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Monday, March 5, 2012

Beauty within

I am so super excited for this post!
first guest post ever on our Kindness blog.
This post is written by my beautiful cousin Nikki Davis.
I'm excited because this post is about the smile behind this blog.  By that I mean, this post is about Miss Mandy Johnson.  The inspiration to why this blog was started in the first place.
Mandy was a dear friend to Nikki, and I only found it fitting for her to guest post today, seeing it's Mandy's birthday today.
Happy Birthday Mandy.  We love you so much, and we can't wait to see that contagious smile of yours one day!

(Nicki Jones, Nikki Davis, Mandy Johnson)

I was happy, hesitant, flattered, and a little nervous to write about Mandy. I was hesitant and nervous because she is just such an inspiration to so many, and had so many wonderful friends and family in her life. 
She is just one amazing girl, and I feel like so many people got to experience that and have that 
amazing friendship with her. I was fortunate enough to be one of those people. 
I met her in 8th grade. She was an instant friend to me, i was extremely shy and didn't really talk
to anyone..so to have her come to me was a life saver. She and I clicked immediately and became
fast friends. She gave me this awesome bracelet that matched hers and another friend of ours, 
I pretty much thought I was the bomb wearing it with them and hanging out with them.
Our friendship was simple, it was true and genuine. Something I had not ever fully experienced before with people.

 I mean I had had best friends and friends before, but with her it was easy and just fun! We always got along and always had something to talk about. I felt like I could be myself with her always!
We grew closer, and by 10th grade we were inseparable. I loved talking cars, boys, makeup, hair, boys ;), 
and everything with her. She made me feel so good about myself and made me feel like I was
worth something to her. Something I had a hard time with in high school, because I was so shy. We 
hung out and did hair, had 'sumo' pillow wars, watched movies, did chores together, had so many sleepovers,
sooo many tries at my hair {dying it}, and so many fun memories learning how to drive a stick shift with the
'toquer' boys. Seriously those years in high school were my favorite! I was so blessed to have spent them 
with someone like her. She and I would read scriptures together, write in our journals, and try to think of ways to help others. She was just an amazing example.

(Nikki Davis, Mandy Johnson)

Mandy herself said 'hi' to everyone. She never left anyone out, and always had a huge bright smile and 
hello for everyone. Not one person each morning, in high school, didn't stop to say hi to her. She was a HUGE
example to me and to so many others. I was so shy and kind of liked sticking inside of my 'bubble' but she pushed me to go and try so many new things. I even did the toquerville pageant because she believed i could, which made me believe I could. To have that kind of friend helped me grow and experience life in so many ways. I became this woman who believed I could do anything, and be anyone I wanted to be. So many women need that, that example of always having a positive outlook. So many women need to look at themselves like mandy looked at herself, knowing they are truely daughters of God. They are all, each, their own special individual and Heavenly Father loves each of us for being our own individual. We all need to have that in us, to be that example to young women..even older women. We all each need to smile more, be a little more brave and say 
'hello', leaving little notes of positivity, and putting others before yourself. Lose yourself if the beauful work of making others feel beautiful, you in return will feel like you just radiate. It's an amazing thing, service. 

Mandy never put herself down, she might have had hard, dark moments..but really, who doesn't. But she would lift herself up, she would find pure joy in helping someone else and putting forth all her efforts to make someone else know that they were amazing and beautiful. Just as she was. She seriously was an amazing example of someone losing themselves in service. I still laugh at all the silly things we've done together, and I am so so so happy I have nothing but good memories of her. She is a once in a lifetime friend, to me. People like her don't come around often. But they should..We all need to find it in us to be like her. Living life to it's fullest and being kind to everyone we meet. 

One of the hardest days in my life was calling Mandys cell phone, the morning after her death. I was so excited to be coming down for my open house/reception and so excited to see her and another dear friend. To call her phone and think it was her, and then realizing it was her sister and her sister telling me what had happened, completely made my stop breathing. I remember it all like it was yesterday. I couldn't breathe, i couldn't talk, 
and I didn't know what to say. I immediately asked how her mom was doing, and if I could come see everyone. Which I never did. I became numb and don't remember that weekend at all. I couldn't do anything, I didn't know what to do. I hadn't experienced death until that year, in my life, and still wasn't sure how to handle it all. How to accept that they were actually gone. I still feel numb to it, and thinking about that phone call. I still don't 
know what to do or say. All I know is I just have to live like her, live life as an example. Live a life worth living, and worth experiencing. I have had the hardest 3 years of my life, after that moment. I don't think it all has happened on accident after that either. It's really made me ponder who I am and who I need to become. It sorda prepared me for those hard years, to read and remember her example of life.

I am so so glad that I do have mandys ever-living example of kindness, love, service, and pure love of Christ. 
She is still helping me and still is my biggest example. I am so blessed to have had her in my life, as one of my dearest friends. She was put in my life for a reason and I thank Heavenly Father everyday for allowing us to be so close and such good friends. I am one blessed lady. 

Happy Birthday Sweet Mandy Girl. I love you forever and ever. 
Thank you for being my greatest friend and example. I hope I can 
follow in your footsteps, and teach my daughters about your ever
giving example and friendship. Thank you.

(Nicki Jones, Tyson Gubler, Mandy Johnson, Nikki Davis)

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