Thankful for Pioneers
Dear Friend N,
Today as I write to you, I am thankful for pioneers. I know it is kind of "out of season" to be thinking about them and celebrating them as our church officially recognizes July 24th as Pioneer Day, but I had an experience a few weeks ago.
I was out with Daughter somewhere and she ran up to a big wagon wheel that was being used as a decoration. As my eyes followed her excited little body running along I realized how small she looked next to that wagon wheel when I realized how much taller it was than her. I thought of how helpless she looked next that wagon wheel. My next thought immediately was of all of the pioneer women who had lost a child due to them being run over by the wagons and oxcarts.
I know it sounds kind of morbid, but as a mother I knew you'd understand. Daughter right now loves to run. She also sometimes trips. I could picture better than ever before what it meant when I had heard stories about children being run over by the wagons. These women and children (men, too) walked all day, everyday for months. That is many steps. That is many opportunities for a tragedy to happen like that.
My heart ached for these pioneer women. If a child got caught in the way of these heavy laden wagons (carrying all of their possessions) or underfoot the large, large oxen or tall horses there really wouldn't be anything that could be done. They are so large, and these precious child size bodies are so small. Many women had to bury children on the trail (due to many reasons for their deaths). Could you imagine digging a grave, and then walking away from your baby or young child, knowing that because the grave was so shallow, animals would come and eat the body?
One of Daughter's favorite songs right now is "Whenever I think about Pioneers". I didn't grow up singing it, did you? (No one grows up learning every single song in the Songbook, except maybe Daughter? We'll try). Anyways, the song talks about how pioneers included adults and children.
So, today I am thankful for Pioneers. As I become increasingly more grateful for the opportunity to be a mother, and grateful for all of the little cute stages that Daughter goes through, the thought of losing those, and realizing how many pioneer women did lose that, humbles me.
I also know it was not just walking across the plains. Babies fell overboard as ships sailed across the Atlantic. Husband and I both had ancestors on the Mayflower. I am also thankful for "modern" pioneers. Many family members have converted to Mormonism leaving behind family and friends to live their new beliefs.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving.