Showing posts with label searching. Show all posts
Showing posts with label searching. Show all posts

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Move Out of the Way!

I have heard that Utah has the widest streets in the nation.  Neighborhood streets are only two lanes – generally.  Still most seem big enough for cars to get by other cars that may be parked on the side of the road. 

Our main streets consist of 6 – 8 lanes – perhaps not for the entire road, but at some points.  I’ve gotten used to really wide roads.  As a pedestrian, I find I have only a few seconds to cross before the light changes.  It’s not like that all over the city – but enough to me that it feels that way.

Roland and I noticed the streets in Oregon were quite narrow in comparison.  We had a strange encounter at Fort Grove because of it.

Fort Grove is very pretty, almost story book looking, very secluded though.  Not a lot of shopping convenience.  I don’t know how far the firehouse is, but apparently they have access to one.

As we were driving around and looking at houses, Roland saw the fire truck behind us.  When we see that in Utah, our reaction is to pull over and let anything with a siren pass us.  Even with neighborhood streets, or the not-as-wide streets downtown.  There’s still enough room to pull over and pass.

Aside from Portland, I didn’t see much in the way of being able to pull over in order for any emergency vehicle to pass.  Certainly not in Forest Grove.  If we had pulled over, the fire truck would not have been able to pass.  The streets were too narrow.  I felt in the way as we continued to move and try to get out of its path.  It didn’t matter if we turned or went straight, it seemed to follow us – and there was nothing we could do but continue moving in a neighborhood that we weren’t even familiar with.

The two pictures don't  show the true narrowness of what was felt


Thursday, April 9, 2015

April 2, First Day in Oregon

            It's now been a week since we flew out of Salt Lake City.  After we landed we went to find our luggage.  Portland is a nice airport.  Portland must have been a connecting stop for most passengers as there weren’t many people standing at the carousel to claim luggage, nor were there many pieces coming out.

            Every time I wait for luggage, I think of one time when I had gone to the San Francisco airport and stood behind a crowd of people surrounding the luggage carousel but in no way could get near enough to collect my luggage.

            As I saw one piece make its way around I loudly asked, “Could someone toss me that light blue bag?” 

            I soon realized that I had made a wrong word choice as my blue piece of luggage seemed to be hurled towards me.  I was grateful that no one was hurt. 

            I had to show my luggage tags to someone before I could leave the airport.  That was such a foreign concept to me.  At Salt Lake International, the individual who takes the luggage is responsible for checking his or her own.  We didn’t have to show our luggage tags to anyone in Portland either.

            My grandma had always marked her luggage with yarn pom-poms.  I had added ribbons to each of our luggage to make it easier to find.  All four pieces arrived safely.  We took our luggage downstairs to the rental car area and got a really nice 2015 Toyota Camry.  Both Roland and I really liked it.  

            From Portland we headed to Salem and started looking at houses and calling on apartments.  We looked at places between Salem and Albany and between Albany and McMinnville.  I called Beth after we got into McMinnville. 

            Kayla had called me to ask about some mail and to ask how things were in Oregon.  At that point we were stopped at a local diner and Roland was writing down addresses from the church.  I told Kayla what we were doing.  As soon as the words left my mouth, I realized I hadn’t told her that we had considered moving to Oregon.  I had dropped a bomb on my sister, and I felt very bad about the way I had just blurted it out instead of allowing her to get used to the idea. At that point I think we had only told two people – Corey, for financial reasons, and a sister in our ward that recently moved to Salt Lake from Newport, Oregon.

            It was actually a while before I made the opportunity to call her back and apologize because if it had been the other way around, I would have been bawling my eyes out.  And Kayla had cried for a bit.  Corey had returned her call just after I had dropped the bomb and she was crying when she talked to him.  But by the time I returned her phone call, she was genuinely happy for me and had convinced herself (or maybe just me) that it was/is a good thing that I am doing.

            When we arrived in McMinnville, I called Beth and we went to her house to visit for just a few minutes. Beth had offered us room, but Roland did not want to impose.  Besides Beth has a cat – and our reasons for coming to Oregon was to see if I could breathe better – and would I be able to tell with a cat around. Also the inn we checked into had an indoor pool – the highlight of children’s expectations of what all traveling must include.  So there would be swimming involved which made for a great birthday. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

If you can’t question your religion, Why Are You In It?

