Thursday, October 23, 2008

Goodly Parents

I’m totally addicted to facebook. It has been really fun getting reacquainted with old friends. I love to see where there're all at in their lives now, whom they are married to… all of that great stuff. I just recently got reacquainted with some old neighbors of mine growing up. When I updated this old neighbor on my sibling, myself and my parents – he seemed a little shocked and disappointed that we are not all dregs to society.

We were the weird family on the street. We are Mormon, 6 kids, rented a 3 bedroom house (for over 10 years) and I’m sure to the outside world we looked like white trash. For a large part of my childhood my mom drove a red station wagon that leaned to one side permanently. I was so embarrassed when we would drive in it and would often lie on the seat so people couldn’t see me.

We were poor, but I never knew how poor. My mom sacrificed new clothes and furniture so she could stay home and raise her children. She made dinner every night (good stuff from scratch) and we ate as a family. We ate so well that getting a frozen meal was a treat. To this day my favorite thing is a Banquet frozen fried chicken meal, because we rarely got frozen food. She canned her own jam and fruit and made bread. I thought that was what poor people did and was so embarrassed when people would come over and eat it. I didn’t understand at the time when they thought it was so great – I do now.

We were not the typical family on that street, and I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful that I was born of “goodly parents” and not worldly ones. They taught us valuable lessons in life. They taught us the difference between right and wrong, how to live an honest life, and how to be good and kind people. My parents raised all 6 of us to be good members of the church and good members of society. Something that money can’t buy. I wouldn’t change my humble, and sometimes embarrassing, upbringing for all the money in the world.

Joseph Smith once said that one of his greatest blessings in life was that of poverty. I never understood that until recently – and I totally agree that it is mine as well. As a divorced mother of 4 children money is scarce. I’m sure that some people feel sorry for me, but let me assure you that there is no need for that. I was raised with humble beginnings, and so are my children. My ex-husband is building a house with his girlfriend and they move in next month. He got a nice house and I got the kids… I’m the lucky one!


Brenda said...

Yes you are the lucky one and never forget it! When Richard (this is code for ex husband, think of the nickname for Richard) dies he will not take that home with him nor will he take that scanky girlfriend. He will be alone. YOu on the other hand will be with your children for eternity and your awesome parents, sisters, brothers etc.

Which will last longer, our lives here where we struggle financially or eternity? So let Richard have his fun while on earth because he thinks things like homes and loose women bring him joy. That joy is only going to last a second in comparison to eternity that is forever!

Steven & Becky Heumann said...

Suddenly I feel a little bad about my current status and note on facebook. :)

Batistas said...

What a great post Laurie! I totally agree! Your mom was my second mom and your 3 bedroom house was one of my favorite places to go (faker)! When Jacob wishes that he could have all the money in the world I explain to him that one day he will realize how lucky he really is! How lucky we are to appreciate things!

Marque and Sarah said...

I am happy that you are one of my face book buddies!

Fox Family said...

I would have to agree with you on that. I think having the kids is what matters most. True, money would help and be nice,... but still. Good for you for hanging in there.

Rebecca said...

Just got a chance to check out your blog since you left me a comment. I was glancing thru this story and had to read because I too would duck down and pretend I was picking something off the floor when I was in my moms "creepy" station wagon. I think growing up poor helped me learn empathy and my parents. I always remember after Christmas when we would go back to school my dad would remind us some kids aren't as fortunate as us and if were asked what we got for Christmas we should only say one of our gifts. How awesome here we were STRUGGLING and he made sure we thought of others.