I wrote another little ditty. It goes something like this:
I can't help but see a temple
As I'm driving on my way.
They're all o'er the freaking valley
As if they want to say,
"Your children will be married here
But you can't come in with them.
They may be your kids outside these doors
Aw shit. I cannot think of the last line. This stupid song brought back some old memories. I don't feel this is really my story to tell but I"m going to tell it anyway.
My dad was a busy man, working six days a week running a business and all day Sunday doing the Lard's work. But he managed to begat a bunch of kids. Six of us in a cluster and then one "menopause baby" tacked on like an afterthought at the end. He raised us righteously and all five of us older girls were married in one temple or another, proud father (or maybe just bone-weary) standing by and paying for the whole thing. My brother was married in the woods, my dad doing the officiating (him being a bishop and all ) with our huge TBM extended family looking on. It must have scared the shit out of the poor tattooed and bra-less bride because the marriage didn't even last a few months.
That just left the tag-a-long to get married off. Finally she found a guy and planned the wedding, down to the temple she was going to be married in. Then just weeks before the date (cue scary organ music) my dad called with the news of his excommunication. WTF. This news shook the family and community like an earthquake. My father had literally devoted his life to the church. In his seven years as bishop he created a strong youth program with traditions which went on for years--while his own children grew up without him. Years as a high councilor, driving two hours to meetings after working a 12 hour day. He served valiantly in a Stake Presidency while the youngest was in high school. Everyone looked up to him as a truly righteous pillar of the church. And now, just before his youngest daughter's wedding, the rug was literally yanked out from under him.
Even his children didn't know the reason for the ex-ing. He told us it wasn't a moral issue or a sexual one. Good enough. I didn't care then and I don't care now. But the fact remained that he had no temple recommend and so could not attend the wedding of his youngest daughter. He spent that time outside on the grounds with the grandkids, while inside the temple all the rest of the family was gathered. All the myriad brothers-in-law who didn't mean shit to the bride, they got to be there. But not dad. She was the one he got to spend the most time with. She was the one who was able to have daddy read to her at night, falling asleep long before the book was finished because he was so exhausted. She was the only child who was able to spend time with him and have an actual relationship with him. But hers was the only wedding to be denied him. I can only imagine how that stung but he never said a thing.
Several years later he was rebaptized, as soon as the powers-that-be said that he could. Then life went on as normal, dad serving in one church calling after another up until the very day he died while putting his socks on to go to work at the temple. Valiant as always.