I have five very inspirational people in my life. Two are no longer here with me today, but still their actions live on in me.
The first and foremost would be my mother, who stood strong when adversity faced her. A single mom at the age of 31 back when being a single mom was not common, she managed to not only get her G.E.D but as of today holds her M.S. Degree in Nursing and Education. However this is not what makes her strong, this to her is just expected to be as it is. What makes her strong is her children, a boy with Asperger's Syndrome to late diagnosed and a girl with Bi-polar Schizoaffective disorder diagnosed early when there was little information on it and SLE later on in life. Though she wasn't perfect, though the end result wasn't perfect, she stood strong and pushed through all the social barriers trying to make sure her children were happy, healthy, and successful. We were for the most part, late bloomers on the successful end as we're both currently pushing through college. The fact that my brother and I have what resembles semi functional lives without the aid of any specialist is kind of amazing, it even amazed my psych doctor when I did go for three months last year. If anyone was the main first supporter of invisible illness in my life it was my mother, before I ever even knew myself to be ill.
My mother is my wall of strength when I am weak.
The next person in my life was no less as strong as my mother; My Granda. This is the man who I looked up to an thought "this is what a man is". No he wasn't a big ball of loveable fun and silliness, however he was a man who set an example. He donated over 8 gallons of blood to the Red Cross in his life time. He turned an itty bitty 1 bedroom farm house of 500sq ft. into a flourishing four bedroom 2.5 bath house of 2,200sq ft. by himself while raising four kids and in the military. He served in the Navy for 50 years of his life and traveled the world during that time. Even growing up with segregation and it was all he knew most of his life, he still lived by the motto of "You don't judge a person based on their looks, you have to look deeper and judge them on the character of their soul". When the doctor told him to stop smoking or he'd have only five more years of life, he did everything in his power; even went with acupuncture and hypnotism skeptically complaining about it the whole time. He did manage to quit within six months of being told, he died a year later from emphysema. A month before he died he was made the Grand Master after the end of his term as Right Worshipful Master of his Masonic Lodge. It was one of the few times I saw him cry and they even allowed the families to attend the appointing which was rare.
My granda is my guiding light when all seems dark.
The last family member who has been inspirational in my life, really doesn't seem all that inspirational. She died four years after my granda, and she was my gran. I was never particularly close with my gran, as I was always following the heels of my granda growing up, but still she was there. She taught me that family service was not to be looked down on. Her entire life was devoted to her family. She raised a daughter with Schizophrenia when mental hospitals where considered the only choice. She raised a daughter who was deaf until the age of six and considered mentally retarded, my mother. Most people thought she herself was crazy because of it, but she was determined to make sure all her children grew up normal. They all went to school, they all worked on the farm. She even found time to pursue her hobby as a painter, and made sure every last child of hers knew music and knew art. My uncle is a baker, he loves to make baked goods and every year at Christmas we always looked forward to his tin cans filled with our favorite goodies. My eldest aunt is a pottery maker, even had her own kiln. My schizophrenic aunt is a craft maker, give her tooth picks and she'll make you an ornament that you couldn't even tell was tooth picks. My mother is the knitter, cross stick, crochet, you name it. After granda died, she felt it was time to leave and gave up on life. Her four kids where all happy and settled, successful in their own areas of life, even my aunt who's a real estate agent though she never really leaves her house. She even saw the birth of three grandchildren before her death. It was a slow death, she wasted away for four years and was bedridden by the last. I was her caretaker for that year, and the first one to learn she had passed away. She was always talking to granda those last two days. Our family always says that's how you know when someone's going to pass, cause a family member comes to get them.