Throughout the church meeting, I was continually interrupted by flashbacks - momentary visions of when I was merely a toddler (my dad has always told me I had a very strong memory) . Almost like little movie clips of when I would take a white blanket which, at the time, seemed so huge in our little Nebraska townhouse and spread it all the way throughout our small living room and turn on an approving movie and eat popcorn with my parents. I remembered the first day of my entire life, being about Emma's age at this time, of going the entire day without changing into decent clothing. I'd spent the day wandering aimlessly around the house, anxious to show off my beautiful pink nightgown that actually fit.
Memories I could connect to seemed so vivid. The pre-Halloween preparation of carving pumpkins. I can actually remember naming mine Sally Sue. It was a treasured artifact - and my beloved father was right next to me, knife in hand, ready to encourage my designing or whatever a 5-year-old girl could call it. Or when my dad eagerly opened up the Christmas train for the first time in our little Nebraska home. I'd insisted on building a tunnel over it with my legs. I can remember the semi-darkened room, only lit by the Christmas tree lights. The feverish excitement of such a young girl got carried away. My foot slipped, and I landed on the track, just in the mere nick of time. The track came loosely apart and there was absolutely no way I could turn off the ever-progressing speed of the train in time. I let it steer off the tracks, anxious to fix it before I could get caught. Next thing I knew, my small blue eyes were overflowing with silenced tears. Moments later, I was back at the table, hand-in-hand with my forgiving father. It may seem simple to you, but if I can remember that event, 8 years later, it was nothing next to simple for me.
I remember, after moving to St. George, the immediate memories of me turning into the parking lot of the hospital, confused, but excited to be able to finally see my mother. I was at an age where I completely understood what was going on - I was recieving a new family member. When we were securely parked, I yanked my seat belt off. My dad picked me up with a true grin on his face and heaved my out of the car. Instead of setting me down to walk, he continued holding on, eager to keep a pace to see his newborn son. Talmage lingered close behind, almost as excited to see baby Lewis. The one thing - the most distinguishing part of all the urgency and massacre of soap coming directly towards me, there was one thing that detected my full attention - I can clearly see it now. The moment that, when he looked at his newborn son for clearly not the first time, his intelligent smile was like nothing I had ever seen. Through the eyes of a naturally stubborn, teenage 6-year-old, I can clearly remember seeing such a strength that I can almost remember faintly asking, "You love him, huh?". It may have been a bit less mature than that - I am almost positive I added a, "is he your favorite child?"
From that realistic stroke of time, I remember being completely dumbfounded from his more professing attention towards Ethan than towards Tal and me. It didn't last too long - shortly after that, he returned his attention to his entire family. But from that point on, I have found the soft side I didn't know existed. The way he talks to mom, or the way he holds Izzie. Or how he tells Emma that she is his princess. Or how he constantly teases (with humor) Tal and I. Or how he looks down on Ethan, or all of his children and wife, with complete respect.
I have learned to deal with my dad (jk!) and I want to express - and I speak for everyone that knows you, Robert - that I love you. Since I know you would strangle me if I dared post a picture of you on here (and I had a few in mind that could quite possibly end my life), then I would like to remind you how much your family (as a whole) loves and respects you. I am glad you take so much time to work. It just represents how much you care for your family and have a desire to get us out of our situations and into a better, less stressful life.
Addison; Talmage; Lewis Ethan; Emma; and Isabel
and Lisa :)