Love, Life & Triangles

triangles_background-680244_960_720.jpg

Triangles are the strongest (and most stable) shape because any added force is evenly spread through all three sides. Look closely at your pyramid – it's made of triangles! Squares or cubes can be strengthened by adding a diagonal piece across the middle, making it two triangles linked together.
—Mythbusters

 

Before I was born, my dad taught math and physics, so when my sister and I came of age, he naturally helped us with our homework. My dad is the kind of teacher who makes you write everything out so that you can see each step. Being able to see all steps offers the ability to go back and forth from problem to solution, which allows one to realize exactly where any mistake might have been made. Right away, I loved the balancing of equations, formulas and learning the properties and stability of various shapes. Math is a series of puzzles and I have always enjoyed problem solving! I still enjoy recognizing simple patterns and the structural ideals that I began to understand and discover as a child in art, music, dance, gymnastics, ice skating, running track, (Cheerleading, even), organizing and in efficient packing! Math is in all things. There is a balance that mathematical problems are yearning to reclaim! And as such, LIFE is the management of all of the many pieces in relationship to the whole. I remember learning that the Triangle is structurally the most sound. When studying Architecture, I learned that the triangle is in itself a structural support. Roughly used as a keystone, it remains the glue for many ancient structures. Now through my yoga practice, I've come to understand that there are many triangularly shaped gestures in life. Triangles are dynamic. They are about structure and the employment of all of its' sides with respect to the relationship between its three points. 

In a family triangle, parents are the two base points. Mine collaborated to raise their children up at their pinnacle. And to this day, sharing that lofty position with my sister, I continue to feel the love and benefit of us both being held as the number one priority in my parent's lives. Though Michelle is no longer with us, together we are forever bound as best friends and sisters who have been blessed with the unyielding love and sacrifice that our devoted parents consistently provide. Our family has always honored each other, our dreams and simply the people that we've always been. Though exceptional in many ways, our family is not rare. There are many families who rally for each other, yet understandably there are others who for whatever reason are unable. I've been deeply blessed to have been given the family I have. We Gandy's are a practical, hardworking and creative tribe who strive for balance and reason in all things. That is where I am rooted.

My mom and dad are of that rare breed of couples who grew up in the same neighborhood, met in high school, attended the same college and became married shortly thereafter. Still best friends to this day, my parents are happily married fifty-six years later. (That is rare!) Both are special humans separately in their own right, but together have been incredible partners to one another, exemplary parents and a reference not only for their two daughters, but for their friends, family, neighbors, co-workers and without exaggeration, all who meet them. As their first born, I deeply value all that they have shared, endured and done in giving me a foundation by way of love and example. Theirs is a love story and testament to the power of dreaming with application, dedication and the support of a companion, committed not only to the other, but to the fixed yet flexible dream founded on their mutual ideals and values.

Children who sit at the top of their family triangle grow with the benefit of feeling cared for and seen for who they are and valued as such. For me, one explicit benefit of that is and will always be my sister and the relationship we cultivated together within our family environment. She was my one and only. The love of my life, Michelle, My-chelle was smart, funnier than ANYONE else on the planet. And though quite the Scorpio and tough on the outside, she was all mushy sweetness on the inside. Clear thinking, and often treating me like I was the younger sister, she sometimes sent care packages with toiletries, post-it notes and my favorite Girl Scout cookies, (Shortbread/Trefoils)! She was the one I went to for advice and comfort at the end of a hard day. As my buddy and partner in crime for forty-five years, she was the only other who intimately shared the foothold of our solid family base. Together we're a comfortable crew, each beholding to the other in our making up of our whole.

I've come to realize that life's big pictures are made up of the seemingly small or basic details. It is those many bits that stand behind the scenes of where we come from, as well as their effects that move us to become who we are. I come from a deep respect for structure and reason to become a seeker of balance, from which to build and explore life for myself. Whether or not I personally achieve it, successfully communicate it, or fully embody that ideal— it is in this expression that I have realized the strength in the multiple triangular dynamics in life. By nature, with all triangles any added force is evenly spread through each of the three sides that connect the anchor points. This structural event has resulted in a consistent foundation, a deeper love and unyielding bond that is a growing theme and a source of power and inspiration for me.

 

Teri Gandy-Richardson