help tell my story

My close friend Bev knows a lot of stories about me, some I have long forgotten. I realized that all of my friends know something about me that might be important for my daughters to know one day. If you have a story, a memory or a thought you would like to share, please do it here in the comments. This will be a gift to my daughters and to the grandchildren I will never hold. I want them to know my story, to know me. Thank you for contributing.
Rules for participation: If you wouldn’t tell your story to your mom or your grandma, don’t tell it here. 🙂 Please keep it PG-13. Love you all.

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14 Responses to “help tell my story”

  1. Laura Blair Says:

    Show Girl Names: One of my first memories of you is when we went to the first BABW “Manager’s Meeting” in FL in October 1999. I wasn’t with you all, but I remember we all ended up with “show girl” names because of your creative mind. You named the CEO Belle Star and the CFO Tanguaray. Who does that? Love the way you view life and find the humor in every little moment!

    • ronniegaubatz Says:

      My showgirl name was Sparky. Well actually, that was a nickname given to me by a co-worker and it just stuck. Thing is, don’t take yourself too seriously and always try to have fun, especially if you are working. Belle Starr and Tanguaray knew this well. Together we had lots of fun.

  2. Francine Says:

    Oh wow this is a tough one for me considering you are my cousin there are so many stories. Some I can share and some….NO WAY!
    I think I will just make a list to make it easier .

    Girls, these are the 1st 20 things that popped in my mind…
    20. Your mom had the coolest little red truck when she started driving.
    19. She has NEVER liked wearing a dress…..EVER! BUT for weddings Tracy and I forced her to. ;o)
    18. We LOVED playing board games…mainly PayDay and Life.
    17. She was a VERY good climber as a teenager (out of low windows) she was equally good at pulling me in those same low windows…nuff said :o)
    16. She has ALWAYS liked autos with 2 wheels that go fast.
    15. Once she lost a ton of weight by doing Jane Fonda like 800 times a day. CRAZY
    14. She rode the train to see me in Chicago and I slid my truck off the road in the rain after picking her up. Oopsie.
    13. When we were young sometimes she changed her name back and forth from Ronnie to Ronny.
    12 She has ALWAYS written WONDERFUL stories.
    11. She never cared about primping.
    10. I was never afraid of anyone who bullied me because, well, uhhh she handled that. (nuff said)
    9. We had a dog named Muffy….she ALWAYS called her MISS AMERICA.
    8. When I was going through cancer she always called my mom to check on me.
    7. We never slept when we were young…Tracy slept enough for me and your mom! :o) and STILL does!
    6. She ALWAYS makes me laugh.
    5. ONCE she let me put mascara on her eyelashes and then TOLD on me for getting into Aunt Bonnies makeup. lol
    4. She found our German Shepard “Pepper” in a field one night and brought him home.
    3. She has always found humor in me getting in trouble. :o)
    2. She has ALWAYS been there for me no matter what, no matter if I disappointed her or was not doing the right things in life…she never gave up on me…EVER.
    1. SHE TICKLED ME ON A FAMILY VACATION IN THE BACK SEAT OF THE CAR AND SHE MADE ME PEE ALL OVER THE COLORING BOOKS. SHE MAAAAADE ME DO IT….she really did……well sorta! hahahaha
    Love you all and see you Friday night! Woo-Hoo! ❤
    Francine

    • ronniegaubatz Says:

      I love the top 20 list. Thank you for sharing these moments. You reminded me a few and I am sure my daughters and grand kids will get a kick out of these someday. Love you Fran.

  3. Laura Blair Says:

    The early days at the Bear and going to Blueberry Hill on Wednesday nights for Hag Night. “What’s said at the hag, stays at the hag. You can hag on anyone you want, doesn’t mean you don’t love them, just means you need to hag on them.”

    • ronniegaubatz Says:

      I loved hag night. It was just a away to blow off steam from work in a fun and positive way. I never look back these days to think “I should have worked more hours, or I should have made more money”. But I do look back on my career and cherish the coworkers who became friends and in some cases almost family to me. Advice? Work well, not hard, at something you love to do. Do your best. Make good friends along the way. Balance work with life and especially with family and friends.


  4. Ronnie, this isn’t a memory from a specific event in high school…more of a memory and example of your character and how the little time we spent together had a profound effect on me.

    Having just moved here and being overly concerned about what others thought about me, I wasn’t happy or felt that I “fit” in. I did what most teens do…party, drink a lot for liquid courage, try to be a part of the popular crowd. But the few times I was around you…I could be myself without judgement, I could laugh at the weird, immature things I felt were funny, I could just BE. How many people can have that effect on others? Not many.

    It’s a selfish memory, I know. But I wanted to share so that others realize the power of being genuine and unassuming. Thank you, Ronnie. God bless you and all those you love.

  5. Kate Boelhauf Says:

    Hi Ronnie – This is not really a story, I’ll be back on here to tell some stories later. I can’t count the times you have made me smile or laugh or see things from a different perspective but the first thing I wanted to write about was your creative soul.

    I have known many people who loved art, who loved to create, but you are the only person that I know who I could say is a champion of the artistic spirit. I have seen you go to battle for creativity, I have seen your joy at reading a book or talking about one of Doug’s photographs and more recently I have seen your eyes light up when you talk about the room you converted into a gallery for Doug’s work and how you love it.

    Having worked with you for so long, I feel blessed to have had someone acknowledge and love my creative side and I have seen you recognize it in others and it is just beautiful. Just beautiful to witness. I’m not sure if you know this about yourself, but you love the art of life, you love to see ideas grow and light up, you love to be a part of beautiful things and you love to plant the seeds to help them grow. It’s no wonder you love sunflowers so much.

