Monday, February 22, 2016

People I Know Series: PIKS 006: Stacy

Brian and Stacy at our annual Halloween Party

I met Stacy about five years ago when she was dating our friend Brian.  Stacy was very focused on her high-pressure job as a surgical nurse, and our paths only crossed when we attended the same Halloween, Super Bowl and block parties.

Since that time, I moved to Indianapolis, and Stacy took an early retirement from her nursing job.  We’ve spent a lot more time together in the past couple of years, and I now know Stacy as a strong, confident and outspoken woman.  She values family and friends and has a strong faith in God.  She can converse on any subject from philosophical to frivolous, and she is quick to laugh. And she is very loyal to the people in her life.

Here is my friend Stacy:

1.     When and where were you born?
I was born in Indianapolis, IN on March 8, 1968. A couple of interesting things about my birthday: 1.) I was born on my paternal Grandma Ruth’s 49th birthday.  2.) I was born at The Coleman Center for Women, which later became part of the new Indiana University Medical Center where
I would work 21 years of my 25 year nursing career! Full Circle don’t
you think?!?
Stacy at 6 months with her mom, Patsy

Stacy at 1 year with her dad, Rocky

Stacy celebrating her 3rd birthday with Grandma Ruth on her 52nd birthday

2.     What is your first, most vivid memory?
I would have to say my first day of 1st grade/grade school. I went to a private kindergarten (not yet offered in public schools), and I don’t remember much from that year. I was one of the few children who was not crying & wanting to go home with my mommy. I was excited about developing more of my personality & independence. I was also excited about meeting some new kids & making new friends. You will see that independence, strong willed, & ready for life’s challenges, earlier than most, will be themes throughout my life.

3.     What were you like as a child?  What did you do for fun? 
I would describe myself as independent & strong willed. I typically was the leader of most activities……some would say bossy! I also have been referred to as an “old soul” many times & by many different people in my life. I am the oldest of 3 girls, & my parent’s expectations of me were very high. It was difficult at times for me to “have fun”. There are, however; some specific things that I recall.

We lived on 5 acres in Morgan County that was mostly woods. My sisters and I used to love to build forts/houses in the woods. We would frame them with sticks, rake out all the dead leaves, & divide them into rooms. We would spend all day playing in our houses.

I also remember family times at our cottage on Tippecanoe River near Delphi, IN that my dad still owns today. Weekends of swimming, fishing, tubing, boating, dirt bike riding, hiking, & camp fires were so much fun! With no running hot water in the cottage, we got to be filthy dirty all weekend long.  

Lots of fun was had in the basement of our home in Morgan County that my dad still lives in today. (notice a theme here?) We had a pool table, ping pong table, bumper pool table, pin-ball machine, roller skates that clamped on our shoes, a record player, & lots of riding/pedal type cars/toys. We spent long winters and rainy days playing in that basement with all of those really fun toys! We made our own towns complete with grocery store, bank, school, & post office. We rode around town in our pedal cars to “run errands”, etc.

My sisters and I were high energy kids! When my mom was tired of us girls, she would send us “yard apes” to the basement or outside, depending on the season.

 We did play a wide variety of board games & card games as a family, & this tradition continues today at family gatherings and holiday celebrations.
Stacy's family in 1984. Natalie, Patsy, Niki, Rocky and Stacy.

