Wicked Wednesday: Thank You to Our Life Mentors

Hi Wickeds. In the past, we’ve said thank you to some of our writing mentors. But what about life in general? Is there someone who had an influence on your life, who either gave you great advice or modeled how to be in the world or supported you at a time when you really needed it that you’d like to say something about? Let us know below.

Julie: The universe supplies me with the teachers I need as I need them. Every one of the Wickeds has acted as a mentor at one point or another. My friend Susan Able has lifted me up.  I’ve got a business coach, Sue Zimmerman, who is mentoring me as I start my online business school for performing artists. I’ve had wonderful mentors, and have tried to be a good mentor to others.

Liz: Like Julie, the Wickeds have all played that part for me at some point. My dear friend Dacia Jackson, who sadly passed away last week, was another incredible influence in my life. She was someone who loved people unconditionally. No matter the situation, she always had the wisest words and most insightful ways of looking at life.

Barb: When I was in my late twenties and early thirties, learning to be a manager and a mom at the same time, my early mentors were my female colleagues at Information Mapping, especially Kathy Schiff and Nancy Fohl. Kathy taught me so much about managing people with humor and generosity in a way that made them productive and therefore happy at work. Nancy’s kids were older than mine and she was a constant source of hard-won wisdom about parenting and work. I am forever grateful.

Sherry: I can’t mention just one person. I’ve been so lucky to have so many girlfriends that provided support through the ups and downs of life. With all the moves as an adult there always seemed to be the right women there when I needed them. Thanks to all of you!


Edith: I’ve only known my 86-year-old friend Annie for about fifteen years, after she and her third husband became regulars at Quaker Meeting. Annie has gotten more frail over the years (and has lost her dear Richard, whom I also adored), but she continues to inspire me to be an activist, speak my mind, work on staying strong, and age graciously. If she can do it,  I surely can.


Readers, do you have a life mentor who was a help to you? Leave a comment for a chance to win an ARC of Julia Henry’s new book, Pruning the Dead!

40 Thoughts

  1. An internist I had some years ago proved to be a mentor in my life. She encouraged me and was a source of invaluable emotional support.

  2. My mentor was my mother. She provided me with much knowledge on cooking, raising children, sewing and so much more. My mom was also very supportive in all I attempted and provided me with encouragement when I didn’t succeed.

  3. Besides my dad, who was always there for me, listened to me when I needed a shoulder to cry on and always gave me advice when I needed it, my grandma and grandpa were my mentors. They gave me encouragement to try new things, the love of gardening and so much more. All three of these wonderful people made me who I am and I still find their words a comfort to me when I need them most.

  4. My Aunt Eleanor was always there for me. She was more like an older sister than an Aunt and encouraged me and never said you can’t do that…and I did that!!!

  5. Being a teen, young adults are always good as mentors because they were where I am not to long ago. I’ve had a few great friends and mentors.

    1. I agree. The people who’ve been there most recently are often the ones who’s experience is closest to your own and therefore their advice most relevant.

  6. Honestly, I would have to say the biggest influence in my life was my Mom. I know everyone thinks their Mom is the tops, but I mean beyond showing up right from wrong, being there for us when we fall or cheering us on when achieved our goals. My Mom showed me what real love was and that it can last through thick and thin. Having met on a blind date and marrying the man of her dreams seven days later, she showed me that love is more than the happy glow of early love. To make love last, you work on it every day and make sure your mate is your #1. She showed me never to give up. After a brain aneurysm ruptured, getting back to “normal” was hard work but anything worth having is worth fighting for. She also showed me that being a homemaker IS a job and doing it properly and with love that the benefits are worth more than any paycheck can bring you. I miss her but the lessons I learned from here go on as does the love we had for each other.

    Thank you for the wonderful chance to win an ARC copy of “Pruning the Dead!”
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  7. My dad has been such a great sounding board. He’s always encouraged me and pushed me to achieve my goals.

  8. Seventeen years ago, a very old lady said just the right words to me when I needed them most. They brought me out of my personal hell and gave me a new lease on life. I talked to her yesterday, and she still is a light in my life. Thank you, Dora.

  9. My mom always encouraged me, but since her death I haven’t really found that one person I could confide in and look up to as a mentor. Kind of sucks. 🙁

  10. Like many of the Wicked readers, I can’t limit it to one. There have been so, so many.

    But I have to begin with my mother. Objectively, she was without a doubt the best person I ever knew. The thing about parents that distinguishes them from other mentors and supportive friends, is that you can always be certain that there is one person who, no matter what, will always be FOR you.

