Saturday, October 3, 2009

Influences (23 of them!)

I was over at Stephen's blog and I was reading a post in which he wrote about the 25 people who influenced his life. He picked 25 because he's 25 so I'll only do 23, because I'm not old like him.

1. Diane Bailey. Hands down this woman has shaped my life in ways I'm sure I still don't even understand. My mom was the person who instilled a love of the medical field in me. She's probably more than half the reason it's my calling in life to take care of the sick. We never used to get along, but now, she's really my best friend. I hope to even be half the mother/human being that she is.

2. Ron and Jeff. They come as a pair. As I've become an adult and started to realize who I really am, I can see so much of who I am comes from them. Ron showed me a side of life where I don't have to be anyone but me. If I love superheroes and video games more than real living boys/men then I'm still an okay person. Jeff really was the first person to introduce me to the rock music movement and teaching me that music isn't' really music until you make it your own. The two of them were good stand-ins when my own dad was a disappointment. I hope the man I marry and my sons have some of their great qualities. I know that they will always claim me no matter what I do.

3. Wendy and Lindsie. They also come as a pair. Wendy and Lindsie are fab sisters, hands down. Lindsie is/was my little partner in crime and was always there to let me cry when I was sad. Wendy was the quintessential "cool big sister" and now that we've become more peers than little/big sisters I love spending time with her and acting like an adult (or actually like children). They have always been my champions and I don't know what I would do without them.

4. Jean Brown. My harebrained wonderful maternal grandmother. She taught me to knit, which is gift enough. But she's also shown me what true, unbiased, unconditional love is. That woman has always made it clear that she will always love me no matter what I do in this entire world. She will always want to know what's going on in my life (even if it's dull!) and always has little gifts for me!

5. Emma Smith. This woman is truly amazing. She's everything an educator should be in this entire world. If all teachers were like this woman, then there would be no one in this earth that could be considered "stupid". She taught me physics, but it was so much more than that. She gave me the springboard into science as a whole which led to me realizing I wanted to be in the medical field. She's now become one of my best friends and a person I can ALWAYS
talk/complain to about anything and everything and she will give me good sound advice.

6. Gus Bolos. My boss at Ogden Regional, what is there to say about him? He was the first adult male besides my family members who made it clear he was concerned for my future. He would council with me on what I was doing with my life be it boys, school, etc. He always wanted full reports of the guys I dated, the classes I took and the things I did with my spare time. He would help me study for my anatomy class and saved my poor sprained ankle when I did serious damage to it for the second time in my life.

7. Dorothy Hooton. My "adopted" grandma. When we lived in California, she lived across the street. My mom was really sick while we lived there and most afternoons she would take me and my little sister to her house to play/eat/nap so my mom would have some time to just be sick without worrying about us little ones. She (and her husband Uncle Bob!) were the most generous people I have ever met. They were pretty much gajillionaires because they were extremely frugal and saved every penny they had ever earned in their entire life. They never had a problem giving money to anyone who needed it but they never spent a whole lot on themselves.

8. Rachel Rowan. My roommate/confidante/ninja bodyguard/partner in crime/best friend. I do not know where I would be without this girl. She puts up with all my crazy on a daily basis and doesn't even bat an eye. She's a person who encourages me to be my best but doesn't fault me when I mess up and become a crying mass sitting on a floor of clutter. She just picks me up, hands me a Diet Dr. Pepper, and says "heart you". She's proof God is always looking out for our well being and loves us.

9. Charlene Dolbow. Easily one of the classiest ladies to walk this earth. She was another one of my "adopted" grandma's and she always loved me and my siblings like were were her Grandkids. I kills me to think she's all alone in a nursing home in St. George slowly losing her memories, but she wanted to stay there, and she was a woman who got what she wanted. I hope to be a spicy and feisty as she is when I'm older.

10. Calista Jones Fowkes. My guardian angel. The first time I met Cali was in 2nd grade and we became fast friends. I lost her to cancer this year, it was pretty tough. She was my age and had already been battling cancer for many many years. She was a trooper who never ever lost her faith. She knew that her cross to carry from Heavenly Father was to have cancer and she shouldered that cross without batting an eye. I miss her but I know she's always watching out for me and she's keeping the porch light on for me until I get back to see her.

11. Sydney Jean Garcia. This little firecracker re-affirmed my faith in God. She came into the world 6 weeks too early and from the minute she was born she fought to stay alive. My little niece had a lot of trouble in her first 40 days of life having things done to her that some people never ever have in their entire lifetime. Every time I look at her I am reminded of God's presence. There is no way that a little thing like her could exist without the reality of God's plan.

