The people who make up my childhood web are:
ALMA JEWEL SHANNON (Grandmother)
My grandmother was my caregiver for the first 6 years of my life. My mother had me at 18 and she wanted her to go to college so she gave over guardianship of me to my grandmother so that she could make decisions for my care. So I lived with my grandmother for 6 years before I went to live with my mother. Even though my mother didn't live that far from my grandmother I just felt safer and more comfortable with my grandmother. So everything I am today is because of my grandmother. My values, my beliefs, the strong woman I am today is because of her. I have to speak to my grandmother at least 3 times a week if not more. If I go to long without talking to her I feel like my week was not complete. That is the kind of impact she has on my life. She also is another female role model to my daughters and they love her just about as much as I do.
JESS WILLARD SHANNON (Grandfather)
My grandfather was one of my father figures. I was denied by my biological father at birth so he was one of the men who stepped up to make sure I was taken care of. My grandfather loved the holidays and family gatherings and that is where I get my love for the holidays and family from. So anytime the family gets together we always make sure to talk about the good times we had with him. It gets sad sometimes but we all know he smiles down on us anytime we are all together because that is how he would of wanted it.
TRAVIS WREN LIGHTSEY, SR (Step-Father)
I do not refer to my step-dad as a step-dad. I refer to him as my father. Even though we do not share an ounce of blood, he has been in my life since the day I was born. He dated my mother during the time she was pregnant with me and then married her when I was 3 years old. To let my dad tell it I am his first born child. It takes a great man to raise someone else's child and I will forever be daddy's little girl. I will forever be grateful for my dad for loving me unconditionally and never making me feel like I wasn't his. He is a great PaPa to my girls and will do anything for me and them.
TRAVIS WREN LIGHTSEY, JR (Little Brother)
I cherish the relationship I have with my little brother. We are thicker than thieves he and I. I am his big sister and I take care of him and he takes care of me. When we were younger I use to make him play all the games I wanted to play. He never fussed, he never argued, he would participate in everything I wanted to play and that is why our bond is unbreakable. I have other siblings but my bond and relationship with him is stronger because we grew up together. When I need someone all I have to do is call and he is there.
My twin as everyone says. I love my aunt so much. She is like another mother to me. She is another spiritual counselor in my life. She loves me beyond measure and she worries about me so much. She played a big part in my growing up. I believe I was the daughter she never had. She was in the delivery room with my mom when I was born so to say she hasn't been there from the beginning is an understatement. When my Aunt married her second husband, I was her flower girl and that was one of the proudest moments for me as a little girl. To be that for my aunt and to help make her day special.