Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: More About Me

I decided to step back in time.  I realized there may be some who have not been on this roller coaster journey with me since the beginning.  Blogging started as a challenge for me in March of 2013, and 1,547 posts later I am still blogging.  Things have changes some but I am still sharing my strengths, hopes and experiences with you.

So let’s go back to June 22, 2013 and see what was happening:

It has been 84 days of blogging – sharing all of the random tidbits of information that have been stored away in my brain for all of these years.  Sometimes I don’t even know what I know.  Crazy, right?  Today’s post is going to let you get to know me a little bit better.  I know I may loose some readers here but it is a chance I am willing to take since I don’t do it often.  I figure every few weeks, I would share some personal stuff to let you in on life as Hope.

After graduating from Ocean Township High School, I headed off to Roger Williams College (which is now a University) in Bristol, Rhode Island.  A small school on the coast of Rhode Island about 20 minutes from Newport.  I started out in Education but quickly changed my major to Administration of Justice.  I actually excelled in these classes, unlike my first semester of freshman year when I almost flunked out.  This Jersey Girl never let the sand leave my shoes even when I wasn’t in NJ, I was always close to a beach.  After graduation, I stayed in Rhode Island to work for the Governor’s Justice Commission.  A fancy title for a Program person that wrote evaluations and recommendations on services that were available in the Juvenile Justice system for at risk youth in Rhode Island.  My first “funded” position through a grant and I had no clue what it all meant.  I truly thought that I could make a difference.  About 6-months into the job, my Aunt Elsie sent me a job posting for Neptune Township for the Police Department.  I applied and actually got the job!  WOW!  I was headed back home.

Don’t get nervous folks, I wasn’t a police officer – I was a Crime Prevention Specialist.   Fancy title, huh?  Basically, I along with Howard O’Neill who was a cop, were to do crime prevention seminars, rape prevention classes, home safety checks, etc in the community.  You remember McGruff the Crime Dog?  We were partners with him.  It was a job back home and I enjoyed being home, close to family and back at my roots on the Jersey Shore.  For those that have heard me tell the story of why I answer to the name “Heather” this is why.  It was at this job that the Police Commissioner for the ENTIRE time I worked there called me Heather.  I guess that she either didn’t like my name or really wanted Heather for the job.

The casinos opened in Atlantic City and I went to AC for the first time to see the casinos.  There was lots of excitement and the listings for available jobs was long.  At this point, the only casino was Resorts but there were many building and looking for employees. I came back to Neptune and put my resume together.  Never thinking that I had shot.  You guessed it, I got called for an interview by the Director of Security, Gordon Jenkins, for the Claridge Casino Hotel.  The interview was at a little coffee shop in AC at one of the converted motels that was being used for offices.  Gordon was from Las Vegas and was brought in to set things up.  A sweet man who was looking for a secretary that could transition into an Administrator as they go closer to opening.  He always had a smile on his face and loved to have breakfast meetings.  In fact, this is where I developed the habit of putting strawberry jam on cheese omelets.  Don’t knock it till you tried it!  He offered me the job and I jumped on it.  More money.  The excitement of AC.  This was when commuting became a part of my life.  I traveled 5 days a week from Ocean Grove to AC for many months….This was the first part of what I often call “my previous” life.

Treasure your memories, learn from your past and your mistakes, then use the things your have learned to grow in your personal development which will help you in your business.

As I look back on old posts, it helps me to remember.  Memories have been slowly disappearing as a result of the lesions on my brain.  Little did I know how much blogging would help me to catch glimpses of the past.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Family

Memories of My Buddy

Has it really been 16 years since I heard your voice?  Sixteen years since I smelled snickerdoodles baking in the kitchen.  Mine just never taste as good as yours did.  Sixteen years since we spent hours talking. Elsie Marie Weston, my mom’s baby sister, lost her battle with breast cancer 16 years ago and will forever be known as one of the strongest women I know.

Elsie‘s battle with lumps on her breast started when she was about 18 years old. Always removed and always were not cancerous. Until the life changing diagnosis  – you have breast cancer. Her first mastectomy in 1990. Her second reconstructive surgery 6 years later to replace a leaking implant.  Then they found it in her bones. She went through medication regimines, and chemotherapy. She continued to fight through it all.

Sure, Elsie was family but she was also my best friend. Growing up, Elsie was privilege to some of my deepest secrets. I may have been the pesty niece that she was forced to babysit when I was little but that changed. She visited me in college. We partied at the Headliner when we both worked for Neptune Township. We both went to Atlantic City to open the Claridge Casino. We were roomates – Tuckerton and Somers Point. We weathered hurricanes, blizzards and life itself. Elsie was there when Belinda was born – she even cut the cord before heading out to attend a wedding.

Elsie and Belinda were buddies. From the time Belinda was born she was there to help. When I was in detox and rehab, she made sure life remained as normal as possible. I remember being in detox, not being able to have visitors – she helped Belinda make a sign and they stood outside the hospital window to show their support. When I came home from rehab, Elsie took us in when we were evicted from our home.

