Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Reunion

I am fantastically tired this evening but I couldn't go to bed without telling someone about the evening I had. Since it's so late, no one's up for me to tell, so this will have to do.

I went to a concert tonight at the high school I attended. The program was to honor one who has influenced thousands as a music teacher. A man who now finds himself at the ripe old age of 50 in a position of not knowing if he will live to see his son return home from a mission.

The experience was incredible! The auditorium was hotter than Hades since the air conditioning had gone out earlier in the week (someone mentioned that it actually went out in 1989). I saw people I hadn't seen in 12 to 15 years -people who were such an important part of my life and whom I dearly loved - My best friend, Nicole, Adam and Miriam Eskelson, and too many others to mention.

Memories came flooding back as we looked at pictures that still hang in the hall of our production of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. We walked in the choir room and that old black grand piano is still there. I sat at that piano so many times. We reminisced about where our seats were, songs we'd sung, and the first time we were actually in that room. It felt like we'd gone back in time.

We all laughed and hugged and spent time catching up. Tears were shed as we stood and applauded the man we had come together to honor.

I learned something important tonight. Those who love us, truly love us, don't care about how many kids we have, if we're single or married, how we look, or what we do for a living. They just love us. And they will always love us.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

People Who Make a Difference

I was in the backroom at work today and walked out into an area where a class was being taught. There was only one person in attendance and it happened to be the lady who was my young women's president when I was a Laurel. It was so good to see her and to spend a few minutes catching up.

Cathy was one who made a difference in my life. I wondered today after she left if she really knew that.

Driving home this afternoon I thought about many of the people who have made such an impact on me: a teacher who taught me the value of believing in me; young women leaders who sat up late one night during youth conference answering gospel questions; a boss who, by example, showed the importance of loving those you serve; one who will always call me her visiting teacher; people I've worked with; sweet relief society sisters in every area I've lived; young women in Mapleton; amazing people in Chile; my brothers and sisters, their spouses and their kids; goodly parents; a dear friend, and countless others whose paths I have crossed throughout my life.

I will never be able to adequately thank you!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

O Sleep Why Dost Thou Leave Me

In Handel's opera Semele, there is an aria entitled "O Sleep Why Dost Thou Leave Me". While it's true that it's sung by one who would like to stay asleep in order to continue dreaming, the title always comes to mind after a night of no sleep, or several nights as has been the case.

There was a point in my life when 8 hours of sleep was a necessity. I could hardly function throughout the day if I had anything less. I would go to bed at 10 and be up by 6 every day. (That should give you some idea as to how thrilling my life was.)

Then Jaime and her kids moved in. I don't think any of us had 8 hours of sleep the whole time they were there, right Jaim? Suddenly it seemed I could do anything if I could just catch a couple of hours.

There does come a time, however, when a couple of hours won't cut it and you long for just one night of sleep. It could be said that I am there!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Happy Father's Day

While this is a little late, (not because I forgot, but because of technical difficulties) I wanted to pay tribute to my dad. He is the finest man I know.

He is a principal at an elementary school and as you can see from this picture, he really enjoys what he does. He loves his students and his staff. (Too bad you can't see the SpongeBob SquarePants tie he has on.)

When I was younger we always had an old car. It seemed to break down all the time. Dad and I would go to the library, find a book that would tell us how and what part we needed to make the repair and we'd spend all day working on it. It wasn't until I was in college that I knew you could take your car and have someone else change the oil for you.

Dad reads stories like no one else I've ever heard. Even though all of us are adults, we still love to sit at his feet and listen as he reads.

My Dad loves unconditionally and wants nothing more than the happiness of those around him. He is absolutely committed to doing the best he can. While he has faults, as he would be the first to admit, he works hard, trying daily to be a little better than the day before. I admire him, love him, and hope to be like him.

Monday, June 9, 2008

"My Little Dre"

I spent some time today with my sister Andrea. She and I are just over 10 years apart and I have always thought of her as "my little Dre".

We were pretty close growing up. We shared a bedroom from the time she was born until I went on my mission. When she was a baby and would cry at night, I would put her in bed with me. As a little girl, with her own bed, she somehow always ended up in mine.

Twelve days ago she had her first baby, Haden Michael. She was instantly transformed. While she hasn't slept since his arrival, she has become 100% devoted to this little man. There's nothing more important to her than the well being of her son. I've watched her talk to him, hold him, and care for him. Suddenly "my little Dre" is not so little anymore and I'm so proud of her.

A friend asked me once what the most rewarding thing in my life was. I replied that it was watching my siblings grow up, seeing them lead good lives, contributing in a positive way to society, and raising their families. Funny how something can be the most rewarding and the most painful.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


For as long as I can remember, music has been such a critical part of my life. Countless hours have been spent at the piano in times of frustration, loneliness, sorrow, joy, and peace because music has the ability to fit perfectly into any emotion. Not only that, it triggers so many memories.

There was the family vacation we took about 6 years ago. Dre had a CD of fun songs we listened to as we drove across the country. Those songs will always remind me of the first time I saw fireflies, the short cut through the state of Iowa that was most certainly not short, bunk beds in the mission home in Ohio, and the back seat of the Expedition.

Last year my sisters and I bought my mom tickets to the Michael Buble concert for her birthday. His songs will always bring back fond memories of a girls night out, more laughter than I'd had in ages, and being surrounded by crazy, starstruck, middle-aged women.

Every time I hear "Silent Night" I'm taken back to Christmas in 1989 when our high school Madrigal group was singing in the church administration building. The elevator doors opened and there was President Benson. I can't describe the feeling in the room, but it changed me. It changed a lot of us.

Finally, there are times, a lot of them lately, when through music I am reminded that I have a loving Father who is absolutely aware of me. The hymn How Firm a Foundation has many great verses that we don't typically sing. The forth is this: "When through the deep waters I call thee to go, The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o'erflow, For I will be with thee, thy trouble to bless, And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress." It's true! He is there, He knows, He cares and He sees. Music, for me, has played a key part in this understanding.