Monday, July 25, 2016

Changing Perspectives

In cleaning out and sorting papers, I found a loose journal-type entry of mine.  It was not dated, but had to have been written sometime in late 1999 or early 2000.  I have deleted the names to protect the innocent (or should I say guilty).  I think I was frustrated and just venting when I wrote this:

“My 15-year-old son just broke his toilet paper holder off the wall!  It was put on brand new a few weeks ago by the guy who hung the new wallpaper there.  The wall paper has a lighthouse motif.  I found some cute little ceramic soap and lotion dispensers in the shape of lighthouses to put at the basins.  Yesterday, I glued a chip back on one of them.  It has several smaller chips that I won’t be able to repair.  Two weeks ago the boys broke a support off the handrail to the stairs while they were rough housing.  The three eldest boys broke the door to one of their bedrooms that very same day.  I am still fuming about all of this destruction!!! Why can’t I have anything stay nice???

I think my problem is that I am ready to be an empty-nester. This is a problem because I have a first grader (also a boy) and two other sons in between the two I have already mentioned.  I also have a daughter, still at home, who is 17.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel there.  I am geared up to enjoy the one more year I have with her.  Her three older sisters are already away at college.  Most of the friends my age are empty-nesters.

Twenty-four years ago, I was pregnant with my first child.  I had either one or two in diapers for over 18 years!  If anyone deserves to be an empty nester, it is me.  The irony is that when I finally arrive there, I will probably be too old and senile to enjoy it.  I will be too old to cook, let alone to enjoy being the only woman in my kitchen.  (I’ve always maintained that two women in a kitchen, is one too many.)  I will probably no longer be wearing make-up, so it won’t matter that my blushes and nail polish will stay where I put them.  No one will want to borrow my orthotic shoes.  Support hose won’t appeal to them either.  In fact, I am sure none of them will want to wear anything I have.  (Every year after the three oldest leave for college, I have to take an inventory of how many shirts, slips and socks I have left.)

With so many children, I will probably have lots of grandchildren.  Grandchildren do damage too.  I am just thinking of the damage my children did to their grandparent’s homes.  Maybe we should volunteer to visit our grandchildren in their homes.  Perhaps Jerry and I should get a large RV (with a bumper sticker that reads: ‘I am spending my children’s inheritance’ on it), and travel around to each child’s home, plugging into their electricity!”

Those were my sentiments back in late 1999.  Here is how I feel today:

I finally arrived at the empty nest stage of life.  I still enjoy cooking although I do not do nearly as much of it.  It is fun when I have daughters and daughters-in-law come to help cook.  My youngest son and I had a lot of fun cooking together before he left the nest.  Occasionally we still cook together when he is around.   One daughter still goes through my make-up.  (She now asks permission to take what she wants of it.)  I find it endearing that a thirty something woman still wants to go through and wear mama’s make-up.  I don’t wear orthotic shoes or support hose—yet.  Even if the girls were to like my clothes, they (the girls) are all too small for my clothes to fit them well.   I love having my grandchildren over even though things do get broken from time-to-time.  We have plenty of time to make any repairs or clean-ups that need to be made.  I really enjoy all of my adult children and their spouses too!!!  What an exciting time of life!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Marion Borges Martin, A Great Man

Written by His Son, Jerald Lynn Martin in response to a request from Christopher Martin (His Grandson)

1)  Great Men of the Ward.  When I was 15 or 16, I attended a Sacrament Meeting that will forever be in my memory.  Grandpa was a convert of the Church after he got married to Grandma.  He knew little of the doctrine or the culture.  But he always had great faith, believed in people and was always willing to serve wherever needed.  Grandpa Martin did not complete high school until he was middle age, around 40 years old.  He was intimidated to be in front of crowds, had little in the way of leadership skills as we think of them and was fearful of public speaking including giving prayers.  I can't remember Grandpa ever giving a talk in any meeting and on only one occasion giving a prayer in Sacrament Meeting when I was 17.  He was so terrified he completely wrote out the words of his prayer and then read it.  On this particular Sunday, Brother Clausen, 1st Counselor in the Bishopric was the final speaker of the day.  This was before the block scheduling so Sacrament Meeting was 1and 1/2 hours and was held in the afternoon.  Brother Clausen's talk was themed "Great Men of the Ward."  After describing characteristics of great men, the first person he highlighted as the role model of great men of the ward was Grandpa Martin.  I was shocked as was the whole family as there was nothing society would think was great about Grandpa.  He never held a Church leadership position.  He barely had a high school education amongst a ward full of Engineers and Nuclear Scientists.  We had little money and lived in the Veterans Affairs development of homes for World War 2 vets.  What would qualify Grandpa Martin to be considered "great".  The answer came quickly.  He was the man who honored his priesthood and magnified it.  In 13 and 1/2 years, Grandpa had never missed a home teaching visit and always had a message of inspiration.  His home teaching went way beyond that.  He took care of fixing yards, making repairs in their homes, feeding them and others with the bounty of his garden/orchard harvests.  He always volunteered to transport the scouts.  He never missed Church.  He merely went about doing good without any notice or any desire for attention.  Yet he was most beloved by all.  Because he served with love.  Because he didn't need to talk much, he was a great listener and heard the challenges of those in his circle.  He then acted to help with those challenges.  He was a simple man with few needs but with great faith and excellent everyman skills.  He could change oil, run electricity, build fences, do brick and cement work, sprinkler systems, and grass, put up sheds, paint houses, fix roofs, and had an amazing green thumb.  He took joy in using those skills for his family and others.  And in all of that he was truly one of the great men of the Ward. 
2)Tithing.  When I was young, maybe 6 or 7, Grandma and Grandpa had a special family home evening (which we didn't do that often).  The purpose of this FHE was to discover if we children would support our parents in them paying tithing.  We were a poor family.  Just a few years before, my parents didn't have enough income to provide housing (they lived in a shed like building behind Great Grandpa Martin's house) and many times went hungry for food.  Both Grandpa and Grandma worked at this time with Grandpa oftentimes working two jobs.  The question was put to the kids if we were willing to do with a little less so that they could pay tithing.  We children all said yes.  So Grandma started paying tithing from her wages for the whole family (covering Grandpa's  pay also).  In the scriptures it says the Lord will open the windows of heaven for those who keep this law.  While that may come in many forms, it came directly to our family in way of much greater employment opportunities.  Within a short time, maybe a year, Grandma Martin was given the opportunity by her employer to learn engineering schematics.  It was the space race with the Russians and the US needed many more skilled people than were available.  Grandma jumped at the opportunity and in a couple years passed up Grandpa Martin in wages where before starting paying her tithing she earned about half of his wages.  A few more years went by and Grandma Martin continued to accelerate in her career now nearly doubling Grandpa's wages.  Around this time Grandpa Martin proclaimed he would take responsibility for his own tithing.  From there our family become very comfortable with money.  We enjoyed vacations out of the area and Grandma and Grandpa Martin became very comfortable financially.  To me their son, I consider this a miracle.  Two high school trained kids living comfortably in the midst of Silicon Valley.  This testimony of tithing, of putting the Lord first, is deeply entrenched in my heart.  "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  I learned that Tithing is the most visible symbol of my faith in Heavenly Father and His Son.