Monday, December 22, 2008

People I Admire

So today was doctor day. Every time I come home, my mom sets aside one day that we get all the housekeeping done in respect to my body (dentist, my breathing specialist, etc). Usually, it's just another chore to get these things done. But I've been trying lately to put myself in other peoples' shoes, see how their life is from the inside out, and I had some great experiences today. Even though I only spent 45 minutes with each of the specialists helping me out today (Sue at the dentist who cleaned my teeth, and Hanz, a Filipino breathing specialist at Dr. Lawton's) they taught me so much by their example. Which made me think about the other people I admire in my life, so here's the list (in no particular order).

Sue: I see her twice a year to get my teeth cleaned. As far as I know, she is not married and doesn't plan to be. With all her patients, she remembers my family's story and the latest thing going on in my life. She is genuinely interested in my life when I come to see her (either that, or she's very good at pretending) and makes the visit go by much faster. She may be rough on the teeth (I have a headache every single time I come out of that room), but she takes pride in her job and who she is.

Hanz: I met him today when I went to get my breathing test. He is one of those people who you can tell makes the best out of every situation. He was joking with my mom and I the whole time I had to do that silly test, and brightened my day just by being so happy. He works in a dungeon-like room with no windows and a brick wall on one side...and not the pretty kind, to say the least. I'm sure he deals with a lot of cranky sick people, but manages to keep his chin up and enjoy his job.

My Mother: Now that I have gotten older, I realize just how much she has done for my family since the beginning. She worked so hard to raise 4 children at home while having a part-time job to supplement my father's income and managed to get home every day to pick me up from school. She schedules, cooks, cleans, and cares for the emotional well-being of our family. She is one of the kindest people I know, and I regret treating her the way I did when I was a teenager. I am still trying to make up for it every time I come home. Everything she does, she does it well. She is still finishing her degree at home from BYU, which I admire so much. She put off her education to raise us, and is working towards her long-time goal. She's almost there and I'm so proud of her. She works hard at her callings at church and never lets anyone down.

My Father: Although we don't see eye to eye on a lot of things, I admire my father for his strength and intelligence. He seems to have the answer to everything and is a gentle giant. My family has never had a need for anything with him as the provider. He has also been a great example of spiritual strength in my life. He served an honorable LDS mission despite having a less-active parent. He makes smart decisions and enjoys learning new things. He has traveled the world on business and works very hard to keep our lives comfortable.

My Mata: My dad's mom is a quirky lady. She spends almost no money on herself, and gives so much to her family. She is the reason why I don't have to worry about paying for tuition, books, or my cost of living. For that I am eternally indebted to her. Her financial support has allowed me to focus on my schooling and internship without having to worry about whether or not the bills will be paid. She came to California a Cache Valley farmer's daughter and worked hard until she was in her late 70s at a cosmetic factory. She cared for my Alzheimer-ridden grandfather for the better part of a decade, without complaint and with love every action she took. 

My Grandparents: They have been such a good example to me. My whole life, they have supported my decisions (financially and emotionally). My grandma loves the arts and has instilled a greater love of them into my soul. My grandfather has battled cancer and heart disease like a champ. He is in his 80s and still follows hobbies such as learning about Macs, archery, and reading, among other things. He is a rather quiet man, but every time he speaks it's witty. My grandmother loves the art of conversation. She can talk about anything for hours with anyone, a trait that I admire and am quite jealous of, since I am not much of a people person. They make me understand where my mother came from, and I am lucky that I have had them in my life.

Maureen: My older sister was like my second mother growing up. She watched over me and always had good advice for things that were new to me but old to her. She has taken care of me now that I live far away from home, and even lets me use her husband's car as my own, which I am very grateful for. Although people think that we are the same because we look so much alike, we're not. But I think I learned to emulate the great things about her: her love of reading, her social ease, how well she takes care of the people she loves, and the effort she puts into her job. I wish I could be more like her in these respects, and am truly grateful to have her not only as a sister, but a friend.

