The Laundry is finally done (at least I think I have found all the soaked stuff.) The dedication of the LDS, Gilbert Temple was a week ago, but it has taken a while to fully feel like all of the huge happenings of the last couple months are really done. And I am still having a hard time finding enough words to write about it all… so I think I’ll stick with a bit of a photo essay-maybe the words will come as I go.
Like so many of our local friends, this building has captured our love and attention; and taking the occasional moment to get photos was one of my favorite quick escapes.
March of 2012, I spent all day parked across the street to watch and photograph the placing of the angel. By this time, last year, it was finished enough on the outside to make for a perfect family photo backdrop, I used it in my post “Moving though Whispers of Pain” for a long time there was nothing else to see on the outside- it was all interior work going on, but it was still good to visit and take family- We brought my Grandma over, when she visited us from Utah.
But mostly we kept busy with the start of a very heavy school year- Kydee’s first year in Junior High (7th grade) and DK in another Jr. High for 8th grade, TeaRose in High School and Brand in Jr Tech and working on finishing up High School- in and around all the other things that crop up in a out-of-normal family like mine. It was a time that I was just hanging in there, my health was sinking fast, and I was trying trying not to sink with it.
But Last December, the excitement became much more real and tangible when the dance practices began. And it lifted us. I don’t remember much of the hard- I remember being more at peace. I remember suddenly knowing which things were ok to drop from the to-do list. I think there were many Angel’s wings-Lifting.
For instance- There was not a single practice that did not have someone in my lap from overload. And not just my TeaRose and DK, who had a bad struggle with the volume of the music and instructor’s mike (which I solved for the most part with swimmer’s ear-putty and/or foam ear plugs) but also Kydee started having bad leg pains that we still have not fully figured out. And yet, all three let me keep pushing them to keep going every week, and somehow homework kept getting done too. (minor miracle)
In late January, we went thru a tour session. To make it manageable for my family, I took the 3 younger ones on a morning session (we took a sick day from school) and then Brand and Dad and I went the next day. It was such a gift. My special needs kids totally got it- they were focused and aware, and the water features brought them special peace.
Then it was time for our Ward’s turn for hosting at the Open House. They needed more help than they originally thought so I convinced my Awesome Hubby and Brand to come with me. Those inspired coordinators put them right where they could really help without being overloaded at all- Mark ended up being one of two lead parking ushers, and Brand was put in charge of wheelchairs for the special needs. Vital jobs- but no load whatsoever on their people skills, etc. I was in the air-conditioning inside 🙂 and another miracle, not once did I hurt the whole time! It was a spiritual High.
In light of all that, I was totally wanting to try some more gluten free baking… but I forgot a few hints that I had read. I totally forgot that the cooking times are really, um lets just say that I made a pan of brownies -a regular cake pan– and it came out perfect, almost burned on the outside two inches, and pudding in the center– totally a sinking feeling day. Lesson learned. Smaller pans.
Then came the grand day -one week before the celebration- and the day of the first time all of the youth (from all of the stakes who will be in this Temple’s district) came together in one place. It was a glorious day, unseasonably warm, even for us. I knew that the park across the street from the temple was large, but I never knew how huge until 12000 kids, and all their leaders, poured in and seathed in excitement and the park still did not feel overloaded or claustrophobic- like it was made just for this day.
My kids are in this picture, at the back- you can almost tell- here in the blow up, the 2 white hats, and the little one in front of the right whit hat. 🙂
Another pic to get a feel for the volume… Everyone was learning new things- the stake people told me that they had never had to provide a meal for 600 before. But the only place it really showed was the lines at the porta-poties 🙂 But that many kids dancing hard on the winter turf stirred up a dust-cloud that was incredible, and hung in the dell like our own personal city smog. The paramedics were undermanned for the cases of asthma collapse, and more and more trucks kept being brought in. By the end of the evening they had given an ultimatum that next week would be banned if there was a repeat. Water trucks were brought in during the week, and we all started praying for a bit of rain.
Guess what? Heaven answered in buckets! But it was perfectly timed… tiny drifts of sprinkles during lunch, not enough to hurt anything, just enough to bring everyone cozy together, and nothing but tons of heaven’s windows during their dress rehearsal!
Then it was time to start the real deal- and the rain began.
As I was sitting with the kids in my care, they wondered if everything would work out ok- and I told them, the Lord had heard their prayers and a miracle would come; it might not be the rain stopping, but it would be awesome.
And it was.
The rain poured. But so did the miracles. For me, the first miracle was that not one of my special needs kids hit any sort of overload at all. They were again held in that zone that I call “held up by angels;”- capable, aware, not feeling like complaining, and in fact, they spent the whole time worrying and caring for others’ needs around them- sharing their umbrellas to as many people as they could possibly fit. It was perfect. I know the cameras tried- but they just could not capture the rain well enough to capture the depth of the power of watching the fire-dance in the rain; and the aura and spirit of the many declarations in song and dance, of following the examples of Abraham, Moroni, and other great heroes, no matter what. It was thundering, awe-inspiring, cold, wet, and Spectacular to everyone who was involved, and to everyone watching. Many lives were touched and memories made.
I can only say thanks to everyone who gave of themselves so freely.
The next day, our Temple was dedicated. I didn’t get to the cornerstone ceremony, Our family was back to normal, and a recovering normal no less. But we got to the the dedication itself. And then it was a school day. I took myself back to the park- looking for what was left of such a momentous occasion. It was almost cleared. Just a little mud and the stage, and everyone’s photos flying around the internet, and our memories. I think we also gained strength in layers that will not even show until years down the road. And of course- there’s the blessing of the Temple itself. It took major help from the Lord to have that much time in a block, but last Thursday I managed to go- Happy Sigh–