Heather Thompson

Heather Thompson
Episode 124

Join host Japhet De Oliveira as he sits down with Heather Thompson, the patient care executive at Adventist Heath Tillamook, for an enlightening conversation about her deep roots in the hospital, the joy of running, the power of intentional presence and fostering a culture of kindness for generations to come.
Libsyn Podcast
"I always wanted to [be a nurse] ever since I was five years old. I had a minor surgery, actually here at this hospital, and I woke up and told my parents that I wanted to be a nurse, and I pursued that my entire life."

Narrator: Welcome friends to another episode of The Story and Experience podcast. Join your host, Japhet De Oliveira, with his guest today, and discover the moments that shape us, our families and communities.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, welcome friends to another episode of The Story and Experience podcast. I'm delighted with our guests here. I'm actually at Adventist Health Tillamook, here in Oregon, and the sky is blue. Whoa. I'm looking at this guest, they're smiling. It's a good sign as always. We have 100 questions. We're not going to cover all of them, but they become more vulnerable and open towards 100. They're about the stories and experience that shaped this individual into the leader that they are today. I'm going to begin with the first 10, and then I'll hand it over to you. Could we tell us your name, and does anybody ever mispronounce it?

Heather Thompson: My name is Heather Thompson. It's a pretty easy name, so nobody's ever mispronounced it.

Japhet De Oliveira: Good. Heather, what do you do for work?

Heather Thompson: I am the PCE here, the patient care executive. I can't even think of my title right now. I'm super nervous, but he's going to edit this. It's going to be great.

Japhet De Oliveira: Heather, no.

Heather Thompson: I've been a nurse for 20 years, and I have really enjoyed that part of my world and my life.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, that's fantastic. I've got to ask, how did you end up becoming a nurse?

Heather Thompson: I always wanted to.

Japhet De Oliveira: Really?

Heather Thompson: Ever since I was five years old-

Japhet De Oliveira: Really?

Heather Thompson: And I had a minor surgery, actually here, in this hospital.

Japhet De Oliveira: Really?

Heather Thompson: I woke up and told my parents that I wanted to be a nurse.

Japhet De Oliveira: No. Okay.

Heather Thompson: I pursued that my entire life.

Japhet De Oliveira: As a patient care executive, you take care of nursing?

Heather Thompson: Nursing, and most of the clinical aspects, so lab, radiology, cardiopulmonary, sleep, pharmacy, a pretty wide range.

Japhet De Oliveira: A wide portfolio. Okay, that's fantastic. Where were you born?

Heather Thompson: Here, at this hospital.

Japhet De Oliveira: At this hospital?

Heather Thompson: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay, so this is your hometown?

Heather Thompson: This is my hometown. I grew up about 30 miles from here.

Japhet De Oliveira: I was just talking to Eric, the president, talking about how hard it is to recruit nurses and doctors to rural areas. You have been local your entire life.

Heather Thompson: I have. I was that local kid that left, because initially... I feel like many times, when you live in a small town, you think, "I have to get out. I want to go live in the big city. I'm never coming back. Never, never, never." I came back and re-fell in love with my community, and this hospital in particular, about how caring and compassionate it was. I had worked at a teaching hospital, which was great. I learned a lot there, but it was not nearly as personal as when I came back here. I was only going to come here for two years.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, really?

Heather Thompson: I was going to fulfill my rural nursing scholarship, and I was going to move back to Portland, and I was going to do all the cool things that you do when you're in your twenties, and I've been here since 2000.

Japhet De Oliveira: Really?

Heather Thompson: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Fantastic. Well, thank you for doing that, and thank you for serving this way. That's great. In the morning, when you get up, what's your drink of the day? Do you start off with tea, water, coffee, liquid green smoothie?

Heather Thompson: Coffee.

Japhet De Oliveira: Coffee?

Heather Thompson: A lot of coffee. A really big coffee.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, really? Okay. All right. Is it black, or you add-

Heather Thompson: Just milk, because I used to fill it with all the things, and my husband and I were on a decreased sugar kick, and I finally am able to drink coffee with just milk.

