The first time I laid eyes on Mr T. was with a picture.
This picture to be exact.
I was moving in and getting to know my new roommate.
She was a girl from my stake but we didn't really know each other that well.
Nothing more than casual acquaintances who said hello at youth activities.
She showed me this picture.
I can't remember why she did or what she said but I thought,
He is GOOD LOOKING"
Of course by her showing me that picture I didn't even consider him since every girl knows the "THE CODE" as it pertains to guys.
If you don't know what THE CODE and you are reading this scratching your head....you must either be a guy or raised by wolves.
Ask the nearest female.
He WAS good looking.
A few weeks later I met him while having a impromptu birthday party for my roommate.
Mr. T stopped by for a piece of cake by her invitation.
He was even better looking in person.
The epitome of tall dark and handsome.
But I didn't give it much thought.
Plus I had my eye on his roommate by that time.
That is until Mr. Roommate turned out to be in love with someone else.
Still I didn't really think about Mr. T as a possibility.....THE CODE!
One night though our paths crossed in the local 7-11.
He was with a football buddy and I was with my best friend.
We went there to buy a bag of caramels for a late night evening of girl talk.
I should have known I was a goner when I made my friend buy the bag of caramels.
I didn't want him to think that I would eat a whole bag of caramels.
The four of us walked back to the dorms.
We all stood outside talking for quite awhile.
After about an hour our friends made their exits, my roommate still holding on to the bag of caramels.
It was just Mr. T and I.
We talked for about 3 hours standing outside until we couldn't feel our fingers and toes.
DANG! THE CODE!
I actually was dating someone at the time who had asked me to the Winter Preference Dance that following weekend.
Mr. T had also been asked by an admirer to escort her to the dance.
I secretly wished that Mr. T would be my date for that dance since I thought of little else but him by that time.
I imagined that he might be sitting in his dorm room thinking the same thing
But I didn't know
He was kinda shy that way.
The night of the dance came and as I entered the Cannon Center,
(that's right...a dance in the cafeteria...how romantic)
I saw him with his date.
I have never wanted to be with someone more than I did Mr. T.
The heck with THE CODE!
It had been a whole semester and with the exception of that birthday party he had nothing to do with my roommate.
I came up with a plan.
Wherever Mr. T and his date were, be it eating or dancing
My date and I were there.
I am sure that my date didn't know which end was up by the way I drug him around the room that night.
I needed to make some type of move.
As slow romantic music came on, I positioned my date and I,
dancing right next to Mr. T. and his date dancing.
I kept waiting for the moment when we would both be facing each other with our dates facing the opposite way.
It took so long to coordinate our movements to make for just the right moment.
It seemed like it was taking forever.
But then it happened.
And I winked
His eyes seemed to register shock.
We were now dancing in sync with each other
I knew it would take more than once.....
So that he didn't think that I just had something in my eye.
This time the look of realization came over his face.
He winked back.
My heart almost burst out of my chest.
I was so happy.
I don't know how many times that we winked that night, but my date must have been pretty confused by sudden fits of giddiness.
(yes I feel guilty about it now)
As his date went to the bathroom..... I did too and walked by Mr. T and whispered,
:Come meet me after the dance at my window."
And the rest of the story is as they say....
On this special day celebrating 27 years of being sealed for time and all eternity to Mr. T. I want to tell him publicly;
You are my everything.
Happy Anniversary my love.
Friday, April 23, 2010
The little boy in the in the red and white striped shirt who looks like Ray Charles is my baby brother.
His bloggy name shall henceforth be Baby Davey,
(Unless I think of something more fitting in the future)
My baby brother is holding Kitty.
Kitty and Baby Davey
Only Kitty in the picture does not resemble the real Kitty.
The real Kitty when first presented to BD (Baby Davey for short) was like most stuffed animals.
Soft and furry.
With plastic cat eyes and synthetic fur parts.
I don't remember that Kitty. I'll just have to take my mother's word on that.
I remember the Kitty in the picture.
All white cloth, smooth like a bed sheet, with eyes and nose embroidered on.
My hazy memory remembers pink and blue stitching.
The legend of Kitty was that she was replaced literally one piece at a time.
As Kitty would lose a eye or a tail or a paw,
It would be replaced by a fix-it-all mother.
With an old bed sheet and embroidery floss.
At first it was only a tail..
Then a leg or an ear....
Until finally there was nothing left of the original Kitty
except for a little stuffing and a lot of memories.
Kitty was loved into a completely new being.
My brother BD is a little like Kitty.
He has gone through his own physical metamorphosis.
His body has been altered by an undiagnosed neurological illness.
He endured the scars and surgeries and skin grafts for flesh eating bacteria.
He recovered from severe burns to his hand after a handful of sparklers exploded like a bomb.
He doesn't really like to ever focus on those events and that is not what I wanted to talk about either.
I want to talk about his stuffing.
Because I don't know if I have ever adequately conveyed to him,
Just how amazing he is.
I have watched over the last ten years as my annoying, pestery, baby brother has morphed
He never complains or reminds anyone of the things he cannot do.
Or the parts of him that were replaced.
He just moves forward with strength and dignity and amazing ability.
And I forget about what he has had to endure.
He is softer, kinder and wiser for the wear.
I am so proud of him.
I am proud that he is my baby brother.
Like Kitty he is different than what he started out as.
I think God has loved him into a completely new being.
P.S. Shhhh .....Don't tell BD about this post. He will only get the "big head". After all, he is still my pesky little brother.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
The story behind the picture as promised.
It all started with Elder Nerent deciding he needed to bungee jump over the Royal Gorge.
