the bistro off broadway


She Had a Heart Like No Other
By Lani Shilt
Edison State Composition I student

GREENVILLE - The influence of Barbara Hole’s mother, Martha, and her aunt, Annie, helped lead her to where she is today, and who she has become. Many people in this world have been an influence to her, but her mom and her aunt are the two people who really influenced all of her decisions, and helped her become the kind, caring, encouraging, and loving woman she is today. Barb smiled, “My mom had a bigger heart than anyone I knew. She taught me everything I needed to know in life. My aunt was just like my mom. Right after my mother had passed away, Annie was right there to fill in for her.”

Seventy-six year old Barbara (Barb) Hole graduated from Greenville Senior High School in 1959, and graduated from cosmetology school in 1960. She worked as a beautician for nine years, then became a stay at home mom. She raised five children, and they were all girls. Barb is married to Richard (Dick) Hole of Greenville. Barb and Dick are from Greenville, Ohio and still live here today. They have six grandchildren, two boys and four girls. They both enjoy watching their grandkids do what they love to do most, play sports, dance, and accomplish their goals in life.

Barb’s mother, Martha Davenport, passed away when she was fifty-six years old. She was married to Byron Davenport, with three kids. The five of them lived in Greenville, Ohio, but Martha and Byron divorced when their children were still young. Martha was a stay at home mom while her children were young. “My mom didn’t want to work while her children were growing up, so she waited to get a job until we were older.” Once they were older, she got a job at Fourman’s Men Shop as a clerk. She worked up until she became sick and could no longer work.

Barb’s mom was the most influential person in her life because she taught her everything. She taught her how to be a good person, to be respectable to others, to not swear, to go to church, and to always stay humble and kind. “When I was little, I had disrespected one of my mother’s friends. She yelled at me, but then she taught me how to be respectful. She told me to never talk back to an adult again, the way I just did.” Her mom affected her life in every way possible. She was a hardworking woman, always kind to others, and was dedicated to whatever she did. Once Barb had her first child, and when her mother passed away, that’s when she soon reazlied her mom was the most influential. “When I had my first child, I started to realize my mom was influential in my life. She raised her kids well and I just wanted to follow in her footsteps.” Barb also added, “Sometimes you don’t realize what you have, until it’s gone. When my mother passed away, I realized how much she influenced me. I didn’t realize everything until it was suddenly gone. I’m very thankful for the time I got to spend with her. I’m lucky I had such an amazing woman to teach me everything I would ever need to know.”

Barb’s aunt, Annie Blanche, was 65 years old when her sister Martha passed away. Annie was like a second mom to Barb, especially when her mother passed away. She was also like a grandma to Barb’s children. Annie was married to Galen Blanche, with no kids. The two of them also lived in Greenville, Ohio. Annie and Galen owned Fourman’s Men Shop, so she worked there as well. “Annie played a huge role in my life, and in my kids’ lives. We are all thankful we had someone like her to fill in my mother’s part in our lives. Without Annie, I’m not sure where we would all be today.”

Barb’s aunt was another person who was really influential in her life. Her aunt pretty much took over when Barb’s mother passed away. Her aunt and her mom were very similar when it came to how they influenced Barb’s life. She didn’t realize how influential her aunt was until her mom passed away. It wasn’t too hard for Annie to help Barb whenever she needed it. Although her mother taught her almost everything she needed to know, her aunt taught her anything that her mother wasn’t able to be there for. “When my mother passed away, I wasn’t really sure what to do. She was someone I could always count on, and she was the one person who showed me the way of life. I was lucky enough to have my aunt there to take over, who influenced me in the same way my mother did.”

Her mom and aunt both led by example in everything they did. In order for Barb to have a good heart, both of their actions showed her how to have one. They both had a good soul. “My mom always said ‘Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you.’” The most important character traits my mom and aunt had were being kind, honest, helpful, caring, and encouraging. “My mother always said to kill them with kindness. They were always there for me every step of the way. Whenever I was feeling down, they were right there to pick me up. They showed me in every way possible how much they cared about me. They encouraged all of my good decisions, and were extremely helpful with all of my bad decisions.” For any decision Barb made, they always applied these five traits. They just wanted what would be best for her. “Who was more influential in your life, your mom or your aunt?” Barb hesitated, “Neither. When my mom passed away, my aunt was there to pick up right where my mom left off. She continued to influence me and help me out with anything I needed in life.”

Neither Barb’s mom nor her aunt, had much impact on her career choices, her likes, and her dislikes. “I pretty much chose what I wanted to do on my own. They didn’t really have any impact. Both of them just encouraged me to do what I wanted, and supported me the whole way.” Some of Barb’s likes are taking care of others, spending time with family, spoiling her grandchildren, cooking, knitting, and shopping. There aren’t many things that she doesn’t like, but the three main ones are birds, tattoos, and when her grandkids don’t look presentable. “My mom and aunt would always spoil my kids,” she giggled, “Other than that, they didn’t have much impact on what I like and dislike. These are just some of my favorite things to do, and very few things I don’t like.”

Now that Barb is seventy-six years old, no one is really influencing her anymore. She is continuing to do everything that her mother and aunt had taught her in that past. She also has faith in God that he will lead her to make all of the right decisions in life. Without her mom, Barb hopes to see herself today as the same person. She smiled, “I’m thankful for her influence and everything she taught me. Without her, I hope someone else would’ve been my mentor.” Barb’s aunt was influential in her life when her Barb’s mom passed away. If Barb didn’t have her mom, she thinks she would still be the same person today, since she had her aunt. Without her mother or aunt, she hopes she still would’ve been the same person, although it would have been very hard without the two of them there to influence her.

Editor’s Note: Edison State Darke County Composition students were required to do an interview with someone who was important in their lives. This essay was one of four assigned in the course, with this student’s submission chosen for its narrative quality and insight during the interview.

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