Japhet De Oliveira: Good for you.

Heather Thompson: He wants me to move to the black, but I can't.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's okay. All right, so you already explained what you imagine you were going to be as a child. You wanted to be a nurse. That's pretty fantastic, and you fulfilled it, which is wonderful. Personality, if people were to describe you, would they say you were an extrovert or an introvert, and would you agree?

Heather Thompson: I think people here would say I'm an extrovert. If they knew me in real life, they would know that I'm not. I'm very much a hermit outside of this world, but here, part of my job as being a nurse is to engage with people, talk with people. I'm very good at putting on that persona while I'm here, and then I go home and hide away in my house with my husband, and we're very happy to be little hermits together.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's really cool. That's fantastic. All right. Are you an early riser or a late night owl?

Heather Thompson: I am an earlier riser.

Japhet De Oliveira: And what's early?

Heather Thompson: Six-ish. I'm not one of those, really, 4:00 A.M. people, but yeah, 6:00 is my time to get up.

Japhet De Oliveira: When you got up this morning, first thought that went through your mind?

Heather Thompson: Oh, will the dog stopped putting his nose on me?

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. That's good. Yeah, that would be a very real thought. Okay, that's great. Let's talk about, last one, a leadership question. Are you a backseat driver?

Heather Thompson: I don't know. What do you mean by that? Do I direct from the back, or do I want to be more in the front? I don't know. I don't really know. I probably am a backseat driver at times, where I look at it later, I process it and go, "Did we really make the right choice? Did we do the right stuff?" I second guess and question myself sometimes, so probably.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's fair enough. That's good. All right, the floor is open, so you get to pick a number between 11 and 100. Where would you like to go?

Heather Thompson: 12.

Japhet De Oliveira: 12, all right. What's your favorite movie or book of all time, and why?

Heather Thompson: Man, that's hard. I love movies, so I watch a lot of movies. Favorite movie of all time? People are going to laugh, I would probably say Overboard, the first one.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yes.

Heather Thompson: With Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. My best friend and I would watch it probably once or twice a week for a two or three year span. I know a lot of the lines, although I haven't watched it in a while. That one, probably,

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, that's good. All right, that was 12. Where next?

Heather Thompson: 26

Japhet De Oliveira: 26, all right. Tell us about one thing that you love the most that people do not.

Heather Thompson: That I love that people don't.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Heather Thompson: Maybe running.

Japhet De Oliveira: Running, okay.

Heather Thompson: There are a lot of people that like running now.

Japhet De Oliveira: Not everybody.

Heather Thompson: It's my time to be alone. I don't like to run with anyone. I don't want people to be around me, or see me.

Japhet De Oliveira: Do you run with headphones?

Heather Thompson: I do, and I listen to books on tape, because then, I can get into the story, and run longer. I process my day better that way. I like to run in the evenings, and I relive all the mistakes I made, and make them better in my mind.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, that's good. How far do you run?

Heather Thompson: A ways.

Japhet De Oliveira: A ways.

Heather Thompson: Anywhere from five to seven or eight miles.

Japhet De Oliveira: Every day?

Heather Thompson: No, three or four times a week. I can't always get out of here in a timely fashion. I don't enjoy running on a treadmill, so if it's not daylight... I'm also deathly afraid of getting hit by a car.

Japhet De Oliveira: Interesting. We'll come to that question soon. Well, hopefully that never happens.

Heather Thompson: Right.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great. All right, where did you want to go next, after 26?

Heather Thompson: 48.

Japhet De Oliveira: 48, all right. Let's have a look here. Tell us about your best personality trait.

Heather Thompson: I'm nice.

Japhet De Oliveira: You're nice?

Heather Thompson: I'm kind.

Japhet De Oliveira: You're kind.

Heather Thompson: I guess I'm kind and I'm nice.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, that's good.

Heather Thompson: When I meet people, that's my thing that I want them to know about me.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, that's good. Do you know where that came from?

