When I was 13 I headed to Andover, New Hampshire to attend Proctor Academy, a boarding school. There I would meet a woman who has been a role model, inspiration, friend, fan, pseudo-mother, and hero. Her name is Brenda Godwin.
Brenda has opened her heart and house to all types of people and animals. Whether it is a ‘big boned’ cat, some enormous mastiff, a varsity basketball player, or an awkward boy from South Carolina, Brenda welcomes them all.
Brenda and her late husband Roger have a larger family than most people. Officially they adopted seven children, unofficially they have adopted hundreds. I consider myself to be one of those lucky unofficial children.
Walking around Brenda’s house it is obvious what is important in her life.
Brenda is the definition of a life longer learner. Teaching both political science and computer science classes she is always refreshing what she knows or learning more about what she doesn’t.
I credit all of my love of sports to Brenda. I remember I had been the only person that picked the Carolina Panthers to win the Superbowl when they played the New England Patriots my sophomore year at Proctor. I hadn’t picked them because I had any knowledge of sports, I picked them because I am from South Carolina, in fact I knew so little about sports I had them playing the Green Bay Packers in the Superbowl which is impossible because they are in the same conference. After Brenda discovered I knew nothing about professional sports from the Superbowl bracket fiasco she made sure I would become a sports fan for life.
I have been trying to write this post for a week now and none of the words seem to work. All I can say is that Brenda is one of the most amazing people I have the pleasure of knowing. Her ceaseless work ethic, unending love for people and animals, noble modesty, and all around passion for life are at levels I aspire to reach as I grow older.