Picture of me with my sisters, taken last summer. Kendal is on the left, Tana in the middle. 🙂
I love all of my siblings. I have quite a few, including half, step and in-laws, but I’ll just mention the ones I grew up with for now. They’re all great. They’re unique in their own ways. My older sister, Tana, is the nicest, most sincere person you’ll ever meet; she’s an inspiration on how to be a great mom and how to make a great marriage, and I wouldn’t be who I am without the example she set for me growing up. My little brother, Austin, is quite a character, but his sense of humor, zest for life, want to be healthy, desire for love and equality for all people, animals and creatures is hard to resist. My little brother, Mason, is a hard worker, but he plays hard, too; at the ripe old age of 21 he’s a regional manager for a chain of health stores in the Oklahoma City area, he’s adamant about working out, eating healthy, and taking care of himself, and he truly enjoys spending time with both his friends and his family – something rare for a kid his age.
But this post is about my baby sister, Kendal. Kendal amazes me in so many ways. She’s never had short goals. When she was little she wanted to be Tinkerbell and actually tried to fly off the landing of our staircase into the living room (she didn’t fly, but other than a nasty headache she was fine). A little bit later in life she wanted desperately to be one of Santa’s elves, but she wasn’t sure she could live that far away from my mom (at the North Pole). She wanted to be a professional soccer player. She wanted to be a missionary. She wanted to travel. She wanted to be an artist (and we have some BEAUTIFUL paintings in our house that she made for us). She wanted to be a museum curator. She wanted to be an art history professor. At the age of 20, she’s finally settled on anthropology – a broad field with a million possibilities.
After two semesters at a super-conservative religious university in a nearby town here in Oklahoma, she moved to an ultra-liberal town in the mountains of Colorado to study anthropology at a small private college there, hoping for more possibilities and the ability to broaden her horizons. This summer she signed on for a backwoods job on the Colorado trails, which involves sleeping on the ground, “bathing” in rivers and lakes, and stopping at convenience stores and grocery stores every couple of weeks to use a real bathroom, plug in her cell phone and call her family. She’s dedicated to the earth, in a sort of modern hippie way, and she believes in ultimate equality for people and animals and all creatures. She’s a fierce friend and she loves her family, no matter how crazy we may all be. She’s a true free spirit, who truly just wants everyone to get along.
She’s just a wonderful person. I’m so proud of her, and so happy to be her sister. She was always my little buddy when we were growing up, even though I am eight years older than her. She was actually born just 3 days before my 8th birthday (I didn’t appreciate her as a gift at the time, but I fast grew to love sharing that week with her each year). We shared a room until our older sister (the aforementioned Tana) moved out to go to college. We didn’t always get along, but we got along pretty well, as far as siblings go. I moved away after high school, and then got married a few years later. Jim and I moved to Biloxi, then Altus, then Japan, and I didn’t get to see Kendal as much as I would have wanted. Right before we moved back to Oklahoma this year, Kendal moved to Colorado. I’ve seen her a couple of times, on Spring Break and during her month home earlier this summer. I am so excited for her opportunity to stay on the Colorado trails for a few more weeks, but a little depressed that she won’t be home this week as she had planned. I miss her laugh and her zest for life. I can’t wait to see her in a few weeks, even if it’s only for a few days.
She’s such an inspiration to me, with her love for life and learning and people in general. I just wanted to devote a post to my lovely baby sister, Kendal Leann. Thanks for being so great, Sister! I love you!