         I don’t know if I had met Kelly prior to the being called to serve on the activities committee.  The first activity I remember being involved with was a “food storage/budgeting made-fun activity” Kelly played Betty Barker and I became the emcee who drew the names of contestants and invited them to “come on down”.

         Even then she was struggling with the Church and her family life – desiring to connect the two but feeling torn with her beliefs.  Her husband showed no sign of ever wanting to be involved with the Church or even anybody who belonged to it.  Perhaps Kelly wasn’t even active when they met but gradually came around with a desire for having God and direction in her life – perhaps not necessarily the “Mormon Church”

         That was five years ago.  And she continues to battle with herself and her maintaining a comfortable relationship and self worth which she is not finding in the Church.  I understand.  Perhaps not completely.  But I do understand why she would leave – although she hasn’t withdrawn completely.

         Her husband still gives her no support as far as showing any interest in church or church members.  I didn’t even know what he looked like until the other night when I glanced at him through the window.  He had heard we were coming and made his “get-away” before we were even out of the car.

         Kelly’s last calling had been a counselor in the primary.  Not where she wanted to be, but accepted the calling believing it would keep her on the path to and at that the Church is where she needed to be – until she was asked to create the program for the 2014 “Families are Forever” theme.  That became the straw that broke the camel’s back.  It wasn’t in her heart to create a program that she herself felt discriminated against.

         Actually, I had wondered how the majority felt as many of the primary children are from broken homes, inactive or part member families, many with barriers that seem to prevent the traditional “families are forever” theme. 

         Elenore sat on the stand near the pulpit, to help the children with the lines they might have forgotten. I wondered if the program had been difficult for her as she and her husband had divorced long before I had even met her. She’d gone back to her maiden name rather than identifying herself with her married name.  She has custody of their two children, but he has visitation rights.

         I hadn’t even paid attention to Kelly’s absence as I watched various children get up and recite lines that just didn’t seem to fit in their current living environment.  How many of them believed in the words that they said?  How many struggled through that program?  I did.

         Kelly’s youngest son and Jenna have often played together.  Kelly had told me about sending her son to a water park all summer.  I had been dragging Jenna to Kearns with me last summer.  Perhaps “drag” is not the correct word as she really did enjoy being with her cousins.  But I know she would have loved spending summer at a water park if given the opportunity. 

         I had asked Kelly if Spencer would be returning to the water park this summer and thought I would look into a pass for Jenna.  I thought we had talked just last month, but then she disappeared.

         I was substitute teaching the last three weeks of December.  I think there were five or six names on the role in Jenna’s class, but it was usually just Elenore’s son and Jenna.  Spencer wasn’t there during the three weeks I had taught.  I sent Kelly a message to inquire if she and her family had been out of town for the holidays.  Turns out she is actually attending another church – one that doesn’t push the “Families are Forever” theme.  One that doesn’t make her feel discriminated against.

         I had the same struggles when I was single for so long – not as long as several sisters in the current ward I belong to.  I was married at 39.  There are several sisters in my ward who are much older that have not had opportunity to marry – or perhaps they have and it just didn’t feel right with choice of partner.  I don’t know.  I know that there are several who feel discriminated against when lessons are given on eternal marriage or husband/wives relationships.  It’s hurtful to hear when that very thing doesn’t seem to exist in the earthly future.

         I recently read that divorce is 50/50 but that a marriage needs to be 100/100.  And there are some couples that each give 100% and then there are other couples in which one does all the giving while the other does all the taking.  I can only control what I give, but I cannot control what another might contribute.  Roland contributes 100% - perhaps more.  But not everybody has that.  Not everybody has the support from family members.  Not everybody gives 100%.

         Hannah moved into the ward about a year after we did.  For the longest time I believed that she was a single parent as I never saw her with a spouse.  She was diligent about coming to meetings and activities though it was challenging at times.  It wasn’t known to all that there were struggles, for Hannah wore a smile on her face and pressed on.  One day she announced that there were struggles and coming to church wasn’t easy. Her husband didn’t wish to attend church with her.

