By Rochelle Lloyd
The law of relatively states that nothing is really good or bad. It is only good or bad depending on the value we place on it. Let me illustrate with our family move.
For the most part of my young life I lived in what one could call medium town Wyoming. It was just big enough to have 4 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, and 1 high school—which consisted of roughly 1200 kids; however, it was small enough that one could never escape whatever moniker that was given in kindergarten. There were the bullies, the flirts, the goof offs, the geeks, the good kids, and then the kids that no one knew what to do with. I was in the latter group, never understanding most of my peers and they never understood me.
At the age of 13 things took, what I thought was, a turn for the worst. My dad was laid off work just before Thanksgiving and my mom was in a horrific accident that landed her in the hospital/rehab in Utah for 3 months. When I was 14, two weeks before the start of my sophomore year of high school, we moved to the booming town of Henderson Nevada just outside of Las Vegas. I had no idea what this move meant for me.
In trying to start a new life, we were busy putting a house together while also figuring out how to enroll 4 of the 5 children in our family in the local schools that would soon start. There were SO many changes! For instance, one day I ran outside without my shoes on as I had done that ever since I could remember. Four steps outside of the doorway I ran back in. Never had I dreamed that pavement could be that hot! In that moment I wondered if my parents had moved us to hell.
The changes didn’t stop there. As I hadn’t had any real friendships in Wyoming, I had no idea what to expect there. My mom encouraged me to go to a back-to-school seminary social. It was a nice house. It had a yard with volleyball set up, a pool (What! Normal people have those?), and a hot tub. There were lots of kids there but, somehow, I still felt alone—the outsider.
As I sat there, alone, in the hot tub—wondering why I was even there and how I could get a ride home, I was surprised when a guy came and slid in next to me. He looked at me and said, with a twinkle in his eye, “hi, my name is Dave, what’s yours”. I remember thinking he had said something completely different and me mumbling something about if he knew so and so from Wyoming. He answered with a slow, “Nnnooo” to which I was now not only confused but embarrassed. However, he did stick around and I thought that, perhaps, we could be friends.
Soon school started. It was so BIG! My whole school had had 1200 kids at the most in Wyoming, this one was at least double that. My graduating class had nearly 700 kids in it. After a week or so I realized I had security in my high school. It was just a short few weeks later that I went to school one morning and they had metal detectors at the front doors. Later that day I learned there was a group of skinheads on their way to California who had threatened to shoot up the high school at lunch time. WAIT!! WHAT HAVE MY PARENTS GOTTEN ME INTO?! Now I really did wonder if they had moved me to hell.
On the flip side, remember Dave? He became one of my best friends and introduced me to other people who became my friends. I don’t think I’d ever had so many—that’s no saying much but, to me, it was gold. In fact, he married another one of our friends and, later, they ended up moving to Idaho where my husband and I lived with our kids. We then had the wonderful experience of raising our kids in the same area and they became great friends.
From what seemed to have been a hard time in Wyoming to what seemed like it might be downright awful in Henderson turned out to be one of the greatest blessings of my life which carried on to my children’s lives. Was Wyoming good or bad? That depends. Was my mom’s accident good or bad? Was my dad’s layoff good or bad? Was Henderson really hell? All of those also depend. Relatively speaking, they depended on how I looked at it and what ultimate outcome my Heavenly Father had in store for me.
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