Women Worth Knowing: Meet Heidi

As the Women Worth Knowing project expands, you will start to see introductions coming from women you’ve met through the project.  Today, Amy introduces you to Heidi.  I think you’re really going to love Heidi.

Amy on the left, Heidi on the right.

“When I met Heidi at an ice cream parlor she immediately taught me the “Pete and Repeat were in a boat” joke. Two months later we shared a 7th birthday party—something we would do for almost every birthday for more years than I care to specify. Our parents married and we became sisters. Because we were the same age (born 3 days apart) we shared everything. It didn’t work out for our parents but for me and Heidi it was till death do us part.

 I have been in awe of Heidi since childhood. She was the first person I knew in Green Peace. She taught me about recycling before I understood algebra. She helped me learn German so we could speak freely in a very crowded house, and from that we developed our own twin language. Heidi was the leader of all of my early adventures. It was with Heidi that I got drunk the first time. It was with Heidi that I snuck out the first time—and the first two dozen times. Heidi patiently nursed me through my first broken heart. With Heidi I skipped school routinely to walk to the store and buy Chupa Chups. With Heidi I cut 15 minutes of class every day for a semester so we could wait for our boyfriends outside the Chem Lab.  Heidi is an outdoors girl to her core and it was with Heidi that I developed my love of sleeping in tents. Heidi can man a canoe like nobody’s business. When Heidi was a camp counselor I watched her mesmerize kids with the wonder that is pond scum (that’s no joke; Heidi can spin a tale better than Sherazade).

 My favorite memory of Heidi comes from our camp counseling days. Late night thievery of the camp kitchen is a right of passage for counselors, but it was Heidi’s idea to steal a case of wintergreen Certs so we could bite them in the dark and watch each other’s sparks. We spent night after night sitting on a cliff with our legs dangling 30 feet above Lake Erie and the freshest breath in the world, giggling at each others sparks and planning our futures. Give Heidi the raw materials of any boring day and she will infallibly create an adventure.

 Now we’re all grown up and I’m still in awe of Heidi. She’s a wife and mother, a nurse, a homeowner, and yet she’s still a firecracker. She can still mesmerize me with her stories. She can sing every word to every Beatles song ever written. She can still tap dance a blue streak across her kitchen floor. She’s still the bleeding heart that will take in stray animals. And I can still trust her with all of my secrets. So it is with great pleasure that I introduce the coolest chick ever to emerge from northwestern Pennsylvania.”

Meet Heidi.

Name: Heidi
Age Range:  30’s by year, 22 at heart
Preferred Job Title: Registered Nurse
Industry:  I work in a 28 bed surgical/trauma ICU. This means if you need your heart cut into or you wreck your 4 Wheeler in Northwestern PA, I am your consequence.

Describe your family:   The absolute single most important thing in my life! I have enough brothers and sisters to clean out the Pizza Hut buffet in one visit. We are all very close and are eachothers best friends. I view it as this, our parents may have been divorced, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop being sisters. As for my own brood, I have three of the most amazing daughters ever born! (Raegan is 14, Olivia is 8, and Sophie will be 3 in June) My husband, Allen, is fast becoming one of my favorite people, even if it took 10 years.

What does the first hour of your day look like?  UGH! I am NOT a morning person at all. But my girls go to a school that doesn’t bus from my area. So, I wake up at 6:45, perform all the tasks sung in the “Mom Opera” (if you haven’t heard it, go to youtube….hilarious), tighten my mop of curls into a semi-respectable ponytail, and drive them to school. Usually I am still in my pj’s but as I see it, if I don’t exit the minivan, I only have to look decent from the armpit up.

On nights I work it is even better, Allen drops the kids off at the hospital at 6:40, they wait in the staff breakroom until I get done then we go down to the cafeteria and get some highly nutricious breakfast, then to school we go. As a result, seeing bandaged, gray people hooked to 40 different machines and tubes sticking out of every oraface extant is nothing to my kids.

The last hour?  AHHH! My favorite time! After everyone is tucked in, the crumbs and toys from the day are picked up, dogs fed, and laudry running I curl up in bed with either a book or a Sudoku puzzle and fall asleep to the soft hum of Allen’s CPAP machine.

What makes you feel successful?    When my kids make a moral and caring decision. And secondly, obviously, saving lives.

What brings you joy?  Wine….Seriously, I am never happier then when I am cruising in the minivan, windows down, music blasting and all three of the girls and I are singing along to Journey on the mp3.

What women do you admire?  I absolutely am awe inspired by strong, successful, independent women who haven’t lost their caring touch. There is just no need to be a b*$%h to get ahead. I look at the adversities my sisters have overcome, and am always so proud of their strength.

What do you like best about your closest friend?  I have a few very close friends. Collectively I admire their senses of humor, intelligence, and loyalty. If I could combine Amy’s wit, Sarah’s strength, Rachel’s brain (and a touch of her fasion sense), Jenny’s good heart and Jim’s “Peter Pan syndrome” I would have the perfect friend.

What do you like best about yourself?   I feel I have two main gifts given to me to use to benefit the people around me. One is my sense of caring and genuine concern and love for mankind. Seeing the good in people is so much more powerful and useful than seeing the bad. Also, and I feel funny saying this, but I am a smart cookie. Oh, and I have pretty great hair. So, I guess that’s three.

What advice would you give boys about girls?   Stay away from my daughters you little horny noobs. Seriously, I would love to tell them all how to respect and love a girl even when she can’t do it herself. I hate seeing young girls abuse themselves to try and get a guys attention. It breaks my heart.

How do you overcome adversity?    Um, can I say wine again? Actually, this is a very hard thing for me. I would much rather avoid conflict then face it. However, when I must, I remind myself that I am worth it, that if I don’t teach my girls that everyone deserves to be treated with respect, no one will. So I rehearse what I need to say and hope against hope that I don’t cry.

How do you want to be remembered?    I just want my family to know that I loved them wholly. It would be nice if there were a few stories floating around the family or the nursing unit that made people laugh and remember my crazy side as well (as long as nobody ever watches the 30th birthday party video EVER again).

7 responses to “Women Worth Knowing: Meet Heidi”

  1. Amy, you make me cry….Love you.

  2. Love you too, meine Schwester. You’re one cool chick! (And look, I’m so good to you I didn’t even tell them that you’re afraid of demon clowns crawling up through the dirt floor in your mother’s basement!)

    1. However, she did tell me that you two used to share panties.

  3. I just love this! I’ve known both of you girls since you were very little, even before you knew each other, and I love hearing all of your stories. You and your families have always included me as family and I love you all for it!

  4. uhm, wow guys. hahah i loved this. i thought it was super funny but, so true! &(mom’s making me say something like this…) very sweet & caring & loving, you silly girls(:

    oh, you forgot to write something about her phobia of collar bones and aliens! hehehe i woulda wrote that lolololol(:

    1. Raeg, you’re the best! When the time comes I know you’ll protect your mom from aliens and rogue clowns. 🙂 Anyway, you should know that waaaaaaaay back in the day, your mom was considered really, really cool. (Tough to imagine, I know. I hear it all the time from Abby.)

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