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Putting the Puzzle Together: Who is Kathy McGraw
Everything starts from within
I have been described many times as being an Intense person that thinks "a million thoughts a minute". I am also an optimistic and sentimental person that tries to find the good in everything I see, or experience. Oh, I'm a realist too, but finding the beauty in what others see as "less than" is a big part of my personality.
Louie Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" brings tears to my eyes, and Frank Sinatra's "I did it my way" is the song I have told everyone to play at my funeral.
I cry with sad movies, and get angry when people take advantage of others. I am opinionated, outspoken, and loyal to those that I choose, or who have chosen me. I am complicated, yet simple, and love the simple things in life. This is a part of who I am, and the following are more pieces of the puzzle that makes up "Who is Kathy McGraw.
Broken Children finding a place in the Puzzle
Children have always played an important part in my life. I am not only a mother and Grandmother but I have been a Foster Mother at various times for over 20 years, both here and overseas.
As my children were growing up I got involved by being a Cub Scout Den mother, then later coached little league and was involved with the Pop Warner Football program as first a mother then a Commissioner.
My biggest challenges and absolutely the most rewarding parts of my life was working with, as well as being a Foster Mother to the children no one wanted: the Gang kids, the emotionally disturbed ones that had been kicked out of the school systems, etc. I only wanted long term care as it is very emotionally draining working with children that have so many problems. It also takes time to undo the negative behaviors they learned as survival skills and this is best accomplished without the influence of dysfunctional family members. I am proud to say that all my long term foster children became productive members of society.
Nothing feels better than seeing children that were marginalized find a place in society, and actually learn to overcome their problems.
After raising my children, I went overseas and worked with the Romanian Orphans. I would take the AIDS children home on week-ends to help integrate them into the civil society. They had lived a life of seclusion, and one in which I could barely contain myself at the deplorable conditions they suffered. These children were half starved and were emotionally, physically and developmentally delayed.
After the fall of communism in 1989 the world got it's first glimpse of these "Orphanages" where children were supposed to be taken care of by the State, but at what cost? Romania had the highest number of Pediatric Aids in Europe for many years,but is now surpassed by Russia. Poor Medical Care was the main cause of the Pediatric Aids, and while I was there it didn't seem much better. In fact the "Hospital" I helped close down was akin to a pigsty, and the term "Hospital" seemed almost criminal to use, according to my values, and those of the host country nationals that I worked with to help move these children into long term family oriented care homes.
Photography is another piece of the Puzzle
Some of my PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
When I was younger I wanted to grow up to be a WRITER of children's books. This has remained in the back of my mind, and I always say I will write one before I die. To be truthful I have a manuscript in my file cabinet that I have never done anything with, it's a cute story I wrote for a 3 year old Foster Child.
I also have ghost written many speeches, articles, and training materials. I also have my own blog, and blog on a Real Estate network.
I am an Honorably Discharged Veteran ...of the last Group of the Women's Army Corps, before it was assimilated into the regular Army in 1978. We were the last group that was not required to qualify on the Rifle Range, but I did anyway, earning my medal for Marksman, and later going on to join the Pistol Team.
My Grandmother had served in WW 1 and at least one person from every generation has served in the Military, including my son who served more than 8 years as a Pershing Missile Crew-member (also the last group).
Gee Mom I wanna Go Home was one of my favorite marching songs. I can visualize this one even today as we marched in the summer heat at Fort Jackson South Carolina. Many of us really did want to go home.
The Army taught me discipline, but mostly it taught me that I could do anything I wanted if I wanted it bad enough. It also taught me how to use anger for positive things instead of negative.
Travel is another of my favorite things and a big piece of the puzzle
Peace Corps Volunteer
I always wanted to join the Peace Corps, but life and responsibilities got in the way. Then in 1997 after my youngest had turned 18 and was safely in college, my nest was empty......
Romania, where was that???? I had never even heard of Romania......But this is where they wanted me to go. I became part of what is known as Romania 7, the seventh group of volunteers to enter the country after the fall of communism.
Nice to meet you
I hope you have gotten a little idea of who I am, so when we meet online you will feel a little more comfortable in our interactions. Down to Earth and simple.....that about sums it up.