Heather Thompson: Oh, I'm sure it's my family. I'm sure it's my mom and my dad, because where else do you learn those things, how to be a good person?

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, that's fantastic. That's good. All right, that was 48. Where next?

Heather Thompson: Oh, just keep going up. 55.

Japhet De Oliveira: 55, all right.

Heather Thompson: Getting a little less brave.

Japhet De Oliveira: Share about something that frightens you. I was like, "Yeah, maybe you'll pick that question."

Heather Thompson: Man.

Japhet De Oliveira: Other than being hit by a car.

Heather Thompson: Yeah, that does frighten me. I'm very, very much afraid of heights.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, really?

Heather Thompson: Yeah, very afraid of heights, and didn't realize it until my husband and I built a house, and I was trying to help him roof the house, and it would take me 10 minutes to transition to get off the roof onto the ladder. I would have to psych myself up that I wasn't going to fall. He was like, "I need whatever supply I need," and I'm like, "Okay, well, in a minute, when I get brave."

Japhet De Oliveira: You don't mind going upstairs in the second floor of the house?

Heather Thompson: No, I can go up. Fine. It's the coming down, when you realize that you might miss the step, or you might fall off the ladder.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, yeah, totally.

Heather Thompson: Flying is fine, though, because you don't really know.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, keep telling yourself that. That's great. No, I'm kidding. That's great. All right, that was 55.

Heather Thompson: Oh, man. Okay, let's be brave. 65.

Japhet De Oliveira: 65. All right, 65 it is.

Heather Thompson: How many questions do I have?

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, you go until I let you know that there's time for two more. Isn't that fantastic?

Heather Thompson: It is.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, you can go up or down.

Heather Thompson: Okay, I'll maybe go back down.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, there's lots of room. All right. Share one word that you would use to describe your past, and then unpack that one word.

Heather Thompson: Disastrous.

Japhet De Oliveira: Disastrous, I like it. Okay, so your past is disastrous because?

Heather Thompson: I just feel like, when I reflect back, I look back at things and just go, "Man, what were you thinking? Why did you think that was a good idea?" I just think there were some disastrous mistakes that I made that I would like to re-go go back and do.

Japhet De Oliveira: I have to ask, can you give me an example of a, "What was I thinking" moment?

Heather Thompson: Real personal, so sorry, you may end up deleting it.

Japhet De Oliveira: No.

Heather Thompson: I got married at 19 after only dating for a few months, and that was definitely a disaster.

Japhet De Oliveira: Fair enough.

Heather Thompson: Don't recommend.

Japhet De Oliveira: We are very young when we're young.

Heather Thompson: We are very young when we're young.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Hey, that's good. And we learn. It's good. All right, so where next?

Heather Thompson: Oh, we're going to go back.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay.

Heather Thompson: Let's go to 15.

Japhet De Oliveira: 15.

Heather Thompson: Something way easier.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay then. What's the one thing that you always misplace?

Heather Thompson: My pen.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, really?

Heather Thompson: I am a chronic pen loser.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, no.

Heather Thompson: And then, that makes me a chronic pen stealer.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. It's a confession. All right, that's good. Remind ourselves not to gift you a pen.

Heather Thompson: Right. In fact, my wonderful boss, Jackie, did give me a very beautiful, sparkly pen, and I think I've already lost it.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, dear. Good thing we're recording this. That's great.

Heather Thompson: Good thing.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right.

Heather Thompson: It was beautiful. I'm sure I'll stumble across it.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay, where next after 15?

Heather Thompson: 42.

Japhet De Oliveira: 42, all right. Tell us a story behind the photo on your phone, the background photo on your phone. I know you don't have your phone. You know what it is?

Heather Thompson: The current one that's up there, because you know how on iPhones, you can have 15 backgrounds, depending on your... the current one that's on there, there's nobody or animals in it. It's just the beach on a very gray day, with dog footprints running away.

Japhet De Oliveira: Nice.

Heather Thompson: My daughter took that picture while we all did a family day at the beach in December, when it was not super stormy. We were laughing about how big our dog's footprints are. It just is a very cool looking picture and reminds me of her, even though she's not in it.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's beautiful. I like that. Good. All right, where next?