         When Asher (her son) got closer to turning eight, he begged his dad to please come back to Church so that he could baptize him.  Thus after eight or nine years of attending Church on her own, Hannah’s husband finally came around.  He is the one who baptized Asher.  Endurance.

         So where is Kelly’s reward when she has seemingly had to endure even longer?  Why are there some whose trials seem to outlast their faith while others seem to be rewarded in just a matter of minutes?  How many of us feel that we have been or are being dealt with unfairly?  For how long must we endure?

         One of my biggest hang-ups in this “pushing family” church is the discrimination that seemingly takes place at the temple.  The sealing ceremony in which only the worthy temple recommends holders can participate.  All loved ones who are not temple recommend holders are allowed to wait in the lobby but cannot witness the special event because they don’t have recommends.  They have been labeled “unworthy” How do you explain that? 

         I was married civilly over three years before I was sealed.  The civil marriage was a lot more personable.  I enjoyed having guests at my wedding that otherwise couldn’t come to see Roland and I exchange vows.  I don’t like to feel excluded because I don’t have a recommend (or didn’t; not when Patrick married.  Not when my cousin married her first husband) and I don’t wish for others to feel that way.

         What does a “Forever Family” mean in my case?  That the boys will go with Roland and their mom?  That Jenna will go with Roland and me?  And what’s to become of Roland’s oldest two girls?  They were born under the covenant?  But do they sense that now?  Do they even know what that means?

         The boys are adults with spouses (soon families) of their own.   How does that work?  Are they always going to reside with us in the hereafter or will they go with their wives’ families?  I don’t think our concept of “Families are forever” will be the same as what we may build up in our minds.  We are required to have faith that it will all work out.  God’s kind and men’s kind are very often not the same.

            Denise shared her testimony after her forty plus years of struggles – though not with the Church.  She had been baptized when she was 19.  The ward bishop had called her into his office to call her as a primary teacher.  But there was a condition that came with accepting the call.  She would have to stop dating her boyfriend.  It wasn’t because even because he wasn’t a member, but apparently the bishop objected to his race.  I don’t know if she saw that as discrimination coming from the Church or just that particular leader.  It wasn’t right that he had told her that.  She left the Church and did not return until over forty years later.

            The elder missionaries showed up on her doorstep shortly after she lost her dad.  She was in a state of depression.  She had answered the door in her pajamas and commented that one elder in particular was dead set about helping her.  She said she needed her dishes done but didn’t have any soap.  The elders dismissed themselves but said they would return.

            When the elders returned, they brought back some dish soap along with a missionary couple.  While the elders did dishes, Denise sat in the other room with the elderly couple and asked about her father.  It was a very good visit and an indication for her to return to the Church in which she had been baptized a member over four decades earlier.

            We all have our trials.  We all have our disappointments.  Endurance is not an easy thing.  For many, it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  For many there is no life.  They have given up home.  Some hang on by a thread searching for a glimmer of hope.  May each of us find the strength needed to endure than we may find peace?  That is my hope. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Pray Before Each Task

Roland gave our middle son, Tony, the nickname “Donald Duck”.  Too often Tony flies off the handle about situations he can’t control or doesn’t understand.  I told him that he needs to pray more often.  That didn’t seem to go over too well.

Prayer has been a part of my life forever.  I always had example of prayer.  My sibs and I were taught to pray.  We said individual prayers.  We said family prayers.  We prayed over the food.  We’d start family home evenings with prayer and end with prayer.  We said morning prayers.  We said prayers before we went to bed.  Before and while on vacation.  It was just something conditioned in me.  I don’t know that I ever questioned it.  Perhaps I didn’t always understand it, but I do now and have for such a long time that it’s hard to remember if/when I questioned prayer.

Oh, perhaps there were times I prayed for something specific and felt my prayers weren’t answered – at least not the way I had wanted.  So perhaps there was a time when I had the response: “I have prayed and it hasn’t done any good.”  I no longer think that.  I pray.  Sometimes it seems as though I’m doing it in vain – but that is when I need to question my part with prayer, and not the Lord’s as He is Always there and Always listening. 

