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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Two Minutes Alone

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In anticipation of Halloween we'd like to post your writings on traditions, ghostly encounters, spine-tingling tales or whatever else you can come up with!  Please send your posts to fourperspectivesblog at gmail.com.  Here's a great segue into our new topic from Marci. 

     Back in 1974 I was in the chorus of my first high school musical.  The play was called, "The Red Head." What's ironic is that it's a rare murder mystery musical about a nice girl named Essie and a cold blooded killer.  My good friend was the lead, and we were just sophomores.  She didn't have red hair, but she had a cute red wig that looked great on her.

     On the night of November 8th, I was getting ready to go on stage.  I was alone out in the hall next to the girls dressing room.  I had been told that the very popular Mr. Burningham from Bountiful High drama department, may be watching our play.  While I was dancing and singing in the hall, out came a handsome man dressed in a dark navy suit with dark wavy hair from the auditorium.  I thought to myself, maybe that could be Mr. Burningham. The handsome man started looking around not paying any attention to me.  He looked as if he were looking for someone and walked right past me to get a drink of water at the nearby drinking fountain.  The odd thing was I was the only one out in the hall.  He kept looking down other halls even though no one was around.  I didn't feel uncomfortable, in-fact I was hoping he was paying attention to my singing so I could be in one of his Bountiful Community plays.
I finally went back to the dressing room to tell my friend that I thought Mr. Burningham was out looking around for someone.  When I described what the man looked like, my friend said that wasn't Mr. Burningham.

      The play was a success and everyone went home to sleep.  Everyone that is except for  seventeen year-old Debra Kent.  She had come to watch the play and never made it back home.  I didn't find out about it until I attended my modern dance class the next day. Debra was supposed to be in my dance class but was not there.   One of the girls had told me that she may have been kidnapped the night before.

     The next thing I knew, two police officers came and got me out of class and took me to the principals office.  They asked me questions about the man I saw out in the hall during the play.  Apparently, this same man tried to get my dance teacher, who was watching the play, to go outside and hold a flashlight  for him while he fixed his flat tire.  She told him no.

    A police artist came into the principals office and asked my dance teacher and I to describe in detail what the dark haired man in the dark suit looked like.  I must have been there for a few hours.
Everyone felt really sad for the Kent family.  Debra Kent was never found and it wasn't until years later that I got a good look at the man with dark wavy hair.  He was on national television and his name was Ted Bundy.  He was on trial for murdering several young women in Florida.  I recognized him right away.  I felt a little sick inside and was glad that he had been caught.
    I think to myself, "Why didn't he come after me?"  It may have been because I was in costume and was making a fool of myself.  Or, maybe, it just wasn't my time to go. In any case, my two minutes alone with Ted Bundy were quite enough.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Always Look on the Bright Side

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Shawna is a photographer, graphic designer, and Jill of all trades. She is happily married and enjoys spending time curling up on the couch with a good book and a steaming cup of cocoa. She also enjoys cleaning dead bugs from windowsills. You can find more of her at Ramblings of an Otherwise Coherent Mind.

This is not the post that I originally planned….

I’ve been pondering a lot of things lately.

As you all know, our beloved Teachinfourth was taken home all too soon.  Those of us left behind are stunned and shaken, and missing all the great and little things that made him such a wonder to be around. My brother had a way of lightening another person’s load; no matter what was going on in his own busy day, he never failed to find the time to lift another person who was down.

But what now? I think to myself. How do I go on without him? How do I find enjoyment in life now that he isn’t here to share it with me?

Well, here is what I figured out….

You pick yourself up and keep busy. You give yourself in service to others.  You take the time for the little things… like reading a book, or, even better, read one aloud to someone. I am amazed at how much more I enjoy a book when I read it to my husband.

You take the time to appreciate rainbows. You walk through the fallen autumn leaves and relish in the crunch underfoot that reminds you of your youth. You make a deliberate decision to look for the silver linings in things that come your way.

You remind yourself that it is okay to sing and to dance and to find joy in your days.

