“Mrs. Brocklebank (Part Two of Two)” Friend, Sept. 1988, 27
Lately I have become good friends with my Grandmother Brocklebank. It all started a little over a year ago, when she completed my four-generation program. Then after she was baptized, I would go over to her house and we’d talk about different things. Her favorite thing to talk about is Church history. Sometimes when I listen to her, I’m awfully glad that Brigham Young never lived long enough to meet my grandmother. He would have found his match in Mrs. Brocklebank.
Mom and I were standing inside the front doors of the Alberta Temple, and a man in white clothes was checking our recommends. It was peaceful and quiet in the temple, and the man said that he was happy that we had come. I had just finished telling him that it was our very first time and that we were getting sealed, when Dad came in from parking the car.
“Mother won’t come in,” Dad said.
“What’s wrong?” Mom asked as the man gave our recommends back to us.
“I don’t know,” Dad said. He had a pained look on his face, the kind of look that he gets every time Grandma Brocklebank does something that doesn’t make any sense.
“She’s just nervous about coming into the temple,” Mom said. “She needs to be reassured.”
“Maybe you should go out and reassure her, then.”
“If you can’t do it, I doubt if I can,” Mom told him.
“I’ll go talk with her,” I offered.
Mom looked pleased. “That’s a good idea,” she said.
I went out to the car. Mrs. Brocklebank was sitting in the back seat. I climbed in beside her.
With Mrs. Brocklebank you have to watch what you say. I’ve learned that the most successful way to talk to her is to let her do most of the talking. I sat for a while, looking out the car window at the big white temple rising up into the sky. Finally she said, “Forever is a long time to spend with someone, don’t you think?”
“Not if it’s your family,” I answered.
“Your Grandfather Brocklebank might not agree.”
I looked over at Mrs. Brocklebank. I had never heard her talk like this before. Maybe she didn’t really like Grandfather Brocklebank. Maybe she didn’t want to be with him forever. “Did you have a fight with Grandfather Brocklebank before he died?” I asked.
Mrs. Brocklebank was looking at the temple too. I could tell by her eyes that she liked it just as much as I did.
“We had one or two while he was alive,” she said in a sad voice. “I guess that maybe sometimes I’m not a very easy person to get along with.”
I didn’t want to agree with Mrs. Brocklebank, but I didn’t want to disagree with her either, so I didn’t say anything.
“I suppose that they’re all ready to begin in there,” she said after a moment.
“Yes,” I said.
“Well, open the car door, then,” she snapped. “What are you waiting for!”
I got dressed in white clothes, then waited for two hours while the grownups went through the temple. They told me that I wasn’t allowed to do everything with them until I was older. I waited in a room where there were a lot of Church books and some Church videos. After a while I got tired of watching the videos, so I found some paper and made a paper airplane. I didn’t fly it, though. I didn’t think that Heavenly Father would want me to fly a paper airplane inside the temple. Finally a lady came and took me to a room upstairs. Dad and Mom were there, and so was Mrs. Brocklebank. I looked into the mirror on one wall and saw a mirror just like it on the opposite wall. I could see a whole bunch of me going off into the distance. I tried to look past myself to see how far I went, but every time I moved my head, the row of me in the mirrors moved their heads too.
A man dressed in a white suit came in and shook my hand and told me that he was President Spackman, the president of the Alberta Temple. He had a kind face and eyes that sparkled. He stood in front of us and talked about marriage, and I decided right then that when I grow up, I’m going to get married in the temple. Then he told Mom and Dad to kneel at the altar, and he sealed them so that they would never be apart. Then they all turned and looked at me.
“Come here, please, Kenneth,” President Spackman said.
I knelt beside Mom and Dad, and we joined hands on top of the altar. Their hands felt warm and strong. I don’t remember everything that was said, because I was too nervous, but I remember the part about me belonging to Mom and Dad from now on. After it was over, we all stood up; then it was Mrs. Brocklebank’s turn.
Things were a bit confusing because Grandfather Brocklebank was already dead, which meant that my dad had to take his place. Dad was pleased about it, though. I watched as Mrs. Brocklebank knelt at the altar and took his hand. Suddenly I realized that there was something that I wanted to say to my grandmother. I wanted to tell her that I knew now that everything was going to be all right. I knew that Grandfather Brocklebank wanted to be with her. He wanted to be with her because that was the way it was meant to be. Sometimes people in families get mad at each other, but that isn’t important. What’s important is that families are together. I held up my arm and waved to get her attention. She looked up into my eyes and smiled at me. All the Mrs. Brocklebanks in the mirrors smiled too. I realized that I didn’t have to tell her anything at all. She already knew.