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FAMILY   -   FAMILY FEATURES
Mothers & Daughters
Learning & Loving—Together
May, 2008 - Issue #43
Becky J. Graham, 51, and Katie Marie Graham, 22
Becky J. Graham, 51, and Katie Marie Graham, 22
Compassion and a Desire to Help Others
Becky J. Graham, 51
Katie Marie Graham, 22


Katie: "Hands down, our work is what brings us closest together. We share the exact same passion and that is improving the lives of children with special needs. My mom and I work together as a team, in every environment and every situation; it's as if we can read one another's minds."

Becky: "I admire Katie's vision for the future and her follow through in all that she does. Not only is she the Head Instructor at Carousel Ranch, but she is also pursuing her degree as a Speech Therapist at Cal State Northridge, and both she and her boyfriend Kevin are very involved in church and a variety of sports."

Katie: "The greatest gift she has ever given me is my career. She allowed me at a young age to be involved in Carousel Ranch, exposing me to what we can do as individuals to change the lives of others. She is the one who allowed me to see what I want to spend the rest of my life doing."

Becky: "Along with a very strong work ethic Katie has inherited her compassion and desire for helping others from me. She most definitely has the ability to bring out the best in the children she works with."

Katie: "I admire my mom's selflessness. She always puts others needs above her own, including mine. She is the hardest worker I have ever known."

Becky: "When a conflict arises, which it inevitably will because Katie and I work and still live together, we always take the time to hash it out. We try to be respectful of one another's opinions and listen to what the other has to say even when we don't agree. And then on our one day off together we go to lunch and spend the day shopping!"

Katie: "My mom has taught me to follow my passion, even if it means withstanding trials and working extremely hard to achieve a goal."

Becky: "The greatest and hardest lesson that I have
learned from both of my daughters is to be open minded and to be accepting of the fact that I am not always right."

Katie: "Love comes in many forms: my mom loves me as a daughter, but also as a friend and she has taught me how to do the same in return. She has shown me what unconditional love looks like. Our relationship displays a great amount of respect for one another because of our love for each other."

Becky: "I absolutely would not want to change our relationship in any way. I feel blessed beyond words. People are always remarking on what a special relationship the two of us have."


Nancy Coulter, 64, and Heather Warrick, 38
Nancy Coulter, 64, and Heather Warrick, 38
When I Just Don't Have The Strength, She Fights For Me
Nancy Coulter, 64
Heather Warrick, 38


Heather: "I think I have
inherited my mom's determination to make a difference through volunteerism, the natural ability of public speaking, and the inability to repeat a joke or phrase correctly."

Nancy: "Heather has taught me patience and vision and how to let go of things that cause stress. When I look at her face, I see beauty and wisdom beyond her years. And, always I see hope and strength."

Heather: "My cancer diagnosis has brought us closer together. We immediately became volunteers for the American Cancer Society and have been involved with the organization for 14 years. It allows us to spend every day together and make a difference in the fight against cancer."

Nancy: "I admire Heather's gentle, sincere manner in helping those who need her strength. She always knows just the right thing to say and do. Those who have spent time with her always walk away inspired and feeling much better. People who meet her never forget her spirit."

Heather: "My mom's devotion to helping me through my illness has been the best gift I could ever receive from her. She has been by my side every step of the way. She has supported me by taking me to every treatment or appointment I have had. On those days, when I just don't have the strength to fight, she fights for me."

Nancy: "When Heather was a little girl, she found a 'diamond' heart pin at TG&Y. She begged me for a dollar to 'get something.' When I opened the plastic and not-very-expensive diamond pin she'd wrapped carefully in a tissue, the look on her face was so loving and full of excitement, I put it on immediately! I still have it and smile when I think of the pure glee it represented."

Heather: "My mom puts 110 percent of her heart and soul into every relationship and project she encounters. You may see her around town nodding off in her seat because she works so hard and gives so much of herself."

Nancy: "When my children were born, my mom told me that your children come through you. And, that the job of a parent is to love, protect and teach your children so that one day they have what they need to stand on their own and go out into the world and make it a better place. My Heather is certainly that and more!"

Heather: "Nothing else matters in life if you don't have the love of family and friends."

Joy Murakami, 45, Shannon Murakami, 18, and Amber Murakami, 16
Joy Murakami, 45, Shannon Murakami, 18, and Amber Murakami, 16

Love is the Strongest Bond
Joy Murakami, 45
Shannon Murakami, 18
Amber Murakami, 16


Joy: "The sweetest gift is hearing 'I love you' often. There is just nothing better than having them in my life. Every day I get to spend with them is the best gift I could ask for."

Shannon: "The greatest gift I have received from my mom was all of the advice she has given me throughout the years. Some of the best advice she has given me was after spring quarter of my freshman year in college. I had a lot going on and she told me that I would get through everything because whether I realize it or not I am strong. I need to think about what is best for me and work hard. Life does not stop just because I am dealing with some issues."

Amber: "I admire my mom's ability to think for herself. She is very independent and does not let anyone tell her what is what because she wants to decide for herself."

Joy: "I can be very strong-willed and determined at times. I think that is a great trait for girls to have, even though it works against me sometimes!"

Shannon: "When my mom and I get into a fight we always talk it out. We have both learned that yelling and arguing with each other does not solve anything. My mom and I didn't get along as well as we do now while I was a sophomore in high school. Mostly it's because I didn't listen and I would always fight with her. I think this taught us better communication skills."

Amber: "I have always been taught to never go to bed angry, because if something happened and I never saw that person again, my last memory of that person would not be a good memory."

Joy: "Being a parent means learning as you go. Making mistakes, and hopefully learning from them."

Shannon: "My mom taught me to always fight for what I believe in. Never let anyone knock me down or tell me what I can or cannot do.

Amber: She taught me to always have great manners, always show respect for others and their property, and always chew with my mouth closed!

Joy: I admire Shannon's loyalty, friendliness and sense of humor. I tend to be a bit on the serious side, so she is a good balance for me. I love her outgoing personality and her ability to see humor in crazy situations. In Amber I admire her giving heart, her generosity and respectfulness. She often puts others before herself and is one of the most unselfish people I have ever known.

Amber: "The relationship that we share has taught me a lot about love. It is a strong bond that holds families together. If you truly love someone, like I know my mom loves me, you will do anything for them; make all the sacrifices in the world if you have to."

Shannon: "Our relationship has taught me that no matter how many times something goes wrong and no matter how hard life gets, I will always be loved and I will always have someone to turn to."

Joy: "Love is the strongest bond of all. No matter what is going on in our relationship, I know that our love for each other will keep us close."


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