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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

First Memories

In this post I talk about the mother figures in my life.  The one I only mentioned as a RS Mentor was Sherri Flake.  She truly was a mom to me, and Clel my other dad.  The both passed away in March of 2014.  I never thought I would forget a single moment with them, but now time is passing and the memories begin to fade.  I'd like to write all I can.

I believe I met Clel first.  He was the 1st counselor in the college ward bishopric.  I think it was the second week of school that he asked me to give a talk in church.  I had plans to go home that weekend, so I said no.  He promised me he would ask again, which he did until I said yes.  I don't think we said anything remarkable, but I knew he knew who I was.

One week I went home, and my whole life fell apart.  I returned to EA feeling overwhelmed and afraid.  I needed to talk to someone, but who did I know there?  I asked to talk to Clel merely because I knew who he was.  I don't remember much of what he said, but I do remember that I went in with him and started sobbing about everything that was wrong.  He got me to laugh, which was the greatest Heaven-send at the time.  He then offered me a blessing.  I was shocked-I thought that was just for people who were about to die or in other serious situations.  Clel told me no, blessings are the most under utilized tool we have in the church.  I do not remember what was said, but I do remember feeling loved and valued.

I don't remember a single moment where I met Sherri.  I think we sat together in RS one day.  It was probably the first day, the one where she introduced herself.  We got talking, and Sherri invited me to dinner that night.  Having a home cooked meal at a family table was literally a gift from heaven.  I felt safe and loved in that home, and I didn't feel much of that my first semester of college.  I would later learn that they invited college students over every week, but I'm so glad it was me that week.

I can't remember what I was upset about the first night I just showed up at their doorstep in tears.  I just remember thinking "it's 8:30.  They aren't going to be too happy with me, but I don't have anywhere else to go."  Clel was the one who opened the door and said "Come on in!" with a smile.  I grinned at him and said "You just can't get rid of me, can you?"  His immediate rejoinder was "We wouldn't want to."  Like I said, I don't remember what the problem was, but I do remember how much better I felt afterwards.  Knowing there's somewhere you can go makes all the difference in the world.  For me, EA could not have been home without the Flakes.