When we’d been married two or three years, I remember hearing an Earl Nightingale radio broadcast where he suggested that we think of someone we wanted to be like and then study that person to become like him or her. That was the first time I’d considered how much I admired my husband’s sister Nancy. From then on, I watched her and listened to her and was never disappointed in what I saw.
I was enthralled by her good deeds and skills. Nancy was the epitome of the Christian woman I wanted to be: poised, attractive, an outstanding cook, a great hostess, a sweet wife, a loving mother (well, at that time I had no desire to be any sort of mother, but I admired her parenting), a visitor to the sick and elderly—I could go on and on. To this day, she hasn’t changed. She still makes me feel a bit inadequate, but I love her so much I don’t mind.
Last week Steve and I were talking about our experiences living in Kansas the second year we were married. We were befriended by a middle-aged couple, Jud and Earleen, whose children were married and lived away. We’d met them a double way: we went to church together and Jud was our mailman. Earleen also became, on the rare occasions that I needed one, my hairdresser.
They took us to their bosoms without hesitation—spontaneous invitations to lunch or dinner, taking us along when they went to Chicken Annie’s to eat, stopping by after work to deliver a letter Jud knew we’d been waiting for. A very special memory was watching the FIRST Super Bowl after eating Sunday dinner together.
I said to Steve, “I want to be Jud and Earleen to young couples here!” I’d never thought of it that way, but it seems a worthy goal.
“I’d like to think we are,” Steve answered.
I hope he’s right—but I know we aren’t to the degree that Jud and Earleen were. People are so much busier now, and communication with families far away is much easier than it was then. Homesickness probably doesn’t strike as hard as it did in 1967, when long distance calls were expensive, interstates were just being built, and flights were rare.
Jud and Earleen were angels for us, 21 years old and 14 hours from home. I want to be them to young couples today. I want the Spirit’s guidance to know what couples need that from us.
As I think this over, I find that over the years many people have prompted me to want to be like them. I’ll do more posts about the people I want to be–sometime in this life.
Meanwhile, who do you want to be?