Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Lessons from my Children: Jeremy; Through Practice You Can Overcome


Jeremy at the MTC

When Jeremy was born, our greatest challenge was finding him a name. He was born the day after Natalia’s third birthday.  It was a scheduled delivery. Even so, we still hadn’t decided on a final name for him. It was a struggle. I wanted to call him Jeremy Truck, because I knew he was going to be strong and tough. Sheri forced me to compromise, and we decided on Jeremy Tate.  Jeremy is a family name on my mother’s side.  Her great grandfather Thomas Jeremy was captain of an emigration party, and stake patriarch in the Salt Lake Stake.

I had a very bad cold when Jeremy was born. The OB doctor prescribed some medications for me as I struggled with a stuffed up system.

Jeremy was the longest of our children when he was born. Sheri is very short. As a result he was born bull legged. He had to be fitted for special shoes, which turned his feet out. The shoes also had the special bar to go between which made it so they were attached to each other. This thwarted Jeremy’s mobility. Jeremy hated them; the bar especially. It was heavy and awkward, and had to be dragged around as he crawled or as he began to stand. He couldn’t get around the way he wanted to.

More than the shoes, the thing that helped Jeremy’s feet was his mother’s patience in carefully massaging them. Every time she would change his diaper, she would take time to massage his feet and turn them out. Over time his feet and legs were completely corrected.

Jeremy as a baby was a climber. He taught us patience, as he could get into anything. We had a hard lesson in patience when Jeremy’s baby sister was born a couple years later. Jeremy was jealous of his sister and the attention she got, and didn’t like losing his place as the baby of the family. He climbed on the piano, where we had put a porcelain replica from the “Hansen” collection of a mother praying. Jeremy knocked this off, and it broke, irreparably.

The life lesson I have learned from Jeremy is that through practice, you can overcome. He is much like Heber J. Grant who would quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, “That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do—not that the nature of the thing has changed, but that our power to do has increased,” and then put those words into practice, guiding his life.

Jeremy, like President Grant was not the greatest of singers. However Jeremy had a great desire to sing. I remember when he came home from Primary one Sunday and let us know his favorite song was “I am a Child of God." He wanted to sing it for us. He was probably three at the time. He sang every word. He also had the rhythm down as well. It’s just, I thought the song had more than one tone, which was how it came out. That was where Jeremy started in his singing ability.

However, he continued to sing whenever he could. He sang in Primary. He sang in school programs. He sang whenever the opportunity presented itself. He would sing with recordings. He would sing in church. He would sing with his stereo. He would also listen to music as well. He used rehearsal C.D.s and rehearsal helps on the computer. He worked hard at learning music.

When in high school he continued to pursue singing. He often sang in two choirs—men’s chorus and advanced 'capella chorus. He also participated in an acapella men’s quintet. He sang in our church choir. He sang in a youth choir for two years in the San Jose area and was the bass leader for a time. He can sing both low tenor, baritone and bass parts. He is much better at hitting the right note than I am, and I have sung in church choirs since I was about 14 years old. (39 years) He has had lead parts in musicals, and it is fun to watch how he learns music, singing parts over and over again with the computer.

The ability to overcome difficulty, and develop our talents was expressed in the Book of Mormon, by the Lord as he counseled Moroni, when he complained that he was not mighty in writing:

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. (Ether 12:27)

Jeremy also had a love of sports, and played on several teams.  He loved wrestling, basketball and soccer.  When he arrived at high school, these three sports took place at the same time.  As a result he had to choose.  He was best at soccer, but wanted to play basketball.  He had to work hard.  He wasn’t the best shooter, but because he played so hard, he was a very good defender.  I don’t like to play against him because of that.  I like a little space, which he doesn’t like to give.

Jeremy has exemplified faith and humility in many areas of his life, one of which has been the way he has overcome his weakness in music, and made it a talent.  Another has been his participation in sports.

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