Far, Far Better Than a Tie!

This past Tuesday the young men and their leaders met in the chapel to practice blessing the sacrament. Part of the genius of the activity was to see if Ethan had any limitations (sensory issues) with breaking the bread. We knew he wouldn't eat it, but we weren't sure if he would pick it up and break it into pieces. Once they ferreted out what his limits were, they continued to show him all the others steps taken for the process of fulfilling the ordinance.

I watched from a distance as his leaders skillfully guided, nudged, directed, and instructed him in his duties. At one point during the exercise Ethan revealed his innocent side in a very touching way. Ethan and one of his leaders, Brother Clark, stood, while Brother Pendleton knelt to simulate saying the prayer on the water. At this point, if you're not familiar, all in the congregation would bow their heads and close their eyes for the prayer. As I watched, Ethan stepped closer to Brother Clark, and with his eyes closed, tilted his head, and rested it on Brother Clark's shoulder. This seemed to catch Brother Clark off guard, momentarily, but then the innocence of the action overcame him and he exploded in a giant smile.

The rest of the practice went off without a hitch, and the boys and their leaders, concluded their activity. It appeared things were all set.

Yesterday, after having family prayer, Ethan announced he was going to bed. We were a little surprised, since he normally doesn't put himself to bed. When we asked him if he was tired, he announced he needed to sleep because he was going to bless the sacrament in the morning.

I wish I could adequately describe what took place today, but from my vantage point on the stand (dais) I could only see the back of Ethan's head, but I could see tears, joy, reverence, and awe, in the eyes of others in the congregation who clearly could see Ethan's face and actions.

Following Sacrament meeting I was stopped by Brother Blood, who was visibly emotional. He said he found it hard to speak, but said, "I love watching Ethan as he passes the sacrament and today was a special treat!" He then asked if he could submit a comment for the blog. He was moved by what he had witnessed today with Ethan and wanted to share it. Enjoy, as we did!

Father’s Day. Or maybe, Parent’s Day. Today was a special treat. I have been one of those third party stalkers, once in a while observers, to this blog, but a firsthand observer of the Kornegay family. With a brother-in-law just 4 years younger than myself whose only job has been a few hours a week for 20 years at Wendy’s, I have a moderate level of appreciation for the experiences of our dear friends who address such challenges and opportunities each day.

Today’s treat. Ethan was ordained as a priest recently, and today he sat with the other priesthood holders to help break the bread that is passed to the congregation as we partake of the sacrament. As I looked at Ethan, I saw one of his adult advisors by his side, watchfully checking on Ethan from the corner of his eye. Ethan looked up at his mom sitting on one of the front pews, a big grin on his face knowing he was doing something only the older and more responsible young men were allowed to do. A tear in Mom’s eye as it appeared to fill her with joy, pride, happiness, reverence, and maybe a bit of trepidation of “is this going to be OK?” Then I saw her look towards Jeff and I saw them exchange looks of complete love and understanding. That look between two parents who share the hopes, dreams, fears, and everything they feel in the raising of their children. It was a very precious moment on this father’s day. I see the love and tenderness that Jeff approaches his son with each week. I also saw today, another mom who was speaking in church, watching her son as he passed the sacrament to the congregation. She had that same look of joy, pride, and total love as she witnessed her boy growing up and progressing to another phase of life. A hidden thumbs up as Ethan finished and sat down and big grins on both sides. The look of joy and melancholy we get as parents as our children grow up.

As we have known the Kornegay family for the last 2 ½ years, I have watched Ethan’s siblings seem to take turns, knowing who can best calm his inner frustrations or quiet his outburst lovingly helping him. It is a pleasure to know and be that third party observer to the love of the Kornegay family and so many others that are examples of the type of parent I hope to be.

With Love and Appreciation,


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