Often times Roland has expressed frustration with whatever project he may be doing on the computer.  My response has always been to ask if he had prayed before starting his task.

I know that not all things run smooth or according to plan all the time.  There is the faith testing and God’s own will that often doesn’t correspond with what we think may be our own.

A specific example involves two different families from the ward where I had grown up.  Two grandmas, each with a grandchild who had a heart condition. 

From my recollection, both children were scheduled to have surgery within weeks of one another.  One baby lived and the other died.  Right now I honestly can’t remember which one.  Both families prayed diligently.  Various family members held a fast.  All of their prayers were answered – though not all experienced the same results – the results which they all wanted for the grandchild to live. 

So what makes one family different from the other?  Why would God answer the same heartfelt prayers so differently?  Why were the results not the same?  I don’t have the answer.  I just know, for me personally, that prayer adds a comfort that I had at least expressed myself.  And the more that I pray, the closer I come so that I do understand.

I realized that was one vast difference between the family Roland grew up in verses my own.  They don’t pray about anything.  They don’t even say grace over the food. It’s just so foreign to me that they don’t consider prayer – for anything.  How different their lives would be if they would kneel as a family and thank Him and ask Him for blessings.

Why would I not pray to thank my maker for all that I have?  Why would I not pray to ask for assistance from a higher being?  Why would I not pray for a miracle that can’t be mastered by humankind? Miracles can and do happen.  But we need to ask.

I thank my mom and dad for their fine example to include God in our lives and to pray before each task or major decision. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Learning Geography part 1: What Frustration

World geography has got to be one of the most frustrating subjects as it is constantly changing.  Should Jenna ever learn about the names of countries and border locations and such, I think for the most part will be quite different from what I learned. Creating maps is an endless task – but I suppose if that’s the field of work you’ve gone into, well, then you will never be out of work.

 In my sixth grade history class we were given blank maps as part of our world geography – or so I’m assuming that’s what was being taught.  I specifically remember working on a European map, but for whatever reason, our time in the classroom was cut short and so we were allowed to take the maps home and fill them out there according to our own resources as we were not allowed to take the text books home.

We didn’t have the resources of today where one can go to Google and pull up a large variety of maps and find information on each country with just a click of a button.  We had encyclopedias and a series of “Let’s Travel to” books and a couple of atlases.  I started with an atlas and the frustration set in.  The map in the atlas did not have as many boundary lines as the map I had brought home.  What the flip? 

 I don’t know what led me to check the publication date.  1935.  Oh, no wonder.  The European boundaries had surely changed boundaries a few times in the 40 year period that took place between the atlas publication and my homework assignment.  I went in search of another atlas.

A few years ago I purchased a second hand game called, “Where in the World
that came with six maps.  I figured that if Jenna ever learned geography, perhaps the maps and maybe even some other included information would be useful.  I would definitely have to pick it through to see what actually may still apply today.

Almost 200 cards are included with the maps.  Each of these cards are numbered and have a picture of the country’s flag (or the flag which represented said country at the time the game was created) the capitol, population (dated) monetary unit, literacy rate, major languages, regions, export, import and seacoasts.  Though several cards may contain information that still applies today, many of them don’t.

Three of the maps have had major makeovers from the time that I learned them to when the game was manufactured to today.  And a lot of the card information could be correct, though I have not checked any beyond the flag.  Countries may have the same capitols that they did when the game was created.  But I know not all of them do. There are countries that didn’t exist back when the game was created and there are others that existed then that are only historic names today. Names and boundaries have changed all over the map.

Let’s go to the African continent on game map.  Western Sahara  is number 29 on the map.  The country was disputed territory for many decades – the majority is now ruled by Morocco from what I understand. And that’s just one example.  There are dot sized countries in Europe that I don’t remember ever having learned about.  It appears that there are two dot-sized countries within the country of South Africa – or were.  I’m certain that this map is not even close to current.

But this one is the same as when I learned it

and is the same today.  I like that.  And will go into more detail in my post tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

We Might as Well Just Write a Book!

          I went to several assisted living facilities by myself during November and December.  Many facilities would say they had no room but that we could get on a waiting list.  That seemed okay as my brothers weren’t looking to move her until maybe June or July.

