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Meet Us – Debbie Siekiera

debbie3When I was told that I was the featured person in this issue of the Beacon I had no idea what I would say. I write so many things that go into these publications with no difficulties.  It is a little different and awkward writing about yourself, so here goes!
First, I firmly believe the person I became is partly a result of coming from a large family with 3 brothers and 3 sisters, and being the second oldest and the oldest girl. I was born in Rockville, CT but grew up in West Warwick, R.I., where some of my siblings and their families still reside. My mom and in-laws are close by in the next town over.  Coming from a large family seems to mold you into the person you become without even realizing it. My mother is also an example and can tell you as she was one of 8 children and the oldest girl. There is so much truth to the poem “Children Learn as they Live.” I learned responsibilities the hard way, how to share, to fight for what’s yours, be independent because you were on the top of the totem pole of kids and you needed to be an extra set of hands, how to earn your own money for the things debbieyou wanted because your parents couldn’t afford to spend their money on foolish things like records and trendy things, how to be creative with your time or else mother needed more chores done!  I can look back at my childhood knowing that I didn’t have it so bad. It is easy to say that now as I have learned what it takes to juggle my own family, career, household and interests. You learn to appreciate what your parents had to give up supporting such a large family. It was even more difficult on my mother because my grandfather came to live with us not too long after my grandmother died. He was not an easy person to live with. He was great with us kids but tough on my mom.

I came to BBCC 6 months after our son was born back in 1989. I was ready to be involved in a church again.  I kept driving by this quaint looking little town church. One day I saw an ad in the local paper for BBCC event with a contact name and her phone number so I called….here it is 23 years later!
Since coming to BBCC, I have served on numerous committees. Currently, and most notably, I am proud to be serving as secretary on the Board of Deacons, I am the woman beside the man (my great, fabulous husband Mike, our BBCC chef) on the Ways & Means Committee, the Publicity Committee where I proofread and assemble these Beacons for mailing plus maintain the mailing lists, help on the Nominating Committee and once again, helping out with our Sunday My Christian faith I owe to my parents. I was raised in our small town Baptist church (very similar to Broad Brook Congregational Church, it is uncanny!) We were made to go to Sunday school every week from Sept to June. That was torture for some of my siblings but I enjoyed it because I got to see my school friends there, it was better than staying home being bored because there were no cartoons on or friends out playing yet because they were in church somewhere else!  When I was confirmed I continued working with the Sunday school program and was made an official member of their Christian Education department after I turned 18. (So starts my years of service and dedication to the Lord.)  I left the church to move to GA to start a new life with my husband Mike. He hadn’t been out of the service long, when he was hired by Delta Airlines.
I still consider the First Baptist Church of West Warwick to be my “family” church as some of my family still attend there – it is where my father and his sister were raised. My family and I still try to attend on occasion as we still have friends there and keep in touch. I also keep in touch with an old favorite Sunday school teacher via Facebook. That church will always have a special place in my heart.  My parents were married there, as was Mike and myself and so many others. Also our 3 children were all dedicated there as infants (then later baptized in BBCC as adults).
After 7 years of living in GA and never finding a new church, we packed up our house, 2 girls and our St. Bernard, Clyde, and moved to Broad Brook, CT in 1988. My husband transferred to CT basically for me as I was homesick for New England. He was happy in the Atlanta area. His reward to coming to Bradley was finally working on the line-maintenance instead of being in a shop school department.

You will see my name on all the mailings that go out as I am the contact person for most of our mass mailings and the fundraiser coordinator for most events. There is little I wouldn’t do to help serve my church and our Lord.  When I am not at work setting up banquets or doing my church work, you will either find me in the kitchen baking some desserts for our suppers, making a cake for someone’s special occasion, taking long motorcycle rides alongside my husband Mike, swimming in my pool (weather permitting of course) with my 2 grandsons or walking Floyd our 170 lb. black Newfie. I still like to break into crafts once in awhile but there doesn’t seem to be enough time in a day anymore.