Mad for…Erika

A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition (William Arthur Ward)

Several new followers have joined my happy little corner of the digital media landscape this week, and I welcome you! For the benefit of the newbies to my “Mad for 2019” challenge, today is the 265th day of 2019, and on each of these days this year, I have written a few words and featured someone who I think makes a positive difference for others by the way they live their life. Today, I’d like to introduce you to an intelligent young woman named Erika Enderle!

Erika is a nursing student at Purdue University, a sophomore, who hails from here in Carmel, Indiana. She’s a 2018 graduate of Carmel High School and was a cheerleader for the Greyhounds during her time there. She’s pictured above with my son, Drew, whom she met in West Lafayette last year during their freshman year of college. While my middle son was home over his summer break, this beautiful, sunny and articulate young lady made several trips across Hazel Dell Parkway to brighten up the Thieme household with her presence and her sparkly, smiling eyes.

The daughter of John and Judy Enderle, Erika is the youngest of their two girls. She has an older sister, Kaitlyn, who is recently engaged. Here’s what I’ve gleaned about Erika that I’d like to share with you all today. First of all, she’s brave and she’s got a great sense of humor! I learned both of these things during my mom’s birthday festival “cruise” at Geist on a pontoon boat ride. Erika voluntarily agreed to attend said party knowing that she’d be stuck on a rented pontoon boat with six of us “old people” and the three Thieme boys. That’s like 3 hours of her life she’ll never get back, ha? Next, she joined right in on our “face to face” challenge game after the ride. It is just the silliest game which was made popular by Jimmy Fallon. Essentially, the best players are the ones who can maintain a straight face the longest when confronted with ridiculous puns and jokes from the competitor across the table. I’m positively miserable at the game, but I love it all the same. It makes people laugh, including Erika, who I learned that night has the most glorious smile and genuine giggle. Smiling people are my favorite kind of humans.

Erika loves her cat Ned, and has a soft spot, I hear, for the loveliness of nature, most especially beautiful trees. She’s a big Harry Potter fan and worked on converting Drew to the same all throughout the summer. I’m not sure if it took or not, but I am a big fan of the concept of diversification of ones entertainment and interests. Since I’m not sure any of my boys realize there are other TV channels outside the ESPN/FoxSports Channel genre, I appreciate the attempt to broaden Drew’s horizons with a little Dumbledore or Hermione Granger…or whatever she comes up with next!

This young lady is compassionate, polite and capable. She’s a Theta at Purdue and I’d call any of those sorority sisters of hers blessed to have such a quality friend. Erika is a hard-working and high achieving student. I have no doubt that she will make a fantastic nurse, because it’s clear to me that one of her defining qualities is her authentic, caring nature. Today, as she celebrates her birthday, I wanted to just give Erika a little shout out! I see you out there in this crazy world sharing your sunny smile with others. I strongly suspect you offer that to the world, even on those days we all have that feel rather cloudy or gray interiorly. Smiling is a great gift that is much needed by nearly all of us. I notice the respectful, thoughtful, and unassuming way you interact in the world. Yes, you are a truly beautiful young woman. We can all see that. But for me, it’s your sunny disposition and the grace-filled way you share it with those around you that makes you truly shine! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ERIKA!! I hope you have a great day celebrating YOU!

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