12. Luke M. and Jack Bailey. They also come as a pair. These two little nerds in training are proof that prayer and faith works. Neither of them, according to a doctor should even exist. My sister-in-law was told that she would never have children. Luckily she and my brother didn't listen and prayed and fasted and did the Lords work and what do you know? They were blessed with not one but two babies within 11 months. Nothing gets me happier then seeing their two little smiles and hearing Luke make Yoda noises.

13. Mrs. Howe. She was my elementary school music teacher. She made a complete and total fool of herself everyday to teach kids about something she loved: music. Without her early tutelage I probably wouldn't love music the way I do now.

14. Gae Fransen. She also instilled my music love patiently teaching me piano for many, many, MANY years even though I'm still to this day not good at it! She taught me more than piano though. She showed me I can be a strong, independent woman who takes care of things that need to be taken care of and still be a stay at home mom and wife. I also know that I should never settle for a husband who anything less than adores me.

15. Kent Ripplinger. He was my photography professor in College. He taught me everything I wanted (and didn't want) to know about taking pictures. Without him, my greatest passion would have fallen by the wayside. He and I were very different types of photographers but he helped me realize the kind of photographer I am. He also had a memory that rivaled Dory from Finding Nemo so he always made me laugh.

16. Jenny Underdown. That woman welcomed me into my new department at the U with arms wide open. She has always been my friend and always puts up with my yo-yo moods. She's not one that believes in dwelling on the bad. She always sees the shinier side of the coin, the bright side of the moon, and a rainbow in every storm cloud. I would have quit this job without her.

17. Barry Axelrod. He's a stiff millitary man, and I don't really talk to him much because we have Zilch in common. But I would be remiss to not put him on this list. He has influnced my life in ways he will probably never know. When my parents divorced, he stepped up to the plate as the "Man" for our family. Whenever we would go to Bear Lake with his family, he would always be right there helping us do the manly stuff. Granted, we didn't always need his help, but we let him help us anyway. It's sweet to see the way he always makes sure we don't need "man help". We weren't helpless women, but we let him do what he felt to help us be successful.

18. Bishop Davis. I'm gonna copy Stephen and put my home ward bishop and my singles ward bishops. Bishop Davis was everything a leader should be. Kind, fair, loving, patient, and Christlike he exemplified everything that a man of God should. Not only was he very strong in the Gospel, he was a wonderful human being. His door was always open and he was always very giving. Not only that though, he was fun to be around! My most fond memory of girls camp was getting him to sing "Father Abraham". It was too funny for words.

19. Bishop Miller. In my first singles ward he was the bishop. He was only the bishop for 2 months of my time in that ward but in those two months he taught me so much about who I was as a daughter of God and how to more fully recognize Gods will in my life. He was everything a singles ward bishop should be. He was supportive and not pushy when it came to the inevitable "marriage talk". He actually would counsel people to wait until they were at least 25 to get married and told the boys to stop dating girls so young. I loved him, he was a little bit of a spitfire.

20. Mandi Bailey Cawley. This girl will always be in my life. I dont' think I could get rid of her if I wanted to. She and I have been close friends since 6th grade and we've gone through quite a few things together. She is forever my cheerleader and one of my best friends. She keeps a level head when I'm flying off the handle. She's a beautiful person both inside and out and I hope to be as fierce as she is someday.

21. Kirsten Kemmer. We spent an amazing/frustrating summer together as camp counselors. She was always there when the work of the day became too much and she would let me cry on her shoulder. That woman's shoulder is probably soaked with so many of my tears, whether it was over frustrating little girls or Dumbledore passing away. She was also my first foray into missionary work and even though I wasn't always the example I was supposed to be, her conversion from across the county re-arranged my belief in the church for the better. I spoke at her baptism in Florida without actually being there. She's basically amazing.

22. Andy Davis. Now for those of you who know who this is I'm sure you have thought....why him. You HATED him. Yes, Andy treated me like dog poop on his shoe. Yes he made me cry on a daily basis. Yes he made high school a living hell for me. Yes he got away with all of it because he was a football player. But if it wasn't for him treating me the way he did, I would have never learned compassion and love for the people around me. I don't want anyone to ever feel the way I feel! I would have never gotten thick skin, either.

23. Jeff "Duffy" Knowles. He was a really frustrating boss. He was the Gus (number 6) counterpart. All the things that were good about Gus, he was the exact opposite. Regardless of that fact, that man taught me more about Physical Therapy than anyone else I've every worked with in the field. Everything he did when I was in the room he would explain to a really good detail. I owe so much of what I know about physical therapy to him. Just don't talk sports, politics, or you know anything but PT with him.

I really am a lucky lucky person to have such a varied, amazing, group of people in my life. I love them all so much.

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