All in the garden
This lovely lady is my mom, Dr. Sanchez. Her hard work and perseverance through life has been inspirational in many levels. She of course had much to do with shaping my curious nature, and in later years, my love for the garden. In both contexts, my mother has, is, and will continue to influence the choices I make in my life. With my mom it is never a do what you want, but always, what makes me the happiest.
This guy, well he is my older brother, Luis. Although he and I are only a year apart, this guy has been my rock my entire life. Being so close in age meant that we did most things together. We have opposing world views, but we seem to balance each other. After our younger brother was born, we mimicked our caring mother in the care we gave to him. My brother continues to influence my growth and development by providing an alternative and unyielding kind of love.
Uncle Ray was another one of those crazy influences that taught us not to take life so serious. He would always come over after his early Saturday morning run to New York City for a bagful of fresh baked bagels, and sides of cream cheese, smoked salmon and lox, and capers that he would happily share with us. Uncle Ray always came prepared with brain teaser games like wooden puzzles and logical riddles.
Another unnamed individual influenced our need to be informed in the current events. It was this persons who got us into watching the news and making us aware of our surroundings.
My cousins collectively helped me to overcome social fears, and the awkwardness of new environments. The youngest of our cousins was four years our senior, and ranged up to 7 years our senior, however; they took care to make sure that we were comfortable in our environments. Our cousins allowed us to feel the interconnections that supported our little family structure.
Culturally, community events and acknowledgements, such as the Puerto Rican Day Parade, and Independence day in New York City allowed us to understand that people and cultures are worthy of celebration.
As time goes on, my personal web of influence continues to grow. Giving back to the interconnected systems of my life, I am motivated by the privilege of influencing young minds as my childhood web influenced me.