So what is so important today that I discuss how quickly a year goes by? Today marks an anniversary that I do not want to forget. A year ago today my roommate Annie was taken from us in a car accident. I just wanted to take today to honor her memory and the lessons that I learned from her example to me.
Lesson #1: Live the way you want to go out and do it now! It doesn't mean be perfect, just be making a visible effort to improve yourself, your situation, and those with whom you associate with.
Lesson #2: Smile! Simple, I know, but every time I saw Annie it was with a big, warm smile on her face. When she came into the room it always got brighter.
Lesson #3: What right have I to complain? Annie did what she had to do cheerfully and without complaint. She never took the easy way out for anything.
Lesson #4: Family is TOP priority. Every time I asked her, her plans were usually with her family. She stayed up late making cookies one night because she had promised her younger siblings a treat if they were good.
Lesson #5: Its ok to have a little fun in life. My favorite story of Annie was one shared about her macaroni and cheese. Her twin brothers related how she always made the best mac and cheese and when they asked her how, she explained that she had a secret ingredient. From then on when it was time to make the sauce she would shoo them out of the room. As they listened they heard cupboards opening and things shuffled around. Later (after a few experiments and ruined batches of mac and cheese) she told them that she just followed the instructions on the box. There wasn't really a secret ingredient... but she knew they would listen so she opened random cupboards to keep them guessing... A little spunky personality and some good fun never hurt anyone! :)
Lesson #6: Do the things you do with love. I believe there was a secret ingredient in that mac and cheese... Everything she did was done in love.
Lesson #7: Do what you love to do and do it now! Annie didn't put off what she loved to do. She made the time for the things she enjoyed. She didn't fill her time worrying about things she couldn't control, or with things that wouldn't improve or help her... so she had room for what meant the most to her.
Lesson #8: Keep a Journal! Almost every day, thought, and lesson Annie had was documented in a journal. She wrote every night and because she did, her family had a treasured library of their dear Annie. She wrote them for others to read, for her family and that is how they are used.
Lesson #9: Missionary work is important. She served and taught every spare moment she had. Every moment she didn't have too... she understood that service doesn't have to be grand to count and you don't have to get recognition to enjoy it.
Lesson #10: Life is short... really, our mortal life here is temporary... I want to live so there are people at my funeral... Don't take the little moments, the little chances for granted. Be grateful for everything and love every moment in life!
I have learned so much this past year... and so many things came from this experience for me. I am glad that I had the opportunity to have Annie in my life, even for a short time, and I am grateful for the knowledge that I have regarding this mortal existence, and the life to come.
I am excited to share my life with someone as wonderful as my husband, and I want to live and enjoy the journey! I hope I get to thank Annie one day for the lessons she taught me... But this will have to be good enough for now.