Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Short Letter to the Petersen Family

Dear Judy and the rest of the Petersen family:
I have just laughed, cried, and marveled my way through every written word and photograph in Judy's wonderful life story.  In my most brilliant imagination, I could not have known the extent of your incredible years  of devoted and inspired church service and of the countless lives you have touched. Nor did I know or understand the number and extent of health crises bravely faced and conquered through faith and perseverance.  I knew Robert was a hard worker, but the range of his skills and the incredible accomplishments from his ability to work and learn and apply so many skills is utterly amazing. Judy, if I were you, and Robert wanted to go to Lowe's to get even one nail, I would say, Robert, Dear, go get it!  And here is a $20 bill, so go buy yourself a whole sackful of nails, plus an ice cream cone! The details of family life after I left home in January 1950 are invaluable and insightful. Judy, your prose is clear and, in many places, absolutely eloquent and inspired.  For a few golden moments, I was back in Penrose, back in the only place I still consider home, listening to the river run over the dam, looking at the old Penrose Church across the sagebrush lots, sitting on the middle pier of the old Penrose bridge, the only True bridge in Penrose, with Liz, waiting for the suckers to bite, and they never did, but oh what a joyous time we had.  Once more I walked across the well worn diagonal path in the field between our house and Grandma and Grandpas's, up the lane by the ditch to the upper fields, smelled the sweet smells of alfalfa blossoms and growing crops and listened to the irrigation water gurgle as it soaked into the hard clay soil of Penrose and produced another crop for another year. And I thought, my entire life was blessed and enriched by those wonderful moments of re-mopping the floor when the job that was worth doing apparently wasn't done good enough, or going with Dad every Saturday morning of the school year to haul hay or go do whatever needed doing.  And, yes, the details about the lives of Louise, Elizabeth, Judy, Ann, and Steve are all enlightening and remind me once more that we were born and raised in a safe haven where danger was absent and love was present and that the Good Lord has allowed us to remain here for awhile longer to share what each of us has go give to the others.
To the Petersen Cbildren and extended family:  Your mother has lived an exemplary life, spared often from medical issues and crises that might have flattened a less valiant soul, and you know that your parents have seen the fruits of their labors and sacrifice in the lives of service and devotion to the timeless and eternal principles you learned from them.  I marvel at all of your accomplishments and your courage in overcoming adversity and forging on no matter the roadblocks.

Cheyenne Wyoming 1960


Judy said...

Ann, keep writing. The payoff is so well worth it! Dwight, thank you for your kind words and personal perspective that only heightens the unmeasured value of our family.
One of my favorite church writings is entitled "To Them of the Last Wagon" by J. Reuben Clark. The important thing is serving where we can and remaining faithful.
I'm so glad that Dwight makes me do things that I don't want to do. i.e. write.....

Ann said...

Dwight, beautifully written. We must be getting old(er) or wiser when reading each others stories or wonderful postings on our blog bring tears and stir up tender feelings such as I experienced when reading both Judy's story and Dwight's post. Or maybe it's just a cold.

Elizabeth said...

First, I laughed, then I cried all my way through Judy's book. However, I think we were all waiting for Dwight to put his eloquent touches on his reactions to the wonderful writing of our "little" sister. Now, I can laugh and cry all over again. I'm going to print this posting out and add it to Judy's book as an addendum. Thanks for coming through for all of us who have read this wonderful book!