Each Life That Touches Ours For Good!

on May 28, 2008

I went to a funeral today for our Stake Patriarch.  He was an amazing man – you know –  the kind of man you want to find for a husband (only in my case not 87 years old.)  He gave me my patriarchal blessing when I was 14.  Seven years later he was the Stake President and set me apart as a missionary.  Then a few years ago I served with his wife in the Stake Relief Society Presidency — we called him the 3rd counselor.

Today as I sat in the chapel and listened to “Canon in D” I thought back to the day I received my patriarchal blessing.  I was so nervous as I went to his house.  He asked my parents to sit in the living room while he talked to me for a minute.  I walked back to his office and sat down.  I only remember one thing he said.  He looked at me and smiled and said “you have the most beautiful smile.”  I know this sounds like a trite comment that any kindly church leader would say to a teenage girl, but the truth was that my teeth were horrible.  This was before braces.  I had 2 BIG front teeth that stood out because the other teeth kind of fell behind them all crooked.  But this was not bad enough for a self conscious teenage girl — one of those huge teeth was yellow.  When I was 10 my brother pushed me out the door (that’s another story) and I broke my front tooth.  The dentist knew I would need braces eventually so he didn’t crown it – he kind of made me this fake tooth that I swear turned yellow instantly.  So here was this short, bald, kindly man telling me I had a beautiful smile.  The miracle was – I knew he meant it.  I felt it through my whole soul that he meant it.  Somehow he had the ability to see past all the ugliness I saw in what I thought was my greatest physical flaw at the time and told me it was beautiful.  For a minute it was like he could see me the way Heavenly Father saw me.  I think I’ll always remember how I felt.

This made me think of other people who had an impact on my life.  Not the close friends and family members that so obviously have made an impact – but the minor characters in the sitcom of my life.  The ones that maybe were only in a few scenes.  Like Mr. Gill my 8th grade science teacher.

I wasn’t particularly good at science and I didn’t particularly like it.  One day Mr. Gill called me to his desk after class and simply said “are you okay?”  I said I was fine and he asked if I was sure because it looked like something was bothering me.  I told him that I really was okay.  But I wasn’t okay.  I just didn’t know how to tell him that I was depressed and that I had all kinds of crazy thoughts in my head I couldn’t get rid of.  That I prayed for hours trying to be righteous and it was never enough.  How do you explain that to anyone?  But he asked.  He was in tune enough with an insignificant B-Minus student to ask.

There are more people too.  Like Grover my Oakcrest counselor who showed me that being good was okay – in fact it was cool.  And my Mia Maid teacher, Janeen DeMille, who was 8 months pregnant and stayed up one night making all her Mia Maid girls heart shaped pillows.  Then there was Mr. Hathaway, my track coach who told me that I had to believe in myself because he knew I was a child of God and he knew that I knew it too.    And Kristy who told me through tears last week after my lesson that she wanted to fast for me.

Sister Camilla Kimball said once “never suppress a generous thought.”  I need to remember this every day.  After all – these people touched my life with small gestures that meant the world to me even years later.

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5 responses to “Each Life That Touches Ours For Good!

  1. Tiffany says:

    How beautiful. You’ve touched my life for good. And you do have a beautiful smile. 🙂

  2. Laurel says:

    wow, I love this. I want to copycat you on this post and take time to think about this too.

  3. Heather says:

    This is an awesome reminder. Thank you for sharing. Just so you know, you do have a wonderful smile. Warm and inviting. It’s just one of the reasons that makes you one of my favorite people. 🙂
    Love you!

  4. TentTrash says:

    WOW! Thanks for sharing DeAnne. I have similar feelings for the patriarch who gave me similar promptings.

  5. Larrie says:

    Thanks for helping me “remember” this morning. Needed to do that. It is certain that none of us could make it alone and that God often touches our lives through the kindness and inspiration of others. Thanks again.

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