Someone I Really Admire


This is my sister-in-law, Heidi.

I have other pictures that are embarrassing.

But we’ll save those for when I really need to call in a favor. (Wink). (Only one wink because I’m serious.)

Heidi is: funny, smart, a great decorator, a great clothing fashionista, super clean, and always ALWAYS thinking of others.

Oh yeah, and she’s a horse whisperer. (wink).

The thing I like most about Heidi is that she’s good at all the things I strive to be good at. I mean she’s REALLY good at it.

When ever I go to her house, I take stock of how she’s decorated, what she’s wearing, and how she manages her life. Then I go home and try to copy cat.

She’s so much better than me in . . . well, pretty much every facet of life, as I can tell. But here’s the most awesome thing about her: She doesn’t make me feel like she’s better than me. She never talks down to me, or sticks up her nose at me, or huffs in disgust at my appalling lack. She just seems to take other people, people like me, who just aren’t as put together, in stride.

Now, here’s the part that really makes me purr. Totally serious, mentally purr . . .

Heidi calls me Anj.

Yeah? So do about a dozen other people in my life.

I know, but the other dozen people have known me my whole life, or are around people who’ve known me my whole life.

See, Anj is my childhood nickname. A leftover from a sister who couldn’t pronouce An-dree-uh.

But I never introduce myself as Anj. Never done it my whole life. So only people who’ve known me since childhood know the name.

Oh, and Wyatt. Because he’s around my family enough, hears it enough, he’s caught on.

The name conjurs up emotions of childhood – safety, adventure, lack of responsibility – the weight of adulthood gone.

But it’s extra special when Heidi calls me Anj.

Something about being around in-laws – a person doesn’t hardly exist in the in-laws minds pre-meeting you. You don’t have a childhood, a memory, a past. It’s as if you blink into existence the moment you’re introduced. All conversation from that moment forward is about current life: the current children, the current trials, the current stories. Nothing about the time you tied Jared Jensen to a lilac bush and left him in the back school yard after recess, or were the first one to find out when Lady Moonstone had her foal – when walking to church barefoot across the pasture one fine spring morning.

So when Heidi says it, it’s like I suddenly have a full existence. I’m seen as a whole person, separate and unique to my husband and children. It’s one of those little things that Heidi has picked up on. I’m sure she doesn’t realize how sweet it is that she did. She’s just like that you see.

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