Monday, August 28, 2017

Treasure Found

When I was fourteen I found my grandmother's life history.

 My grandmother was a good writer, so it was fun to read about her life in a far away time. She recounted some of her younger years and her teenage years, and I couldn't believe she was so relatable! As a fourteen-year-old, it's hard to wrap your head around the fact that adults were kids once too. And now I had proof that even my grandmother, who grew up in the 1900's, was also 'a kid once too.' I was so surprised to see we had similar thoughts, feelings, and experiences, despite being born nearly 90 years apart. There was a dance, or thinking someone was handsome. She excelled in school, or sang for a school concert. I will forever love my grandmother for writing those things down, for helping me feel a part of her, for making her feel human to me.

I found myself enamored with my grandmother's love story as she fell for a cowboy missionary from Arizona. As a fourteen-year-old girl I was wistful for their life as she relayed their early years secluded on a sheep farm, raising their family. It was so romantic! But it was so real because she was my blood, she was talking about giving birth to my very own Uncle Denny. And then along came my Aunt Carolee. And my Uncle Layne, and my dad, and eventually all of his siblings. It was her story, but it was my story too.

Was my dad not the cutest baby?!

Ever since I read her story all those years ago, I've felt a certain closeness to her, like she is like me in some way (I never knew her before she died). I often feel that she is watching out for me from the Other Side. Now my dad's been working on my grandpa's life history and it's wonderful to feel closer to him as well. If it isn't a treasure! In between the lines, in the stories of their lives and tales of their faithful service are attitudes long lost and forgotten in our current culture: reverence for authority, gratitude for the opportunity to raise a family, and a total and complete focus on things that matter eternally. It has given me a lot to ponder and hopefully make a part of my life as I search the pages of their lives now past.
We don’t know what [the Lord] has in store for you and we know that it could not be greater than raising a righteous family of sons and daughters…[That is] undoubtedly the greatest assignment that you can be given…Just be glad all of the time that you have the opportunity of serving in the kingdom of God…[and helping people] gain a testimony for themselves that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World and the Son of God.” (23)
Dad said he was learning some new things. “Since I have been a patriarch I’ve reached a couple of conclusions…It seems that necessity is the thing that has caused me to increase my spirituality, or in other words, to get closer to my Father in Heaven. I find that there is a closeness available between each of us and his Father in Heaven that I could have utilized to a greater extent in my Church service, than I have. And the other thing that I have found out is that the closer we are to the Lord the more successful we will perform the job that we’ve been given.” (143)

These stories, these pictures! They are such treasures to me. Your stories are worth recording! Maybe your memories will sit lost in some box some where after you are long gone, but maybe somebody will treasure them. Maybe they won't, but just maybe... they might.


  1. This post is so, so great, Ashley, even important. And brings a tear to my eye. What worthwhile memories. Thank you for reading it and gleaning such treasures of life from it. Love, Dad

  2. Love your post Ashley. I don't think I've ever seen any of those pictures!