Heather Thompson: Let's be brave. 77.

Japhet De Oliveira: 77. Woo. No, I'm kidding. It's great. Share one of your most cup-filling experiences that you've had in your life. Something just like, it happened, overflowed with joy.

Heather Thompson: I think having my daughter, which is probably a little bit of a cliche for people.

Japhet De Oliveira: No.

Heather Thompson: It was amazing to be a mom. I only have the one, so just having that, and having those experiences with her, it was just an amazing moment in time, to be able to put all that time and energy into raising what I hope continues to be a good human.

Japhet De Oliveira: Well, she'll take after mom and dad, as you took after your mom and dad.

Heather Thompson: Hopefully.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, that's good. Hey, that's fantastic. Kids are amazing, right? One daughter, tremendous. What do you hope she's going to be?

Heather Thompson: She hopes she's going to be a bioengineer.

Japhet De Oliveira: Go for her.

Heather Thompson: I hope that for her, because I always had a dream of what I wanted to be, and I want her to have her dream of what she wants to be.

Japhet De Oliveira: That is lovely. I love that. Good. All right, where next?

Heather Thompson: 70.

Japhet De Oliveira: 70, all right. Tell us about one thing that you are determined to accomplish.

Heather Thompson: There are so many things that I'm determined to accomplish, to be honest.

Japhet De Oliveira: This is good.

Heather Thompson: The one thing right now that I am determined to accomplish is to get full staffing for my RN group on my four or five floors that I have.

Japhet De Oliveira: Wow, that's a big feat.

Heather Thompson: Yes it is.

Japhet De Oliveira: For any hospital anywhere in the country, let alone rural healthcare.

Heather Thompson: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Heather Thompson: I'm determined. We can do it.

Japhet De Oliveira: You can do it. Good.

Heather Thompson: I didn't give a timeframe, but we can do it.

Japhet De Oliveira: The average recruiting time is quite long, isn't it?

Heather Thompson: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Heather Thompson: I don't even know.

Japhet De Oliveira: I heard it's 90 days easily.

Heather Thompson: I was going to say, I think it's at least 90 days.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right. Hey, well done. All right, we'll see how that goes. What's the next one?

Heather Thompson: Let's do an easy one.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay.

Heather Thompson: Okay, 11.

Japhet De Oliveira: 11, all right. Tell us about the most adventurous food or meal you've ever eaten.

Heather Thompson: It was actually on a trip for Studer, and I didn't understand what I was ordering at the restaurant. I'm not a food adventurist, and I ordered what I thought was cooked salmon... bot salmon, cooked tuna, but it was not. It was raw tuna.

Japhet De Oliveira: Raw tuna, great.

Heather Thompson: It was okay. The person sitting next to me realized what I had done, and offered to trade food with me, and I bravely said, "Nope." I ate it, and it was fine. I lived.

Japhet De Oliveira: It was fine, and you lived, and you're here to tell the story.

Heather Thompson: I'm here to tell the story.

Japhet De Oliveira: Good for you. Are you going to do it again?

Heather Thompson: No.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. That's the sign where you're like, "Hey, it was good, and I'm not going to do it." Okay. All right, where after 11 then?

Heather Thompson: How about 30?

Japhet De Oliveira: 30? All right, let's have a look here. Tell us about something that you're really looking forward to.

Heather Thompson: I am really looking forward to going to Virginia. My husband and I have a vacation there in the summer. I've never been to the east coast, and both of us have activities there that we want to do, and I'm really, really looking forward to it.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, that's good. Well, I hope you have a great adventure with that.

Heather Thompson: Me too.

Japhet De Oliveira: Good. All right, after 30?

Heather Thompson: 82.

Japhet De Oliveira: 82, okay.

Heather Thompson: I've lost track of my numbers.

Japhet De Oliveira: If you could only keep three possessions, what would they be and why?

Heather Thompson: That's really hard, too. Is your family considered a possession? I don't know. I'd really like to keep my husband, daughter and dog, but if I can't keep those.

