Monday, June 25, 2007

farewell, happy birds

***MORMON ALERT: Lots of LDS-culture-ish terms here. Wanna know what they mean? Just ask...***



Yesterday my friends, the Peartree family, gave their farewell talks at church. They are leaving and moving far, far away to the Big Brown House District of Provo. I know that we're not supposed to give Farewells. Or whatever. But it was appropriate that this particular family all speak, and everyone enjoyed hearing them. I did.

It started with 3-year-old "Benjin" (so says Superstar) talking about Families. Then Brainiac The Super 5 & 1/2-year-old read his own talk from the pulpit. This kid is the shortest grown-up you'll ever encounter. His talk was about the Bible. He read words like "commanded". This made my prompting Curly during her primary talk (about baptismal covenants - yes, she's also 5 & 1/2) seem very anti-climactic. Stuck on a word, La Peartree rushed to his side to assist and was promptly pushed away with a fierce, "I can do it!" Then La Peartree spoke on Testimony, a very lovely, well-researched and inspiring talk. After AC (W's former arch-nemesis) played a wicked good rendition of Come Thou Fount of Ev'ry Blessing on her flute (no, seriously, super-good. I was pleasantly surprised), El Peartree took to the pulpit. ...

Now, sitting here in my daily-blogging mode, his topic of talk escapes me, though I swear I thought about this family and their talks all day yesterday. Fooey.

... He was in our bishopric for a few years, and so he has a unique perspective of the ward. At the end of his talk he teared up and made mention of "The Best Ward In The Church" and "Most Sincere Acts Of Charity [he's] Ever Seen", and things of that nature.

You know, I've often, OFTEN thought about what I would say over the pulpit to this ward if I was in an I-don't-care-what-the-consequences-would-be mood. I can tell you it would not be praise for charitable acts of service. But we've been in the same place, right? Go to church with, and live in the same neighborhood as, the same people, no? I'm not dumb; I know perspective and attitude play a role. Remember the storm from last year (also see cjane's archive from 8/1/06)? I have good memories of those few days -- that storm brought our neighborhood together; we even had a neighborhood picnic on our front yard, a potluck of what ever people had to share. We shared generators to ensure that we wouldn't lose the food in our refrigerators. (My own family...well, we stayed at a hotel at night, but that's beside my point here.) It was nice to feel like we were working together. Also, when I had surgery in February, the YW leaders all brought dinner to my family for a week.

But that doesn't erase all the other stuff, which I won't get into right now. I don't feel like I'm holding on to bitter memories, rather, remembering all the stuff that actually did happen, and learning my lessons from it.

When we were in NY a few weeks ago, I was looking around town, sincerely contemplating whether or not I'd ever consider moving back. In my pondering, I wondered who, in my current neighborhood, I'd keep in contact with. Here's what I came up with: the suedonym family, my friend Annie & her family, and the Peartrees. So here's what I'm taking from this place, for now: three awesome families as friends.

10 comments:

sue-donym said...

It was supposed to be on the scriptures, but he didn't have enough time, so I think he skipped around.

I want you to blog on what you are looking for in the ward. (Please don't take this wrong, I have decided that the only way people get what they want is to ask for it)

AC's flute solo rocked! I just closed my eyes...

compulsive writer said...

I know I've said this before, but you would be so welcome in my little hood. (You could bring Suedonym, too.)

MOM said...

I looked for this posting before going to bed this morning. --It was about 7AM your time!! What is wrong with me? But it was a good one to wake up to. you and you family would be welcome in our little world. It's actually quite a large world, a good portion of Southern Chautauqua county. But you would all be welcomed, loved needed and have four callings each!
There are also random acts of kindness that occur here.

Mary Beth said...

I know what you mean.

We've been in a lot of wards and I've learned that although the church is the same everywhere you go, the people are not.

I can honestly say that the "best ward" we were in was in New Jersey where members were scarce, the needy were plentiful and charity and service was just a part of everyone's lives. Money and status meant nothing. I miss that ward...

Queen Scarlett said...

I think wards are sometimes like... extended family. You're sort of forced to be with them...because of boundaries...and just like extended families... sometimes you wish you weren't all together.

So...I've been lucky to find some ladies I admire and like to be around... and then sort of w/draw from dealing with the obnoxious... plastic ones. ;-)

AND... I find... sometimes the best friends...aren't members... in fact, that's been pretty constant for me. SO MOVE HERE!

cabesh said...

I really, really, REALLY thought I was the only one who felt that way when I lived in your neighborhood. There are a few people I miss....but honestly, I'm better off where I am now.

I hope you can keep up the positive outlook...I resolved to do that about once a month when I was there...but I wasn't very good at it. :)

Anonymous said...

just think, if you go to mom's ward, you can see aunt terri every week.

~cari~ said...

I went through a period in the ward I'm in now that I was absolutely miserable. I had a small baby that was borderline RSV and I was advised not to take him anywhere. I was home from church from November to almost April and not one person called or came by to see how things were going. Not even my "visiting teachers" (if thats what you wanted to call them). It was very disheartening. I felt so alone and uncared for. I didn't even want to come to church after that. I eventually had to remember that my testimony is all about the gospel and not the people of the church. I tell you this because I kind of feel your pain. It's taken a long time (and some new people moving in) but I finally feel like a part of my ward. It's a hard thing sometimes. Hang in there! You are always welcome over in our ward (8th). We would love to have you!

~j. said...

thanks, ~cari~! I know what you mean, and I'll write (in response to sue's question) about that soon...not today, but soon. And though I probably won't be with him, I know that my husband will be visiting your ward in a few weeks!

cabesh - nope, I felt (and feel) it, too.

queen & mary - I'll be touching a bit on those points when I write more about it (not today)...thanks for sharing!!

thanks, everyone, for your comments, and for checking in.

La Yen said...

W had a nemesis? I can't remember...