At each location I was asked, “Does your mom need assistance with the shower?”

          “She can shower by herself.”  She could.  Two months ago.  Even just two weeks ago.  And then she’d forget to use soap.  And then she would just forget.

          Last Tuesday I created this post.  It was a good day for her.  It turned out to be the last good day at home.  Her home.  The one she has lived in for the last 50 plus years but has forgotten.  We’re moving her into assisted living.  I don’t know when.  It should have been a lot sooner in my opinion.

          Last week she was smiling.  Giggling.  That’s right – giggling.  And she called me crazy.  We had fun.  And then her friend called.  And she was alert enough to know who she was talking to.  I don’t know how soon after I left that she became withdrawn.  Disconnected.

          On Thursday she was almost in a stupor – though not quite.  She would answer my questions.  “No, I don’t want to do it”  “Not right now”  “I don’t know why I’m so tired . . .”

          I had suggested (several times) for her to lie down.  I did give her drinks from the fridge. Perhaps not enough.  The next two days were nightmarish for Nate and Ellen as mom would pass out which in turn would freak Ellen. 

          Newlyweds shouldn’t be in that position to take care of a grandma that rapidly declines.  Sunday morning was really bad for Ellen especially, who had found grandma in soiled sheets and apparently her room reeked.

          Patrick and Sunny took her to the hospital that morning.  It sounds like they all missed Church as Nate and Ellen had gone with them.  Apparently they were in the emergency room for what felt like forever – other cases were given a higher priority.

          When they did finally call mom back, only two people were allowed to go with her.  That ended up being Patrick – the only one of the four who has power of attorney, and Nate, who has been acting as mom’s care giver in Corey’s place.  Sunny and Ellen returned home and Sunny started in with phone calls to the rest of mom’s children.

          I had just barely started my lesson when the first phone call came.  A frantic caller as the person on the other end called three times.  When the lesson was over, I returned the call to my sister who related the events.

          I went to Kayla’s ward right after attending the meetings at ours.  Kayla had told me she was speaking.  I was sooooo glad that I went as she did an awesome job. 
While the sacrament was being passed, my phone went off again.  Fortunately it had been on vibrate all day and no one aside from Jenna and I seemed to notice.

          Sunny finally got a hold of Bill (Kayla’s husband) who has been through hospital administration many times with his first wife.  He’s got a deeper insight and understanding than the rest of us would like to experience.  But here we are.  Mom is in the hospital.  Quite confused.  Disoriented.  But happy.  Positive.
Or so I heard. 
          I was told to talk to a social worker about getting mom moved over to one of these facilities (there’s one we like that actually has an opening right now)  I was there for five hours yesterday before the social worker arrived. 

          At first glance he didn’t seem legitimate.  For me personally, he seemed to come across as a patient from the psychiatric ward – a happy go lucky fellow with mussed up hair.

          I was told that she’d probably be released today.  Really? But we need another day at least.

          Sunny picked up a packet from the assisted living.  A large packet.  She said there were over 35 pages to be filled out and that there was no way she and Patrick would be able to get it done just by themselves in the allotted time frame.
          So Roland and I went out to mom’s house to assist with the paperwork.  We Skyped Corey and fired questions at him.  We could see him, but evidently he could not see us. 

          For the most part we were laughing.  Corey came across like one of those old Japanese movies in which the lips are not in sync with what’s being said.  And when it came to personal questions – do we say how it really was or provide today’s reality which is only about 40% truth.

          Mom really has been to Europe and Greece, Alaska and Hawaii.  But in her mind she’s also been to Egypt, South Africa, Russia and China (to name a few)  Provide the name of any state and she claims she’s been there – usually just for the day.  And usually she drove.  She’s been to a quarter of the states at best.  She’s never been to Asia or many other places she’s claimed.  She was not driving when she was fourteen.

          It’s funny.  Mom has no clue why she was at the hospital – even after we told her.  She doesn’t retain information.  Corey had asked why she was in the hospital.  Her answer amused both me and Corey.

