The Shapers – My Sister Kathleen

Shapers. We all have people in our lives who influence us. Some directly, some by request, and some so subtly we may not realize it . We choose, ultimately, those who we wish to borrow from and those we wish to learn from. In over 20,000 days I’ve been influenced by hundreds, perhaps thousands. But there are some who are more significant than others
.On day 2132 of my life, my little sister was born. Kathleen is the baby of the family, but only in the sense of birth order. Six years younger than me, we were close enough in age to share some things together, and since I lived at home when I went to college, we lived under the same roof until I was twenty-three.

She chose medicine as her profession and became a pediatrician. While in medical school, she called me one night.

K: I have a big paper due tomorrow.

Me: I know whenever I said those words, it meant that I hadn’t started yet.

K: I work best under pressure.

Me: Is that what you plan to tell patients’ parents when their children aren’t quite sick enough yet for you to treat them?

Another time she was telling me about an ER experience. I was in awe.

Me: That’s incredible. Your job lets you save lives.

K: You make toilet paper, and I’ve been in a bathroom with no toilet paper. You save lives too.

Kathleen has a calm way about her. Her style is matter-of-fact but with compassion. She and her husband have raised 4 great, respectful boys – young men now – and together they have welcomed our mother to live with them. A great example for their children.

And her sense of humor is awesome. She can sneak a brilliant comment into any conversation, and you may not realize it right away – but when it hits you, you will smile.

Happy Birthday little sister. Thanks for saving lives.

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