Thursday, January 12, 2012

Jacob T. Marley

My son, Jordan, and his wife Hillary, are kind and loving and mature beyond their years.  They are taking over legal guardianship for Hillary's younger sister, Angela. Jordan and Hillary have talked to me about this event for a few weeks now but he sent an email to the family. And altho it's a private email, I am choosing to add a couple of lines here (and the announcement has already been made on Facebook).   Toward the end of the latest email, he wrote: 
                Today, we filed the legal papers with the court which will allow Angela to enroll in our schools immediately and she will be moving in with us this weekend.  We have a new list of things to worry about! Seminary, high school, drivers education, dating, boyfriends, frien-emies, healthcare, prom, homecoming, sports, MTV’s Jersey Shore, chores, modesty, Youth Women in Excellence, leaving towels on the floor (Cara), Twilight, college prep, unlimited talk & text, … the list goes on and on. But we are going to have a lot of fun figuring it out. But don’t be surprised if I come to you with questions. Then again, I’m the youngest sibling who now has the oldest teenager!!!! 
Cute, isn't it? But better even is the part that came first:
For our family, it was a very easy decision to make, but it will be a very difficult challenge to deal with. We believe that God has blessed our family in many ways to prepare us and enable us to provide for Angela. Including the blessing it is to have been raised in the Gospel by great parents and have four fantastic siblings who showed me what a great family consists of: love, respect, faith, protection, consideration, silliness… did I mention lots of love (and forgiveness)?!   And we have planned carefully and thoughtfully over the years to prepare for this event. 

  I loved reading this and have opted to blog it so that it's always handy. Emails come and go...but journal/blog entries, made into hard copies, linger so much longer. Here's Hillary with Angela: I am glad that Angela will be safe and will be able to be a teenager in a home that has a firm foundation.  Hillary commented yesterday that she was concerned for Jordan because he didn't sign up for this situation when he married her. And I replied we never sign up for what comes our way.  It just comes and how we handle it is all that counts.

I started this blog entry with a name...Jacob T. Marley...which is actually a book by R. William Bennett.  I've had this book lying around since before Christmas, renewing it often.  Finally it was time to get to it (and the others) and return them to the library.  I really enjoyed this short book, which also says above the title: Before Ebenezer Scrooge there was....

The very beginning tells us how Jacob became the man he was.  And it all happened because at one point, when he was a 12 year old, his teacher told him " 'you are, without a doubt, the single best mathematician I have ever taught'.  Yet this word, this word!  'Best!' but now he was given a yardstick with which to measure himself against others.  To the outward eye, he had not changed. But deep within, by reviewing over and over the pleasure that came with those words, he had planted and was starting to cultivate a vine that would in time, from its roots in his ego, reach to entwine and suffocate his very soul."

We have been told to even avoid the very word PROUD.  And our family has stuck to it...despite the most recently heard talk that says it is OK... I'm sticking with it not being OK.  I've had time to think about the people I know who are over the top concerned with self, have to be in charge, have to know everything first, have to have the first and last say on every issue.  And do you know what?  If  I've known the person for a good number of years, the aspect of pride has been planted in their thinking at an early age.

Perhaps they were good at something and their parents praised them over and over.  Perhaps things came easy and early to them.  But it all ended up the same.  And sadly so.  And we all know that if we refuse to be humble, we will be forced to be humbled.  Quite a choice, is it not?

I think it being the new year still, now is a great time to become more like Jordan and Hillary and totally less like Marley.  It's time to take care of others' real needs, not just talk about how things are done. And then. and then you know what?  Do not brag about it.  OK...some of you will say, hey!  You are bragging about what J/H are doing?  I'm not bragging...I'm just announcing it in my blog for a keepsake for generations to come.  Truly there is a difference.  There is only one hero that we have but we can hope that our kids can follow that one hero and prove themselves worthy of their very lives and opportunities which come our way.

1 comment:

Lin Floyd said...

can we say we are pleased instead of proud? what a leap of faith and love to take on such a responsibility at an early age. What a compliment to all their parents too.

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