    It doesn’t mean she or he will always approve of what you do. In fact the willingness to tell you unpleasant things you need to hear is one of their most important roles, whether you’re six or sixty. She was the one who would say to me, “You know, you’re not as funny as you think you are.” NEVER, something I wanted to hear, but it encouraged at least a bit of a filter on my tongue.

    I was so very lucky to have had my mother longer than most. She lived to 98, and was active until three weeks before she died. So many of my friends lost their parents when they were in their 20’s or soon thereafter.

    And I was particularly lucky to have had a good relationship with her all our lives. I have so many peers who have horrible relationships with their parents. One of them, a colleague of Japanese ancestry was a dutiful daughter. And like a good Japanese daughter, she would dutifully call her mother every Sunday evening. But, because she knew the call would be nothing but a litany of her faults (she was too fat, she wasn’t a good enough wife, etc.), she would spend every Sunday afternoon throwing up. Hers was perhaps the most extreme example among my friends, but far from the only one.

    And the best part is that for the most part I realized how lucky I was (at least once I reached adulthood) throughout the whole of her life. I think that the saddest thing would have been to have appreciated her only after she was gone.

    But the strength of that relationship means that I still feel her with me. I still feel her strength and her wisdom and I do make a daily effort to follow her example. I surely don’t always succeed, but I know she appreciates my making the effort.

    1. You are so right about good, supportive parent-child relationships. Because they are so close and what they say matters so much, they are the relationships that can go so right or so wrong.

  11. My mother was my mentor. She taught & guided me so much. She taught how to keep house & cook. But more than that she helped me be a good daughter, wife, mother but most of all how to be a good person

  12. My family and those special friends that always put up with me. I have never felt alone and I a thankful for that!

  13. I moved around so much that I guess I never really found a mentor—I sure wish I would have.

  14. My mentor was my mom. She died when I was 18, but prepared me well to be a wife and mother, to take care of myself and others, and to value a college degree, whether I ever had to work outside the home or not. Legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

  15. A boss I had in one of my early jobs at Prime Computer gave me my first real boosts and compliments and supported me by promoting me from secretary to Associate Programmer. He made me begin to believe that I did, indeed, have a good mind and knew how to use it. Many thanks to Charlie Buckley, one of the first to believe in me. Wish I could list my parents, but they told me that my younger sister would be someone special some day, and that I would “just be a good mother”. Sadly, I succeeded in spite of them, not because of them.

  16. When I joined our local church many years ago the amazing “old lady brigade” was a wonderful help to me. Great role models, there to listen, guide, give advice if asked, and just great fun to be with. They had all lost their husbands by the time I met them and had all had their share of trials in their lives, but they had such marvelous attitudes. June collected old postcards and passed them on to many of us, Frances was always “hanging’ in, hangin’ on,” Florence chaired the annual hat show. I could go on and on but I am so thankful for each of them.

  17. My life mentor was my Dad. He gave me my first job in the transportation industry when I was 15 and taught me so much about trucking. He was always very supportive when I worked in other fields after college and when I finally found my way back to trucking it was like we had a special bond between us.

  18. Definitely NOT my mother. If anything, she taught me what not to do in life. One of my high school math teachers was truly a mentor. He encouraged me in math even though it was not my strongest subject. As a result I majored in math in college. He also encouraged me to expand my interests and to be interested in learning for the sake of learning. When I told him I’d taken a course in Greek Archaeology, he met me at the MOFA and asked me to tell him about the museum pieces I’d learned about. He also helped me through a very difficult year when my parents were getting divorced. I will always be grateful to Mr. Leverich.

  19. I have a few woman friends for years who I consider my spiritual compass. As I debate behavior or actions they help remember to be Christian in always.

  20. I don’t really have a mentor, but my dad did an awesome job of trying to teach me without “telling” me what to do – he would guide me to information and find people to use as examples. I’ve spent most of my life trying to be like him. I lost him in 2011

  21. My mentor was my grandmother. She believed in me wholeheartedly and loved me unconditionally. I miss her every day, but I try to live the life that would make her proud of me.

  22. My parents are my mentors. They have always been there for advice, support, guidance. Can’t thank them enough.

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