Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Good Man

Kenton and I happy
to be hanging out
Throughout my life my cousin Kenton has been one of my closest friends. Each summer my family would drive to my mother's ancestral home in Arizona. There Kenton and I would get into all sorts of boyhood shenanigans camping, climbing trees, swimming in the irrigation ditch, swinging on hammocks, etc.

Gathering eggs and catching chickens
When Kenton and I were about 14 or 15 years old, we went to a summer camp together. During a break I was a little bored and I saw Kenton's journal. He let me take a look at it so I started flipping through. I found an entry he had written a few days before. In it he wrote that one of his heroes I stopped reading and sat up, frankly shocked. I got my journal and showed Kenton an entry I had written in my journal, where I wrote about my hero...Kenton. We had a memorable moment as we sat shocked and flattered that the person we looked up to though so highly of us as well. Afterwards I was thinking of the irony of the situation and I thought, "You know what. I am right. Kenton is the better one, but I want to live to be as good as he thinks I am." 

When planning our recent longboard adventure I thought long and hard about who I would like to have with me. Who would actually follow through on such a crazy adventure? I thought about it and suddenly it came to me...Kenton! Kenton was the perfect choice for so many reasons. I knew that if Kenton said he would come, then Kenton would stick to his word and he would follow through. I knew the trip would get hard and we would want to quit, but Kenton is one of the hardest workers I know and I knew that he would do all he could to push himself and push me during the hard times.
Building boats to float down
 the river on our camping trip

Another reason I asked Kenton to come is that Kenton is the nicest and happiest people I know. I am often very sober minded, but Kenton always has a smile on his face. Just being around him helps me be more cheery. We weren't always happy and didn't always get along on the trip, but Kenton's sterling example and happy disposition helped me set aside whatever petty thing was bothering me (like maybe we were lost) and apologize or figure out solutions. Kenton's happy attitude was vital to our trip.

Kenton sacrificed so much to do this trip. He was taking summer classes WHILE ON THE TRIP! We had to buy him an ipad and stop at every library we found so he could do homework. I am sure he sacrificed the quality of his grades for the trip. He gave all this up for people he doesn't even know. Kenton has never been to Romania, he has never met any of the kids we helped out. Despite all of this he sacrificed a month, lots of personal funds, grades, and personal comfort to go on this crazy adventure. All to support his crazy cousin and help people he hadn't met. Kenton is so full of charity and love.

Grown up and building
a camping shelter
The most beautiful thing we experienced on our longboard trip was the kindness and giving attitude of others. People who donated. People who gave us something to eat or a place to stay. Newspapers who spread the word. People who gave encouragement. Out of everyone who gave to the trip I think Kenton gave the most. He really is my hero and I look up to him in so many ways. I called Kenton a few days ago to talk about our next longboarding adventure and we ended up chatting for about 40 minutes until I had to go to class. I am glad to have someone so happy, so hard working, so giving, and so kind in my life.

Kenton recently got engaged and I am so proud of him. I hope his fiancee knows how lucky she is because she is marrying a good man, my cousin and hero, Kenton Durfee.

Up to our waists in mud

Guess we haven't really grown up that much.


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