About Me:

Aloha! I'm Wendy Kennar. I'm the mother of a seven-year-old son and a wife living in Los Angeles. I was a public school teacher for twelve years until a chronic medical condition made it necessary to leave my teaching career.

I've always been described as "quiet" - really, I'm just biting my tongue. I've got lots to say, and lots of thoughts to share, I just prefer to write them. That's the purpose of this blog. Each Wednesday, I post a personal essay offering my observations and thoughts.

A few fun facts about me: I've wanted to be a writer since second grade, when my teacher, Mrs. Jones, made me a "book" with a yellow construction paper cover. I have never learned to whistle, have always preferred sunflowers to roses, and have spent my life living within the same zip code.

Through the years, my writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, United Teacher, GreenPrints, L.A. Parent, DivineCaroline.com, RoleReboot.org, XOJane, and Brain, Child Magazine. Additionally, my personal essays have been included in several anthologies, including: The Barefoot Review, Beyond the Diaper Bag, Lessons From My Parents, Write for Light, Being a Grown-Up: A User's Manual for the Real World, Ka-Pow!, How Writing Can Get You Through Tough Times, Breath and Shadow, The Grey Wolfe Storybook, and Sisters Born, Sisters Found.
I am a regular contributor at MomsLA.com, and you can also find me at Goodreads.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Feel free to comment and share my blog with others!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Footprints on My Heart

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people move our souls to dance. They awaken us to a new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom. Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon. They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.”
      Someone once told me you’re friends with certain people during different periods of your life.  The person you are then finds kinship with someone.  You are friends for that period of time.  Certain friendships, certain relationships, don’t endure.  They don’t, or can’t, last beyond that brief period of time - whether it be middle school, college, or the first year on the job.  Their brevity, however, doesn’t diminish their value.  
In less than a month, I will be turning “35,” and have found myself thinking more and more about some of the people I have had relationships with during the course of my life.  For whatever the reason, these people and I crossed paths.  Their influence lives within me, still.  I remember not just their faces, but the way I felt with them.  Their memory lives on as does the person I was at that time.  They came into my life and somehow or another, played a part in me traveling this road and getting to this point.
There was Rosemary, my friend during junior high.  The girl who would beautify me when she “french-braided” my hair during lunch.  The girl I talked to about shaving our legs; hers before mine.  She was boisterous and fun and confident.  The opposite of my quiet, shy, insecure self.  At the time, I constantly wondered why she’d want to be friends with someone like me (aside from help with her math homework). 
And I wonder what happened to the elderly man who wore the gray “Members Only” jacket?  Saturday and Sunday mornings found me at work in a Beverly Hills flower shop.  When he walked by, we’d smile at each other.  Over time, he began to walk closer to our open shop door, lean inside, and wave.  I never did find out that man’s name.  Never left my morning post to say “Hello” and introduce myself.  I always looked forward to seeing my “man-friend” out on his walk.  His presence gave me a sense of comfort and familiarity, almost like a grandpa walking by and keeping an eye out for me.  When I quit my job, I wondered about my “man-friend.”  Wondered what he would think the next time he walked by and didn’t see me.  I hoped he somehow knew that I was thinking of him.  
Jenny was my best friend during my community college years.  The girl I hung out with at the pizza restaurant across the street, feeding the jukebox quarters so we could hear Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” and Roy Orbison’s “Crying.”  We acted like tourists in our own town, spending our spring break exploring popular destinations, using public transportation.  Jenny was the first friend I ever said “I love you” to.  She was the girl I spoke to about dating, and the girl who introduced me to the first man I dated.
And then there is that man, “E.”  The first man I dated, the first man I kissed.  Does he remember me?  My memories of him have dulled considerably over time, but I remember his white pick-up truck, his bad habit of forgetting his wallet when we went out to dinner, our Indian food dinner.  I remember the white jean skirt I wore on the night we first kissed.  And, I remember wondering why this man was spending his time with me?
I remember many classmates and colleagues.  People I worked with and became friendly with.  If not necessarily my friend, they were still familiar faces.  “Green” was the name of the girl who helped train me during my first day of work at the library.  “AW” was the girl I often worked nights with at the flower shop, and after closing up, we’d go to Johnny Rockets for a late hamburger.  I remember another Wendy who sometimes rode the bus with me for part of my commute from CSUN.
For others, I remember faces and incidents and yet, can’t remember the names of the people involved.  I remember the guy from my Speech class who wrote me a note that unsettled me so much I knew I’d never get in a car with him.  I remember a college classmate with long, dark, curly hair and our breakfast at the Farmer’s Market.  I remember her fondly speaking of her family trip to Yosemite.
Whether I’m aware of it or not, these people have crept into my soul, have participated in my past and played a part in my present.  I am reminded of a quote from Under the Tuscan Sun, authored by Frances Mayes:
Any arbitrary turning along the way and I would be elsewhere.  I would be different.”  
That statement gives me hope and reassurance.  My life is unfolding the way it was meant to, and all the people I have spent time with and allowed into my heart have, in some way, shaped the person I am today.


  1. I'm glad we crossed paths and have been friends ever since. Very nice article.

  2. Your writing is EXCELLENT.I think anyone who has been or does become your friend is a very lucky person.You give so much of yourself and people become drawn to you.I think we all come in contact with so many different people over the years and we sometimes wonder why we ever became involved with them but I guess that is just how life works.I love you and am very proud of you.You are a WONDERFUL BEAUTIFUL person inside and out.

  3. A thought provoking article, a lot of truism. Frances Mayes is right, the ebb and flow of life, makes you the person you are. How was I to know, the repair case I was dispatched on, would cause me to meet, the love of my life. i.e.: "How I met your Mother". I have had a lot of acquaintances, but never a life-long friend, except for your Mother.

    Love, Dad

  4. Your mom is right. I am truly lucky to be your friend. I love and miss you. I think about you every day. As always, your writing is beautiful just like you.

  5. Honey,

    The beauty of your writing are one of the many things I love about you!

    I am eternally grateful that we found each other!



  6. I love this article! I love the imagery you painted when explaining about braiding hair. That is so cute! I am so glad that I was placed to TA for you when I first started and that our friendship has blossomed and endured through the busy times and all. I am very grateful to have you in my life! Keep up the amazing writing! You rock!

  7. A well written post, Yes in our life we encounter with many people but very few put an everlasting imprint in our life thru their actions or words that remember for life. Thats a good thought.

    Yes, the very purpose of our being here is to have or to make an impression for others thru our life. let us leave behind some sweet smelling memories before we leave this earth.
    Its really nice to be here and to have friendship with you, I mean to read your blogs etc,,
    with regards
    philip from India