Yes, there will be tears, but tears are a good thing… tears are a way of letting go of those emotions that shouldn’t be boxed away inside. It is okay to cry. You’re human, and a part of you has broken. We all cry
when we are in pain, but pain doesn’t last forever.

Part of me will always miss and long for my brother… but I also know that he would feel terrible to know that his passing was keeping me in pain. We shared so much laughter and companionship… how can I not be grateful for all the time that I was able to have him here in my life?

Change can be hard, especially when it is not of your choosing… so make some changes that you do have control over. I went and got my hair cut incredibly short. It was a big change as I had been growing my hair out for the last few years, but it was something completely within my control and besides regaining a bit of control, my new look is absolutely fabulous.

Sadly I come across people who knew my brother and are devastated because they do not believe they will ever see him again. I tried thinking that way for a moment and firmly told myself “you will never see him again or hear that dear voice teasing you again”. I won’t kid you; I went into a round of hysterics. It took me awhile to calm down enough to remember that it was okay, that I knew better. I can only imagine how hard it must be to live with that kind of belief on a daily basis.

So what do I believe?

Well I am not about to stand on a soapbox and thump on my Bible saying, “Well God says this…” because not everyone believes in God, or other supernatural beings that hold the strings of the Universe in their mighty hands, but I will remind you of this: simple physics state that something cannot become nothing. Matter may be converted into another form, but it does not cease to be simply because we can no longer see it.  Not only does science support this, but my heart and mind do as well. My brother may have laid his body aside, but the essence that was truly him still exists.

I recently came across an excerpt from “The Last Battle”, which is the final book in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia (one of my brother’s favorite series)… it was because of this excerpt that I changed my post for today….

It was the Unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling. He stamped his right fore-hoof on the ground and neighed, and then cried:

"I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee!  Come further up, come further in!"

For those who have not read this particular book, the unicorn has just witnessed the destruction of Narnia, and is expressing everyone’s amazement at what awaited them. Here was what they thought would be the very end of things, and then they discover that all they knew before was but a pale shadow of what was to come.

Until I am reunited with my brother again, I will remember this: that he is home, and he is fine… and while I plan to live a very long and fruitful life, I can rest assured in the knowledge that he will be there to greet me when it is finally my turn to depart from this life into what greater adventures lie before me.

So yes, I miss him dearly and still do shed tears of mourning, but I also hold within me such happiness at the thought of that glorious reunion that awaits us all when our time upon this beloved Earth is through.

So, you ask. What do I do in the meantime?


You go on living.

Monday, October 8, 2012


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While Mindy would gladly spend her days wandering through the majesty of the world around her snapping photos, listening to - or singing along with - an eclectic set of music, reading, or capturing her sometimes rambling thoughts in written form, she realizes that none of those things, at the present, pay her very well. To keep the wolves at bay she spends her days in a profession she loves - most of the time - as a teaching principal in a small, rural school in the midst of the rugged beauty of the desert. You can read more about her extraordinarily ordinary life at Mindy’s Musings

“I restore myself when I'm alone."― Marilyn Monroe

As I was driving through the natural beauty of Capitol Reef I noted that periodically off the side of the paved trail there were little green signs staked into the ground. I finally decided to stop for a moment to see what information they were meant to impart to those who travelled on the long and winding road. The signs stated that all along the trail were "restoration areas" and urged passers-by to "stay off" in order to allow the restoration effort to be as successful as possible.

I wondered how often we trample (sometimes unknowingly) on others who may be in the beginning stages of a "restoration" themselves. Do we jump to conclusions about who they are and what their lives are like? Do we rush in with ready-made solutions when all they really may need is a listening ear, or even just a little bit of time to work through and process things on their own? Do we sometimes stunt others' growth by our preconceived notions of what we think their problem is or what the "right" solution is - at least in our minds?

How often have we been in a state of "restoration" ourselves when someone has unwittingly tromped across our own fragile growth that may be struggling to push its way through to the surface? How many times have we put on a good front when deep inside what we really need is a moment or two to step back, reassess, and restore ourselves?

