Sunday, April 26, 2009

Marathon and More

With the Atlanta temple closing on July 1 for major renovations, I've been going weekly for the past couple of months and have on occasion run into these two characters who try very hard to distract me. See if you recognize them!
Gary is overseas but but will be home later this week, just in time to enjoy Julie, Jeremiah and his girlfriend, Amy, who we are certainly looking forward to getting to know better. Beau is going to show Amy around town, starting with a Braves/Cardinals game on Wednesday evening and a Broadway musical at the Fox on Friday. Their first request, though, was to go to the beach and since we just happen to have a place right on the beach, we'll spend a few days with them there. I hope Julie brings her scissors and clippers to shape a few of us up. She just spent a week at the Taskers taking care of the kids while Jenn, Jim, and London went to Boston for the famous Marathon that Jim ran in. Claire, Jessica, Emily and Ethan, Rachel and Lauren, and myself were the official cheering squad, complete with T-shirts that read on the front: J. Crew, Boston Marathon 2009, and on the back some clarification on the crew: Jim's CREW meaning
Courageous Runner Endless Waiting. Courageous because Jim was determined to qualify without having to ever run on Sunday which is quite a feat since most marathons are on Sunday.
Runner because that is just what he is, rain or shine. Endless because that is what the miles feel like when your body wants to shut down, or maybe it is because Jenn feels like Jim's passion for running is endless, with no end in sight! Waiting for a few years to qualify took patience, persistence, and a fair amount of money! Whatever, the CREW was thrilled to be able to go, the CREW had a fabulous time, the CREW fell in love with Boston, the CREW wants to go again and hopes someone in the family qualifies again! In our spare time we rode the trolley all over historic Boston, jumped off at Cambridge to go to church, rode the subway to Harvard to get a picture of London in front of John Harvard, enjoyed some tasty deli's,

and mostly just had fun being together in a beautiful, historic city cheering on our man, Jim. Gary and I lived in the township of Northboro, MA way back in 1976 when we just had Jennefer and Josh so this trip for me was a trip down memory lane.
Gary had business in Tampa earlier in the month, so instead of flying he drove and I went right along with him. Jordan, Amanda, and Jonah came over as well and while the guys had meetings, we checked out Costco, the giant horses at PF Changs, and a few other things inbetween. Jonah wasn't feeling great so we restrained ourselves!
I don't believe I've shown off Baby Amelia yet who worked her way right into my heart while I was in Albuquerque. Now she has worked her way right into Jake's heart while he is in Albuquerque! Oliver's place in our hearts was already secure before his baby sister's arrival.
I know some people come to Hickory Farm in the to fish and fish and fish but end up without a whole lot of luck. Then there are other people that fish and fish and fish and end up with a lot of luck. There are some BIG FISH in our lakes, that is for sure.
April is a celebratory month for us. Gary always has a birthday (#61) and we always have an anniversary (#36). There are a few other family birthdays, too: Jason who doesn't want his age posted, and Caleb who does want his age posted ( year a big one for him).

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Tribute to my sister, Launa

March 2009 - Becky, Luke, Launa
Launa has always been and will forever be two years older than me.
I spent a lot of time in my growing up years trying to figure out how I could close that age gap. I wanted to do the things she was doing and have the friends that she had. When I reached second grade and had Mrs. Hart, who was also a member of our church, for my teacher, I thought maybe my chance to time-jump had come and that she would let me ‘skip’ a grade putting me one year closer to my ‘idol-ed’ big sister. Unfortunately, Mrs. Hart’s theme was always to use my own ‘initiative’ rather than relying on her mercy to speed up my academic age. Obviously, I didn’t have enough initiative because Launa still graduated two years before I did, and now many years later is more than years ahead of me in her wisdom and gentleness of spirit: attributes that aren’t measured in earthly years.
Growing up in Idaho Falls, Launa blazed the trail for me. She was beautiful, talented, popular. I would introduce myself as Becky Heninger, but more importantly, I would always add that I was Launa Heninger’s sister. She could always make her hair look so perfectly ‘stylish.’ My hair usually looked perfectly ‘boyish’ despite my best efforts. We both took dancing lessons – Launa was a natural and I fumbled my way along. She was always the better horsewoman – I just got lucky because I had a better trained horse. Launa ran for school offices and won. She was secretary of the 9th grade. When I reached 9th grade, I was an ‘also ran’ for the same office. She was homecoming princess in the same grade – I didn’t even make the cut. I remember watching her ride the float in the Homecoming Parade and dreaming big dreams for doing the same.
Despite my setbacks, I didn’t give up. I still wanted to be just like Launa. Years later that is still my quest. Launa was president of the Young Women in her ward, and when I was able to be just like her in that respect, she was my resource and inspiration. I think I copied all of her files and ideas and she generously shared them. Every time I am around her I realize just how much there is to Launa. She has allowed herself to be taught and molded through her life experiences. I remember her joking once that if trials count for wisdom, then she should be one of the smartest people around! Well, I think she is. I remember being with her in Oregon when our older sister, Susan, was sick. Launa just intuitively knew the right thing to do and say to comfort Sue. I thought to myself, ‘When I am sick, I want Launa to come and take care of me.’
When Launa has hard times, she still maintains her sense of humor which invariably makes the tough going a little easier. She called the Nelson family’s last Thanksgiving together before Bill left, ‘The last supper!’ She gave me some great counsel on marriage a few years ago when we were driving to Canada for Dominion Day. I asked her how she was able to manage the difficulties in her marriage and still be happy, and she wisely said, ‘I choose to focus on Bill’s positive qualities.’
Lately I’ve been asking Launa how she is able to have the energy to be help raise young grandchildren at time in her life when she should be pampering herself – taking it a little easier. I want to have Launa’s energy, her compassion, her love. Launa loves her children and loves their children and wants the best for them – and she is willing to be an instrument in that process. Launa has the gift of charity – you see it in her actions and you see it in her eyes. She has received His image in her countenance and in who she has become. She is someone I love to be around – she is someone I love deeply. I hope I can be just like her someday!