I was motivated to write my memoir for my children, grandchildren, and extended family so they would learn about their heritage. What's more, I wanted to write in a way that would enable them to experience my unusual life as it had unfolded from the beginning. So, I began to write. And, as I relived event after event, it struck me that each had a part in preparing me for my life's journey. That's when Maria Montessori's statement rang true: "The behavior of every individual is a product of his environmental experience." I quoted this at the start because it nicely stated the essence of my story. However, it is not intended to be an endorsement of the Montessori teaching methods.

Early on, I recognized the event that greatly impacted my life was the time I was five years old and interpreting a conversation between my mother and my beloved kindergarten teacher. When their interchange ended, I knew that I was going to be a teacher, and, on the way home, I told my mother so!

Another scene that has stuck with me was the time I trained the Margate, Florida firefighters to sign with Deaf victims of trauma. The staff was eager to learn, especially because their city was the hub of the Deaf community, and I was equipping them to save the lives of residents with special needs. That thought, alone, convinced me to press forward to teach community service providers how to better serve their Deaf citizens.

I heartily recommend that you write your own memoir, if only for your family. You will discover, as I have, that it is a delightful way to identify past events that influenced your life choices. The difficult part is to actually sit down and begin the task. Once you do that, however, the rest is pure joy. My best wishes to you in your endeavors.

Training Session
Firemen Signing "Fire."