Monday, January 3, 2011

People That Change You

I've been thinking a lot lately about the people in my life and how they've changed me. How some of them were a friend to me in just the right time, listened to me in a time of need, or said something I desperately needed to hear, even when they didn't know it. The fact is, people don't always know how they've changed us--what they've taught us or how they've helped us. And that stinks. I mean, imagine a world where people actually know how great they are--don't you think they'd stretch themselves even further and do even more great things if they knew that they mattered and that their actions counted?! I'd like to think so. I guess I've been thinking about this because recently some close family friends had their grandmother pass away--I knew their grandmother and she was absolutely wonderful and taught me a lot about what it means to have faith. Plus she was a really good card player. But it gets me thinking--why did I never tell her those things when she was alive on earth--and why do we wait until the funeral for the eulogy? I've been running out of blog material lately, mainly because I've been holed up in my apartment writing graduate school essays. My goal is to feature a snippet about people who have changed me, and the ways that they have. Maybe it's overly sentimental, and maybe it's not. But I'd like to people to know what they mean NOW. Granted, I have SO many people that have been good to me, loved me because of and in spite of all my flaws that there really is no way to get to all of them, but for now I'll do the best I can. It will take awhile and I can't possibly get to everyone, but I'll do my best!!! Maybe those people I write about will inspire all of us in some way...who knows?!

Today I shall start with: My mom.

This probably seems entirely obvious, but is in no way any less understated. If I began to list the ways that my mother supports me and loves me, well, it'd be enough to write an entire book about. I mean that list would be LOOOONNNGGGG. I think when I was 13 or so for Mom's Day I wrote a list of "50 reasons I love My Mom." I typed it out on our 1997 computer--it was so hot. That list was created when I was 13, so you can imagine how that little monster has grown since then, as I'm now the ripe old age of twenty-freaking-five. Let me begin though: the other day while trying to clear out a bunch of the clutter in my old room, I came across a letter my mom had written me when I went off to college. It brought tears to my eyes. This being because in general, I tend to think of myself as pretty horrible sometimes (i.e. selfish, prone to moodiness, too busy to slow down sometimes, you know, the basics of horribleness), but this letter reminded me that someone always loves me even in the midst of all my flaws. This means a lot, and I think is essential to human survival and health. The thing about parents is that they see EVERYTHING--not when you're your fun bee boppin' self in front of your friends--they see you in the midst of your brooding teenage years, your bad days, your temper tantrums--all of it, and they still, for some reason not only love you, but keep on giving. I don't get it. And frankly, if I had a child that was anything like myself (especially the younger version of me), I'd probably run in the other direction (did I mention that I was a PILL, and on top of that fact talked absolutely INCESSENTLY. It was grim). I suppose stories are always more illustrative of a person's character, but take this example: My brother couldn't come home for Christmas this year. He works at a certain company that did not allow him to take time off on the 24th and 26th because evil capitalism exploits workers but that's besides the point, and Christmas was sandwiched right in the middle. Lovely. There would be no "I'll Be Home for Christmas" dressing up like Santa Claus like that Jonathan Taylor Thomas movie--he was bunkered down in Portland until the 27th. When my mom found this out, she said, "This will not do!" She called me immediately, wanting to know if I thought it would be a good idea to surprise him in Portland, and I could tell how excited she was. And that's exactly what we did. We showed up, got a hotel, and had Christmas in Portland--and it was one of my favorite Christmases to date. Really. But this is a picture of my mom--she'll do anything to help anyone out, be it surprising Matt in Portland, making dinner for the neighbors, doing art projects for the church, LOVES finding the perfect gift for someone (maybe that's where I get it?!) whatever needs to be done. And the same goes for me--she's there to talk when I need it, she sends me care packages (my favorite!), always loves me--I hope that I can reciprocate some day. Plus, she exposed me to Bon Jovi AND took me to my first (and second! and third!) JBJ concert! Too fun! Anyways, thanks Mom, I can't list all the things you've done for me, but know I appreciate them, I hope I'm as good of a person as you are someday!!!

Matt, Mom and I in Boston
My hands are oddly placed.

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