          She said (over the phone), “I’m not sick or anything – I had to come to take a shower.  And it’s here so I have to be here”

          Yet when “Everybody Loves Raymond” showed on TV, she was able to relate the events that were about to happen.  How is that even possible?  I mean, I know she’s seen it again and again.  It just floored me that she seemed to have it memorized.

          She’s worried about her purse.  She often will look for it while she’s home.  Once she finds it, she can relax – until she’s forgotten and has to search for it again.  It has become a part of her the way the cell phone has become a surgically implanted part of many people or a security blanket a child may drag around and refuse to part with.

          I don’t know where she’ll wake up tomorrow.  They say it takes a couple of days to process the paperwork.  We’re really not ready for her to be leaving the hospital today.  The transition will be so much easier if we didn’t have to take her back to her house. 

          Don’t guess I will know for a while yet.  Perhaps I’ll have be able to post more tomorrow.  Hopefully I will be too busy with transition to make the post.  We’ll see.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

LaTiesha Cannon: Part Time Detective (LOL)

About four months ago I posted this about my hang-ups with facebook.  One commenter lovingly chastised me by sharing what she LIKES about facebook.

I must admit, since then, I have checked it more often.  One reason is because of mom’s health and trying to keep all of those involved with her health care on the same page, one member created a private site for us to each update and view.  I notice we’re still not always on the same page however.

Facebook also gives one the opportunity to find acquaintances from the past and possibly make a connection. Google can do that, too.  But not resources apply – or are personalized in the same way in which some face users allow.  And so the story unfolds:

Erin, Fran, mom and Sally were friends in San Francisco.  The first three all ended up in Utah after they were married. 

Recently I had lunch with Fran and my mom.  Fran asked mom if she still heard from Erin.  She used to send Christmas cards out each year. Turned out that neither one of them had remembered hearing from their long time friend since she remarried.  They wondered whatever became of their friend Erin.

I remembered seeing the announcement several years ago – though I don’t recall her new last name.  Nor do I recall the first name of the groom. The last time I had seen her was a long while prior to that – at her husband’s funeral. 

She had five daughters.  Of course there was the brief introduction to all five at the funeral.  Before that I had met only three of them – Addison, Diane and Heidi.  Heidi was only three at the time.

Out of the blue, I typed in each of their names on facebook.  Heidi’s name was the only one that came up under her maiden name.  It could be her (Like I would really remember what she looks like) but I do know the name of the high school she attended.  I noticed several of her “friends” had her mother’s maiden name.  Surely, it had to be her.  But would she be willing to read a message from a stranger?  I didn’t believe that my name would even mean anything to her.

I sent the same message to one of Heidi’s sisters (whom I discovered on Heidi’s profile) and one to someone I supposed to be Erin’s brother – but I don’t know.  I let a few weeks pass before I figured out that my messages had been typed in vain.  (Facebook now monitors all messages and it appears that unless you are in the friends’ circle or at least maybe friends with someone who is, the message won’t appear in the box of the receiver – so really, what is the point of giving us that option?)

After two weeks, I once again attempted to find more current info for Erin.  I found her late husband’s obituary.  Oh, that would be helpful.  I learned the married names of four of her daughters (though it appears that Heidi has been remarried since then) and realized that I’d been spelling Addison’s name incorrectly. 

I found her on facebook and requested a friendship (not that I’m really requesting a friendship but she may not get my typed message otherwise; fb actually used to give that option when one made a friend request) and also learned of her current city and where she works and looked them up in the phone directory and learned that there is an Erin who is staying in the same household. 

Erin K. Brimley.  That could be her most recent married name.  I can’t remember.  She may be in a situation similar to mom’s and Addison is taking care of her.  I don’t know.  I may never know.  I did send a Christmas card to the address I found.

I passed what information I did have onto Fran.  I don’t know what may result from it.  But at least it’s there.  And perhaps, down the road, we may have more.   Hopefully it’s been a bit helpful for Fran.  It’s gotten me excited.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Chopped, Snipped, Spliced and Discarded – I could SO use that Money

          Before Roland and I moved from our first house, he introduced me to the reality show “Chopped” a one hour show that gives four chefs the opportunity to create appetizers, entrees, and desserts using four specific ingredients – most I haven’t been familiar with or think of as too bizarre to belong with  either the rest of the ingredients or in the particular round.

