This post doesn’t have a category.
It’s about people.
Friends and family, really; and there’s nothing that covers that in the little pull-down menu that lets me pigeon-hole my post. And it’s a shame… because they’re just the sort of thing to write about.
My post starts last Sunday, in Elders Quorum. I’m not the teacher any more, but I still enjoy coming. And Sunday’s lesson was pulled from a talk by so-and-so, where he talks about the people he’s put in his personal Hall of Fame. There was Jesus, of course… and Ruth. And Peter and Paul. I’m sure there were others. But I wasn’t really listening.
I was too busy thinking.
Thinking about who I’d have in my Hall of Fame.
It’s strange, really. I would never think to put Jesus Christ in my Hall of Fame… I don’t really have a close relationship with him. It’s my Father in Heaven who answers my prayers… who listens to me talk about the people I home teach — even when I don’t always remember their names — who calms my fears and steadies my knees. I know that Christ is my Savior… here, in my head. And I feel so much gratitude for his gift. But it’s not the same, really.
She’s the wounded lioness. The one that did her damnedest to keep her children safe… from her husbands, mostly. She didn’t go to college… unexpected pregnancy can really throw a wrench in one’s plans. But she was smart… damned smart. You can see it in her eyes. But time has really robbed her of any book-learning she had before she had children. Mostly, now, she’s just willy… Her smarts wrapped carefully in recycled paper bags from Albertsons, and given to her children: to my oldest brother, S, with an IQ of 200; to my sister, T, who reads people like they were cereal boxes… she’s an operations manager for Smith Barney, and she’s one of those mothers with more than two eyes; to little K, who out-smarted fate, until it caught up with her in a roadside wood, where she was murdered and was buried in a shallow grave. Mom did her best. She was the strength of our home… and even now, she is a strength to me.
A bespectacled high school history teacher, debate coach, and gadfly. She used history and English to beat some sense into my thick head. Man, I loved her. She was a prairie fire… small licks of flame that could circle-round you unexpectedly… but always seemed to leave wild flowers in her wake (once you washed-up and salved the wounds).
My Sister… my confident. She joined the church when she was 11, and then brought me in on her coat tails when I was eight — only to move to Mexico a few months later. To fend for myself, I thought, but she prayed for me every night and fasted for me often. She was my angel… and when she returned to the states, but not home, she rescued me from my mother’s Xth husband — each summer paying my way down to LA to stay with her. She was the first in my home to know that I was gay… and the first that I told. Apparently she knew without me saying anything.
Today, she is my best friend. We talk about the gospel, and I wag my finger at her about this or that. She still prays for me, and now I’m old enough to return the favor. God bless sisters. Especially T.
One of my best friends. I’ve known him for ten years, now… and I’m his daughter’s God-father. He is the very incarnation of a righteous priesthood holder… and guileless. Oh my. Guileless. When I need to think something through, I think “what would D do?”. I just wish I had the courage to always follow-through. Of course, he’s not perfect. I think he’s a Republican… but that may be more his wife’s doing.
My childhood postman… and my first home teacher. I was the only member at home, and he watched over me and my mom like Christ would have. I ran to get the mail every day, and he would smile and check-up on me. When he came to home teach me, we would go downstairs so that my dad could watch his football games in private. I think Mr S brought a different companion with him every time. But I didn’t really care. He, after all, was my home teacher.
Besides his love, I remember one sage piece of advice he gave… “Silus”, he said, “we must not only learn to give charity… but to accept it”. A wise man, indeed.
The ward choir nag. She was ancient as the hills when I was 10… you know, at least 40… and she called me every Saturday evening to guilt me into coming to choir, and every Sunday morning she was there in my drive way to take me there. She didn’t understand “kids these days”, but she knew how to smile warmly and she never said a word about the funny clothes I would wear some times.
Russell‘s uncle. He was my scout master several times… and he was a square. But square like Mr Rogers. He was the sugar I swallowed to make scouting (and the scouts in my troop) palatable. He was a friend, and an example. He taught me more through example than by word… but mostly because he didn’t say much.
God bless him. My first companion in the field. He made me feel like a human being. He taught me so much… and even today he listens to me. I was there to participate in the blessing of his last son born and the confirmation of his first.
He is an anchor.
I have others, of course… but it’s time for you to share your heros.
Who’s in your Hall of Fame?