Monday, August 31, 2009
I belong to a yahoo group of mixed media artists. One recently wrote about an extended family gathering for a funeral. This amazing woman creates and teaches wonderful art journals, and organizes several great artfests that inspire thousands every year. Some family members looked at her artwork for the first time at this gathering, said, "So you just cut and paste", then turned away without a second glance. This is not an unfamiliar experience for any visual artist.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
So my daughter Charlotte called with great news. She received a research grant for her senior thesis. She is preparing for her final year as an undergraduate at University of Utah. She is planning on doing graduate work in Mormon Studies, which is what my dad devoted so much effort to during his final years of teaching (This photo is of Dad (Eugene England) in his office in 1998). Charlotte wants to do her senior thesis on my dad and his writings about Mormon Culture, studies and literature. Several years ago she attended a banquet for the 40th anniversary of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought (Dad was one of the founding editors). She sat at a table with people who had known and worked with Dad, and they shared experiences with Charlotte about her grandpa who she had just begun to know when she was 15 when he died. She called me the day after the banquet telling me how excited she was about what she had heard and learned. "This is what I want to do, learn more about what Grandpa was doing, and continue on with it." It was a bittersweet moment for me. I love the passion Charlotte has to learn more about Dad, read his writings (I think she is currently the only grandchild who is) and carry on with what he was trying to do by helping establish Mormon studies programs in college and universities that should have had them long ago. And I wish Dad were here to be the one to mentor Charlotte through this time. It is one of the things that I miss most about Dad being gone, I really wanted my kids to be able to take classes from him, and have that classroom experience unlike any other. But this is one of the ways that creation of life continues on. Dad created language in his speaking and writing that breathes life into Charlotte years after he is gone. And hearts turn from children to fathers and mothers, from parents to sons and daughters, and the world is saved again.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Today is our 25th wedding anniversary. We have been having a great time relaxing and doing things at the spur of the moment. Our major celebration will be a trip to Maui in November, which Mike talks about everyday. He is part fish and cannot wait to swim with some of his cousins in the waters of Maui.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I have 4 sisters. Katherine is my one and only sister who has lived longer than I have. Several decades ago I didn't have much appreciation for the teeny little bit of extra knowledge and experience that 21 months might give her. I was able to talk with her for a while the other day and I found myself appreciating the many ways she has been so generous and patient as a big sister this year. Even though we are different in many ways, I have loved enjoying and sharing the many ways we are one and the same. It helps me, as a mother, to know that I am not the only one who is simultaneously thrilled and in awe of my children, at the same time painfully worried about what they will deal with as they break away on their own. I am reminded of how lucky I am to have such a sister. What would we do without each other?
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
My dad died 8 years ago today. I miss him everyday. In 2003 I asked people to be a part of a team for Race for the Cure. My sister Jennifer and I designed a shirt so we could all run or walk in memory of dad. The phrase we put under the great picture Jennifer made was "Dash for Life. In memory of Eugene England 1933-2001, What are you doing in the dash?"