Matthew: I don't even know where to begin with this boy. He is so good to me, and I don't deserve it. He is such a hard worker, and is planning on financing most of his mission and flight school. He is wise beyond his years, and takes very good care of me. He's such a romantic, and always finds little things to do for me every day that make my day. He is thoughtful, kind, responsible, smart, loving, spiritual, funny, quirky, talkative, and much more. Everything about him makes me smile. 

Jeannette: My best friend!! She is like family to me. We grew up commiserating about our mutual situation of being the only cool Mormons within a 20 mile radius (not true, but true.) She has been my shoulder for everything, my confidant, my cheerleader, and my teacher. She genuinely cares about my well-being, and I respect her for her strength in trials, her ability to sojourn on and make life a party! She is the most social person I know. I love the way she thinks and I wish I could be as unique as she is. She has  a great testimony and a great sense of humor. She is working hard to pay her own way through college and to fulfill her goals. Her friendship is priceless and irreplaceable to me.

Wisteria: Her example makes me want to be a better person. She finds the best in every situation, and calms me down when I freak out about stupid things. She loves to laugh and I wish I could be more like her.

Amy: I have known Amy for three years and have never seen her get mad. She is slow to anger, quick to forgive, and is a great example to me of Christlike charity. She does things her way and doesn't let anyone try to change her. She knows who she is and does it! 

Stephen: The epitome of a great man. He befriends everyone he meets, likes to joke around, knows when to be serious, and loves unconditionally. He is patient, kind, and lighthearted. His spirituality astounds me and I love being around his happy personality.

Mary Cassatt: Apparently, I'm related to this famous artist. She was one of the first famous women painter's of her time. Her depictions of modern-day mother and child scenes redefined the role of motherhood in the 19th and 20th centuries. She was a strong woman who painted the way she wanted to paint, and let her philosophies come out in her artwork. She is an inspiration to me both in my life and in my art.

Vicky Dickens: Not only is she the mother of one of my good friends, whom she taught to be a gentleman, but she was my YW leader the whole time I was in the program. Our group was small, but she made sure that we all knew that she loved each of us individually, and that Christ did the same. She taught me ways to make a house a home, and takes such good care of her friends. Even though she is not my president anymore, she still shows that she cares by the way she talks to me when I come to church at home. She strengthened my testimony as a teenager in an area where it was really easy to lose your testimony if you made the wrong decisions. 

Carolyn Jensen: She was my piano teacher for 8+ years. Now that she is gone, I miss her so much. I didn't realize how big a part of my life she was until I stopped taking lessons and then she died a couple years later. She gave me one of my greatest gifts, the ability to play the piano. She taught me well, never got angry, and was so gentle. We were friends, even though she was in her 60s when I knew her. Her strength throughout her battle with cancer astounds me and I wish I could have been a bigger part of her life at the end, to show her how much I appreciated her. I still think about her from time to time and want to keep my piano up so that I can keep her legacy going.

There are many other people whose everyday actions I see and admire. Everyone I have known in my life has taught me something, and for that I am so blessed. I have had great role models in my life. My goal is to take the good from everyone I know and be more like them. Not in a creepy, stalkery way, but in a way that makes me the best person I can be. I love you all and am so lucky to call you friends and family.

I've also noticed that most of these people are women. It is so hard these days to find a good woman role model, with the way women are expected to be. What a blessing it is to have these women to show me the way. 

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Anonymous said...

awwe... thanks kellie. (i almost spelled your name with a 'y', shhh, don't tell yourself). this is a sweet post... (even though mine was short, jk, it was more than enough) anyway. thanks. i needed to hear that.

Stephen said...

Awww, thanks Kellie! Its insight like the kind shown in this post that makes me want to know you. I've always been grateful for you and the many things you do for me (you're right, you did get that attribute of caring for your friends from your sister). You're awesome!

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