in #1, above, I am an ordained minister. I prefer officiant or celebrant, as I don’t get involved with the religious aspects much at all. I wrote a blog post on this topic, which you can find at this link.
3. My mother, son, and I were the first family to have a third generation attend our high school. My mother attended the school when it opened and one of her favorite teachers was Mr. Gates. Mr. Gates taught each of us, over the three generations. When I brought my son to register for school, Mr. Gates reminded himself aloud, “I taught this kid’s grandmother!” Mr. Gates warned me, in a very colorful manner, that I had better prevent my son from bringing another generation to this school while he is still teaching because he WILL NOT teach the great-grandchildren of one of his students!
4. I come from a long line of young parents: My great-grandmother had her first child before her 18th birthday; my maternal grandmother had her first child just before her own 18th birthday; my mother had me before her own 18th birthday; and my son was born just before my 18th birthday. Knowing this unintentional tradition, when my son approached his 17th birthday her asked me, “So, uh, Mom. Do you want me to carry on the family tradition?” My response to him: “Don’t. You. Dare.”
5. It took me 25 years after high school to complete my Associate’s degree. I started in 1985 and earned the bulk of it between 1995 and 2006. I graduated with honors: Phi Theta Kappa and Sigma Kappa Delta. My son and his wife, and my BFF Steve attended my ceremony.
6. I graduated with my first bachelor’s degree at the age of 45 years. I wept on stage while smiling so big my cheeks hurt! My son, daughter-in-law, grandson, and BFFs Steve and Karen attended my ceremony. My degree is a B.S. in biomedical sciences. My cumulative undergraduate grade-point average earned me a scholarship for the first term of medical school, which I started just four weeks later.
7. After three trimesters (one year) part-time, I chose to leave medical school. My reasons were many, and deciding and acting on that decision was harder than staying, but I felt then and still feel that it was the right thing for me to do.
8. I became a grandmother at 45 years of age. I was ready. After all, my son’s responsible timing meant I had to wait 9 years longer than my mother, and her mother, and her mother before her! Each of them before me had become a grandmother at age 35.
9. During a warm-up act at Rosa’s Lounge in the late 1980’s, I danced multiple, consecutive dances with jazz pianist Pinetop Perkins without knowing who he was or that he was the headliner I had come to see & hear!
10. I have a Keith Richards story – yes, of the Rolling Stones. I was 23 years old and celebrating my birthday at Biddy Mulligan’s on North Sheridan Ave. It was Blues Fest weekend and my date was the sound guy for the house band who was gigging with Dr. John. Chuck Berry and Keith walked in to see & hear Dr. John. The details of our encounter are in my book. Nowhere else.