Sunday, April 26, 2009

My Sunday FHE #3

I had to wait for the experience of becoming a mom, and went through a wide range of emotions, getting there.  I’d reached the bitter “why you” stage (which is after the “why me” stage) when a particular R.S. lesson struck me positively.  I’d heard the concept numerous times, that adversity has a purpose, but applying it to my situation was most comforting and I didn’t need to know what the purpose was, just so there was one.  It was a very liberating insight.  I was nearing 35 when Grant was born.  [Just for the record, that’s his left hand “waving” in the birth picture - does anyone out there know how to flip a picture-of-picture in iPhoto on a MacBook Pro?]

You’ll notice he’s on the skinny side in his six-month picture.   His half sister Gina, who was ten years older, called him her “Sweetheart Skeleton.”  He was a failure to thrive baby and it took the first five months to get him headed out of the woods of being so allergic he once got huge welts from projectile vomiting 100% hypoallergenic Nutramigen (first and last usage).  (At Relief Society, over himself, me, and several women!)  So I became a Le Leche League fanatic (eliminating dairy) and he finally started and continued putting meat on his bones. (Also the reason Jewel was the opposite if you look back at her picture - I wasn’t going to be accused of a second starvation!)  I’ve told him he can thank me for having so few baby fat cells he’ll be lean for life.  I want to make mention here that though I truly was fanatical about it, it still was for me a very private experience, and only close family and league associates were aware of the details (from me).  I also have to thank my sister-in-law, Chris, who after tons of useless advice including the doctor's, took me to the first meeting where for the first time someone asked me what I thought before giving me suggestions that actually worked.

This is Grant at the coast the year+ before Jewel joined us, and kinda explains why he is attracted to unusual colors in his attire.  J It was a trip we took with my Dad and Norma.  On the way home we spent a night in a motel and after being on the road the next morning 20 minutes, I realized I’d forgotten my nice down pillow.  Norma insisted we go back for it.  Grant’s dad was driving and had figured out where we’d get to before we’d need to gas up again, but pre this change in plans.  We ran out of gas, 12 miles short of LaGrande, OR, so his dad hitched a ride to town.  It left us a long time waiting in the car, me saying it was my fault for leaving the pillow, Norma saying it was hers for making us go back.  Grant, who was 2-1/2, finally settled it, saying, ‘It…it…it’s all…all, ALL your fault, Grandma!” and we burst out laughing. 

 When Grant was almost 4 years old I read him this poem, while he looked at the illustration:

 David L. Harrison, “The Boring Life of a Clam,” Friend, Aug 1983, Illustrated by Dick Brown

A clam who took a little nap Was swallowed by a turtle. SNAP!
The turtle found a cave and hid,
But he was swallowed by a squid.
The squid shot forward with a swish,
But he was swallowed by a fish.
The fish swam deep where things are dark,
But he was swallowed by a shark.
The shark was steering with his tail
And steered himself inside a whale.

The whale said, “Phew! That shark is tough!
I’ll spit him out. I’ve had enough!”
The shark said, “Ick! That fish is stale!”
Out he was spewed—head over tail.
The fish said, “Yow! That squid is trouble!”
And blew him out inside a bubble.
The squid said, “Wow! I don’t feel well!”
Out came the turtle with his shell.
“Boy!” said turtle. “Am I sick! I have to spit this clam out quick!”

The clam awoke and stopped his snoring.
“My life,” said he, “is just too boring.”

He asked me to read it again and again.  I thought he found it intriguing, which was true but not the half of it.  It was a matter of couple days of being asked to read it while he studied the picture and he could recite the whole thing from his first attempt, and even presented it two months later at a family reunion.  (His grandfather was renown for memorizing and forever after remembering long story poetry.)

See you later - next installment the last Sunday in May.  (Jewel, brace yourself for more of your  pictures!)  [P.S. to Dear Reader - In case you didn't notice yet, you need to slide down to my blog list and check out Jewel's latest post of Raygen.  Oh the wonders of modern technology!]

