To many people, she is Vanessa Pioquinto.
To the people who mean the most to her, she is a music-loving, outgoing Disney fan with a knack for loving her family and showing a true genuineness to everybody around her.
From the moment she and her husband, Ryan, met as freshmen at San Diego State back in 1999, he knew that there was something special about her. Although they started off as friends, he could tell that she was not like all the other college students. As they learned more about each other and their friendship grew, he knew that he wanted to be with her.
“Vanessa is an amazing person who is loved by so many,” Ryan said. “She is a fiercely loyal wife, mother, daughter, sister, auntie and friend, and we have been together off and on since 2001. We have overcome challenges to stay together, get married and to have a baby. She is a world traveler who still finds time for others no matter where she is or what hour of the day it is.”
Life together has not always been easy, but from Ryan’s perspective, he has always wanted to make it work in order to be with the most amazing and genuine woman he has ever met.
When you ask Vanessa’s sister, she will tell you much the same, as she knows what an honor it is to be related to her.
“My sister is one of the most important people in my life,” Connie said. “Since we were only three years apart in age, we grew up together and remained very close. In fact, we often say that we are soulmates – I even made reference to this at her wedding, where I was her maid of honor. We have spent lots of time together, and as a result we can answer each other’s sentences and thoughts.”
There are not too many people in this world who are quite like Vanessa, and that is why the people in her life hold tight to their relationship with her.
She is a flight attendant who has had the chance to travel and explore so many places that many people can only dream of visiting, but what makes her amazing is the fact that this is only a small part of who she is. Vanessa is a great person with a wonderful personality, and her family and friends alike love spending time with her.
“She is funny, kind and beautiful,” Ryan said. “She will do anything in her power to help friends and family, no matter where she is in the world. She works hard being a flight attendant and sacrifices time with loved ones to provide for the family. She loves to travel and has a sense of adventure.”
Despite being away from home so often, Vanessa always seems to find a way to make up for it. She makes sure that she is always there for people in every situation, and she has such a sense of selflessness.
Vanessa is also a one-of-a-kind mother who will support her son Joshua through anything.
“My sister has taught me so much, including about marriage and how to be a parent,” Connie said. “Since she became a mom first, she has shared all her struggles and triumphs with me. I would not have gotten through my first year as a mother when COVID began and postpartum depression hit if it were not for Pumbaa. She showed me how to take care of my son.”
From the moment Vanessa became a mom, her instincts set in and she showed that being a mom is exactly what she was made for. She seems to know exactly what she is doing – even if she might tell you otherwise – and Ryan could not imagine a better mother for their son.
“She has unconditional love for Joshua,” he said. “She tries to make sure that she validates his feelings and helps him work through problems and challenges. When she is away at work, she likes to send video updates to show Joshua fun things and to help him remember how many days until they see each other again.”
Being away from your family is never easy, and while Ryan and Joshua wish they got to spend more time with Vanessa, they know the work she is doing is vital to so many. Without people like her sacrificing so much, the world of travel would not be where it is today.
Vanessa is truly a strong, courageous, amazing wife, mom, sister and friend, and her family knows the world would be a much worse place without her. She is loved beyond belief, and everyone notices all Vanessa does for them, even if they don’t always show it.
“I don’t tell her enough how much I appreciate and love her. I wish the best for her always. I am so happy that she found Ryan and has Joshua now. I am also so proud of her and all her accomplishments – from our early days of selling mud soup to the neighbors to becoming the terrific wife, mother and friend – she has achieved as an adult.” – Connie
“She is loved by everyone: me, our son, family and friends. I am so lucky to have her as a partner in life. We are all better for knowing her. These last 10 years of being married have been challenging for a lot of different reasons, but I would not change a thing because these experiences have shaped us.” – Ryan