What a creature! But it lives only about days. These creatures flitted around the enclosure, and I ran after them because I could not take my eyes off of them. Praise the Lord we live a whole lot longer than days. Of course, that means our struggle is much longer. I now embrace the struggle that has been my life because Christ has developed His character in me. I have become a new creation in Christ exactly as Paul says.
It did not happen. I was a blank slate just like a newborn babe, but Christ placed His indelible mark on my life. My baby brother, Wade, left this earth to be with the Lord long before I was even a thought.
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My parents went home three weeks apart in March of , but they lived quite long upon this earth. My mother was my best friend, and I feel her loss most acutely. Then in March of , I lost my eldest brother, and I still feel his loss. The sister next in age to me died in March of , and I still have a hard time believing she is gone.
She was very ill for many years and suffered much. I know she is home with the Lord now, but still I long to see her and hear her voice.
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Because I was away in the air force beginning on my eighteenth birthday, I did not get to see these family members as often as I would have liked, but I stored up memories of our times together and placed them in the treasury of my heart. We were definitely disadvantaged financially.
We lived from week to week, hoping the weather would stay good so my daddy would have a job to do. We also prayed that my mama would get a better job because we did not like where she sometimes had to work. My mama and daddy often fought. Sometimes they threw things, which frightened me. When I was about two years old, I had the most horrible nightmare. In my dream, I got out of bed and walked through the house. In every room where my family should have been sleeping were skeletons. I was very afraid, even though in reality, I was surrounded by my parents and siblings, sleeping snug in their beds.
However, the fond memories of childhood outweigh any bad ones. When I was a small girl of about three, my oldest brother would lift me up in his arms and take me to the local store. There, he would fill my dress with candy and buy me a soda. He toted me all over the place, and I felt very secure in his strong arms. I have many more memories of him throughout a lifetime, but that is my earliest one. I keep him alive in my treasure chest of memories.
I have similar memories of my parents. My mama always made sure holidays were good. At Christmas, there were gifts under the tree. She was one terrific cook, so the meals were memorable. I often look back and wonder how she did it. We did not have much money, yet we had a terrific spread at Thanksgiving, gifts at Christmas, Easter baskets and dresses, and new clothes and shoes when we needed them. My sister next to me in age loaned me her clothes when I was in high school.
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She always welcomed me into her home when I took leave in the air force, and she always had a listening ear when I was troubled. These beloved family members have gone home to the Lord before me.
I hold on to the good memories of all of them. Those relationships were not without struggles, but we always ironed out. Because we struggled to work things out and grow, I became a stronger, wiser, and more mature woman. I still have two brothers and one sister living, and I truly treasure them. The older living brother was my role model and inspiration while I was growing up.
From a Caterpillar to a Butterfly: My Lifelong Struggle for Identity
He always had time for me, did his best to guide me to do the right things, and contributed much to help out financially. He entered the air force, and I did so ten years later. I am very glad that I followed in his footsteps. Elder Richard C.
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