April 11 — An Inspiring Person:
There are many people in the world who could be considered inspiring. I have seen some of them named in other posts in this group. The person who inspired me on a personal level, though, was my oldest sister, Jo Anne. Sadly, I didn’t really realize how inspiring she was until she passed away. Up until then she was just my older sister. She was 12 years older than I and my memories of her growing up are few since she was married at 20 and out of the house when I was only eight. I became better friends with her when I got to my high school years. She helped me pick out my first apartment, making sure that I was living in a safe neighborhood. She helped me paint and make ornaments for my first Christmas tree. She was a great friend to everyone and was always ready to lend a helping hand.
She was a teacher and always wanted me to be a teacher too. I chose the medical profession and it was one of our jokes that I made more money than she did even though she went through four YEARS of college and I took a four MONTH medical assisting course. The truth was, she could have made more money than I but she chose to work in Catholic schools which pay less than public schools. She just loved teaching so much and was devout in her faith.
Around the time she and my brother-in-law were in their 40’s, my brother-in-law was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Never did I hear her complain or feel sorry for herself or the things they were missing out on, even when the disease progressed to the point where he was bedridden. She always had a smile on her face and tried to keep their lives as normal as possible. They were one of the most happily married couples I have ever known.
She, herself, had a heart attack when she was around 50 and even that did not stop her from doing things she wanted to do. She was definitely one to practice self-love, not caring what other people thought or told her that she should do. She was her own person, preferring to live her life as she wanted. She said she would rather live a shorter, happy life than a longer one where she was miserable. She died just a few months short of her 60th birthday but she lived her life her way.
I was asked by my brother-in-law to speak at her funeral. As I was writing the words I would say, I realized how much I had looked up to her and, in my own way, had tried to live my live as she had lived hers. I miss her and know that she is one of my guardian angels.