Christmas 1958, I was 12. I received a gift from my older brother, Douglas. It was a beautiful ceramic horse. I was in my “crazy about horses stage”. I loved it. I put it on a display shelf in my room. Then my birthday came along in the last part of March.
Time for presents. Doug once again gave me a statue of a horse. His name is “Sweet Pea”. He was the ugliest horse I had ever seen. Yellow, with black spots. Angular, he looked like he had not eaten for months. He looked like he was ready for the glue factory. I laughed and I was in love.
My Mother later told me that Doug had intended to give this to me for Christmas, but she did not think it an appropriate gift for Christmas.
I proudly displayed “Sweet Pea” in my room. When I went to California with my girl friend looking for a new slice of life. “Sweet Pea” came with me carefully packed and wrapped so he would not be damaged.
When I moved back to Cedar City after my heart was broken, “Sweet Pea” came with me. Wrapped with the same care.
When I went to Yellowstone National Park to work for the winter of 1968-69, “Sweet Pea” came with me. Carefully wrapped and padded.
When I got married and we moved to Everett, Washington. Along came “Sweet Pea”, with me, not the movers, they could not be trusted to take care of my “Sweet Pea”.
When I moved back to Cedar City after my husband was killed in an automobile accident, There was “Sweet Pea”. The one steady object in my life. Carefully packed and wrapped so no harm would come to him.
Then eventually it was on to Provo. With two kids in tow and “Sweet Pea” bringing up the rear. We eventually settled into a house of our own and “Sweet Pea” had a home also.
Then in 1979 I was married again. As we were moving my household into this new home, once again I carefully wrapped and packaged “Sweet Pea”. But this time the move was not so kind to him. As we were unloading something heavy was dropped on top of ”Sweet Pea”. He sustained injuries. I gathered up as many of the pieces that I could find and carefully glued them in place.
Looking back it was a symptom of what the next ten years would bring. Broken hearts and dreams.
My brother Doug is now gone, I doubt he ever knew that his “gag” gift would become a treasured item.
“Sweet Pea” is still with me tattered and torn but he is still standing. Ugly as ever with a few more nicks and scratches. To me he symbolizes staying power, he has been with me through thick and thin.