For Brenda…

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.

If you couldn’t tell from all the photos there is one breed of animal that Brenda especially loves…

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