Sunday, April 5, 2009

My Sunday FHE #2 (by invitation)

One of my favorite things the Saturday of spring conference is to wear ear buds, prepare the soil and plant my peas in my tiny garden. So snow changed that plan! (Interestingly, the sun broke through the still snowing clouds promptly at 10 a.m.) No accumulation, just cold.

Lest you think my comment in my last post about loneliness chimes in with the post prior, I’d best clarify. It’s largely from the cumulative effect of the gone-ness of my R. S. calling’s weekly visits on three days and at least one meeting on another, which has allowed me too much time to mull over my degenerative arthritis and all else that ails me. I’m going to plan on my new calling filling that gap: assistant C.S.L. The “real” C.S.L. needs an assistant when she’s busy with tax season and when she’s off visiting grands and great grands of whom there are many! She also, under her own magnification of her calling, visits the shut-ins, of whom I hope not to join ranks with other than accompanying her. I love visiting under the umbrella of a calling; otherwise, no. I won’t get to do it as much as I’d like, though, as she’s retired and won’t always be waiting around for me to get home.

Janeil’s blog last Sunday challenged us to write about a time our prayers were answered. I find it comforting that this can be for small things as well as big things.

Prov. 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

A small thing -

When Grant took care of Norma’s yard, he on one occasion pretty much ran the lawnmower out of oil, so it needed a bit of extra TLC but I had no means of taking it in. I called around to see if anyone provided a pick-up/return plan with no luck (and I’d no doubt have dismissed it anyway due to cost). Finally worked up my courage to ask a ward neighbor with a truck if he’d do the honors sometime when he was headed to/from Orem and he said sure. Time went by and the mowing season was approaching. A lot of time. So I prayed about it and woke up with the idea to pull it up onto the front porch, back my car up to the steps and maneuver it into the trunk. It worked like a charm, both the loading and unloading. (I had a serviceman lift it in and out at the shop.) It was a nice and appreciated boost, courtesy of Heavenly Father, in the self-sufficiency department.

A big thing -

This is an easy one, because long ago I went through my journal and paperclipped the extra meaningful experiences. (My journal is my psychiatrist and so at times I’d feel guilty about the negative introspection [called written whining] and search to mark the good.) There are a lot of paperclips! (Meaningful [good/bad], spiritual, humorous.) My journal is, however, also my prayer and I often talk to Heavenly Father in it and have had answers as a result, such as -

On July 1, 1983, I wrote:

“I have been feeling down some lately about it [adopting], though the two-year ‘average’ [from being approved to actually getting a baby] isn’t up until September. I remember the closeness between Janeil and Lois, and the lack of it in comparison between them and me due to age [I was born 5-1/4 years later], and I want Grant’s brother or sister to be closer in age. He’ll be four in October and it’s beginning to depress me, yet maybe I’m making too much of it. Maybe it wasn’t the age different between us but rather the lack of it between them [15 months].”

Social Services used to tell us that the whole process was based upon inspiration and so if we had concerns, not to bother them, take it to the Lord. Their ceiling for adopting was 40 and I was 38-1/2. I worried a great deal that I might be lower on the inspiration list from being higher on that list. Heavenly Father answered my prayer.

Next entry, July 29, 1983: “Interesting you [Jewel] were born the day after my last journal entry [also keeping in mind that the one prior to that was three months previous]. We got you when you were five days old. I love you so much. Before, I wondered how I could love another baby, I so loved Grant.”

This is Grant’s picture taken late the year Jewel was born, and this is Jewel’s hospital picture. It was a closed adoption but a UVRMC maternity ward employee identified the blanket (which the nurses made). They also forgot to take out the picture from the packet they’d written the local doctor’s name on the back! They took definite steps as standard procedure to keep it private and it was very unusual that they placed her with us based on that nearness. March 13, 1984 entry: "I feel strongly that one of the reasons Jewel came into our family was for the support she and Grant will be able to give each other. In my prayers while we were waiting, I asked that if we were to be able to adopt it be because another child was meant to be in our family and not just that we needed one for our own fulfillment." Over the years I’d always tell Jewel she was meant to be with us … warts and all.