Thursday, August 7, 2014

Meet the Child Care Council Staff

Introducing Belinda D.

Robin @ Kids Matter

“I’m compassionate and giving, but not always patient,” was Belinda’s reply when asked what she most wants people to know about her.  Meet, Belinda, Eligibility Specialist for Henderson, Union, and Webster counties.  She has been working in the CCAP program since 2008.  She said, “I left the corporate world to get into a field where I could help my community.  I wanted to use what I’d learned in college and my previous work, to give something back.”  However, her work has also given her value in life.  She said, “I’ve met a lot of wonderful people who share their lives with me.  I get something from them, even from a few minutes in my office, and I hope that I’m giving something back to them.” What a positive way to look at work!

As a child, Belinda said one of the many things she got in trouble for, was protecting her brother and sister, who were three and five years younger than her.  They often got picked on, and she wound up fighting to protect them.  She said, “Sometimes I think my brother would do something to get picked on, on purpose, just so I would fight.”  How funny!   As a teen, her extra-curricular activities were singing in choir and riding motorcycles.  Belinda said, “We had strict rules, and were not allowed to go far from home.  I had a moped, which I rode up and down the road at 35 MPH (the fastest it would chug) doing tricks like standing on the seat, no hands, and etc.”  I asked for a re-enactment, but sadly she no longer has a moped.  Throughout school, Belinda received honors for having high grades and perfect attendance. 

Her college career started in 2006, after her second oldest child finished high school, which was a 25 year difference between her going to high school and college.  Belinda received a BA in Business Administration with a concentration in Project Management.  Other than her career skills, she said she learned that, “no matter how much you attend school or take classes, there is always more you can learn.  And, the more you want to learn, the happier you will be.  I’m still a strong believer in continued education.”

Belinda said, “I live in a four generation household with a 10 generation cat farm. “ She and her husband, Gary, have been married for almost 18 years.  They have six children and are expecting their 14th grandchild in January.  To add some spice to the mix, Belinda’s father-in-law, Jerry, a retired Navy veteran, has recently moved in with them.  (Plus they have 8 cats, 3 dogs, and a rabbit.) Wow, she’s a busy woman!  I asked if she has any regrets about how she’s lived her life.  Belinda said, “There was a period of time when I pulled away from family.  I wouldn’t do that if I could relive that time.  Family is only there for a limited time.  Separation causes you to miss that and lose out on lessons you would have learned.  People need guidance and help!”

Gary and Belinda met when she was working as a waitress.  He worked for the restaurant owner’s husband and came in to the restaurant for lunch every day.  She said it was love at first sight for her.  They got married at a small country church and her oldest son, “gave her away”.  Belinda told of the special ways Gary shows her that she’s loved.  “…he does little things for me all the time.  Not grandiose gifts or actions, he’s not into those big romantic gestures!  It’s in the small things, like buying popcorn for me just because he knows that I like it. He does things like that for me almost every day.”  How sweet! 

Belinda told a funny story, “I was driving home with my three year old grandson, Bubba, in my husband’s old junky truck.  I started hearing a clicking noise and I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from.  When I slowed down, it stopped, and when I started moving again, the noise started too.  I thought something serious was wrong, so I pulled over on the side of the road.  I asked Bubba if he heard it and he said yes, but didn’t know where the sound was coming from either. So, this slowing down and speeding up lasted for about 15 minutes. Turns out, it was Bubba making the noise all along.  He was playing with me.”  Bubba is a character.  Belinda said Bubba is probably her biggest fan. “He often tells me that I am the best Nana ever… we have so many good times together.”

How will people remember her later? “I like to think that I’m leaving footprints for others to follow; teaching and helping people.  Always remember that even in your darkest moment there is laughter.  I love to laugh and believe that there is great humor in life. Without it, it’s pretty dreary out there.”  So, some good advice… remember to laugh, and as Belinda has told me several times, it’s especially important to remember to laugh at yourself!

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