Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A private Hall of Fame ...

I received an e-mail from a friend recently with a quote from President Monson. In this quote, the Prophet talked about driving through New York with a friend on a cold wintry day and passing by an understandably deserted Yankees stadium. As he did so, his mind immediately drifted to the heroes of his youth - Babe Ruth, Joe Dimaggio, and others - who had become legends of the sport and had their legacies safely enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Pres. Monson explains why those men deserved such honor ... and then asked a rather thought-provoking question: Who would we place in our own personal Hall of Fame? Which men and women would take a place in the hollowed rooms we reserve for those who have truly shaped and molded us?

I'm not going to share the people in my personal Hall of Fame right now. Maybe, someday, I'll feel comfortable sharing that. But in the meantime, I wanted to close this little post the way Pres. Monson ended his story. After asking what good it can do for us to build our own Hall of Fame, he says:
When we obey as did Adam, endure as did Job, teach as did Paul, testify as did Peter, serve as did Nephi, give ourselves as did the Prophet Joseph, respond as did Ruth, honor as did Mary, and live as did Christ, we are born anew. All power becomes ours. Cast off forever is the old self, and with it defeat, despair, doubt, and disbelief. To a newness of life we come--a life of faith, hope courage, and joy. No task looms too large. No responsibility weighs too heavily. No duty is a burden. All things become possible.

Sounds like a pretty amazing promise to me.

Monday, September 28, 2009

On the passing of Elsie Mae Wright ...

Last week, my dear step-grandmother Elsie Mae passed away after suffering a stroke. She married my grandfather on my father's side shortly after I was born (this was the grandfather from whom I take my middle name). Though I will miss her - as I do both my grandmother and grandfather on my father's side - I love her and know that, after years of alternating difficulty and delight, she has moved on to a better world, to await the glory of the resurrection. Below is the main part of her obituary.

Our dear Elsie Mae Rhodes Blood Evans Wright, 80, passed away September 18, 2009 in Salt Lake City after a challenging but fulfilling life. She was born October 18, 1928 to Anna M. and William Arthur Rhodes at her grandmother’s home outside of Monticello, Utah and was raised in Ferron, Utah. On February 11, 1946 she married Adren Wayne Blood, and their marriage was later solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple. Elsie Mae and Wayne were called by President George Albert Smith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and faithfully served together as missionaries in the Northern States Mission (Iowa and Illinois) between 1951-1953. Upon returning home, they were blessed to adopt two wonderful children, Wendy and David. After Wayne’s untimely death, Elsie Mae remarried Arthur John Jr. (Jack) Evans, the father of four children on November 29, 1973. Elsie Mae cared dearly for Jack who later passed away from cancer. Elsie Mae continued her genealogy work and service in the Jordan River Temple where she later met and married Gordon Wright, the father of 12 children, on May 10, 1986. Shortly after their marriage, Elsie Mae and Gordon fulfilled a mission to the Manila, Philippine Temple where Gordon served in the Temple Presidency. After returning home, Elsie Mae and Gordon served in the Jordan River Temple until Gordon passed away April 10, 2003.

Elsie Mae withstood and overcame many challenges in her life, especially including the loss of loved ones and the dehabilitating effects of two strokes. Elsie Mae was a beloved daughter of God and an elect lady. She was called to many church callings and faithfully served with all her heart, might, mind and strength. She possessed the gift of friendship and loved the many people she met and over her lifetime. She looked after and cared for the lonely, the sick and the grieving. She was a teacher of truth with faith in and a firm and unshakable testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. She was beloved by many. Elsie Mae fought the good fight and finished her work here upon the earth.

Farewell, dear Elsie, Earth's day is done,
Your spirit now to Peace is gone,
And with you to our God we send,
Our love ... Until we meet again.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Searching for ticks ...

I have rarely been so freaked out in my life. Sitting in the car a few days back, some of my new Delawarean and Marylander friends hit on a rather interesting and life-changing topic: Lyme disease.

The name certainly rang a bell ... in the distant, rarely used quadrant of my mind. I mean, I've heard the term before. But I didn't realize just how CRAZY INSANE it really was. Apparently, according to wikipedia - that know-it-all internet-based friend - Lyme Disease causes "severe and chronic symptoms affect[ing] many parts of the body, including the brain, nerves, eyes, joints and heart."

And do you know the worst part? It's all caused by ticks - ticks that are very common in the part of Delaware where I live. I'm getting creeped out just thinking about it.

This all came as a horrible and uncomfortable surprise. I mean, up to this point, my only actual knowledge of ticks came from "The Tick" - the most amazing cartoon (and live-action) superhero satire ever created (sorry "Mystery Men" ... that includes you). He made ticks seem somehow ... well, awesome.

But now, thanks to ticks and well-meaning-but-incredibly-freaky-knowledge-sharing friends, on top of male pattern baldness, spontaneous dental hydroplosion, and high blood pressure, I have to worry about a disease that could cause "[m]yriad disabling symptoms ... including permanent paraplegia."

Fffhfhwhfwh ... thanks a lot.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tired at Ten ...

This isn't right ... I should be bouncing off the walls with the sheer exuberance of youth; I should be so high on life and/or sugar that the very mention of sleep would make me double over in scornful delight; I should be ready to pull an all-nighter just to watch the sun rise over the coastal sands.

But I'm not.

I'm tired.

And, as soon as I write in my journal, I'm going to bed.

God save my aging body.