Elsie fulfilled one of her dreams by opening Small Wonders, a gift shop in Ocean Grove.  Belinda and I traveled up on weekends to help out. Belinda traveled with Elsie and Edythe.  They taught Belinda to bake while spending countless hours watching Disney videos.  When the cancer spread, to Elsie’s eyes, things got a little tougher but she was  determined to work every day in her store. We all helped – Belinda learned how to work the register and run credit cards at the ripe old age of 10 so that she could work in the store as Elsie was going blind.

Belinda put together one of her famous surprise parties for Elsie’s 50th birthday. Elsie was mad but she never stayed mad for long at Belinda. That would be her last birthday with us. On May 23rd, Elsie was admitted into the hospital – she had lost 95% of her eyesight to cancer and had given up her will to live. Seven days later she became another Weston Angel – joining her parents in heaven.

The imprint that she left on the world will long be remembered by all of us. She was a fighter. She was loving & kind. She was Belinda’s Buddy! A day doesn’t go by that I don’t think about her. When there is a crisis or we are in the hospital, a sense of calm comes over me and I knew that everything would be okay – see all my Weston angels are always with me – Mom-mom, Pop-pop, Elsie and Edythe.

 Scan

Elsie, like the rest of the family, hated having pictures but this is a collage from the scrapbook we made for her 50th birthday.

Elsie, I miss you and I am sure that I didn’t tell you enough how much I loved you. Cherish the moments today – the good, the bad and the ugly for life is precious.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day.

Hope Wissel

Happy Saturday…

Good Morning Everyone!  Here is to the start of a great weekend..  

It has been 84 days of blogging – sharing all of the random tidbits of information that have been stored away in my brain for all of these years.  Sometimes I don’t even know what I know.  Crazy, right?  Today’s post is going to let you get to know me a little bit better.  I know I may loose some readers here but it is a chance I am willing to take since I don’t do it often.  I figure every few weeks, I would share some personal stuff to let you in on life as Hope.

After graduating from Ocean Township High School, I headed off to Roger Williams College (which is now a University) in Bristol, Rhode Island.  A small school on the coast of Rhode Island about 20 minutes from Newport.  I started out in Education but quickly changed my major to Administration of Justice.  I actually excelled in these classes, unlike my first semester of freshman year when I almost flunked out.  This Jersey Girl never let the sand leave my shoes even when I wasn’t in NJ, I was always close to a beach.  After graduation, I stayed in Rhode Island to work for the Governor’s Justice Commission.  A fancy title for a Program person that wrote evaluations and recommendations on services that were available in the Juvenile Justice system for at risk youth in Rhode Island.  My first “funded” position through a grant and I had no clue what it all meant.  I truly thought that I could make a difference.  About 6-months into the job,  my Aunt Elsie sent me a job posting for Neptune Township for the Police Department.  I applied and actually got the job!  WOW!  I was headed back home.

Don’t get nervous folks, I wasn’t a police officer – I was a Crime Prevention Specialist.   Fancy title, huh?  Basically, I along with Howard O’Neill who was a cop, were to do crime prevention seminars, rape prevention classes, home safety checks, etc in the community.  You remember McGruff the Crime Dog?  We were partners with him.  It was a job back home and I enjoyed being home, close to family and back at my roots on the Jersey Shore.  For those that have heard me tell the story of why I answer to the name “Heather” this is why.  It was at this job that the Police Commissioner for the ENTIRE time I worked there called me Heather.  I guess that she either didn’t like my name or really wanted Heather for the job.  

The casinos opened in Atlantic City and I went to AC for the first time to see the casinos.  There was lots of excitement and the listings for available jobs was long.  At this point, the only casino was Resorts but there were many building and looking for employees. I came back to Neptune and put my resume together.  Never thinking that I had shot.  You guessed it, I got called for an interview by the Director of Security, Gordon Jenkins, for the Claridge Casino Hotel.  The interview was at a little coffee shop in AC at one of the converted motels that was being used for offices.  Gordon was from Las Vegas and was brought in to set things up.  A sweet man who was looking for a secretary that could transition into an Administrator as they go closer to opening.  He always had a smile on his face and loved to have breakfast meetings.  In fact, this is where I developed the habit of putting strawberry jam on cheese omelets.  Don’t knock it till you tried it!  He offered me the job and I jumped on it.  More money.  The excitement of AC.  This was when commuting became a part of my life.  I traveled 5 days a week from Ocean Grove to AC for many months….This was the first part of what I often call “my previous” life.

Just like my direct sales business, I have been on the roller coaster of life.  All of my experiences have shaped me into who I am.  I hope that you enjoyed a glimpse into my “previous” life.  For those that are wondering, how did she get from there to here?  I will share more as time goes on and the urge hits.

Treasure your memories, learn from your past and your mistakes, then use the things your have learned to grow in your personal development which will help you in your business.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!