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And since my two younger siblings and I had been born in the U.S., my parents decided to take a month-long family trip to the U. so we children could experience American culture and spend time with our American relatives.Since my father’s grandfather—my great-grandfather—was a patriarch at the time, and he was advancing in years (to put it nicely), my parents suggested I get my patriarchal blessing from him during our visit.
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But I don’t remember if I prepared much—or at all—for the occasion.
I was having too much fun hanging out with my cool American cousins, and my aunt, who was only three years older than I was, and having sleepovers and putting together talent shows for the big family reunion.
I was enjoying going trick-or-treating for the first time, eating doughnuts and tacos and other delicious American food, and going to a real American high school for a day with my aunt.
But I do remember that on the day I received my blessing, as my great-grandfather placed his shaky hands on my head and pronounced a blessing in his quavering voice, calm and peace enveloped me, and I felt a distinct impression of being loved and known by God.
About six weeks after we arrived back in Australia, a type-written copy of my blessing arrived in the mail, and I eagerly perused it, thought about it and what my future might hold, and then tucked it away in my drawer.