Being Single in Cedar City

We settled into our routine in Cedar City. I soon became active in the Single Adult activities.  There were single adult dances in St George at least once a month. I started going to them. I did a lot of holding up the wall. Things had not changed. I was still the wall flower. Attractive single men were few and far between.

I had started putting on weight in Washington and being home did not help. Not only was I still gaining but I had my Mother monitoring every bit of food I put in my mouth. “No one will be interested in you if you are fat.” She talked me into joining Weight Watchers. I threw myself into it. I did not want to be heavy. But it seemed like with every breath I took I gained a pound.

I enrolled in The College of Southern Utah. I tried to take practical business classes that would help me to establish a career so that I could support myself and my children.

I made friends with a girl that lived on our old street. She was divorced and she had a couple of kids. She was about four years older than me. We went to single adult activities together and the dances in St. George.

I was assigned to be our wards single adult representative. It was very interesting to go to Stake Single Adult activities along with the Principles of my Jr. High and High School and my Dad’s oldest Sister, Aunt Inez. Of course Bro. Miles and Bro. Bethers were much older that me, but those old ladies sure did like them. As for as single men my age or even a few years older, there were none in Cedar City at least none that came to Church and Single Adult activities. I also came to the conclusion that it was better to be a widow than to be divorced. I had a steady income and I was not dependent on an ex-husband to send me money every month. It all boiled down to money.

It was August when we arrived back in Cedar City so it soon started getting colder. Winter set in. I started planning for Christmas. I tried to just get a few things for my kids. Just a couple of things here and a couple of things there. By the time Christmas rolled around and I started gathering it all together we had quite a pile. My Uncle Reid made two little chairs for David and Patti. They became cherished possessions.

One Life to Live : Mine

This is an exercise for my Personal History writing class.

I grew up in Cedar City, Utah surrounded by Aunts, Uncles, cousins and friends. Elementary, Jr High and High School were all on the same block. We went to school en-mass, all walking together. Rain, snow, wind or shine you went to school. Rarely was a ride offered or expected. We went home for lunch and then back to school. 9am to 3pm no half days, no teacher prep days, just school. We sang Christmas Carols around the School Christmas Tree. Songs about Santa Clause and Jesus,  Angles and the Manger. It was Christmas.

In High School I was in a couple of plays and musicals. It was while I was in Jr High that a man named Fred Adams came to Cedar City to teach at the College. He would have a very large impact on our little town and college. He had a dream of starting a Shakespearean Festival, he had some experience in New York and Broadway and he loved Shakespeare. I was in High School when the first summer plays were presented. They only ran a couple of weeks that first summer, the next summer he invited some of the high school kids to try out so I did. I was cast as a handmaiden to Queen Cleopatra in the play “Anthony and Cleopatra, ” I got to die on stage. The next summer he cast me in the play “A Mid-Summers Nights Dream” I played the part of Helena. This time I got to give some really good speeches at the front of the stage. We had some really good stage fights and then everything works out wonderfully and we all get married right on stage. But it only lasted for four weeks. Then I went to work at Grand Canyon, North Rim until College started at the end of August.

My friend Tauna Lyman and I decided we were wasting our time in College and we wanted some adventure. So we saved our money and moved to California. We hardly knew anyone there and we had no where to live but we were young and had our heads in the clouds. Everything would work out. The short story is: She got married and I came home after about eighteen months.

Then back to Grand Canyon, North Rim and then to Yellowstone National Park the winter of 1968-69. There I met Francis Otho Mack, we got married August 2, 1969 and we moved to Everett, Washington. There we welcomed two children into our family a boy David and a girl Patricia. Eleven months after Patricia was born Frank was killed in an automobile accident and I moved back to Cedar City.

Another try at College just felt like I was spinning my wheels. My Parents moved to Kanab, Utah were my Dad was the manager of the small branch office of the Power Company. I decided to move to Provo, Utah.

In Provo, I started to sell Tupperware and worked my way up to be a manager. David and Patti were growing and starting school. In 1979 I met Theodore Clark Bennion, he was a widower with eleven children, most of them were adults, two of his girls were still in High School, he was 20 years older than me but he said he loved me and it seemed like he could offer stability and security to me and my children. He also offered a Temple Marriage, something that I was longing for. We were married June 1st, 1979.

July 1, 1980 Rebecca was born, May 27, 1981 Lydia was born, Sept. 15, 1982 Edwin was born. By 1988 I was divorced, broke and depressed.

My life seemed like one disaster after an other, sometimes it is hard to see the good times because of all the dark forest surrounding most of my life. The sun finally started to shine when I got a job at Novell in 1991. I was making a decent wage for the first time in my life, I had medical, dental and vision insurance for the first time. I could take my kids to the doctor and not have to worry  if I could afford it. We could have our teeth cleaned and fixed. Then Ted died and the kids started getting Dependent Social Security, We finally had our heads above water.

I went back to School again, this time the University of Phoenix, I earned my BA in Business Administration. I finally had a College degree. It proved to be more for bragging rights than anything. It did help me keep my job.

So a quick recap, 70′s mostly single Mom, 80′s mostly a black hole, 90′s single again but mostly sunny with a few clouds here and there. In the fall of 1999  I was introduced to the man who was to become the one I had been looking for ever since I realized that a woman should be married to the one she loves and the one that would love her.

James Lewis Hoag came into my life. An unlikely match but a match made in Heaven. Why Heavenly Father reserved him for me until so late in our lives I don’t know but I bless every day we have together.

A good love is delicious because you can never get enough.”

I have one request for when I die. For my funeral if there is one and anyone is there, please have everyone sing, “There is Sunshine in My Soul Today.” Because I will be in that glorious place with the ones I love who have gone before, it will be a wonderful reunion and the sun will be shining.