Today is the first Thursday in May!
I hope you had fun going through Pianissimo in the A to Z Challenge with me. Now, it's time to jump into my Character of the Week series with both feet.
To kick it off, we are starting with Liz from The Ballerina in the Loving Her series.
Liz is a bright, sunny character. She's full of life. She's funny, she's outgoing...she's a true red head! Let's get to know the woman behind the fiery red hair.
Liz comes from a small town called Robbins, North Carolina.
She is one of five from her biological parents. Her family was poor, and they struggled terribly to take care of five children.
Every week, her parents would take her to church. The music stirred something within her, and Liz would always dance around happily. Her joy was noticed by many people in the church, especially Robert and Kathy O'Kane.
The O'Kanes were unable to have children. They lived a quiet life, working hard on their farm. Every week at church, they noticed the happy little red-headed girl dancing around the church. Despite the fact that she appeared dirty and not well cared for, she was a jovial little spirit. Something drew Kathy to little Liz. She and Robert talked about it at length. They weren't sure if what they were doing was wrong, but they decided to approach Liz's biological parents.
They carefully discussed their affinity for the young girl. The O'Kanes told them they understood the hardships of raising five children, and they offered their home to Liz. Liz's biological parents didn't need much time to think. One less mouth to feed, one less burden. Liz would be well cared for, and they would still be a part of her life.
Liz was young enough to not recall the transition to her new home. She always remembered the O'Kanes as good, caring, fun parents. Liz would see her biological family in church. She'd even visit on occasion. Something didn't feel right, though. She felt uncomfortable there. Her siblings would tease her. Her birth parents were rough and distant, at best.
Liz came home with bruises on her arms from her biological father more than once. At that point, the O'Kanes sought full adoption, and Liz officially became their daughter.
Liz grew up working on the farm, and studying dance very seriously. From her experiences with her biological family, she was very grateful for all that she had. Her parents worked hard; they sacrificed and supported her love of dance through the years. Life wasn't always easy, but it was always good.
When it came time for Liz to go off to college, she received a full scholarship to Julliard. As a token of his love and support, Robert bequeathed his old truck to Liz. Though a farmer, Robert had always had dreams of owning a big, flashy show-truck. As a token of her love, Liz turned his old farm truck into a work of art.
Right out of school, Liz auditioned and was hired by a touring company. Always one to stand out from the crowd, she surpassed dancing in the ensemble, and was given the lead role. That was a foreshadowing of how well she would do in her dancing career.
In The Ballerina, we meet Liz at her curtain call after a performance in Florida. She captured the eye and heart of Jen. Liz had always been so dedicated to her adopted parents and her passion for dance, that romance was never even a thought that crossed her mind. Jen opened her up to many things.
After all her parents had done for her, Liz was petrified of coming out to Kathy and Robert. Would they accept her? Would they be disappointed in her? She would not be able to live with herself if they were angry or displeased in any way. Years went by. Jen was always with Liz, and the O'Kanes liked Jen very much. By the time Liz came out to them, Jen had dispelled any of their assumptions. Liking Jen for who she was made it very easy for them to accept Liz and Jen as a couple.
Like all couples, Liz and Jen had their share of trials and tribulations. Their dedication to themselves and to each other is what gets them through even the darkest of times.
Liz is like no one you've ever met before. She's an amazing woman with an amazing story. She's fun, she's vivacious, she's eclectic. Liz is just one of those awesome people. I loved writing her story, I hope you love reading it!
Favorite quote from Liz: "But I am more than just a ballerina."