We sat around playing board games: Mother, the rest of us, & the elders. We were like a real family, the elders our brothers.
I suddenly found myself longing for the kind of chaos that seemed to come with the big families that made up the Johnson & Roberts households.
My little family was close, but not so impressive, for I was 1 of 2, not 1 of 4, or 1 of more. The Mormons made me want more.
And it was when I looked at Elder Roberts, & he looked at me, that I felt I had already found what I hadn’t known I was looking for.
I’d walked through the valley of the shadow of someone else’s death for too long. I was ready to live for the living, to worship life, to worship the creation, if not the Creator.
“I can believe in anything, Laurie, as long it means we’ll be together,” he said, holding her at arm’s length. “My God will be your God.”
David’s presence had cast out the shadow Patrick’s absence had cast over us.
It had taken David’s leap of faith—David, whose blood did not flow through mine—& not my own mother’s, to get me to commit to baptism.
I took one of their hands in each of mine—a prophecy—for where I connected them to me, I separated them from one another.
The sun ceased to shine, shrouding us in darkness. David’s eyes glowed, penetrating me, for he knew my heart was still true to him & all that he did not believe.