4.     Who is/was the oldest relative you remember (and what do you remember about them?)
I am lucky to remember all 4 of my Grandparents. My Maternal Grandmother, Grandma J, is the only one still alive. She turned 96 on Jan. 7th.  The oldest, however; is my paternal Grandfather, Robert. He would be 100 years old.  I remember he was a very hard worker, strict, loved a good bargain/sale, was a big eater, used lots of salt & pepper on his food, never wore long sleeved shirts, & his shirts always had 2 pockets on the chest for him to carry all of his stuff!! Both pockets were always full. He also had the biggest key ring with the most keys of anyone I have ever known. My Grandpa was a machinist by trade & he had lots of tools. He could fix or build anything! He wrote personal checks for everything. If your business didn’t take a check, he didn’t do business with you!
Maternal grandparents Woody and Doris

Paternal grandparents Robert and Ruth with dad Rocky and aunt Sharon

5.     Describe your parents.  What were they like? Where did they meet?
My dad is, Rocky. He graduated from Ben Davis HS. He worked in commercial construction, mostly electrical work, during his career. He also served in the U.S. Army Reserves. My dad is a hard worker & holds him, and others, to a high standard of performance & character. Because of this he is highly regarded among his professional peers. Companies & people like to work with him & for him. He has a great sense of humor & knows how to have fun. He is also a very social person. As a consequence, my dad is very well liked and has lots of friends. My dad also is an outdoors man: hunting & fishing in particular. He also is athletic & enjoys a variety of sports and weight lifting to stay healthy and fit.

 My mom is Patsy. She graduated from Howe High School. She worked in various industries as an office manager. She was a room mother in my grade school & served on the PTO. She was a Girl Scout leader for several years. She worked full time until I was born in 1968 & stayed home to raise 3 girls. She went back to work full-time when I was 14 or 15 years old.  My mom is now a very involved grandmother to my 2 nephews & a care-giver for her mother. My mom likes to travel, read, & spend time with her family & friends. She is an active member of Greenwood Christian Church & Thursday night Ladies Bible Study.

My parents met in the summer of 1962 in Monticello, Indiana at Indiana Beach. Both were with friends for the weekend, met, & attended a dance on Saturday evening. The rest, as they say, is history!

6.     What was the best gift you remember as a child?
My Grandpa Robert used to give each of us girls a gift every Christmas Morning that we started referring to as our “surprise boxes”. We each loved our “surprise box”, and I still very much miss that gift/tradition to this day! As I told you above my Grandpa loved a good bargain or sale. He loved to order from those old (what I call) “junk catalogues”. He ordered pencils with our names on them, rubber bands, note pads, erasers, just all kinds of stuff. One year I got a hammock in my surprise box! He would get some of the items the same for each of us, and them some of the things would be different or special for each of us girls individually. Grandpa put all of our goodies in a big box & would wrap each one special & very Christmas-y, for each of us 3 girls! We always saved our “surprise boxes” for last & opened them together on Christmas morning with Grandpa right there to enjoy it with us!

7.     What did you want to be when you grew up?
About a year ago, my Dad brought me a construction paper booklet that I made/drew in 1st grade. On the page where we had to draw what we wanted to be when we grew up, I drew a nurse! That is exactly what I ended up doing for my career.
1st grade drawing of a nurse
8.     Describe your first job.  What did you do with your first paycheck?
I started babysitting when I was very young….first for my sisters then for the children of my parents’ friends. I only made $1/hour!!!  My first job that I received a check & paid taxes I was 14 years old & was a lifeguard for my swim coach at my high school pool.  I was on the swim team from 6th-12th grade. We opened our pool from Jan. – March to make some money in order to help keep our pool open & swim teams competing. Since I was able to retire from nursing at 46 years old, you can probably guess that I opened my very first savings account & deposited that check into it!

9.     What have you liked best about your life so far?  What is your happiest or proudest moment?
I absolutely love early retirement!! My time belongs to me, & I get to spend it as I please. It is fun hanging out with family, friends, & neighbors. It is also wonderful just enjoying life & what our world has to offer.

My proudest moment has been graduating from college with a Bachelor of Nursing Degree in December 1990.  Scholastic learning does not come easy to me & nursing school is one of the biggest challenges I have undertaken in my life!
Graduation from I.U. School of Nursing in December 1990

My happiest moment has been the marriage to my second husband, Brian  on September 22, 2012. I am now a wife, a step-mother to 3 great adult children & a wonderful son-in-law, & a mam maw to 2 grandsons.
Brian and Stacy's engagement in 2010

10. What has been the most frustrating thing or biggest challenge in your life
The failure of my first marriage & inevitable divorce that followed has been the biggest challenge in my life. I was very frustrated that I could not repair the relationship & have a successful marriage the first time around.

