I have started each story of the kids with a story of their birth. However after the excitement surrounding the other kids, Charity's birth was pretty normal and undramatic. The only bummer about her as a baby was that the camera we had at the time went on the blink, and so we lost the pictures of her blessing day. All the same we loved her like all the other babies that came in our door.
I guess I advocated for the name, Charity, because I have always sought after this Christ like love, although I have come up short on many occasions. But Charity, for her part her name says it all. She has always been a great example of Christ like love:
And Charity suffereth long, and is kind, and evieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things; (Moroni 8:45)
This is a very good description of Charity. I have seen her demonstrate these principles on numerous occasions in her life. When Charity was three months shy of two years old, we moved from Utah to California. I drove the Budget rental truck, while my wife drove the car. I enjoyed the trip, because Charity for much of the trip insisted on riding with me in the truck. I think she had a sense that I was lonely in the truck, and she could provide me with company in this manner. I enjoyed her enthusiasm for the newness of the truck, even if she had to be in her car seat.
A demonstration of her personality was our first visit to a Major League Baseball game shortly after moving to California. We went to an A’s game. We were sitting high up behind the backstop. There were not many with us that high. We had brought spray bottles with us to give us a squirt of water every once in a while to ward off the heat. Charity took one of those spray bottles, and a napkin and proceeded to wash the seats. She washed a couple of rows worth. I don’t know if she watched the game, in fact I don’t remember the score, but I do remember Charity cleaning the seats. She was so cute.
Charity, throughout her schooling has always had a tender heart, and reached out to classmates who may have needed encouragement. Her best friend went through a scary situation with a brain tumor, which required surgery. Charity was available for her friend and did things to include her and help her feel better.
More recently, when we were doing foster care, Charity’s ability to love was manifested. Our first foster child, Rena, slept in the same room as Charity. She was younger and would often have nightmares at night. In those nightmares she would often moan, and kick off her covers. Charity would wake up at all hours of the night, and lovingly put the covers back on her. She and Rena became fast friends, and even though she was only at our house a few weeks, Charity made her stay with us as enjoyable as could be. Charity was in the high school yearbook talking about her experience with foster care and was quoted as saying, "Because they were so easy to love, by the time they left, it was like saying good-bye to one of my own siblings. All these kids wanted and needed was someone in their life that cared about them like my family cared for me, so when they came into our home it was so easy to build a relationship with them."
Charity has always been the best helper around the house. This was more manifest as we were fostering. It was impossible to keep up with everthing. Charity, sensing this, often took it upon herself to do the dishes--not just the basic job, but scrubbing the pots and wiping the counters. She wouldn’t quit until everything is done.
Charity's first real job was at Kentucky Fried Chicken. I enjoyed picking her up, and pulling up a few minutes before she was done at the counter. I could watch her through the window and see her interaction with customers. She always had a smile on her face, and a helping attitude. She developed friends among the regular customers at the store. She has also manifested this caring attitude in other jobs. She is currently a lifeguard.
Charity's enthusiasm for life has been based on one of service and love:
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—
But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him. (Moroni 7: 46-47)
Charity’s example has set a high watermark for me and her siblings. If we can follow her example, we will be more Christ like.