    It took me a bit longer to realize that you are also an amazing creator (mainly because you always downplay this side of yourself). If I could tell your grandchildren anything about you, it would be that your soul sparkles. And while you’ve never proclaimed yourself to be an artist, you are an amazing one. You write beautiful words, you create beautiful stories, your creativity comes out with every sentence, with every word, in every action.

    I can’t recall all the times I have seen this in you, but I do remember the last one. We were talking about cancer, what the latest news was and you looked tired and then you told me about how you were going to create a photo blog with one picture a day. Saying those words, you just lit up. And I thought wow, how beautiful it is to see that – that pure joy in the act of creating.

    I hope I was able to express this well, it’s not a very straightforward kind of thing to try to explain and I want to do justice to it because it’s rare to find in a person and it is so lovely to be around.

  6. Wendy Kenville Says:

    I remember the first time we met. It was at my first Chiefs meeting in 2003 for BABW – There was assigned seating – You were seated next to me… at the time, I knew who you were, but had never met you.. I just knew that you were the brains behind the amazing things on buildabear.com – and you had helped me fix issues on my stores’ website through email communication, but I had not spoken to you. For whatever reason, I expected you to be serious and stuffy (techie)…well… you were about as far from that as possible

    I remember you being FUN and FUNNY from the moment you sat down, you gave me the low down on who was who as people came by to say hello. ….And then of course there was Karaoke later in the weekend — you give off amazing energy and I continued to be in awe of the work you did….

    Thanks for being so welcoming and providing a GREAT early experience for me at BABW. Peace and Sunshine!

  7. ronniegaubatz Says:

    I loved my time as a Bear. I never took myself too seriously, which maybe hurt my career a bit, but I enjoyed what I did and I had fun doing it every day.

  8. Tami DeLand Says:

    I met your mother when she was about 14 or 15 years old in my freshman English class. What I remember most is she was always “all in.” She would dance around the classroom when she told a story. She would take on any guy who was too full of himself. And she would laugh. Oh, how she could laugh! That energy and light will always be with us.
    Tami DeLand

  9. Kate B. Says:

    I think I shall title this essay Ronnie + Food = Happy Hearts.

    Once upon a time when I first worked for you, you mistakenly forgot to order something vegetarian when you ordered the team lunch. I kidded you, only the tiniest bit & you in turn felt so bad that you invited the whole team over for a home cooked vegetarian meal.

    That was the first of many such meals. When I think of you I always think of homemade soups, warm breads and this feeling of home/hearth. I love how you love to open your home to others, how you love to nourish people & how good it feels to eat one of your soups because you k\now it was made with joy.

    And while I’m on the topic of food, I can not leave without bringing up the oatmeal incident. A few of us who worked for you had never had “real” oatmeal, being lovers of the instant kind we saw no need to hide that fact from you. Little did we know the horror that would cause deep in your soul. Rather than see anyone go through life without tasting warm steel cut oats, you made some and brought it into work – I believe there was maple syrup & cream too…I can’t quite remember, but what stays with me is just how fun it was and how happy it made me. So simple, so thoughtful & such a warming gesture. I never completely converted, but whenever I see steel cut oats, I think of you.

    And then there was the pumpkin pie….similar circumstances must have brought on the pumpkin pie day at work..a few of us had never had pumpkin pie made from real pumpkins. You made some pies for us & brought in everything to make homemade whip cream right in the office. It was so good. So so good. To this day I will not allow a fake pumpkin pie to pass my lips.

    There is something so special about food made especially for you. You gave this gift to us so often & always took it even a step further, adding those special touches that make the loved feel even more loved. Thank you.

    P.S. Remember those amazing pitas gave me? I don’t remember why you bought them for me, but I remember how good they tasted. Why did that store have to close down?

  10. Cathy Broski Says:

    I guess I have to go back to 1984, or was it ‘85. My first job was at a Kinder Care close to my house in St Charles. My father had died the year before and my mom had remarried and moved us far from what I knew as home. I was so depressed and just going through the motion of daily life. That job became my saving grace because of Ronnie.

    She had a way of relating to kids that could crack me up in seconds, but you girls know this. Her joy of living carried over in all aspect of her life. Her charismatic way helped push me back into the word and to find my happiness again. She liked taking pictures and had a real talent for it, so I encouraged her to take a photo class. I was going to Flo. Valley for art classes at the time and it seemed like a good idea.

    And that’s where she met Doug, her instructor. We had a lot of “hang nights”, and quite a few float trips to the old farm house my family owned. She made everyone feel welcome no matter if it was their first time out with us or their one hundredth. She would make your dad get up and dance, he clearly did not do this when we first met. I still smile when I see Doug laughing so hard he could barely stand as she danced circle around us all.

    I consider our friendship to be the most life changing for me to this day. Not only did she help get my life back, but she encouraged me to go to a real art school. For that alone I am forever changed. She will always be with us all, we just need to think of her.
    I will forever keep all of you in my prayers
    Cathy

  11. Rendy Faulkner Says:

    I met Ronnie in February 2010 through Operation Bellavida and my husband, Tom, who was working with David, Bryan and Summer. I was of of three survivors asked to give an interview with Vicki Neuman from KMOV tv. I remember getting a little tongued-tied during the interview, but I was so impressed with Ronnie! There was casually elegance in the way she spoke. She was so refined in her speech and radiated confidence. As I followed her through her blogs, I realized she was a gifted writer, as well. I appreciate her humor and honesty along with the trail of blogs she left for the world. Much Love to you all!

    Rendy Faulkner


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