Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Me & Grandma June, August, 2008

My Mom & Jeni, August, 2008

Jeni & Grandma Eddie, February, 2006
I'm a little late in posting this. Sometimes it takes me a long time to form my words. This is one of those times. It's a little bit of a long post as well. I had a lot to say.
I come from a long line of very strong women. Not strong vocally really - don't get me wrong, we can talk and give our opinion - but what I mean is emotionally strong.
Starting with my Grandma Eddie. She lost her father and her younger sister to the influenza virus in 1920 - she was 3 years old. Her mother (my great grandmother) was pregnant with her third daughter at the time and went on to raise that child and my grandma without the benefit of a husband. She never remarried. My Grandma Eddie (her name is Nellie, but when Jeni was little she couldn't say that so it came out Eddie and my grandma simply liked that name better - so it stuck) didn't ever complain or really elaborate on her childhood too much, unless we asked specific questions, but from what I do know, life was hard for them without a dad. That's my Grandma Eddie's nature, though. She never complained. She wanted everyone else to be happy. If they were - she was. Simple as that. It used to frustrate people sometimes that she wouldn't make a choice, but really - the more I think about her and her life, the more I realize that that's just it - she lived so that other people could be happy. If they were happy - she was happy. Simple.
Grandma June - She married my grandfather and started a family right away. They had 4 boys and 1 girl. My dad was the oldest of those children. Her and my grandfather farmed for a living in Northern Utah. I always thought that sounded like so much fun and for years I wished that my father hadn't moved us away from that. I wanted to live on a farm and have the fun that I saw all of my cousins having. I've learned however, that farm life is a very hard life. Constant worry. Constant work - at all hours of the day and night. No vacations, no holidays. My Grandma June is a worker - even now at the age of almost 86, she makes lunches and takes them to my uncles when they're working out in the fields. This is a woman that loves her family and her family loves her.
Then there's my mom - Susan. She and my dad were 16 and 17 when I was born. I could stop there because that in and of itself tells you that life wasn't easy for her. However, that wouldn't do it justice as to just how much she's lived through. She had 3 kids by the time she was 23 years old. She was 21 years old when she and my dad moved their little family 800 miles from home in Northern Utah to the big city of Phoenix, Arizona for a job opportunity. I personally can't imagine that. She didn't really know anyone, but she made a life - a good life - for her family. She became active in the church and made sure that us kids went to church and were taught the gospel. My dad never caught on to that, but she forged ahead. Making sure we were at church each Sunday and that we went to our primary and MIA (that's what they called YW/YM back in the "old" days) activities. She gave me the opportunity to attend BYU for a year. I wish I could say that that was the beginning of my educational journey, but alas - I didn't take advantage of the opportunity that was given me, but I am so appreciative that she sacrificed so that I could do that. It was a tremendous growing experience for me. She is one of the most thoughtful women that I know. Her life is so busy that she doesn't get the chance to do a lot of the things she loves to do, but still she finds time to do things for her family. That's her, though - family means everything to her and we all know that because her actions speak loudly.
Jeni is my hero. She is everything I dreamed she'd be and so much more. She has been a joy and a blessing to me since the day she was born. She's opinionated and stubborn, but kind and compassionate and giving. She immerses herself in her childrens lives and they are better for it. They know that their mother is on their side and is there for them - always. She is a wonderful wife to Daniel and they are good together. They are truly a team and I love that about them. All of this is even more inspiring to me given the fact that she had her first baby at 16, she and Dan married at 18 and spent 4 years in Texas in the Army. That's a lot of life lessons to be learning at such tender ages - but they have embraced all of those lessons and learned from them.
I have many more women in my life that I could go on about - my other 2 daughters, my sister, her girls, my sisters-in-law, my aunts, my cousins, my friends. My life is full of wonderful, strong, beautiful women.
I am so blessed.
Happy Mother's Day!

1 comment:

Cori said...

A beautiful post - thanks so much for the sentiments. We are truly blessed to have so many strong, beautiful women around us; including YOU!!!