I gave my Dad the movie “Need for Speed” for Father’s Day this year. I also taught a youth Sunday School lesson that day on following counsel and it made me think of the advice that my Dad has given me over the years. My Dad’s always been willing to work hard and I appreciate that he’s taught me how to do several important things. Sometimes it’s easy to take it for granted that he’s always been supportive of me as I’ve tried to accomplish my goals.
As a kid I always looked forward to playing basketball with my Dad. He taught me how to basketball which helped me to develop a love for sports. I’d play basketball games with him after he got off work and he also would give up some of his free time on the weekends to play basketball with me for a few hours. I’m grateful to have so many good memories of playing sports with him and also of him taking me to sporting events.
When I was younger my parents expected me to complete chores that I could still do with my disability and they never allowed me to use my disability as an excuse to be lazy. They taught me to put my best effort into accomplishing my goals. I appreciate that my family was supportive of me as I tried to further my education and it’s meant quite a bit to me that they were willing to be there when I graduated from high school and from college. My Dad telling me about his work experiences and my stepmom talking to me about what she was looking for when she would interview prospective employees helped me significantly during my internship in New Mexico. I appreciate the support and encouragement from my Dad, my family, and my friends that has helped me to accomplish what I have so far in my life.
My Aunt Helen and Aunt LaVon brought me lunch and visited me during my Aunt LaVon’s trip to Wyoming from California. It had been several years since I had been able to see my Aunt LaVon in person and it was fun to spend time with her again. My Aunt Helen brought my cousin Kellyn and cousin-in-law Shaye’s girls with her and I enjoyed getting an update on Kellyn and Shaye’s life.
I had an Elder’s Quorum skeet shooting church activity at my home with a nice dutch oven dinner as well. My Dad also had his friend talk to the people that came about gun safety for awhile. It was a nice evening and I think everyone had a fun time. It was fun for me to have an opportunity to visit with some of my friends from high school again who came that night.
My sister, brother-in-law and niece came to visit me again. My family went to Bear World and brought back a fridge magnet for my collection. My niece watched Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Golden State vs. Cleveland, with me. I’m glad that Melanie enjoys watching sports with me since it makes it more fun when she is here to watch games with me.
In May my friend, Maren, came to visit me from Germany. I assumed that I was never going to see her again, because she lives so far away from me. However, I’ve been able to get back in touch with her online and was able to schedule a visit with her when she came to Wyoming as part of her recent trip to the United States. She’s going to try to visit me again when the Star Valley Temple is completed in a few years.
She brought me some chocolate and a candle which I have enjoyed. I appreciated her thoughtfulness to bring me gifts. My Dad worked for the State of Wyoming and so I was able to give her some various things from Wyoming that he had which she appreciated. It was good to learn more about her life as I had the opportunity to talk with her in person. It seems like it’s becoming more difficult for me to travel long distances every year as the medical issues I had when I was younger seem to be catching up with me as I get older. So I’m grateful that my friends have made an effort to come visit me when they are in town.
I still feel very blessed to have gone to school with several incredible people who have become like family to me over the years.
Last September, I decided to start volunteering to write blog posts for Journey to Diversity Workplaces which is a Canadian organization that is trying to raise awareness about disability issues, along with various other issues, that exist within workplaces. Volunteering has been a great experience and has made me feel more productive and useful to the world.
The founder of the organization has made volunteering such a wonderful experience as he’s gone out of his way to make me feel like he values my insights and the efforts that I’ve made to contribute to the Journey to Diversity blog. A few of my blog posts have even been used as the featured article in the organization’s monthly newsletter. I wasn’t expecting what I’ve written to have received such a positive reaction, or that I would receive recognition for my blog posts, but it’s such a good feeling to know that what I’ve written is making at least some difference in the world. I appreciate the encouragement I received from my friends that helped me to decide to write a personal blog since that was out of my comfort zone to try to write about my personal experiences and daily life.
I especially appreciate my friend Tara writing a post about how awesome my personal blog was supposedly going to be. Her kind words gave me the confidence I needed to write my first post. Blogging has provided me with better experiences than I could have anticipated when I started blogging several years ago.
My brother-in-law, sister, and niece came to visit me for Memorial Day. Memorial Day has been a difficult holiday for me since my mom died of breast cancer. It still bothers me to be reminded that she has died, but I am grateful for the opportunity to reflect on her life and the positive influence that she’s had on my life. Normally Memorial Day makes me sad that she’s died, but this year I became angry and wasn’t pleasant to be around. I need to work on controlling my emotions better, but it’s challenging since I loved my mom and still miss her sometimes.
I’m grateful that my sister is one of my closest friends. I hope that we’ll continue to have a close relationship throughout our life. She’s perceptive at knowing when she needs to just listen to my problem or when she needs to give me some advice to help me to get over it. My niece was very sick and so that contributed to the tension between my family and I as we were all concerned about her. Overall it was good to see my family again even though we could have treated each other with more kindness and respect.
My Aunt Ludean also came to visit. It was fun to be able to see her and catch up on how her family is doing. It still can be difficult for me to spend time with my mom’s family and to be reminded of her. However, my mom’s family are good people and I appreciate that they still want to be part of my life. I hope that I can become better at focusing on the positive aspects of my life instead of dwelling too much on the past or on things that I can’t control. I am thankful for the memories that I was able to have with my mom, I’m grateful for how supportive she always was to me, and for all that she taught me that continues to help me in my life.
My current church calling, or assignment, is to be a 12-14 year old Sunday School instructor. I have enjoyed being able to teach the youth and to study more about the gospel. I’m grateful for the support of the other instructors as I’ve tried to become better at teaching the youth.
As part of my mission, I taught a class of Seminary students the Book of Mormon. I developed a love for teaching. It was inspiring to see how willing the kids were to help each other each day. I haven’t had the opportunity to be a parent yet and so it’s been fun for me to be able to see the growth in the people I have taught over the years. It’s very rewarding to feel like I’ve helped people to grow spiritually. I know that several of my church instructors have had a positive influence in my life from a young age which I am so grateful for.
I was also an Elders Quorum instructor, prior to this current Sunday School calling, and it was good to get to know the members of the Quorum better as I was serving as an Elders Quorum instructor. I’m grateful for the people in the Quorum who have been willing to help me when I’ve needed it and the support that I’ve received from the members of my church ward. I appreciate that my home teachers have also gone the extra mile to be my friend and to help my family as well. I’ve been reminded of the importance of serving others and trying to help people whenever I have an opportunity.