Your daughter, Ronda is SO sweet!
These emails were special in that they came from my family. Sometimes people ask me why I think Ronda has avoided the pitfalls that many other entertainers and athletes have fallen into. One answer is that, if you read the book she wrote with Maria, My Fight/ Your Fight, you'll see that it has not always been smooth sailing.
Still, by comparison to many young people who are in the public eye, she has her head pretty squarely on her shoulders.
When Ronda had book signing scheduled in Florida (State Motto: Your grandparents live here) there was no question but that she would carve some time out of her busy schedule to spend with her grandmother.
One way family is different is that you have history. Several years ago, Ronda was driving across country to get back to California and take her GED before going to work at the minimum wage jobs she had then. My sister lived in Missouri back then, and when Ronda stopped in, her Aunt Joy made her a home cooked meal and baked her cookies to take on the road.
If you look closely in that picture, you'll see a container of home made chocolate chip cookies that my sister gave her. My point is, Joy didn't like her any more or less then than she does today and I'm sure the cookies were equally delicious.
You have inside jokes with your family that other people don't get. For years, I've been telling my mom that I'm going to create an Internet persona for her as a party animal. Every time we are at a family get together, I make sure I have a picture of her with a drink in her hand - even if it is somebody else's drink or actually just water in a martini glass. That's her, Grandma, party animal.
It's like Robert Frost said,
Home is the place where when you go there, they have to take you in.
Anyone who has a good deal of success and is not an idiot realizes that much of what is pleasurable in that lifestyle is dependent on keeping up the money and media. Everyone from the waiter at the five-star restaurant to the person you are dating right now would find someone else if you were broke working at a 7-11. That causes a lot of pressure to keep it up, and sometimes that pressure can be too much.
There is a security in having family behind you. My mom was delighted to see Ronda. She was equally delighted, a month ago, to see Julia, who has written nothing closer to a best seller than her AP English final.
The fact that no one in the family is dependent on her success in any way probably helps to make Ronda's life more of an even keel. Yes, Maria wrote the book with her, but Maria had a career in journalism when Ronda was 16. This wasn't make or break it. As for the rest of us, we have our own lives, so if Ronda says something in the media that is re-printed on 47 different blog pages (why DON'T these people feel bad about not having original content?) well, we probably didn't even read it.
She doesn't have to worry about letting us down in any tangible way, and if she is acting like an ass, no one has the least reluctance to let her know at the very first sign.
On the other hand, if we tell her that is adorable, like in this picture with Rhadi Ferguson's beautiful daughter, Little Rhadi , she knows we mean that too.