Saturday, August 10, 2013
Can we ever be Anonymous? Mildly Famous? Maybe......
I might have been mildly famous (infamous?) for 6 months, in a particular Primary, (in a place where I lived in the same state as I grew up in, but knew no one, and where most members are converts or the children of converts) for my $1 bill cards, usually origami folded in a way that I thought matched the child's character, and the $2 bill added for the graduating 12 year-olds. I also may have spent training meetings and RS classes and activities "practicing" my origami forms, to be prepared at a moments' notice, should a child's birthday somehow have escaped me before the last minute. It may have been me, or someone else. She had a different last name, husband and was convinced that she could never be as great as the Primary Teachers and Presidencies that came before her. She believed her husband when he said no one cared about her stupid dollar bill frogs, pumpkins, flowers, boats and hats. She seems like a whole different person, even if we have a lot in common.
The person doing the training with me showed up at that point, and we did the presentation for the group of newly minted leaders. At the end of the presentation, this now very tall man, brought up the unfolded $1 bill. He asked me to read part of it out loud, because it had meant so much to him and we moved out of the ward before his birthday came around. (I would have each child open their present, and I would read it in front of the primary, a gift of affirmation, that didn't continue after I left. We moved in October, but I made presents for the children for the rest of that year, so they wouldn't be left out.) I read to him, "I know how hard it is to feel smaller than everyone else. You may be short at 8, but by 18 you will be as large as a Stripling Warrior. Make sure your testimony is as big and strong as your body, and you will be ready for any challenge in life." The last part on his, is the same as every other; "You have mixed your heart with mine. No matter where you are, this is proof of my love, and my faith in you. This bill is worth as much as a universe, if you value it the way Heavenly Father values you."
We parted in tears, after another hug. I have heard that the branch president and Primary president in that branch gives out a dollar bill, or paper money from whatever country that the child was born in, to each Primary Child as they are baptized. For their birthdays, they create a colorful origami shape of their choosing, and write on it the tithe of their service, during the last year, performed for Christ. Each child reads the tithing in front of the primary, folds it back into its shape, and offer's his tithes to the Branch President. I hear that the branch president had a very colorful office. He might send me a picture of it every year on my birthday. There is a rumor going around that I might even get a frog, made from the bills of countries that my heart has travelled to, even if my body has no passport.
It might have gotten lost in the mail this year, and just have found its way to me in the last month. Or, the brightly colored money might have been folded by the Savior, in His spare time. Somehow, I think that job would be soothing for any of His followers. It was for me, or for whoever had that honor, for 6 months, in another time and universe, to someone with a different last name.