Sunday, December 5, 2010

My Sister Amy turns 40

Writer's note: Sunday is a special day it's the day I catch up on my blog posts. This is long overdue, as my sister turned 40 in October.

My oldest sister is a mixed bag of everything wonderful in life. Already I've rubbed people the wrong way just for writing that, because if you've met my sister Amy, you either hate her or love her. I am in the latter camp: I love her like I love my right arm.

Amy is opinionated, bossy, no-nonsense, a Democrat in Utah, compassionate, a justice fighter, strong, strong-willed, and tough. But she's also incredibly thoughtful, sweet, and when I say she'll do anything for anyone, I mean it. She has the HUGEST heart of anyone I know.

Amy is a lawyer and has always wanted to be a lawyer. Her patriarchal blessing even mentions her being a lawyer. Currently, she works for Hunstman Corp., but I fully expect she'll be a judge before she's dead. She used to say she would be a Supreme Court Justice. Who knows, that could still happen, maybe eventually.

For Amy's 40th birthday, my brother-in-law Nathan and husband to Amy, threw Amy a big family party. He was able to video record each of her siblings sharing a few stories about Amy and wishing her a happy birthday. It was fun to hear what all my siblings had to say. He even managed to get a recording from my parents serving their mission in Texas.

But I didn't get to share some more personal stories I have of Amy that I likely wouldn't ever get to actually speak, because had I shared these, I would have been a complete bawling mess of a person. So I'll share them on this blog.

One of the first examples I witnessed of Amy's toughness was when I was in first grade, Amy was in sixth grade. We were walking home from school, and these scary looking fifth-grade boys waited for us to pass, and then they started throwing rocks at us. Amy turned around and berated them with her voice. She picked up some rocks and started flinging them back at them.

"How do you like how it feels." The boys started running. "Yeah, run, you chickens. I better not see you throw rocks at my sister ever again."

It was a small thrill for me when elementary school teachers would call me "Amy" instead of "Cindy." I loved it when people would stop me and ask, "Do you have an older sister named Amy? You look just like her." Of course, it also made me try to work harder and live up to her reputation. But I've always had a slight case of the lazies and the dumbies.

When she was in high school, Amy worked at Kmart part-time, kept straight-A's in school, and played on the varsity volleyball and basketball teams. I remember seeing her study after she came home from work at 9:30 p.m. I remember thinking, "It's too late to study. She should go to bed." And then when I got up in the morning, she would be the first one up and studying.

Needless to say, she graduated as the valedictorian of her 260+ class, and in her graduation speech, she berated some of the male teachers for being sexist. (One of her high school history teachers had made the remark that if the guys in the class wanted a good show, they should go check out how short the girls' volleyball players' shorts were.) And she told her rural Idaho classmates that they were as good as any other students graduating from any other high school in America.

She went to BYU based almost solely on her love for BYU football. She later served a mission to Sweden, where she met her now husband. She is fiercely loyal to the LDS faith, and will serve in any calling she is asked. She reminds me of Marlin K. Jensen, the LDS general authority, historian, and loyal Democrat.

Amy wasn't able to have children, but in typical Amy fashion, she didn't let it get her down for too long. She and Nate have adopted four children, and she loves being a mom.

I have personally witnessed a few incidents that Amy likely wouldn't want me to share, but I will anyhow.

Amy and Nathan lived in a small condo in Taylorsville for many years. I lived with them for one summer. Late one night, Amy heard a knock on her door. She went to the door, and a lady was there who said she'd just been beaten by her husband.

Amy had her come into her home, and not long after the husband banged on Amy's door. Amy told him to go away or she would call the police. He kept pounding on the door. So Amy started to lecture him about how he thought it was cool to beat up women.

I don't remember what ended up happening. I just remember Amy not being afraid of the guy, or maybe she was, but she didn't let on that she was.

On another occasion, Amy asked Kulani if he would do her a favor. She had a big black sack full of stuff and an envelope. It was Christmas time. She asked Kulani to take the sack and the envelope to a house in her neighborhood. She never told us what was in it, but we knew it was a lot of money and gifts for kids.

Amy is like the second mom in our family. Whenever I was low on money, I would ask Amy first with explicit instructions not to tell mom. Ten minutes later I would get a call from mom asking, "Do you need some money?" Amy could never keep a secret from mom. Plus, she confessed to me, that she didn't have any money either.

I have many more stories of Amy I'd love to share, but time is getting away from me. The following is a picture of Amy holding the gift I gave her for her birthday: Michael Jackson's Thriller CD. I remember when she got the original album in 1985 for Christmas. She screamed like a little girl.

She is an amazing sister and rare human being. I'm not sure the world could take more like her, but one is plenty awesome for me.


Amo said...

Cindy, this is really sweet. I wish I was as good and tough as you make me sound. You are wonderful and this little post was a great present (although it really can't compare with "Thriller" which I have enjoyed endlessly since you gave it to me)! I love you.

Leo and Jill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leo and Jill said...

That last comment was mine but I didn't proof read and one of the words I typed was questionable. So sorry.
I think you are awesome and I love how you post about your love for all of your family. I am lucky to have such great and awesome cousins.