Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I Love to See the Temple

Dear Grandma Casdorph,

Yesterday, I went to the Gilbert, Arizona temple.  It opened in March of this year, so I know you never got a chance to see it.  The grounds were, of course, beautiful, but one of the things that struck me as being different from the temple grounds in Utah was that there were fewer flowers and more greenery.  I guess that's probably typical of Arizona, and I thought it was strikingly beautiful.  The interior decor matched this theme with pretty much everything either green, white, or wood.  There were fresh flower arrangements everywhere, all white blossoms surrounded by greenery.  Even the stained glass windows were green and white, with a pattern somewhat reminiscent of a cactus.

Because it was the middle of a workday, Brett, Lisa, and I were among the very few patrons in the temple.  When the gentlemen in the sealing office found out we are not locals, they offered to give us a tour of the building.  We saw the beautiful large sealing rooms and a waiting room for live sealing guests, apparently the largest in the world.   We saw beautiful paintings of the Arizona landscape, and it reminded me of your decorating style, always drawing from your surroundings.

If you wonder why I am telling you all this, it's because I took a few pieces of you with me.  After your funeral, Grandpa let us girls choose things from among your jewelry and clothes that we would like to keep.  I took several pair of earrings I knew would get frequent use and a skirt or two to extend my business wardrobe.  But I was really looking for something that would feel special - something unique that would really remind me of you.  I considered maybe taking one of your temple dresses, but I really like the one I have and wasn't quite sure how yours would fit.  And then I saw your temple bag.

I've always wanted a temple bag that would allow my dress to hang nicely, just like yours does.  I can't quite tell, and you aren't around to ask, but I am pretty sure you made it yourself.  I really like all the little pockets that fit various items perfectly, especially the pocket that snugly holds my temple recommend.  I decided to take your temple bag, and I think you would be really happy to know it is still being used.

I actually didn't know you had been a temple worker at some point, but I found your white name tag in the bag.  The first time your bag and I went to the temple, I slipped your name tag in the pocket of my temple dress.  It's going to stay there forever so my happy thoughts of you will keep me even closer to the spirit when I attend the temple.  I wish that we would have included temple trips with you and Grandpa when we would come down to Arizona.  It would be really nice to have memories like that to add to the lifetime of other memories I cherish.

I laughed a bit to myself when I saw your solution to one of my common problems: suddenly noticing that I am dressed head to toe in peaceful white - except for the bright, colorful earrings I'd worn to match the dress I arrived in.  Apparently, you kept a pair of temple earrings in your bag and changed your earrings to match your temple dress.  Of all the earrings of yours that I chose to keep, these are my favorite: a set of simple pearl studs.  I looked forward to wearing them, but somehow their little baggie had slipped out of the temple bag and remained in my car the first time I went.  As it turned out, the first time I got to wear them in the temple was yesterday at the Gilbert temple.

Somehow that seemed just right.  I wore earrings you specifically purchased to do work I know you valued in a temple you would have loved.  The best part was that while I missed you, it was easy to remember the things you always taught by your strong example of faith and service.  Arizona is not the same without you here, but because of the blessings of the temple, we can be together again.

Your Granddaughter,