          I would think that there is more than eight hours of footage for each episode of “Chopped” – thus it is not just the chefs competing who get “chopped” but the editing as well.  It sickens me to know that all this wasted footage exists – that so much tape ends up on the floor.  The expense that goes into these reality series (Wife Swap is another example) and all the waste.  I could really use the money that is spent on wasted film.  So many Americans could – especially in this economy that seemingly continues to spiral downhill.  Where are the priorities of this nation?

          Recently there was a documentary on NBC called: “Mormons in America: NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams" and actually I feel a certain amount of emotion which I stated in my last post.

I think Rock Center handled “Mormons in America” well.  Some accused of focusing too much on the small percentage that “don’t really represent the entire church” well guess what?  It’s that small percentage that the world will be looking at. And I think it’s wonderful that it has been presented to the world (or nation anyway) that there might be a better understanding.

          Abby Huntsman does not represent the entire Church.  Who does?  Some criticized that the creators of the program should have gone to the authorities or at least devout members to for a more accurate understanding.  But we are a very diverse people – even among ourselves.  The gospel values are true regardless of its members.  But the members are not perfect.  We are not all cut out of the same mold – and the world needs to know that there are struggles that many members face that don’t always correspond with what the gospel principles teach.

I think the documentary was handled very nicely.  And I think Abby did a great job letting people understand her position but still being respectful of the Church. She probably has a better hold on what a non member might feel.  There are many who have left the church who experience that “ah-hah” moment after they’ve been away for it – not that they disagree or become uncomfortable – but all the sudden understand the meaning of “a peculiar people” and understand the non-members view – whereas those who are so close to the surface don’t have that same understanding.  They don’t see the forest for the trees.  Corey explained it a little bit in this post  

          There are many members (or former members) who have had their feelings hurt for whatever reason.  Treated like outcasts.  Overaggressive concern isn’t handled correctly either on the part of the leaders or the interpretation of the member (I think more of the first; as an example Abby’s bishop told her that she wouldn’t receive the same blessings – and although it may have been said out of concern – it hadn’t been communicated in a proper manner)  I like the way Clive Durham said it in this post 

          Bishop, stake president, and other leadership positions are held by people.  Imperfect people. Some, who unfortunately abuse their power, some, who should have never been put in that position to begin with.  Some who would rather not be there and wonder why the position was accepted in the first place. 

          Julienne (sp?) and Al Jackson do NOT represent all members.  A large majority, perhaps.  But certainly NOT all members.  Mitch Mayne is told he can keep his position in the Church so long as he remains celibate.  Celibate?  Really?  In a Church that pushes marriage and family? (And there are many who actually do push)

          That was Corey’s plan - to remain celibate – though he wasn’t fulfilled.  He would have been able to keep his membership – but still not feel whole – not complete.  He did NOT go in search for a partner.  Truth is, when they initially met, he tried to avoid it. 

          Their first encounter together was working on the same production in Las Vegas.  The two of them started out with a casual dinner, but after a while Corey's feelings deepened towards his partner.  He started to have feelings that he had been  told all of his life were wrong to have.

Corey returned home from Las Vegas the first Christmas after they had met.  Relieved in some ways not to be tempted by something he had been trying to avoid all of his life.  Yet torn because he really did have emotions for this guy.  And what a wonderful guy he is.  I really really do like Corey’s partner.

          Eventually it turned into something very beautiful.  Both celibate.  Both wanting to wait.  Both yearning for God to be a part of their “marriage” and I have no doubts that He is.  Corey had to give up his membership.  But he did not give up on the gospel.  He still attends Sunday meetings (minus the priesthood which he was never comfortable with in the first place) and though it’s often hard for him not to be able to participate to the fullest – Corey is happier than he has ever been in his entire life. 

          Corey is very knowledgeable in the gospel.  He is very well rounded individual.  He doesn’t represent the entire Church – even when he was a member.  But he does make an impact.  A GREAT impact.  He has a very strong and beautiful testimony.  He is one of many pioneers on a path that is slowly being smoothed over and more widely traveled – and yet too many who are on that path feel alone and unwanted and aren’t always handled with care.  Corey, fortunately, has had amazing support. Yet it seems to be a rarity with far too many.

