So here we are, dear readers, starting a new chapter in the life of LadyMo.
I. Moved. To. Utah.
It isn’t enough to say the last two years of my life have been eventful. I met missionaries. I fought with missionaries. I lived in a different country. I was baptized. I received my endowments. And this week, I packed up my car, sold everything else, and moved to Utah.
I decided a few months ago that moving to Utah would be a good decision. I started to build a life in Olathe and found family in people I had met a only a year and a half prior. I love these families, and they called me their own. But, I also felt that tug towards creating my own family. My own life. I was growing up, as a young adult, and in my testimony, with other peoples’ families. When I knew that I couldn’t build my life around theirs, no matter how much I love love love them, I decided I had to move. Move is good. Change is good! Change is frequent and normal in my life. I can do change.
Barb and Amy helped me survive the drive from Kansas to Utah – and thank HEAVENS for them. We arrived almost 24 hours after we left Kansas, unpacked, showered, and then crashed. What do we do now? What’s next? A friend I haven’t seen in too long came over and we caught up quickly. I’m so glad to have him as a friend.
After about an hour of catch ups and how-you-dos, Patterson came over so we could go pick up my bed. A few weeks ago, Sister Robinson (Momma Ro), asked if I needed anything, and when I asked if she knew of anyone getting rid of a bed, she offered an extra one she had. Between Patterson and Momma Ro, this LadyMo has a safe and comfortable place to sleep. And I am so grateful for that. And them.
Barb and Amy spent the night at another friend’s house, with, presumably, more beds than I could offer. Patterson hung out with me, and after a quick bite, he helped me set my room up and bring some normal to this new life.
So as far as this move was going, so good. It felt as normal as moving to a new state should, and thing seemed to be going smoothly.
I woke up Tuesday morning, after only 3 or 4 hours of sleep, got ready for my day, got in my car, and then there was the brick wall. WHAT AM I DOING!? WHERE AM I GOING!? HOW AM I GOING TO GET THERE!? I had a full body melt down, and then drove myself to Salt Lake City to get some things for my room. I sat in the parking lot of Home Depot with a shopping list in my hand, and again, lost my marbles. I called Natalie and just FREAKED out. I’m talking hyperventilating, body shaking, snot filled sobbing. All over going to Home Depot. And also probably, not knowing how to get back home.
Finally, after about 20 minutes of insane hysterics, I pulled myself together and collected the things I needed from Home Depot. When I came outside, I saw the mountains, and started sobbing all over again. Seriously, readers, I was a mess! I sat in my car for a few minutes, putzing around on Facebook to distract myself, and when I saw a picture of Maren, Natalie, and Marie, I balled even more.
Through the tears, I was trying to snap myself out of it: “Uh, LadyMo, why are you so weird? You saw them a few days ago. You’ll see some of them this summer. Stop being such a freak.” Evidently, I was just mean enough to make myself cry even more. I’m a meanie weanie.
I got back on the highway, and not knowing how to get home, I drove to Draper to visit the Robinson family. I knew how to get there, I was familiar with their neighborhood, and their house felt normal and familiar to me. Robo, I hope that’s not too strange. Elder Robo’s sister, Nickie, was home and took me along for errands and kept me distracted. She gave me a good five hours of weep free normalcy. We went grocery shopping, to Target, and IKEA! I went to my first IKEA! I picked out a chair so that friends (and Toto) will always have a place to sit.
On Wednesday, Barb and Amy told me to get my butt to the temple. I wanted to spend morning curled up in bed and not leave my house (everything out there was SCARY!), but they helped me understand that I needed to go. It was Amy’s first time doing baptisms, and it made me think of my first time going to the temple with Natalie, Sister Bowman, and Sister Glade. I shared with her the same scripture that Sister Bowman shared with me (Mosiah 5:7). We did confirmations and I watched as Barb and Amy did baptisms. It was beautiful! I am so impressed with how fully Amy has embraced this church. I am so blessed to know so many people with such strength and know that I am able to keep on through tough stuff because of people like them.
