Wednesday, February 24, 2010


A continuation from yesterday's post, kind of.

When we came home from North Carolina--where Trent learned that "pajamas" were "jammies"--to Utah for visits and eventually to live closer to family I realized my sister, Pat, was the Queen of slang. They didn’t have “roast beef” for Sunday dinner, they had “roast beast.” If you were sick, you had the “dreaded gomboo.” She sailed through life, putting her language stamp on everything. She was delightful. Life was a lark to her and meant to be enjoyed.

Years later, when our last child, Elizabeth was little, Pat gave her a fairy princess outfit. It came with a magic wand that played music when you pushed a button. Pat could hardly wait to have Elizabeth push the button. I thought it might play the Cinderella theme, but no. It played the music to “Hang down your head, Tom Dooley.” I was horrified but before I could say anything Pat said, “Isn’t that a scream? I love it. Don’t ever get rid of that magic wand.” She laughed. “Can you imagine, some Japanese committee, picking songs for the magic wands? ‘This one sounds nice,’ they probably said. ‘Has a nice tune.’”

I never did really see the humor in it, I’ve tried but I’m still uncomfortable with giving a song about death and murder to a four year old. We still have the magic wand somewhere. It probably doesn’t work but I couldn’t get rid of it because my sister, who died not too long after this incident, had thought it was a “hoot” and if nothing else, I loved my very original-talking sister and I kept her wishes.

I will never measure up to this sister, who had ideas no one else had, but never wrote them down. (This is one of the tragedies of life.) She loved the Lord with a pure and deep love. She took Institute classes as often as she could, even though she had to have dialysis three times a week and it prevented her from doing a lot of the things she loved. She loved my children like no one else did and I think she probably watches over them from time to time.

She lived in St. George so she could have her dialysis treatments and Larry went to St. George every weekend. When she died her funeral was held in Annabella, two and a half hours from St. George or two hours, depending on who’s driving. The chapel and cultural hall were filled to capacity and carloads of her St. George friends made the trip to attend her funeral. All the florist shops in Richfield sold out of flowers for her funeral and people brought every plant and artificial arrangement available.

When she died, a light went out of the world and Heaven was brightened. I am sure the language in Heaven has changed a bit. The angels are using new words for things and they smile and laugh a lot too. They probably change into jammies when they go to bed and have roast beast for Sunday dinner—although the “beast” is probably made of some vegetable concoction.

Well, this story didn’t start out to be what it ended up like. I just wanted to remember Trent’s language degeneration but--from his comment on yesterday's post--it didn't degenerate at all. But he is clever with words. After all, he is the one who called my little desk in the living room a “clerk.” “Because it’s not big enough to be a secretary.” And it will always be the clerk until the end of time. Maybe a tiny bit of Aunt Pat lives on in my children, her children, and my sister Julie’s children too. I certainly hope so. Hillary's language qualifies. And Taylor's. And the other three are as clever as can be. I'm proud of them.

PS Yesterday, Trent commented on my post. It seems he doesn't use slang so something must have sunk in from so many years ago. And my favorite part of his comment was that he said he kneels down to have nighttime prayers with his two-year old. What a great dad my boy is.


hillary said...

Probably, I might have come from Aunt Pat just a little bit. You needed me more so you get me. I also love you best and most.

I say roast beast when I do "this little piggie" Maybe It's Aunt Pat wispering in my ear, I hope so.

Also, Trent flaws go way beyond someone teaching him the "jammie" word. I'm just saying. That's all. And just for the record, I usually tell my chillin's to "go get in your jams".

Michael Rawluk said...

I haven't heard Tom Dooley for decades.
Maybe magic wands should be like iPods and loaded with a few thousand songs.

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

If Trent has any flaws they are tiny ones and his mom can't see them. Or Hillary's, either. Except she shouldn't hate mouth breathers but she shouldn't look at them either.