We have a friend who is strongly opinionated and probably more of a feminist than Joanna Brookes.  She is married to one who has been on the high council as well as other prominent positions.  Both strong in the gospel.  Each representing what sometimes appear as conflicting ideas.  And I love them both.  And I respect them both.  And I am personally grateful for the diverseness.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I just DON’T have a passion for family history

          When I was twelve I took a family history class – only it wasn’t actually called Family History.  At that time it was referred to a genealogy. (Boring name; must be why they changed it) I was the only youth in the class.  The instructor was early 40s – possibly late 30s.  The rest of the class members were all over the age of 50.
Things were done on legal size paper.  There were Xerox machines (photocopiers) and pens.  No PAF,, Google, etc.  I would imagine doing family research is so much easier now than back then.

My instructor had been raised in a foster care system and had always had a strong sense of getting to know and understand her family.  It was a very long process.
I understand why family history is so important to her.  To have a connection.  And when she did find connections, the discoveries were great.  As an adult she learned that she had a sister who had chosen the same profession and was married to a husband who served in law enforcement just as my instructors husband had.  And I enjoyed hearing her stories.

I enjoy hearing stories of my own youth.  Or those of my ancestors.  But after a while they are just names.  I don’t know if I am seriously related to these people or not.  I don’t like family research.  In fact, I loathe it.  It’s just not important to me to know where I came from or how my ancestors were treated or how they treated others. 
Even when names and stories are given to me and they become more than names or stories but actual people I have read about in books – I still don’t know the accuracy of our relationship.  So what if we’re related? So what if we’re not?  I just don’t care.

That’s not to say I don’t credit other people with finding their ancestors.  Spending countless hours searching for some sort of a clue.  All the more power to them.  If that it truly what they love and want to do, let them do it.  Kudos to their desire and passion.  Bravo.  It’s just really NOT my thing.

For years and years our family could be traced to William Button’s mother, Eliza Tate – a very unattractive woman.  Legend was that she sang opera with her three sisters who were in favor of aborting her baby.  Upon hearing their plans, Eliza had run away.
 Eliza had William out of wedlock.  Now that had bothered me.  Wouldn’t a child out of wedlock have the same name as its mother if dad was not even in the picture?  I don’t know.  As a twelve year old I accepted all information as being accurate and complete. 

Recently I was told by a cousin that the information that we have had for all these years is inaccurate.  There are no records of any Eliza Tates being born in that particular town (or village or city or whatever) or approximate year.  The woman supposedly never existed.  So who is it really that appears in the photograph?  And where did the photograph even come from.

My cousin got in touch with another cousin – a very distant cousin to the both of us.  Her records indicate that Williams mother (who had him out of wedlock) was Jane Button.  Okay.  She had him out of wedlock and had given him her name. I accept that.  But does my approval really make it fact or fiction?  How do I know?

I do enjoy the stories I’ve read about my great-great (how many generations?) grandfather.  He sounds like quite a personable man who loved his family – and though he had his feelings hurt for whatever reason – seemed to resolve them.  But they’re all second hand stories.  I still don’t know what is true and what is not.  And it really doesn’t matter.

All of my ancestors were part of the human race.  None was perfect – though each of them may have strived to live up to the good family name, parents’ expectations, the community’s belief, or whatever.  All have had struggles – whether with an occupation or family member, day to day routines, diseases.  And then there have been black sheep and orphans – raised as orphans and yet they were produced biologically.  And I’m sure they can be found by one who has the passion to find them.  I don’t have the passion. 

My ancestors most likely experienced pain and sorrow, laughter and joy.  There was wealth and poverty.  They endured their fair share of trials.  They were part of the human race.

I do keep histories and scrapbook for my own generation.  Does that count? My passion lies with the future – though I do enjoy stories from the past and can learn from them.  The past is not where my passion lies.

I am grateful to all of those who have the passion and for the enthusiasm one experiences with discovery and sharing.  I am grateful to those who are willing to accept my choices for not pressing forward with my own family research.  And for understanding that the passion is just not there.