If you know me, you know I am uncannily lucky. It's just a fact. My mom calls it "blessed," but if I'm being honest, it's definitely not that. In fact, it's often when I've been my worst, pig-headed self that something awesome happens. Like that one time that I snagged second-row seats to a Justin Bieber concert after a few white lies and a large serving of dimples.
(That brunette woman is Justin's mom, Pattie. Great lady.)
This leads me to graduation day. I don't know about you, but after sitting under a spotlight for two hours in a polyester gown and a hat that cuts off circulation to the brain, I am not in the best mood. I'm not in the mood to fake being in a good mood, either. So when my sweet grandma asked for pictures, I said "No you old coot!"
No I didn't really. I love grandma. But I did refuse her. I insisted that if she gave me a week, I would dress up again and take all the quintessential pictures when the BYU "landmarks" were less crowded.
And that is why the next Saturday morning, I was running around the Marriott Center looking like the Grad that came to graduation a week late. As my mom and I crossed the street to the famous "Enter to Learn" sign, a lady in a purple minivan poked her head out the window and yelled, "WHERE DID YOU GET THAT GOWN!!?" Now, I was in some lofty heels, halfway across a busy-ish intersection and the light has just turned green again, AKA not too concerned by the minivan-lady yelling at me, and not inclined to answer.
We made it across the street and I saddled up to the sign and started doing the Hecht-lean while mom snapped a few shots.
But the purple minivan-lady, not be vanquished, slid back around the corner and rolled down her window.
"Hey! You know I swear I'm not crazy, but I have been searching for a graduation gown for the past three weeks!" She explained. "I've been to Savers, DI, UVU, and called BYU, but no one has been any help!"
She went on to tell us that one of her friends, a struggling-single mother of 3, had just graduated after putting herself through school. She didn't want to walk the stage or be recognized, but her friends had put together a party for her that very afternoon. They wanted so badly to have a picture of her and her children with a cap and gown, so that she would could look back and really realize the amazing things she had accomplished. However, despite all their efforts, they had not been able to find a gown in time. Until, two hours before the party, she saw me hobbling across University Parkway.
I stripped the cap and gown and handed them over with her promise that she would bring them over after the party.
Later that day I met the woman in my parking lot, the cap and gown in her hands. She thanked me profusely (and with a plate of brownies) and told me how much it had meant to her friend and her family. It was a warm-fuzzy moment when she wrapped me up in a bear hug and whispered that it had been an answer to her prayers.
Life lesson? Stubbornness with grandma = free brownies.
In other news, we got our first really hard call the other night. A young man called to tell us that his wife would be arriving with their stillborn child next Tuesday. Even now I can feel the sting of tears that I felt when I heard Breck say, "And what was your sons name?" When he didn't ask for the age of the baby, I knew what had happened. We are instructed never to say "I'm sorry" to anyone that calls because apparently it seems insincere coming from us, but in a situation like that, it is so hard to hold back. Every call we get, it's hard not to put ourselves in the situation and the "What if's" really keep you up at night. The best comfort is to remember that when we are done on this earth, it is not the close. Death is an event, not an ending.