Sunday, May 17, 2009

OUR ANNIE!


Some particular moments are pivotal, like little stepping stones across the river of life, and they are worth noting because they represent something bigger than themselves. I tack them to the bulletin board in my head, and of course in my heart, but distance tends to make them dim, so I make note of one such moment here on a Sunday night when other people are in their pajamas and curled up with a book as they drift off to sleep. Most of my journal writing has been done at this time of night, when quiet finally settles like a fresh sheet over the bed; when I am recalling the choruses of songs the day has sung to me. Sundays in particular make me reminiscent for the past week. Or weeks. Tonight I am recalling with tenderness the moment nearly two weeks ago when our youngest child, Annie, stood on the floor of the Huntsman Center at the University of Utah, a mortar board on her head and Masters Robes hanging down the back of her gown. We needed binoculars to see her all the way down there from our row on the top, where wheelchairs are given place and her Gram could be with us.

From our perch there Jordon texted Annie's cell phone and told her to LOOK UP! We had driven secretly to the airport before the ceremony and picked up Kate, who had flown in from Houston to surprise her sister. Annie squinted, and noticed Kate then got a little choked up. Some things you just make it a point to attend. Like funerals. It matters when we put our feet in the place where someone's life is celebrated in retrospect, where loved ones need the energy sharing, where attending is a signal of respect, if nothing else, for what someone has done or been. I can still tell you the names of people who travelled from our neighborhood to the funeral of our nephew, Clayton. Things like that really mean something, even if we try to tell ourselves they don't. So Kate being there was a statement, besides being a joy.
Annie earned her Masters degree in Speech Language Pathology and has already secured a position with the Davis School District. She and Jordon are in the process of building a house in Kaysville and we don't have to tell you how ecstatic we are that they will be close by!
I recall when Annie was in seventh grade, just starting Farmington Junior High School. Annie was one who worried about things too much. She worried about something happening to us in the car, or while she was at school. She made it a point to look us in the eye whenever we parted and say "I love you more than you could ever imagine", holding her hand in the American Sign Language hand symbol for I LOVE YOU. We still write ILYMTYCEI on our cards and letters to each other. She has also always been a determined gal, setting goals that seem rather lofty, if not impossible sometimes. She determined in seventh grade that she was going to do two things: First, she was going to play on the Farmington Jr High basketball team, even though she was all of 4' 9" at the time. "Oh, that's uh, good Annie!" I hesitated as I spoke, worrying that being too enthusiastic about that goal would give her false hope. Secondly, she decided she was going to be smart. Nearly her whole life the most hurtful thing anyone could do to her would be to call her stupid. Turns out she accomplished both goals. She did play basketball for Farmington Jr and for Viewmont High. The shortest girl on the team, but the winner of the "Hustle" award. And the same is true of her academic aspirations. We celebrate her determination and her faithful dedication to all things she aspires to achieve. What an amazing woman she is! For Mothers day last week Annie presented to us a cherished gift. If you look at the picture of Annie you will see a red sash around her neck with the University of Utah insignia embroidered near the point. Annie and Jordon framed that sash, known as the Sash of Gratitude graduates wear in honor of someone of their choosing. This is what Annie wrote on her sash:
Mom and Dad~
Thank you for all your love and support in helping me reach my dreams. I love you more than you could ever imagine.
Love,
Annie
Tears rolled from her eyes as she handed it to us, and we wept together at the rush of emotion wrapped in memories that hurled in a flash through our embrace. She is a child of our hearts, cherished and beloved, and no parents could be more proud nor grateful than we.
Annie, Nanners, Banana and Bananza...remember always to LOOK UP! We are cheering for you up there in the rafters, always and forever!

8 comments:

  1. Which schools will she be servicing in Davis District? Maybe she'll run into Emma

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kysha -
    She hasn't heard yet which school or schools she will serve. They're moveing over by you guys, so it would be great if she were in your school! Marvelous Emma...how fun would that be?!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This touched me! What a sweet tribute. I am so proud of Annie and what she has overcome to achieve this.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mom you are so sweet. Thank you so much. I love you more than you could ever imagine.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh, that was so sweet. Yea Annie!!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's hard to type with tears rolling down my cheeks. That was by far the most tender post I've ever read. What a great accomplishment. What a genuinely beautiful young woman. What marvelous parents she has. What a proud moment for all. What a blessed family. Praises and love to you!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh, Cori. You always beach me. When I read you, I feel like I live with my eyes sealed shut. Your touch is so deft, like the brush of a wing - but the dent it makes is profound. I am like Annie - always worrying - but I never said that thing to my parents, I don't think - it came out in anxious irritation. To my children, I say it and I say it, and it is never enough.

    ReplyDelete