Thursday, July 11, 2013

Christians are Christians, no matter what! And I'm never going to Dan's house again!

I met Lloyd Nolan Westbrook II a couple of months ago. Some people in our singles ward were getting together for the night. A few of us were talking around the table and he came and joined in. He was funny, outgoing, black (that will be important to remember in a minute) and really easy to like! And he had the best smile, a Kool-Aid smile! It was contagious!
He was not a member, but he was really good friends with another guy in our singles ward so he came to lots of activities. He was the kind of person that made you want to be better, to laugh and love more.
On July 4th he drowned in the river. Our singles ward got together and wanted to do something for the family. They allowed us time during the wake to sing a hymn.
From the moment we went into the church I felt awkward. We kind of stuck out. A bunch of white Mormons taking up the front two and half rows was probably the last thing people expected at the New Hope Kingdom Church. But there we were. They opened with a hymn. It was a joyful hymn! Amen's, Hallelujahs and Praise the Lord's were shouted. And then there were the Mormons, not knowing the words to the song, not shouting praises. I felt like everyone was judging us. {Now my daddy is from Mississippi and in his momma's ward there is one convert that still 'Amen's and 'Hallelujah's during Sacrament meeting. That's not important, I just wanted to let you know.} But I've never been asked to do so. It made me feel weird. Not weird at what was going on, but weird that I didn't know how. Weird that I couldn't let go and join the Hallelujahs. Weird that I was a Mormon and everyone was staring at us, or at least it felt like they were.
We were first up. We sang Be Still My Soul. I LOVE that song! However, it sounded soooo depressing compared to their joyful song. I felt like that woman in mourning, you know, the one who has the black veil over her head with the black dress, black gloves holding a wet tissue. After we sang they opened it up to everyone to say things about Lloyd. Everyone told how awesome he was, how he had brilliant and crazy ideas, and how he had the best laugh! Then people from the ward started getting up. They told how great it was we could see him again and how he is doing a great work! During the first couple ward members I sank in my seat. We stuck out like sore thumbs.
Then, I had an epiphany! Christians are Christians no matter what. Kinda like the Dr Seuss's book. Some people praise their Maker vocally. Others do it in their hearts. But we all believe in Christ. We all knew that we would see Lloyd again. We all knew that Heavenly Father is watching over us and loves us. After that, I felt less weird and awkward. I felt united and strong!
Now, for never going to Dan's house again. Monday, my friend, Michelle, and I went to the beach in Rigby! It was super fun!!! Until we got home. I got the worst sunburn I have ever had. Both my shoulders are completely covered in nasty yellow blisters. Before work today I couldn't stand having a shirt on. But shirts are requirements if you want to continue to enjoy gainful employment. So I prayed and came up with the most brilliant idea! It was the seam on the top on the shoulders of the shirt that was bothering me, so I put socks on my shoulders under my shirt. Yes, it looked like I had shoulder pads. And yes, it looked like my shoulder pads were a little lumpy. But I could stand my shirt being on so they stayed. And they stayed on during the wake. Well, after the wake I was trying to make my way out. Dan (the one whose house I met Lloyd at, and he has get-togethers there often) was in front of me. The line out had stopped moving and I was talking to the people next to me. Someone said to just push through, but before I could, Dan moved and I was able to get through. I patted Dan's back! He turned around and here's what happened
Dan: Was that you?
Me: Yeah.
Dan: I've met you before, right?
Me: Yeah, I've been to your house.
Then Dan tried to reciprocate the pat, only he did it with a man's strength......on my shoulder.
Me, being awkward and trying not to cry, turned and walked out quickly.
So, Dan! I will not be coming to your house ever again. The reason why I left was not because I was overcome with grief, or because I really am that weird and leave crying while I'm talking to people. Its because you smacked my sunburn. So there! 

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