Sunday, July 25, 2010


well, today is the three-year mark. it's the day that marks three years since my grandma's passing.

today, of all days, i miss her a lot. yesterday, my rugby team won the national tongan american society's womens tournament. it feels like we won the world, but i am sure the world doesn't even know the difference. it was a fun weekend, but i was not able to completely erase the memory from my mind. my grandma would absolutely adore that i play rugby. it would be in the newsletter constantly.

my grandma wrote a newsletter weekly. it was called meanwhile, back at the ranch. she began writing it for her kids and their families, but it soon spread because so many people enjoyed reading it. by the time she passed, grandma was writing to all sorts of people, family and friends. she would report on her family, if there was anything noteworthy (or even worth mentioning) going on, she would put in in there. she always had fun titles for sections and pretty pictures.

i lived for that newsletter. i think that is one thing that i miss the most. that newsletter, or the lady behind it, was a huge part of the glue that bonded us as a family. we were always kept abreast of the family's business. we knew when a baby blessing or baby were coming up, what activities had been going on, who stopped by to see grandma, and what her moods were like. toward the end, we became experts on the chemotherapy treatments she was undergoing. we all joined her in a diet that was destined to save her from imminent death from leukemia.

that newsletter kept us all together. it kept the family functions often and close together. that newsletter came to represent all that grandma was. it was a source of information, a resource, and most importantly, a bond. when she passed away, so did the newsletter. sometimes, i still catch myself thinking "i should tell grandma so she can put this in the newsletter" or more often, "i don't want this making it into the newsletter" it's a nice game to play, imagining what information grandma would include in a newsletter written today. would she tell us about my small brother playing the uke? my little cousin going camping? my rugby? for sure, she'd write about the family that gathered in idaho this weekend. she'd have so much to say.

the truth of the matter is that i think i am trying to re-create that newsletter--on a smaller scale--with this blog. i have so many thoughts and feelings, i want to share them with people, but more than that, i want them to be out there. i want them said.

Friday, July 9, 2010

i'm good

almost a year ago, i met a lady about an internship. i won't tell you where, or really even when, because it doesn't matter. i did not take the internship. for this post, we'll call her jane. what does matter is that in a completely unexpected conversation, jane disclosed a lot of personal information about her life. she told me of mistakes she had made in her life. some were trivial, some shocking. after sharing basically her entire life story, i thought i would sense shame in her body language, a sign that she had many regrets from these poor decisions she had shared with me.

jane showed none of that. instead, her eyes met mine, and she declared "i know i'm good with the Lord, and that's all that matters now"  this complete stranger, who in one hour had shared her deepest secrets, was completely confident in her place in this life, but more importantly, in eternity.

i was taken aback. at the time, i was not sure where i stood with the Lord. here was a lady, who from my perspective, had done horrible things. yet, she was more sure about her salvation than i. jane did not grow up knowing about the gospel. she did not graduate from seminary and was not baptized as a child. i had been given so many more tangible blessings early on in life, yet i envied that stranger.

i have not seen or even spoken to jane since that day, which is good, cause it was an odd conversation. but, her words have stuck in my mind. they were truly a catalyst for change in my life. i had no enormous sins to repent for, i doubted that any lightening strikes were headed my way. but, i wanted to feel that confidence i had seen in her. i wanted to be sure of my place in eternity. i realized that where you have been matters not at all if you are where you should be.

i am far from a perfect person, but the person i am today is a hundred times closer to being where i want to be. i credit jane for a lot of it. she did not force me to change; didn't even suggest it. but, because of the confidence she had, i did change. i wish i had the courage to tell "jane" in person:

thank you.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

red, white and kinda blue

well, this weekend was definitely red!  july 4th is not only the day we celebrate independence day. it's the day my sweet grandma made her entrance into this world. she would have been 75 this year. three-quarters of a century. my grandma's absolute favorite color was red. she adored it. every fall, she'd go into the mountains above her small town and take a picture in the red trees wearing red clothes. she was great at camouflage.

i spent the weekend in my grandpa's town, malad, idaho. it's my favorite town ever.  i love malad because they know how to throw a party!  this weekend, we had a salmon bake, bed races, s'mores, gorged ourselves with parade taffy, and watched a fireworks display gone wrong. then, we chased all that with a nice, relaxing and patriotic day at church.

this weekend was white because it's my favorite color of firework. they don't really make any true yellow fireworks, so i figure white is next best!  i adore malad, but it's nice to be home again.

being home makes me realize how blue i've been lately. i feel trapped. which is funny, because i am the least trapped i have ever been. i quit my job a few weeks ago, opening up a world of possibilities to me. the only problem is that now, i have no excuse to not be doing what i should.

i know that there is so much out there that i am meant to accomplish. thanks to modern-day revelation and my patriarchal blessing, i know what some of those things are. i am just struggling with the order and my own wants right now. i feel like i am in that split second where you can actually sit on a fence without getting hurt. the time is speeding toward me when i know i need to make a life-changing decision; i am just scared for that moment. any decision i make will change the path of my life, will switch up the status-quo.

the thought is killing me, it's stressing me out and making it hard for me to be a pleasant person. it feels like it's too much; i just want to store it away in the back of my mind and never deal with it. i know i can't do that, though. i've been trying and the only thing that happens is i get driven crazy, knowing i'm not being as proactive as i should.

it's times in my life like these that i really miss my grandma. my brother blogged about sneaking away to her grave to have a little chat with her. i used to sneak away on a walk and have chats with her, and i sneak away any time i'm in malad to have a talk with her. reading about my brother's secret trip it made me feel exposed. i thought i was the only person who found benefit in sitting above my grandma's mortal body and speaking to her tombstone. it shows me that i am not the only person who misses my grandma's advice. it was infallible and always well thought out. she did not give you advice you could not follow through on. she gave you loving, thoughtful advice. anyone who knew my grandma loved her. people who knew her well were completely devoted to her.

now, without her in my day-to-day life, i feel like a lost puppy. there is a yearning in me to do something different, but i lack any sense of direction. today, of all days, i feel red, white, and kinda blue.