Thursday, May 17, 2012

21 of 30

Describe three significant memories from your childhood.

I kinda feel like I just answered this question.  I suppose, however, that significant should be different than fond, so...

#1 When I was 10 years old one of my friends was hit by a drunk driver in St. George Utah while on a bike ride with her mom.  The accident took her life.  It wasn't my first experience loosing a loved one in death, my aunt and grandpa had both passed away previously, but it was the first unexpected death and the first time someone young had passed away.  I remember for some time afterword when I was sad and I couldn't explain it, I always said I was sad because of Chrissa.  This experience was hard to understand, it was sad, but I learned at an early age that death is not the end.  I remember singing "A Child's Prayer" with the primary at her funeral and feeling both sad and happy.  I knew that Chrissa was in heaven and she would be reunited with her family again some day.  I gained a testimony of eternal families.  I also gained a testimony of prayer because that song became one of my favorites and I knew the words in it were true.  I didn't realize it then but I also learned that the prophets counsel and the commandment of the word of wisdom is indeed wise.  If a life could be taken away so carelessly by drinking, than drinking was BAD!  I knew I would NEVER drink or disobey the word of wisdom.

#2  My best friend in grade school was Kelsey Blackwell.  We met in an unusual way.  We were having a block party, the kind where you park a car on each end of the road, everyone brings their grill onto the street, the tables and activities are in the street and all the neighbors bring a pot luck to share.  I was having a great time playing with the neighbor kids when I see a girl I had never met before riding MY bike down the road.  A few of my friends and I approached her (not so nicely) and accused her of stealing my bike.  Well Kelsey was just as feisty and insisted that this was her bike, how dare I accuse her of stealing, and why don't I find out if my bike is still at my house.  It was.  And then we were friends, after all we had the same bike, how cool is that.  It is funny to me that it did not matter that I was so rude, she didn't care.  It is also funny to me that a friendship could begin simply because we had matching bikes, but it did.  Kelsey was unlike anyone I had met.  I was a white Mormon in a white Mormon town and she was not a Mormon with an African-American father and a Caucasian mother.  She drank coffee on the way to school nearly every morning, I didn't.  I went to church every Sunday, she didn't.  But none of that mattered.  I liked how honest and open we could be about everything, we respected each other, even though we were just young kids who hadn't really learned what respect was.  The really significant memory came one day after school.  I don't know if we had been learning about black history, or if we had been reading a novel about it or what, but the "N" word came up in class, and our teacher explained what that word meant, she failed however to teach about how cruel it was and how it was not acceptable to use this word.  So after school I was feeling excited that I had learned something new that related to my friend and I told her what I learned by saying "Hey Kelsey, did you know that you are a "N".  She let me know real quick that I had crossed the line badly and she would not walk home with me that day.  I learned my lesson!  I apologized and she fortunately she forgave.  Through all of my memories with Kelsey and her family I learned that it is okay to be different, in fact, it is wonderful, and you don't have to be a white Mormon to be a good person, what a revelation. :)

#3  This last memory is a quick one, but it was significant.  I remember standing next to my dad by the kitchen counter.  I don't remember what we were doing, I don't remember what the conversation was regarding, but I do remember that I couldn't see above the counter, I remember my dad was to the right of me, and I remember that my mom was by the kitchen sink.  For some reason (maybe I had heard it on tv) I took the name of the Lord in vain and said "Oh my ...".  I will never forget how quickly and sternly my dad reacted.  His shock was apparent and his disappointment was clear.  I felt lower than an ant at the moment.  You have to understand, my dad is and was so mellow, calm, patient and quiet, he rarely reacted to anything, so when he reacted like he did, I knew what I had done was not okay.  I never made that mistake again!  There are a few other times (one for each four letter word) where I used a word that was not appropriate and every time I got the same reaction from my parents.  Which is why when my mom used an inappropriate word, Natalie and I were equally shocked, I am sure we pushed her to her limits, but we in turn made her feel like dirt when we looked at her with such horror.  I am grateful my parents taught me well, that kind of language is just tacky and it shows a lack of decorum.  However since I have become a mother and pet owner I find myself being pushed to limits where such language seems to be the only option to express how frustrated I am, fortunately I refrain and my children have no idea what language is in my head at that moment.

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