Japhet De Oliveira: Let's presume you have your family with you, and then you are keeping three possessions in addition to your family, let's go that far.

Heather Thompson: Okay.

Japhet De Oliveira: I'm glad you wanted to keep them.

Heather Thompson: I would like to keep my wedding ring, because it's very important to me.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Heather Thompson: I would like to keep my Bible, because I've had that since I was a child. I think I would like to keep some photo that would have my family picture in it, so in case I couldn't see them, I would have that as a memory.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. All right, good. Thank you. All right, where do you want to go off that? That was 82.

Heather Thompson: Oh, man. 92.

Japhet De Oliveira: 92, all right.

Heather Thompson: Let's go with 92.

Japhet De Oliveira: How would you like to be remembered?

Heather Thompson: As a good person. As a person who really cared about others, and when they look at you, they say at your grave, "She was a really good person. She tried really hard all the time, and she tried to always do what was right, and she was really kind and nice to people." That's how I want to be remembered.

Japhet De Oliveira: That is good. What's a practical way that you can live into that?

Heather Thompson: By being present. When I visit and round with people, I really try to be present with them, and get their understanding of what's happening with them. I'm the same with my family, of really trying to give them my full and undivided attention. It's so easy to play on your phone when you're at home, instead of hanging out with people that you love.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's really good. I like that a lot. Thank you for sharing that. All right, that was 92.

Heather Thompson: Okay, back to easy ones.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay.

Heather Thompson: 18.

Japhet De Oliveira: 18, "Oh, relief." If you had to eat just one meal for an entire month, what would you choose? You eat the same thing, it's just that one meal over and over again for an entire month.

Heather Thompson: French toast.

Japhet De Oliveira: French toast? Okay. With syrup?

Heather Thompson: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, okay.

Heather Thompson: And lots of butter. Breakfast is your meal that you can have and nobody judges you for the amount of sugar that you put on it.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. Paradise, French toast three times a day.

Heather Thompson: Three times a day, I'd be so happy.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right then, where next?

Heather Thompson: 39.

Japhet De Oliveira: 39. All right, let's go here. If you didn't need to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

Heather Thompson: Oh, I'd be so productive. I would get all of my work stuff done. I could be a marathon runner. I could just get so many things done. My house would look amazing, flower gardens would look great. It would be spotless. Vacuuming, all of the things that, at the end of the day, I'm just too tired to do. I could get so much done if I didn't have to sleep.

Japhet De Oliveira: Well, it's a tall order. That's a tall order. Marathons were included in that.

Heather Thompson: Yeah. If you don't have to sleep ever, you could just keep going.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Have you done a marathon?

Heather Thompson: No.

Japhet De Oliveira: No. Are you planning to?

Heather Thompson: I'm doing a half-marathon.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, that's great.

Heather Thompson: I don't think I have the amount of time it takes to train for a full one that doesn't then impact my family life.

Japhet De Oliveira: No, fair enough.

Heather Thompson: My husband doesn't run.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, okay. All right, no worries. All good. All right, where next?

Heather Thompson: 24.

Japhet De Oliveira: 24. All right, let's have a look there. It is, tell us about a time you were over or underdressed for an occasion.

Heather Thompson: It's Tillamook.

Japhet De Oliveira: It's Tillamook.

Heather Thompson: It's very casual here, so not a lot of over dressing. Can we pass? Can we ask a different one?

Japhet De Oliveira: That's interesting.

Heather Thompson: It's very casual here.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. It's good.

Heather Thompson: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: It's good. It's comfortable.

Heather Thompson: I guess I'm probably underdressed more often and don't realize. "Why are you not looking nice today?"

Japhet De Oliveira: It's Tillamook.

Heather Thompson: It's Tillamook.

Japhet De Oliveira: Is that the answer?

Heather Thompson: Maybe.

Japhet De Oliveira: I don't know.

Heather Thompson: It's very casual here.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's okay.

Heather Thompson: It's not very formal.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's okay, that's good. It's good. Enjoy it. All right, where next after that?