Maybe we all should pay a bit more attention to the "signs" that let us know that someone just might need an extra smile or hug; a shoulder to lean on or a listening ear.  

Though the words in this song speak about a divine restorer and restoration, I think it can apply just as much to each of us and our relationships with those around us.

May we all be tools of restoration, rather than destruction, in the lives of those with whom we pass through this mortal coil.

Restore Me- Anthony Evans
On the outside, You think I'm alright
There's a smile on my face, everything's okay
But on the inside there's a different story
I've stumbled down this road and I've got so far to go

I'm a broken man
On my knees again
Longing for a touch from You
I need your hand to

Restore me, I need Your mercy
Take me to the place I used to be
Use all the pain and the hurt
To do a greater work and restore me

I wore my mask, running away from my past
Hiding all my scars, thinking I'd gone too far
But He knew my pain and He loved me just the same
He promised, I'd be free if I fell on my knees and cried

Restore me, I need Your mercy
Oh, take me to the place I used to be
Use all the pain and the hurt
To do a greater work and restore me

Restore unto me the joy of my salvation
So I'll sing again, the song You wrote for me
Give me a clean heart, I want a brand new start
Like the moment when I first believed

Restore me, I need Your mercy
Oh, take me to the place I used to be
Use all the pain and the hurt
To do a greater work and restore me

Please Jesus, oh yeah
Give me another chance
I want to be a new man
Please restore me, yeah yeah, yeah

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Feeble Attempt

Pin It It makes me sad to come here to Four Perspectives and see everything at a standstill.  On my personal blog, I have posted things about the daily goings-on of my life.  Not because I want to write, but because I am trying to make myself write.  I don't want to allow myself to stop doing something that I know I love.  But it's difficult.  And I'm guessing that Mel and Lori might say something similar. 

As much as Jason liked to give me credit as his co-conspirator in creating this blog, he was what really brought it to life and kept it going for so long.

I'm not sure what I'm trying to say, really.  All I know right now is that I want to keep 4P going - but it's going to take some time.  So, bear with me (with all of us) as we figure out how things are going to work from here on out.

In the meantime, if any of our readers would like to submit a post (about anything, really!) or a topic they'd like to see covered here, please send an email to fourperspectivesblog at gmail dot com.  Maybe you can carry us along for a bit?   

Thanks for understanding.  Thanks for sticking around.


Friday, September 7, 2012

Remembering Jason

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Jason's birthday is this Sunday, September 9th.  He would normally be planning his own little birthday celebration, which he liked to call Christmas in September, and inviting all of his friends and blog readers to join in the festivities.

This year, there have been quite a few people who had the same idea of how to celebrate Jason's birthday: to perform some act of service for someone in his memory.  Things like paying for an extra ice cream cone for a stranger, posting uplifting quotes in public places, donating books to a school library, writing a note to someone to express your love and admiration, or paying for the order of the person behind you in the drive-through. 

Jason's friend Emily created a website in honor of this day.  It's called Project Z and it's a way for us to share with each other the ways we've chosen to remember our friend. 

Here's what Emily had to say about it:

The idea is to just keep in mind Jason's spirit of giving, and his frequent random acts of kindness. For his birthday weekend, we want people to spread Jason's love around and try to keep him in mind while doing as many of these little (or big!) things as possible. If anyone wants to, we can share them on the blog or share reactions, our impressions, thoughts regarding Jason and the way he influenced all of us. I put a map on the blog because I know Jason had friends and family worldwide that could participate and I thought it would be fun to see where people are performing these services. 

I also contacted Maceys and explained a bit about Jason. The manager seemed excited and told me they could definitely do what I asked them (to provide as many free cones as possible with whatever amount I was able to send in) and tell the people it was in memory of someone special. She told me they could keep track of the number of cones/flavors and I also asked if they had any special experiences related to the surprise if they could share briefly. I thought that would be a fun thing to do, since Jason really delighted in doing it. 
Are you in?  Click over to Project Z if you'd like to read more about it or to let everyone know how you've chosen to celebrate Jason's birthday this weekend.

Go spread some love and happiness!

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