Thursday, February 25, 2010

Jared Turns 33

M'ijo--it has been quite a while since I wrote you a letter. Not being a good example, am I? So today, as I contemplate your Birthday, I think that I will take just a moment and write you a letter.

Let's see, how old are you today anyway? Oh my, you are 33! What was I doing when I was 33? It was 1985, in Bolivia, and Jonathan had just turned a year old! Jacey was not even thought of at the time. . .but the next year, we became a family of seven. I did some of my "best work" in life in Bolivia. The world grew smaller for me, and my strengths grew larger. I had unprecedented time with you kids, not having to worry about the daily upkeep of a house, and cooking the meals. I did all the fun stuff--designing and shopping for menus, cooking for big groups of people, and overseeing the house. That's how a woman's life should be I've decided. I remember Bolivian women thought all American women sat on their behinds all day eating bonbons. When I explained that I was the cook, the maid, the chauffeur, the party planner, the taxi, the bank, the laundress, the gardener (that was the most shocking to them!) the seamstress, paid the bills, coached and was the nanny--well, I think I had them straightened out and flying right.

I learned a lot in my 33rd year: like a woman's home is not her character, nor her worth. And speaking of worth--that mistakes were part of my growth--not my worth. My patriotism grew, my ability to sacrifice and be of service became more powerful, and I found that I could love anyone--no matter the culture, the poverty, the ignorance or the arrogance (that was for some Embassy folks). I learned that I could survive alone, and raise four kids with a spouse that traveled a lot--and be very happy doing it! I learned a new language, made new friends (mourned my old and dear friends), and served in a church calling where I didn't know a word that was spoken! I learned to eat fresh, not drink the water and to quit putting my hands in my mouth.

I learned to rely on the Lord in a way that I had never experienced so continuously. I saw His hand. I was sheltered in the hallow of that Hand many times. I knew and felt the comfort of the Holy Ghost--which sometimes was more my companion than your father was. I read the Book of Mormon and understood it better than the thirty-three years before. I also loved more deeply my LDS world family, and their passion for always trying to do the right thing.

I understood prejudice, poverty, sickness and religious intolerance in a way that was not possible being raised in my lily-white all Mormon Utah.  People can be just as devout and faithful believing something else, and I grew to love and understand that. I have one exception here: While driving in her car, I told Meches to quit genuflecting through every intersection, she was making me nervous! If she was so unsure of her driving skills and needed to bless every intersection--maybe I needed to walk!! 

Well, enough on my 33rd year, here is a wish I have for you for your 33rd year, and it comes in the form of a song from Dylan called "Forever Young"

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

I've included some music so that you can hear him sing it, and follow along with his words. They are good wishes, and some of the thoughts that I would wish for you as your Momma.

You are a good and man. Your brilliance, talents and social skills are the envy of everyone. They sense how much you like people. I'd like to think that my talking to strangers (like in elevators) may have helped a little in the social department! You are a good husband and I watch as you grow and learn how to be a better one and am very proud of your efforts. You are a wonderful father. Campbell has brought out in you all the tenderness, love, connection and sweetness than a true man can have for his child. You are beyond what I ever thought possible in your desire to serve your son and to give him so much of yourself. You will have many paydays ahead and will be full in your heart in the future for all of your work done today. Being a parent means delaying gratification, but then you are a gardener, so you know all about that.

Thank you for always caring about your Dad and me. You have an uncanny ability to sense when we need to talk, or to do something nice for us when we need it. But Jared, just having you walk in the door, and be so glad to see us, is the nicest thing that you can do. Old people like to be loved. I know, because I am old. You and Sade have been so good to us--and we love your invitations to join you--doing anything!

Thank you for the constant love that you show to your siblings, cousins, grandma--and your old aunts and uncles! You are the oldest and have known them the longest.

Have a wonderful day today reflecting on your thirty-three years of earth-life. I love you.



  1. Darling:
    Nice work! You never, never cease to amaze and intrigue me. What a wonderful state of affairs. Jare will prize that letter all of his life.

  2. Kimmie-
    Thanks for the beautiful letter to JT. He's all that you say he is and even more. You'll have to ask him about CJ's card he made for him. It took us all of last night while they were at the Jazz game because I was dealing with a 2-year-old with ADD and we had to take a LOT of breaks!
    See you tomorrow for dinner.

  3. Ooooooh to have your wisdom. And a 33 year old child. It's not too far off from now I guess. And yes, can we make lunch happen? Can we talk for hours straight, me you and Jenni? I need that so much.

    Love your blog, lady.


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