What I’ve always loved about my little sister is that you can’t put her in a box. By that I mean you can’t make assumptions about her or categorize her in any sort of way, and if you do make such a mistake, you’re immediately disproven. For that, and for so many other reasons, Kristen Rose Conley — the sister I call Rosie — has and always will be one of my favorite people in the universe.
Krissy is brilliant. Her ability to read, understand, then breakdown science and medical jargon and explain it in layman’s language consistently astounds me. She kicks ass hiking, biking, snowboarding, and marathoning. (She regularly places when she runs 26.2.) Seriously, challenge her to a sport. She’ll probably beat you in it — and then she’ll never once talk about the victory because she is so damn humble. She has never promoted her successes, hence why I have taken over.
Krissy is intense. So damn intense. And that’s a great thing. People who change the world are never going to be “chill,” a word i have come to despise. Gamechangers’ minds are spinning with an unrivaled intensity, and they’re the ones who make a difference. They’re the creators, the innovators, the do-ers. Krissy has and always will be among those people.
Krissy is an anomaly in today’s world. She has never owned a smartphone (“Why do I need it?”), and she has cried at least once when we were younger because she didn’t feel our family was sufficiently recycling.
Krissy is a badass woman in the military, beating the boys during physical training tests, never mind ending up being one of only a handful of women to pass Air Assault School. Check her out on the street, though, and you’d think, “Who is that beautiful Portland hippie hipster walking by, purchasing that locally made soap, honey and beeswax?”
Krissy finished at the top of her class in nursing school. She has been puked on, pooped on, has had blood splatter all over her, but she always remains unflinching. Krissy approaches her job with a balance of care and authority, never ever making a patient feel self-conscious, which explains why she is a favorite of so many who are lucky enough to be under her watch.
On top of everything else, Krissy is really, really, really fun.
I write all this because Krissy has spent the last week or so down in Guatemala, where she has been working as a nurse at a clinic in a small rural village, providing medical care for the locals. I have no doubt that Krissy has already become a favorite there. She plans on this adventure being the first of many nursing trips and residencies in developing countries.
I have no doubt that she will be completely and utterly embarrassed by this post, but Rosie, thanks for being a Daily Saint to all those patients who have come your way, and a Daily Saint to your dear old sister since May 6, 1986.