He didn't just want to, he needed to.
It was the summer before his ninth grade year.
The beginning of that awkward transformation from boy to man.
Even his hair turned curly that summer as if to remind his mom that there would be big changes underfoot.
As soon as we entered the park he declared that he needed to do it.
(This is the bungee jump he is pointing to as seen from the other side..... the safe side of the gorge.)
For those of you not familiar with Royal Gorge in Colorado. Here is what it looks like.
The bungee jump flung you right over this!
But whatever.....he HAD too.
Problem was that he didn't HAVE to do it alone.
In fact he made it known to everyone that he would like one of us to join him.
It was after all a death sling built for two.
Mr. T was not an option from the get go on account of his major dislike of heights.
(You notice I didn't say the work "fear". Mr. T. does NOT have fears.)
Peanut was just out of elementary school and wasn't really a viable
I actually love rides that plummet (weird I know) but I am extremely prone to motion sickness particularly when I have to go backwards and when you are riding on a giant rubber band....well let's just say it can be unpredictable.
That left Raar.
(Insert laughter here)
Raar was the person least likely to try anything that could be construed as dangerous. She didn't learn to ride a bike until she was almost 9. She didn't climb anything or make any sudden movements. She was a thinker and a talker....not a risk taker.
So for sure that was not an option.
For the next two hours Elder Nerent asked and begged and wheedled and whined.
I even told him that he could go alone as long as he paid for it with his own money.
I thought that the money thing would stop him.
After a couple of hours he decided he would go it alone.
Man/boy versus gorge.
As we arrived at the jump and out of the blue. Raar says that she will do it.
I have had many twists and turns and surprises as a mother but this was one of the biggest.
I was in such shock that I didn't even have the wind to ask her,
before she was whisked off to get in her harness gear.
They took my two children who started to appear younger and more fragile to me by the second to a board to go over the directions for the jump.
They explained all of the procedures and gave all the warnings. I think that possible death was one of them.
The picture I posted....my favorite and one of the ones I might rescue if in a burning building...
Was taken right after their instructions as they are waiting for their turn.
This is what fear and love look like side by side.
Note the look of terror on Raar's face.
Note the protective arm around her shoulder. (This was NOT a common occurrence for Elder Nerent since he is a sweet kind young man but not real touchy feely.)
I cannot look at this photo without a smile and sometimes a tear or two.
Because that is what every mother hopes for in their children.
Love and overcoming fear.
I will now post the pictures of the actual bungee jump.
But I am saving the best for last.
I will tell you what Raar said when she got off.
The reason why she did what she did.
Look at the fear in her fake smile
Raar is starting to cry enough that the employees are asking her if she is alright.
It could not be more real.
And the reason why she did it?
She would whisper it in my ear a little later,
after the congratulatory high fives, smiles and adrenalin died down.
"Do you know why I did it?"
"Why", I eagerly responded.
"Because I didn't want my brother to die alone."
(Insert tears here)
Sunday, April 11, 2010
I have taken tens of thousands of pictures.
I think you know by now how much I enjoy taking pictures.
Like some compulsive hoarder of images they ALL seem important to me.
That deleting any one of them would be like taking a memory to the trash heap.
Thanks to technology they take the space of something that can fit in the palm of my hand.
And yet if I had to narrow them down
(and I do mean HAD TO in the truest sense)
There would be some that I would not want to live without.
This is one of them.
Like all meaningful photos
It has a beautiful story to go with it.
Too tired tonight but I decided that if I posted the image....
I would be commited to the putting down on paper
Until we meet again for story time...
All my best to you and yours.
and for the love of mike...
take pictures that tell your story.
Friday, April 2, 2010
This is me and my big sister.
I call her Precious.
It isn't just a silly bloggy alias that I use for her...
It is what I actually call her....
On the phone or the rare times I get to see her in person.
I have been calling her that since we were in our late teens
When people hear me call her that I know they think that it is sweet nickname.
But that is not exactly accurate.
It started out differently....
But first a little background
Precious and I are the only two girls in our family.
Two middle children sandwiched between two bookend boys.
We had a very typical sisterly love/hate relationship.
At times we were buddies
At times mortal enemies.
We are two very different people, my Precious and I.
I often tell people who don't know her that they should just think about my personality and then whatever is the opposite of that (both good and bad) is Precious.
At times that was a really good thing....and other times just as annoying as all get out.
As small children we played together pretty well and with the exception of having to share a bed
(She is a blanket hog and I am a kicker) we enjoyed being sisters.
Until the dreaded teen years.
Then I was the bratty little sister...
who kept staring at her.
"Mom she is staring at me!!"
I don't remember staring at her but if it bothered her that much I probably did it. Just to make her crazy.
Those were the years when we were not too close.
Then I grew up a little and she went to BYU for her freshman year and we began to see that maybe we really DID like each other.
I started jokingly calling her "Precious Pup" after the cartoon about the old granny who drove a motorcycle with a side car where her big dog would sit with a leather cap and goggles.
It was a little bit of a good natured dig. A inside tease that made us feel close without being sappy.
It eventually became just, "Precious" for short and it
But after 48 years of having her for a sister it means exactly what it sounds like.
She is precious.
My only sister.
She possesses amazing capacity for love and generosity.
She is a loyal and true friend.
She is a protective ally.
She is an talented artist.
She is Precious.
And with every year that passes I understand that just a little bit more.
So on this her birthday, I just want to say,
I love you precious pup
And I always will.
(P.S. See the rabbit ears in the background? Those belong to my little baby brother. Always looking to squeeze into the party. But his post will be for another day.)