After baptisms, Amy and Barb left to go get cleaned up. I stayed at the Jordan River temple to do initiatories and to sit in the Celestial Room to just breathe for a minute. I’m glad I stayed. The first woman who was performing the ordinance took a look at my name and giggled. “Oh honey, bless you! Just wait until you get married and you can change that name to something easier to say!” I love old people. She was adorable, and yet so offensive. I looked at her with the kindest, least weepy eyes I could manage and explained that M is my mom’s last name and the other M is my dad’s last name. When I came back around for the next initiatory, she hugged me and told me that she was sorry for blaspheming my name and that when she got to spend time saying and practicing my name, and knowing where it was from, she learned that it was beautiful. She loved, as do I, that my name is a gift from both of my parents.
For me, while I was there, it felt human. I liked that. The first few days in Utah, I felt anything but human. So even in the middle of an old woman “blaspheming” my name and then later apologizing for it, I started to feel a small bit more like a human being.
After the temple, Amy and I drove up to Park City and had dinner with two of my friends, Elizabeth and Matthew, who served their missions in France. I loved seeing more familiar. Familiarity and friends certainly helped maintain the human-ness I was slowly approaching. We ate dinner at the top of the mountain at the St. Regis hotel, and then took the funicular down the side of the mountain.
When we got back to West Valley, Amy let me cuddle with her and helped me fall asleep. She watched some How I Met Your Mother, and I snuggled. It was like a giant sigh of relief and I was able to slip into sleep. I felt comforted and comfortable. Now, Amy, you’re not allowed to ever leave Utah.
Thursday, I ventured out to Sugar House to meet some FMH-ers and MoSto-ers at a Sugar House Park play date. I squished on a baby, chatted with some new people, and then hit the road. I wasn’t feeling terribly well, and after a week not eating much, I stopped at Arby’s to grab a juice. I’ve never been to an Arby’s in my life, and only stopped because I had no where else to be. I sat in a corner, read an ASL Interpreting book, and just waited until I felt like I needed to go somewhere else. After a little bit of reading and people watching, the Van Komen’s walked through the door. Sister and President Van Komen served in the Missouri Independence Mission and I met them multiple times through the multiple missionaries. I was so happy to see someone I knew and someone who spoke my language (saying things like Lenexa or Olathe doesn’t mean much to many people around these parts…)
Having lunch with the Van Komens was an answer to a prayer. All week I’ve been surrounded by people who love me and know me and want to comfort and care for me. I can’t take that for granted. And seeing the Van Komens was another testament that God is looking out for me and will help me make this place my home. As Sister Van Komen said, “It’s no coincidence we ran into you here!”
Thursday night, the anxiety and stress got the best of me, and my body reacted badly. I pretty much hadn’t eaten or slept well all week, and at this point, lost 11 lbs in just a few days. So, Barb and Amy took care of me as I spent the night being sick and in pain.
Friday, I had the fortunate blessing of being able to find the Sanderson Deaf Community Center in Utah. Being there felt very familiar and I felt very happy to be there. Chuck Baird art was posted on the walls, people there knew my people in Olathe and the Deaf world, if only for a short hour, wrapped its arms around me tightly and let me feel like I was in the right place. I left feeling a little bit lighter, and a bit less like balling my eyes out. Progress? Yes!
Saturday, we drove down to Lehi to visit another missionary family, the Nielsen’s. It was so wonderful to be around a family and to learn about different ways of being Mormon. I think it’s important to note that us youngin’s don’t have a frickin’ frackin’ (see? I’m Utah!) clue how to do Mormon. We’re figuring it out as we go along. Being with families is like seeing it work. So I liked that a lot.
Sunday was church and while it is a 3rd ward, it’s not my 3rd ward. It really made me miss Olathe 3rd. It made me realize how much I love Bishop Murphy, how awesome Brother John teaches Sunday School, and how much I learned from Relief Society lessons. I know it’s only week one, and I need to give it more of a chance, but …. it’s still not Olathe 3rd. I’ll get there. I promise.
Dear readers, I know I’m supposed to be here. I know as far as learning experiences are concerned, I’m in the thick of it. What I will learn or who I will become at the end of it is still blurry, but I know I’m supposed to be here to learn it. Or become it. Or do something. In the mean time, it’s hard. I want to write a happy, funny, witty, or even intelligent post about cross-country adventures and how exciting life is in a new place. But all I can say is that this is hard. And I’m a little scared.
This post is already getting too long, so I will break now and then carry on with the adventure I had Sunday night another time.
So much love 🙂