Monday, October 17, 2011

Telling My Story

Last night, I watched 17 Miracles for the first time.  In spite of the goofy comments from my children (and husband--they were on a roll last night...), I was SO moved and inspired by the faith and the determination and the sacrifice of those people.  That, in conjunction with a lesson we had in Relief Society about telling our family's stories, got me to thinking.  (A dangerous pasttime, I know!!)

Who is going to tell my stories?  I tell some of them to my children, in fact, we tell a lot of stories.  But I don't think any of them are written down.  I was telling a story yesterday while we were driving up the canyon to see the beautiful, brilliant fall colors, and Kate even said, "Mom, you should write that down!"  And do you want to know what's really sad?  I can't even remember, less than twelve hours later, what story I was telling her!!  What is going to happen to my family history if I can't even remember twelve hours, let alone a lifetime of memories?

So, in the spirit of telling my stories, I have decided that I might try telling some of them here.  I print out my blog each year, so it would be a permanent-ish record, that my children could have, and since I like blogging better than writing in my journal, I might actually do it!

So, here's one of my stories:

I am one of eight children in my family.  I am the 2nd child, the oldest girl, and until I was 13 years old, the only girl. I love my brothers.  But growing up the only girl had its challenges.  I had six brothers before I got my longed-for and dreamed-of sister.  My poor youngest brothers had to put up with being my very own personal live baby dolls, complete with being dressed up in little dresses and riding in my baby carriage.  They were my special little buddies, and I loved them fiercely.  My older brother and I had a special relationship in that he was very protective of me, which was fine when I was five, but by the time I was a teenager, I didn't appreciate as much.  Plus, he teased me mercilessly, which I also didn't appreciate that much.  My brother two down from me was the most loving, cute, mischievous little demon child, and he also teased me.  I beat him up regularly, so I suppose I wasn't the ideal big sister either...

But what I needed was a best friend.  A true friend to stand by and who would stand by me.  Someone who would never tease me, and who would never criticize me, but would give me sound advice and honest feedback.  Someone to share my secrets with.  My brother, Vaughn, who is two years my junior, but a good twelve inches my senior, was the peacemaker in our family.  Calm, cheerful, easy-going, he was the polar opposite of my worried, stressed, and grouchy self.  But somehow, it clicked.  One day, when I was about ten and he was eight, we were riding in the big orange and white van with the rest of the family.  I think we were on a family vacation, but I'm not positive about that detail.  We were sitting in the back seat--the one that if Dad drove over a bump, we would fly up into the air (this was in the days before seat belts--I don't think that van even had seat belts!!) and our heads would crack the cardboard roof of the van's interior.  I think my Dad had just hollered , for the umpteenth time, at the general population to STOP FIGHTING AND FUSSING BACK THERE FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE!  I'm sure DON'T MAKE ME STOP THIS CAR was included.

At that moment in my childhood, something happened that changed my life forever.  I don't know if it was Vaughn's idea or mine, but we turned to each other, there in that bouncy back seat, and said, "Let's be best friends forever."  And we promised to never, ever fight with each other, or be mean to each other, or ever hurt each other.  We smiled at our newfound best friend-ship.  And that was that.

And we have kept our promise to this day.  Vaughn has never hurt me.  I hope he can say the same about me.  We never fought.  He has been there for me, and I have been there for him.  We walked home from school together, we snuck out of the house late at night together, we stayed awake with each other when the other couldn't sleep.  We went on double dates together, and we supported each other through stupid relationships and inevitable heartbreaks.

Vaughn has special relationships with all his brothers, and his other sister, too.  And I have special relationships with all my brothers, and especially my angel sister.  But somehow, throughout my life, that one little moment in the orange van was the answer to my prayers for a best and bosom friend.  I hope he's not offended if I say that he is the Diana to my Anne.  I never had a best bosom girl friend, so my little brother stepped it up and did it for me.  And I am eternally grateful.

Wade and Isaac, if you ever read this, take my advice and make the same promise to each other.  It will change your life.


Rachel said...

aww! That is SO sweet! You made my heart burst!

Love YOU!

Julie said...

Beautiful story. Yes, keep telling them and sharing them, and especially writing them down. That's one reason I blog--to remember and record the stories. Thanks, Marianne, for sharing this one of yours.

Anna B said...

i love that story. please, please keep writing them! i don't think i knew you were an only girl for so long--me too! five brothers no sisters. also, i love the story of how you and dennis met and got engaged--i hope you'll write that one down sometime!

Erica said...

I love stories like these ;). Thanks for sharing Marianne! I LOVED seeing you the other day! You are such a sweet heart!

Kazzy said...

Come read my post at my blog. Would love you to come in March.

heath said...

I had a pretty volatile relationship with my brother that is closest in age to me. We get along fine now that we're grown up, but we're not really close. As a result, I've always hoped that if I had a son and daughter that were close in age that they would be good friends. I'm glad to see that it's possible!

Susan said...

What a great story. I wish I was closer to my brother.