Heather Thompson: 52.

Japhet De Oliveira: 52. Share what motivates you.

Heather Thompson: What motivates me?

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Heather Thompson: I want to win. Ultimately, I want to win.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, really? You're competitive?

Heather Thompson: I'm competitive secretly.

Japhet De Oliveira: Secretly?

Heather Thompson: That's what motivates me, but I don't always tell people that's what motivates me. I don't have to be the best, but I want to be winning at something. I want to be making progress always. That's what motivates me. How are we doing? Are we getting better? Are we getting better? Are we getting better? And then, it's disheartening if we're not getting better.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. Where did that drive come from? Is it, you've always had it?

Heather Thompson: I think so. Even though I don't really want to admit it, I think there's probably some sibling rivalry between my brother and I.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, really?

Heather Thompson: So yeah, I have to be just a little bit better.

Japhet De Oliveira: Younger or older?

Heather Thompson: He's two years younger. You'd think I wouldn't care. I would just be like, "No, you're the younger brother." I think we're always just secretly competitive.

Japhet De Oliveira: He's competitive as well?

Heather Thompson: I'm pretty sure, but we never actually talk about it.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, really?

Heather Thompson: I'm pretty sure we're secretly competitive.

Japhet De Oliveira: What do you think will happen after he listens to this podcast?

Heather Thompson: I don't think he will, so it's fine.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, really? We should send it to him and say, "Hey, about this minute, you should listen to that part."

Heather Thompson: It is his birthday today.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. All right. Hey, that's great. Well, I'm glad on his birthday you want to beat him. That's good. Competitive is interesting. Do you take that into work as well?

Heather Thompson: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah?

Heather Thompson: I want my teams to do good.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Heather Thompson: I want them to be successful.

Japhet De Oliveira: Do you compete against yourselves?

Heather Thompson: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. That's good. That's good, I think.

Heather Thompson: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: No, it's good. Hey, if you're going to set the bar, and raise it all the time, it's a good marker. That's good. All right, where next?

Heather Thompson: Let's be brave again. We'll do 99.

Japhet De Oliveira: 99.

Heather Thompson: Be really brave.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right then. What is the most difficult truth you've ever told?

Heather Thompson: Man, I have a hard time with confrontation, so my most difficult truth is telling somebody that it wasn't going to be a good fit for them, and it wasn't going to be a good place, and really, all the reasons behind that which needed to be said, but I knew was going to really hurt them, and not in an intentional way. I didn't want to hurt their feelings, but knowing that ultimately, if I didn't say anything, it would perpetuate and make things worse. I think that conversation was probably the most difficult truth I ever had to tell to somebody. It was heartbreaking, because they really wanted something and it just wasn't in the cards.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, having the ability to be able to do it with grace, with kindness and with love, and at the same time with accountability, not easy.

Heather Thompson: Right.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. No, I hear you. All right, that was 99. Where next?

Heather Thompson: Oh, something easier, because that was hard. How about 21?

Japhet De Oliveira: 21, all right. Share the best compliment you've received. Not given, received. You should see the facial expressions Heather has right now. She's trying, "What should I say?" Just think about all the compliments you've received, and which one?

Heather Thompson: My husband tells me I'm beautiful, so I'm going to take that.

Japhet De Oliveira: There you go. See, it's a good day. All right, good. All right, where next?

Heather Thompson: Oh my goodness. 27.

Japhet De Oliveira: 27. Bring us into your kitchen. You're preparing a special meal. What would you be making?

Heather Thompson: Okay, first, I don't cook, so you'd be getting take-out.

Japhet De Oliveira: You'd be heating up, taken out. All right, what would you be ordering?

Heather Thompson: Take out from, I'm going to just tell you that one of my favorite foods is pizza, and we would be getting pizza from Main Street Pizza. It's not fancy at all, but it's so just good.

Japhet De Oliveira: Describe this pizza to us, so we understand what Main Street Pizza is like. Is it thin, is it thick?

