Jamie has always been a free spirit. From the time she could walk and talk she provided much laughter and amusement.  We traveled to North Carolina one summer to visit Grandma and Grandpa Collins with Grandma and Grandpa Hemmer.  We were traveling in two vehicles and communicating with CB radios. Jamie was still in diapers and her vocabulary was limited and she kept saying "ishtabop".  It took us quite some time to figure out what she was trying to tell us, and the longer it took the madder she got.  Well, when we finally realized what she meant it was so humorous that we made her CB radio handle "ishtabop". Now to save her the embarrassment I will not reveal what she was saying to us, so when you talk to her ask her what it means. 

 

We recognized that Jamie had a little show in her when she was pretty young and thought that it would be fun for her to involved in group activities such as dance, but that wasn't what she wanted to do.  Jackie saw as ad for a soccer league that was for her age group and asked her if this was something that she thought she might like to do and Jamie seemed interested in this. She got all registered and started going to the practices and the games and all was going well till football and cheerleading started.  Once she saw the cheerleaders practicing her attention changed once again.  She pushed Jackie until we registered her for cheerleading also, and as you can imagine the practice schedule was entertaining.  

 

The humorous part of this story is that we insisted that she finish the soccer because it was something that she committed to, however during most games she would be playing defense and when the ball was at the other end of the field she would be practicing her cheerleading.  Also, to look at her room you would never know that at one time she actually didn't like to be dirty or untidy.  You have to understand that soccer is played in all weather so when it rained she would still play, EXCEPT where the puddles were. Yep, she would stop and run around them.  This is where my regrets kick in because I was working nights, I was limited as to how often I could see her grow and live these experiences. I wish I could get it back so I could do it better.

 

Through her early teens she became very serious about everything that she got involved in.  Her schooling, her cheerleading, her softball and her relationships were all taken very seriously.  When she turned 13 we provided her the opportunity to go to Olan Mills for professional makeover and photo session. I struggled with these pictures when they were taken because I couldn't believe how adult she had become.  I also realized how very proud of her that I was.

 

Her schooling continued to be very important, but she never slowed down with her cheerleading.  She cheered on Junior Varsity and Varsity at school for both football in the fall and for basketball during the winter. Many times she got involved with the creation of the routines that the squad performed.  As usual she never does things half way.

 

Even with her schooling and jobs, she continued to be involved with cheerleading. She moved off the floor and went back to her cheerleading roots.  She spent a season coaching a young cheerleading squad.  The girls that she spent the season with worked very hard to bring Jamie's routine to life.  This was very fun for me to watch since it provided me the opportunity to see in the girls eyes some of the things that I missed in Jamie's eyes when she was their age.
 

 

Jamie has now taken the next steps in her life. She graduated from Buffalo State College with a degree in secondary education in May of 2003 and by August she had completed three of the required courses for her Masters.  She also started the dreaded interview process to get a job.  I think at last count she had attended 20 interviews and then she hit it big.  She gets to do what she has been working at for so long. She was hired as an 8th grade Math teacher at Sweet Home Middle School.  BUT this is not the end of her fortune.  She has been seeing an incredible young man for a while and he finally took a chance and asked first Jackie and I, then he asked Jamie to marry him..........  You have to understand that Mike doesn't do anything without a great deal of thought so he must have found something special in Jamie. Now this is something that Jackie and I have known for a long time, but Mike had to convince himself.
 


July 31, 2004


 

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