Saturday, May 2, 2009

What a blessing!

I have been thinking the last couple of days how blessed we are to be born where we are born. I have been thinking a lot about my grandma and grandpa they both where born in Mexico and I truly believe they both fell in love with each other quickly when they came over to the U.S. and they both knew that lifestyle and education where very important. They did not want their kids and grand kids growing up being known as lazy Mexicans and they never wanted their kids or grand kids to only know Spanish since they where in the U.S. they taught us to learn and respect the U.S. so unfortunately we do not speak Spanish. I will always respect my heritage and want to learn as much as I can about it because it is part of me. As we work through this I know I want Nerlande and Yonelson to know about their country and lifestyle because our homeland and heritage makes our world be the way it is. For some reason Mexicans always seem to be degraded and spoke of in a negative light in this country.

While I am sure that their are those who deserve the negativity that gets directed their way I know that people who feel this way never met my grandma and grandpa. One of my favorite memories of my grandma is when Dave and I finally received our Patriarchal Blessings. When Dave and I moved back from Montana we moved into an apartment complex in South Salt Lake. We were struggling to make it as Dave tried to figure out what he was going to do with his future after deciding that running call centers was not something he wanted in his life. Like I mentioned we struggled to try to make ends meet during this time and had no idea the blessings that were in store for us. As we settled back into life in Utah we hit the radar of the LDS ward that served the neighborhood we lived in.

Now it is important to mention here that while Dave and I had both been raised LDS we had gone through periods of inactivity in our lives and both had not regularly attended church for years. So when the Home Teachers started knocking on our door we were more inclined to hide behind the couch and tell the kids to stay quiet then answer the door and let them in. I have to share with have a testimony that Heavenly Father knows what and who we need in our lives and he sent us a couple of Home Teachers that wouldn't give up. One night they finally yelled through the door ' we know your in there" and our days of hiding from the home teachers were over. In time we were invited to attend church and found a part of our life and our marriage we never understood. We now talk about our first marriage (civilly) and our real marriage for time and all eternity that happened several years later. Anyway when we went to receive our Patriarchal Blessings we met my grandmas last bishop, he was now the Patriarch of the ward and shared with us a story that will stay with me forever. He explained that he met with my grandma and asked her why she attended church when she couldn't hear very well or see anymore. Her answer stuck with him ever since and he was moved by the opportunity to share it with us. She told him that she attended church each Sunday even though she didn't really know what was going on because she wanted the lord to know which side she stood on.

My grandparent were immigrants from Chihuahua Mexico and love our country. My grandpa worked hard every day of his life in a coalmine and spent his off time building a house for my grandma with his own hands from a picture of a house in a Sutherland's Lumber calendar. The house still stands years after they have both passed as a testament to the fact that love and hard work can extend far beyond the time we have here on earth. I guess my point is that there is good and bad to every race on the planet and we need to judge people by their actions not by the place they were born. Somehow many people think it’s so bad when we cannot keep up with our neighbors in worldly things. We spend little time thinking about what it would feel like to watch your family starve because you couldn't find a way to feed them. We never consider the pain one must feel watching loved ones die because you can't afford to get them the medical help they need. Imagine being one of the people living in one of these third world countries whether it is Haiti or the slums of Mexico. Imagine a life where you see the life people in the U.S. are blessed with as you watch your family struggle to just stay alive. What would you do, would you just sit back and let your kids die because of the place you were born or would you do everything you could to make a better life for them. Would you stay at home and wait for the inevitable or would you fight for your kids and do all you can to make it into a country where you could at least pick fruit to make enough money to feed your kids. Would you run, swim and risk it all for your family? Would you build a raft and risk your life to try and drift from Haiti to Florida? Would you do everything and anything to provide food for your kids who are crying from hunger and illnesses that we have long forgot about?

I believe that most of us would do these things and so much more in order to save our families. So I have a hard time understanding why we push the rafts back and kill people at the border who are just trying to save their families and take jobs most of us don't want. Sure there are added expenses that come from these people being here but how is that different than anyone else here. This country was built on the backs of our ancestors who were nearly all immigrants, we are all pretty much illegal’s if you look back far enough so why do we punish others because they showed up a little later than our families did.

We all should take great pride in our heritage and I am determined to make sure that Nerlande and Yonelson have great pride in the country they were born in. While Haiti has some very difficult issues they also have a very proud past. They hold the distinct honor of being the only place where slaves actually took control and changed the future for them. Our kids come from a beautiful country that is struggling with challenges most have no idea how to fix. Our commitment is to make sure that they are knowledgeable and proud of their heritage and that they understand the struggles of others who take great risks to make a better life for themselves and their families.
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