Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Full Plate

Something about too many things happening at once, puts me in survival mode.

On July 25, my son Justin, had his missionary farewell and going away party. After feeding and entertaining about 100 guests, the mad rush began to have him all packed for Nicaragua, and the rest of us all packed for our new home La Verkin, Utah. My goal was to drop Elder Moore off at the Missionary Training Center, and keep driving South. I did not want to return to the house I had called home for the past 17 years. I was ready for my new start.

Brooklyn and I arrived in La Verkin on the evening of Wednesday, July 28. We had a couple of days to just rest while waiting for our trailers to arrive on Saturday. How one person can have so much junk remains a mystery to me. I will forever be grateful to my boss and his wife, Mike and Heather Fronk, for driving 3 huge truckloads of important and not-so-important crap to my house down here. They blessed my life incredibly by their willingness to help me with this monumental task. To add to their generousity, when I told Mike I was moving, he asked me to work remotely from home. I couldn't be more blessed in that area of my life.

The trailers (a big one and a small one) arrived on Saturday and the unload began. Many people contributed to getting my stuff down here as well as getting it out of the trailers. I am thankful for the service they provided. I believed that when I finally got here things would settle down for me and I might be able to find the peace I have been seeking the last six years.

On Sunday, I received the phone call that my Granny, Mabel Florence Lindsay Pennington, had finally entered the next life after several months of illness. She was 95 years old. The funeral was planned for the following Saturday. We made preparations for the 25 hour drive to Tyler, Texas. My parent's expedition was loaded with luggage as well as 8 people...Papa, Grandma, me, Brooklyn, Ginger, Bailey, Laynie and Lori. We had four people who could drive. We made the drive straight through taking turns at the wheel. When people weren't driving they were sleeping.

What a beautiful weekend it was as the descendants of my Granny gathered to pay tribute to her life. All 28 of her grandchildren were there...travelling from California, Utah, Arizona, North Carolina and other places. It was the first time I had felt whole in a long time. Many of her great-grandchildren were there as well as her great-great-grandchildren. After the funeral in Tyler and the burial next to my Papa, Hugh Smith Pennington, in Longview, we travelled back to Tyler for the luncheon. It was a beautiful time. Family pictures were taken. One was taken of the cousins with all 28 of us lined up from oldest to youngest. I am the fifth oldest.

Afterwards, we went back to the hotel where we all were staying. We had fun getting reaquainted, swimming and sharing stories. The men cousins decided we should all meet out at my cousin Byron's barn for a party that night. So off we went to another amazing event. My aunts and uncles barbequed sausages, made homemade peach ice cream, and just loved us. There was so much happiness and love that was felt this weekend. I cannot imagine Granny could have been any happier.

My granny left a wonderful legacy. She was honored in the newspaper the following day as a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who was instrumental to helping the church grow in East Texas. I am proud to be called her grandaughter.

So many wonderful things. But even wonderful things can be stressful. I have a trick to survive mortality. Tunnel vision. I only take one step at a time, looking to the next thing to be accomplished. If I look anywhere else, I become so overwhelmed and feel as if I will crush under all the responsibilities. Life is hard, but life is also meant to be lived. I for one am living life...hook, line and sinker...even though it is not my choice !