Time did not befriend us.
Time completely abandoned us as we searched Richfield, Utah, trying to find a tire station with the right size of tire for our van. See, we had started out on this journey as a family to see General Conference for our church amid the grunts and groans of our eldest son Xavier.
The Force be with You!
|Magwenthu Kids Baptism|
Kaleidoscope of Discouragement
Dead Black Man Walking?
Police officers had been killing unarmed Blacks in several places, which popped into my mind as the copper approached the van. I had read on Facebook from some Blacks living in Utah that it was a racist place to live. They, those Facebook Blacks currently living in Utah, told me to stay away compounding my internal struggle to quiet the fear I created in my heart about racial prejudice.
Again, I felt the shame of my prejudice. I assumed he would mistreat us because of our race when he could care less about it. I remember the few Black Utahans that spoke of the great life they lead in the state. How could I have forgotten that? Murphy’s law was too entrenched in my mind—if something could go wrong, it will! The officer bid us farewell, and we put out on the road to Salt Lake City making record time just to get stuck in traffic due to a terrible accident while one of the family members fought a life and death battle with a bout of diarrhea.
To Be There & Not To Be There. That Is What HappenedWe had made it to Salt Lake City near the Conference Center simply not to be able to enjoy it. We spent almost two hours in traffic with the suffering member who found relief finally at a fast-food place with golden arches. The first session was over of conference and the second session was soon to begin. We were running out of gas and had no place to park when we finally approach the Conference Center. All of us were tired, cranky and smelly. We looked and smelled like we had just come in from some refugee camp.
Propitiously, President Linda K. Burton, one of our church leaders, had spoken about helping refugees the week earlier on the first day of General Conference (Women’s Session). With her words ringing in the ears of the members of the church our prospective trials would be lighter—but I get ahead of the story.
We decided to divide the family. Afryka, Naomi, Sariah, Mosiah, and Ephraim would go to the second session while Xavier and I searched for a place to park. It crushed my wife that we would not be attending the session together. We would not be taking pictures. By this time, the meeting had begun. Afryka and the girls felt self-conscious about going into the Conference Center in traveling clothes smelling like boy’s feet and fast-food, but in they went. I assured her we would find a gas station and park the car in record time to meet them before the session was out. Boy was I made a liar!
Mahona Means Family, but we left someone behind!Miriam not being with us caused another issue. My wife was getting antsy about being away from her for so long. I could take a bit of niggling from the kids, but not from my wife! She did not nag, but she would sigh and worry over Miriam. She could not enjoy the good parts of the trip because of that longing to be with the little one. (HA! I said good parts of the trip! Reader, I, at the time, saw no good parts, to be honest. No, that would come later.) Mothers do not like to be away from their young kids. I did not mind, but I am not a mother.
I hate parking near Temple Square. I had no idea what I was doing. With all the people in Phoenix I told I would be going to Temple Square during General Conference, and all the online people, SOMEONE should have mentioned how difficult the parking could be.