Monday, October 29, 2007

Where to Begin

Since my last post, the world has turned little bit topsy turvy and I wasn't even around to see it. I have spent the last 4 days or so living a very odd double life. On one hand, I was trying to support my husband in a most trying time through the tenuous connection of a cell phone. I was aching for friends, worried and unhinged, yet profoundly grateful for the truth I hold dear. All this was set against the backdrop of one of my dearest friends arriving from Seattle so that we could spend a once-in-a-lifetime weekend together in New York City. It has been very weird and now I find myself so drained and exhausted that I feel like writing will be the best way for me to put things in perspective and be able to sleep.

Side A of this Surreal Coin was the news that trickled home Wednesday night of the terrible breach of the sanctity of our church building and the temporary destruction of the precious feeling of warmth and safety that we feel there. A ward is like a family, and so what happens to one, affects all the others. Some of the most precious and vulnerable were endangered last week, and we are all feeling the shock and unrest on behalf of our beloved sisters and brothers. Heaven intervened and everyone is safe, but the difficulty is that nothing will ever be the same. Fortunately, based on what I know about my friends, I have every reason to believe it will be better.

In the long moments that followed, Eric was where he needed to be, but I was not here with him. Under the circumstances, I decided not to change my plans, so he had only the sound of my voice to remind him that someone was on his side no matter what. Of course, there were other helpers at hand, and he has been able to do what was needed and more, but each time we spoke during the weekend, I felt torn in two. The thing about time is that it passes whether you are miserable or not, so I decided to put myself back together and be where I was. So, from my vantage point, the situation stands thus: God is in the heavens; people are mostly good, with a few notable exceptions; my utter derision of the media continues to be justified; and people who love each other and pull together are the best. My family was watched over and the ward came together and had a great time at the annual Halloween Party. I still don't know most of the details because of my husband's faithfulness to his position, and I hope I will only find out when those involved feel it is right for me to do so. Because I was gone, I have been spared the rumor mill and, because I've seen everything through the steely eyes of my good man, most of the fear-mongering. For that I'm profoundly grateful. I have the easy road. It's the people I love who now have to start living in the after. I will do all I can for them. It is all I have to offer.

Side B of this Surreal Coin, if you're ready to flip with me, was a memorable weekend in the Big Apple with my pal. My daughter is her namesake because of my love and admiration for her. She was my older, wiser friend when I was far from home and family living in Seattle. Her family became my family and we have kept in touch for 18 years now. Her kids are grown and she has grandkids now, but we still find anything and everything to talk about. How I love her.

We started planning this in the spring when I was out in Washington visiting her. I've been saving my knitting money. She got time off work. Everything came together and we were able to get a hotel right in Times Square (thank you Hilton Honors Points!) and tickets to three, count em! three Broadway shows (thank you Amex rewards points and the TKTS booth in Times Square). Credit cards can be good for something if you use them right.

We had a ridiculously easy drive up to NY. There was no traffic except at the Lincoln Tunnel. It took us an hour to get through that last mile. Why have I always been afraid to drive there? Well never more! It is so easy to get into the Theater District. The Lincoln Tunnel DUMPS you right on 42nd street. Just like THAT. Our hotel was great. The shows were great. The food was amazing. I will never forget this weekend. For the rest of the story, I'll let you watch this slideshow for the Campbells Condensed Version

view this Picasa Album for the whole story.

NY-NY October 2006

Here are my Top Five Memories:
1. Conquering both my fear of driving in NYC and my fear of the Subway. Both are actually fun, once you get the lay of the land.
2. Wicked from the 5th row, center.
3. Singing along to "Let's Go Fly a Kite," my favorite song from Mary Poppins.
4. The full moon over the Chrysler Building.
5. Eating NY cheesecake in our hotel room Saturday night, in our jammies, after a long, full weekend in the city together.

And now, to sleep...perchance to dream. Hopefully not as Hamlet feared, but of more pleasant things.


  1. Man, what a week. I'm so glad everyone is safe after the incident at church. You are the first to state that and i was so relieved to read it. SO sorry whatever happened happened though.

    What a fantastic trip to NYC! Sounds absolutely dreamy!

  2. Ok, so Mary Poppins, Wicked, and what else? Maybe I have to look at the pictures, eh??

    It sounds like you had a fun weekend despite all else happening. I think your husband is doing great. We're glad to have him around.

  3. What a wonderful adventure! So glad you were able to do that, and that you kept your head on straight when things got tough back home.

  4. Your perspective on everything that has happened is just "right." As for me, I can only pray for all those who are hurting and keep myself from prying or speculating. Sadly I feel a lot more wary now, and even though I haven't gone to church there for nearly two years, I feel wounded as well. I spent so many Wednesday nights in that building.

    On a happier note, I'm glad you were able to drive into NYC successfully. The idea of that totally stresses me out.

  5. Thank you for your thoughts on last week - you always know just the right words. I'm so glad that you were able to have a wonderful time in NY with your friend!

  6. I always enjoy your posts and I am so greatful for blogs that let me get to know my sisters better with every read. I never considered the postition of the bishops wife... the woman who stands behind the man and holds him up when he is required so much at such times. Cheers to you... You are a wonderful woman, and your husband, a fabulous man.

  7. sounds like you had a wonderful time in NYC!
    as for the other thing, I have no idea of the detainls either. Your husband is doing a very good job handling this whole mess. And, by extention, his family is too. *hugs*

  8. As soon as I heard the news, I had a sinking feeling that I knew which ward was affected. Our thoughts and prayers are with the ward during this difficult time.


Thank you for sharing your insights!