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5 Women Who Changed My Life


This month, in honor of Women’s History Month, we asked two of our team members Gretchen Laufer and Bridget Parlato to write about 5 women who inspired/changed their lives. Here is Gretchen’s Blog:


In honor of Women’s History Month, I am reflecting on the women who have changed my life and guided me on the path I am on. This was an interesting task for me and really made me look at relationships, both current and past, and how they impacted the decisions I have made throughout my life.


My Mother – This is not just an obligatory pick. My mother is one of the strongest women I know.  As a single mom, she worked hard to make sure my brother and I never went without anything. She guided us to participate in community events, church groups and sports. She supported us in the decisions we made even if it may not have been the choice she would have made for us. She continues to be there for us with an ear to listen and shoulder to cry on if needed. I would not be the person I am today without her love and support.


My Maternal Grandmother – Oh how I loved this woman! I honestly think we were best friends. Growing up she spoiled me to no end, and not just with material things. She would actually pull me out of school for a quick day trip to the beach! She and I could talk about anything and it was rare that we would go more than two days without talking on the phone. When I went to college, she sent me a card in the mail every week. When my roommate made a comment about how she didn’t get mail, my grandmother started sending her cards, too! She was my support system through hard times and someone I could share a laugh with too. She has been gone now for almost 24 years and I still miss her terribly every day.


My Daughters – They say having kids changes your life, and that is so true. I have had so much fun being a mom to two amazing girls. They are smart, funny, creative, compassionate and athletic. They make me laugh on a daily basis and feel comfortable talking to me about anything and everything. I love spending time with them, whether it is traveling as a family, weekend movie marathons or just driving carpool with their friends. While I could go on and on about these two, I will just say that I wish I could spend a day viewing the world through their eyes where everyone is equal and the possibilities are endless.


My Best Friend’s Mom – This person has no idea the impact she had on my life. When I was younger and my mom had to go back to work, I would spend the mornings at my best friend’s house, and we would walk to school together. One morning my friend’s mom was watching the news and while I don’t remember exactly how the conversation started, it ended by her saying “I would love to see someone I know on TV.” That was when I started thinking I would like to have a career as a news reporter. I went on to study mass communications at Towson University and ended up doing an internship at one of the local television stations. While I eventually decided that television was not for me, I did enjoy other aspects of my major that led me to my career today.


A Friend Battling Cancer – This was one of the worst phone calls I have ever received. A good friend called to tell me she was diagnosed with cancer and would be starting treatment. Throughout her treatment she has been in good spirits and continues to smile every time I see her. I watch her and the battle she is fighting and she inspires me to live every day to the fullest. We all say that we should not put off things we want to do because life is so short and I intend to stick to that motto. I will spend more time with family, travel and do the things I want to do because you never know what lies ahead.


While I was dreading writing this blog, it really made me think about all those who have touched my life in one-way or another. I will say that the relationship between girlfriends is vital to our lives. Friendships change over the years.  Through different stages of my life there have been girlfriends who have stayed, girlfriends who have gone and some girlfriends who have gone and then come back. Each of these individuals has taught me something about myself and I am forever grateful.

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