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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lost In A Sea of Faces

Lost in a Sea of Faces!
I was six years old, and I was lost.

Quite often, my parents and sometimes my sisters would travel to Palmyra, New York to view the Hill Cumorah Pageant.  It is the one of the largest outdoor pageants in America, and quite possibly the world, with a cast of 700.  Nightly attendance averages 10,000 and more.  Our family had the opportunity to be in the cast on several occasions.  It was one of the highlights of our lives.

When I was about six, my parents and I were there with sister Ferne.  I can't remember if any other of my sisters were there or not.  I just know that we had been sitting in our seats for a long time and were waiting for the time when the pageant would begin. 

Since I was young and a bit squirrelly, I was hopping up and down and trying to convince my mom that I needed to go to the bathroom.  She was hesitant, for she really didn't want to leave her seat.  Ferne said to just go ahead and let me go, and told me the exact route to take up through all of the people to get to the restrooms.  It really wasn't very complicated.  But, I was six.

I came back out, looked around and couldn't remember the route.  It was really just a straight walk down an aisle, but I was six.

I began to cry.  There was a light rain that was threatening us.  I had on a blue and red plaid raincoat.  As more time went by, I began to get terrified.  I saw a sea of faces and knew I'd never see my mom again! 

I cried more.  Soon, a man picked me up and dried my eyes and helped me blow my nose.  He had me stand on one of the benches and helped me look out over the crowd.

I soon spotted my mom!!!  She had begun to worry and was going up and down the aisles looking for me.  When she saw me standing on that bench, she pushed through the crowd, thanked the man, and held my hand tightly back to our seats.

I felt so safe and secure.  Relief just swept over me.  Mom later told me I looked so forlorn when she saw me - and I was just as cold and blue as the blue in my raincoat.
Peggy at age 6 - about the time this incident happened.

I guess as a result of that experience, I worried that the same thing would happen when I began to have my own little family.  I thought the best way to help prevent this was to have something identifiable on us so that we could see each other better.  Shirts were the best idea.   

My good friend, Waunita, told me that when she and her husband took their boys to Sea World, they did that very thing.  Except - there were lots of school children there that day and they all had the same color of shirts on!

So, when we went to Disneyland, I had all of us wear red shirts.  Sure enough, there was a sea of red shirts there that day!  But, there was one man in a yellow t-shirt that I could spot anywhere in the park.  (Yellow stands out particularly well for our eyes.  That's why we have black on yellow for our "warning" road signs - Merge, Railroad, etc.)

Also, when we dressed alike, not only was it easier to spot my kids, but it was easy for them to spot us, too!  They could tell a cop or an information person or a store clerk exactly what their parents were wearing...
I might add that we don't all dress alike now.  They're on their own.

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