11. What job did you do most of your life?  What did you like most about it?  Least?
I was an Operating Room Nurse for 25 years. I held many positions over the years, & my favorite things about being an OR Nurse are: 1. comforting, taking care of, educating, & advocating for patients & their families; 2. collaborating with surgeons & anesthesiologist to provide the very best patient care possible; 3. the medical center atmosphere: education of all types of staff & the challenge of cases no other surgeons or hospitals will take on. My RN license is still active in the state of Indiana. And even though I retired in July 2014, I am involved with health care in many ways still today.

I was a medical missionary from 1999 - 2012. I went on 13 trips to India performing hand & upper extremity surgeries on the “out-caste population”. This was a period of great spiritual, personal, & professional growth for me. I could share stories & thoughts about India for hours!!
O.R. nurses in India.  With best friend Patty on left.

My least favorite parts of nursing are all of the changes in health care over the last 5 or so years. The changes have made a very rewarding & fulfilling career, challenging & difficult for all health care personnel.  And the hours are grueling!

In those 25 years, I also worked as a country & western dance instructor. I also was the President & Co-owner of an orthopaedic implant company that my first husband & I owned & operated for 10 years. I have owned & operated my current Mary Kay Cosmetics business since Feb. 1996.

12. If we asked a relative or good friend about your best and worst qualities, what would they say?
I think that people would say that my best qualities are: hard worker, honest, loyal, compassionate, organized, detail oriented, leader, reliable, & trustworthy. I think people would say my worst qualities are that I can be bossy, perfectionist, controlling, judgmental, & not very patient.

13. What do you do for fun now?  Hobbies? Special Interests?
Brian & I love to travel. We also love to spend time at our Indiana State Parks hiking & picnicking. I like to read, listen to music, spend time with family, friends, & neighbors. I have lunch every Tuesday with my Grandma J, mom, husband, & sister, Niki when she can join us.

My Mary Kay business is a great hobby for me. It really speaks to the creative/artistic side of my personality. I also have met many great women that I would have never met or crossed paths with if I were not a MK consultant.

I volunteer at my church facilitating ladies bible study, working with world evangelism, & offering my expertise as a registered nurse to our congregation & ministers.

I love the Food Network, & I am starting to really enjoy cooking! This is a new interest for me since my marriage to Brian & retirement.

14. What one item in your life would you never give up?  Why?
Books!! You don’t need batteries or power. They can entertain, teach, & help us grow.

15. What frightens you? Why?
I am not a fearful person by nature.  When I was younger, my biggest fear was failure. I didn’t want to do anything wrong, quit, or fail at anything I ever tried. I never wanted to do anything to disappoint my parents, teachers, coaches, professors, doctors, bosses, or myself. Perfectionist….

16. What is the best advice your parents gave you?
It wasn’t so much what my parents said, it is how they live their lives, worked at their careers, & treat/interact with others that was the example. Actions speak much more loudly than words. From their lives these are the traits I witnessed & have put into my own life: work hard, be honest, own your mistakes & take personal responsibility, be a person of your word, & help others. Good manners, a smile, & please & thank-you will take you far in life.

17. What’s your best advice for living a good life?
Faith in God is crucial for living a good life. If we love others as God has first loved us, we will have a wonderful life. Again, serve/help others, good manners, a smile, & liberal use of please & thank-you to ALL of the people in our lives brings much peace & happiness to our lives & the lives of others. Do not let worry, fear, or negative thinking steal your joy. Enjoy & experience all our world has to offer. Keep an open mind & heart. Choose to be happy……..everyday!

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