It feels like a lifetime ago that I attended the LDS singles conference in DC. Really, it was only 10 days ago. Girls Camp can mess with your head that way.
During the conference I had a very unusual and fun experience. There were 4 sets of speakers, of which 2 were couples I knew. The first couple I had not seen since I was 12 years old. The wife was my first young woman's leader (my Beehive teacher- sorry for the odd language to my non-LDS friends), and first Girls Camp leader. I went up and asked if she remembered me. She said, "Oh honey, I may not remember your name, but I sure do remember that face! You were one of my young women, weren't you?" We talked for a few minutes. It was a unique experience to get to ask her for advice just as I headed off to camp myself. I wondered if my sweet young girls will remember me in 25 years? (I told them the story (through numerous tears), and one of them replied, "We're all cousins! We'll still be seeing each other at family reunions in 25 years." She makes a good point.)
The second woman I saw was the young woman's leader I had when I was 17. Her family and my family are still very good friends. (In fact, I highly suspect her daughter is reading this post. Are you there, Katrina?) I had no need to introduce myself to her. We had a nice little catch-up chat.
Both women were speaking with their husbands to the conference. (I talked to both men as well.) It made me think about my own youth. How blessed I was to have such amazing and smart influences on me when I was younger! Today they are sought after speakers, traveling often to address different organizations. I wish I had appreciated them more when I was a youth.
To say they have set the bar high for me would be an understatement. I can only hope to do half the job they did with me!
I can tell you exactly what influences these two women had on me as a girl. The first one was simply a graceful and elegant woman. She was firm with us, but knew how to have fun. She never had a hair out of place, and always looked good- even when we were rough camping.
The second woman taught me many lessons about laughing at life's trials, and not taking things too seriously. She was smart, funny, and kind. When I think of her, I think patience and laughter.
I hope that the legacy and imprint I leave on my own young women is one of laughter and love. Heaven knows it will probably not be patience and grace. I'd like to think I have set an example of never giving up and motivation. But who knows if the girls even know how hard I have had to work these past few years just to survive?
There is one legacy I look forward to leaving with them- my books. Every day as I have written another page in this new series I have asked myself if this is something I would want my girls to read? Is the main character setting a good example for the girls? Would I be proud of them if they grew up to be like the main character (Haley)? I'm excited to be able to leave something behind that they will be able to say, "She wrote that for me!"
Will you help me leave that legacy behind? There is less than a week left in my Kickstarter campaign, and I am woefully short the needed funds. You can donate at that first link, and read the first chapter of the book at this link!