In January of 2011 I was living in the Toledo area after college, working at a hospital-based audiology clinic. My mother had back surgery and she was struggling to be independent so I decided to look for new job options closer to home. I saw a Family Hearing and Balance Center position opening in Akron and clicked the link. As soon as I saw Rich Reikowski’s name, I knew I had to apply. While I was in college pursuing my Audiology degree, my mother had been working for a company who would refer people to get hearing tests and help with hearing concerns. “Dr. Rich” was one of the people my mother referred people to for many years. She repetitively told me to “go work with Dr. Rich” when I was job searching near the end of college. Of course I didn’t listen to my mother, and I went to Toledo where my husband had grown up. When I applied to Family Hearing and Balance Center and interviewed, I didn’t want to spoil the surprise of my identity so I didn’t mention who my mother was until after I was accepted for the position. Thanks to my mother who told many stories about me over the years, he knew more about me than I thought. It’s a good thing I already had the job! Working here for almost 6 years has flown by because of the close “family-like” relationships that the staff have. More importantly, working in a private-practice setting makes the patients part of our “family” too. I guess my mother did know best! Life lesson learned: “Always listen to your mother!”
With the Holiday’s coming up and now that I have two little girls, I think about traditions more than when it was just myself, my husband and the dogs. I want to re-invent those memories I had as a little girl with my sister and my mom. Memories like the advent calendar my uncle would send from Germany with chocolates in each window, opening one gift on Christmas eve (it was ALWAYS new pajamas and a new movie to watch that night), and decorating the tree with all the hand-made ornaments and memories of years past. Those traditions, memories, and time with family are what makes the Holiday’s have that extra spark. Not how well-decorated the house is, not if you get the most desired gift on your list (although that is exciting), or any other reasons the department stores try to make you believe. The holidays are about spending time with your family and making memories, however big or little, and where-ever you are.