Friday, February 10, 2012

Oh, also.. my fiance died from licking toxic envelopes that I picked out.

Emily and I were in the car this week and the song "A Little Respect" by Erasure came on the radio. I immediately started singing along with the song. Loudly. Emily was pretty annoyed. It's an awesome song. Hearing it took me back to my senior year of high school. I was obsessed with the album that it's on "The Innocents." I listened to it 24/7.

I proceeded to tell Emily about the time during senior year when my dad had to go into the hospital for some treatments for his MS and Anna and I lived with a family in our ward. I don't know how long we lived there. Seems like several weeks. They were a great family to stay with because they didn't have any kids at the time and they had a nice big house with an extra bedroom for us. Thinking back it was pretty incredible that they let us stay there. I was like the messiest person on the planet and they were the neatest. They let me spread my homework and shoes all over and never yelled at me. They let me cook fried chicken in their kitchen. Who knows what other crap they let me do. They had the missionaries over for dinner at my request. One of the missionaries was hot with a capital H and I had a huge tiny crush on him. The mom took me dress shopping for my school's winter formal. Now that I have been dress shopping with a teenager, I know it must have been torture for her.

The only drawback about their house was that it was in the middle of nowhere. It was out passed the Toledo Express Airport off of Airport Highway. The drive from their house to my house was about 12 miles and took 20-25 minutes. I had to go to early morning seminary which started at 6. So I got up around 4:45 to get ready and head out from Swanton back into Toledo. It was very scary for me. The house was very dark and I tried to be really quiet so that I wouldn't wake Anna or the family. No one got me up. No one made sure I was getting ready. I had to be responsible for myself. It scared me to drive by myself out in the middle of nowhere. I was sure I was going to get rammed from behind by a crazy band of marauders looking for Catholic school girls out on the road at the butt crack of dawn. In addition, the weeks we stayed there were the beginning of winter. I remember the swirling snow on the side road that led off of Airport Highway. It was terrifying. As I was telling Emily this story, I was thinking to myself, "What the heck? Why did I keep going to Seminary? Why didn't I take off a couple of weeks?

Three reasons popped into my head. First, our teacher was awesome. I loved going to seminary just to hear what she was going to teach. She was inspiring and I'm so glad I got to have a year of seminary with her and wish I could have had more. I remember so much about the lessons of the New Testament because of her preparation and dedication. Plus she made the BEST spice cake. She would bring a spice cake for everyone's birthday. Second, my best friend Stacy was in a different school from me and I wanted to see her everyday so the only way I could do that was in Seminary. Last, sometimes the awesome teacher invited the missionaries to come to seminary to scripture chase with us and I wouldn't have wanted to miss an opportunity to see the aforementioned hot missionary. Two of my reasons were pretty good.

So I went to Seminary every day even though it was freaking early and scary. I would drive, white-knuckled, down the road as fast as the snow would safely let me, trying to outrun the marauders, with "The Innocents" tape blasting in my dad's van's tape deck. All the songs on that album remind me of that time in my life going to seminary, going to school and doing schoolwork, trying to take care of Anna, visit my dad in the hospital, keep up with things at my empty home and have some kind of a social life. Sometimes I think about different periods like this from my childhood and I just cry because I wish I could have had a bit of a normal life just for a bit. I wonder what it would be like to have a mom to take care of me all the time and wake me up when I fall back asleep and drive me everywhere and hug and kiss me.

Maybe these stressful, crazy times prepared me for a time when I would have 7.5 kids with busy lives and a husband and a calling and volunteer positions and family to love and friends to be with and service to do. Maybe I can handle so much now because of what I went through then.


Anna said...

I think about that a lot too. Why couldn't things have been normal, or just less crazy even. I was thinking about it while I was watching that Grey's episode where she's saying all the "what if's." I think a lot about what if Mom and Dad had never been sick. I'm positive I would be a total, spoiled-rotten, brat. I love you and I'm so thankful for you. Maybe I've never told you this but maybe I have and maybe a blog comment isn't the time to do it but here it is. Remember the time we lived with the Sender's and I got Strep? That day, when you took care of me and got me new pajamas, I still think of that as one of the best days of childhood. I think about it all the time. I loved spending time with you then and I still love it. I don't know what in the world I would ever do without you. When you write your book you could have a chapter on all the places you had to live. Call it Home Away from Home. Love you.

P.S. I never got the comment on my blog you said you left.

GramMO said...

You girls are the best!I am honored to know and love the both of you and thank my Heavenly Father for the blessing you AND your trials are to me! What strong courageous women you are and examples you are for the 9.5 kids:)HE knows the blessing you need.

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