Heather Thompson: It's probably a medium thick, and I'll eat anything from cheese to Canadian bacon with pineapple, I call it Hawaiian, I don't know if other people do, to combination to vegetarian. It's just good, and like I said, I don't cook. I haven't cooked since my husband and I got married and I made the first meal for us, and he asked me if I was purposely making jerky, and I said no. We came to an agreement that he would cook and I would clean. It's worked out really great.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great. That's a great story. That's good. Thank you. All right, where next?

Heather Thompson: 59.

Japhet De Oliveira: 59. All right, here we go. In your opinion, what subject would you add to a school curriculum, and what age would it be taught?

Heather Thompson: That's really hard, too.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh.

Heather Thompson: They've got to be good people, so early on, you really have to, and maybe they do, but you really have to teach them to be kind and considerate. Sometimes I think that's lost. I feel like that's got to start day one. It should be your preschool, kindergarten foundation. Maybe it's supposed to be, but I feel like there's not always some really nice people. Maybe if they were taught how to be nicer-

Japhet De Oliveira: The world would be a better place.

Heather Thompson: Maybe.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Heather Thompson: I hope so.

Japhet De Oliveira: So you'd want that really young with the kids?

Heather Thompson: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Heather Thompson: Pre pre preschool.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, okay.

Heather Thompson: Be nice. Be kind. That's what I've always told my daughter. I want you to be a good person. That's all. No matter what else you do, just be a good person. Be kind to everyone. Be considerate.

Japhet De Oliveira: It really makes a difference.

Heather Thompson: It does.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right, time for two more. You're like, "Two more." Where would you like to go for your last two?

Heather Thompson: Well, we're going to pick easy ones.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. I shouldn't have told you that. All right. Okay.

Heather Thompson: How about 34?

Japhet De Oliveira: 34? All right. Well, I don't know how you picked this, but tell us about a moment that a person's kindness made the difference in your life.

Heather Thompson: My very first CNO that I worked for here, Donna Bechtolt, she was amazingly kind and considerate, and she took the time to get to know all of her people and her staff, and even someone who was a 24-year-old who she could have just blown off, and she never did. I really wanted to be her. That's how I got to where I am. Just her kindness, her ability to just say a nice word when she wandered through just was amazing.

Japhet De Oliveira: Does Donna know that?

Heather Thompson: I think so.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah?

Heather Thompson: Yeah. I see her from time to time.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, good. Oh, that's good. Actually, that's really encouraging, great people who've done things for you. All right, last one.

Heather Thompson: Last one.

Japhet De Oliveira: What?

Heather Thompson: Wow. Okay.

Japhet De Oliveira: I know.

Heather Thompson: 91.

Japhet De Oliveira: 91, all right. Describe a time in your life when you learned about forgiveness.

Heather Thompson: I think probably early on it was a big thing in my family, to own your mistakes, in a way. Even before that was the catchphrase of, just admit what you've done wrong, and ask someone to forgive you, and then to be that person that if you're asked, that you truly forgive, that you don't just hold it as a grudge. Sometimes that's hard, especially in a work setting where you feel like someone's done you wrong, and you want to hold onto it. I think, from a very early age, that was one of the things. My mom was like, "No, if you forgive someone, you forgive someone." You can't just then be like, "I forgive you, but I'm going to keep holding it for a while."

Japhet De Oliveira: That's really good counsel.

Heather Thompson: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Thank you.

Heather Thompson: I have good parents.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, you do. It's a blessing, actually. It's a blessing. Heather, thank you so much for taking the time.

Heather Thompson: Thank you.

Japhet De Oliveira: I appreciate it. I want to encourage people to do the same. Sit down with a friend, ask them questions. We learn about each other. We actually are changed by these answers that we share. Blessings to everybody. Blessings to you as well, and we'll connect again soon.

Heather Thompson: Thank you.

Narrator: Thank you for joining us for The Story and Experience podcast. We invite you to read, watch and submit your story and experience at adventistshealth.org/ story. The Story and Experience podcast was bought to you by Adventist Health through the Office of Culture.