Jan 31, 2007

5 Things About Me

by Joyce DiPastena

Gee, thanks, Jennifer Griffith, for this wonderful opportunity to expose my deep, dark secrets! What was it again you typed at the end of your email, informing me of your "tag"? "Retribution expected"? Yes, I'm sure that was it!

Okay, at least the "things you don't know about me" is easy, because none of you know anything about me, beyond what I typed in my BIO to the ANWACritique!

So here I go, in random order (racking my brains to think of anything the least interesting to write):

1. My first novel (complete with beginning, middle and end) was a mingling of Star Trek and Dark Shadows characters. What can I say? I think I was in Jr High. I also attempted to to combine The Big Valley with The Three Musketeers (The Next Generation), and to rewrite Hamlet with a happy ending (after dumping Ophelia for a much better heroine). Thankfully, those last two never made it past a couple of chapters!

2. When I was about 5 years old, I suffered from TERRIBLE recurring nightmares about a pair of saguaro cacti that came to life (one of which always grew a long mane of shaggy black hair ) and slugged it out with their "arms", until I would wake up in terror and insist on climbing into my parents bed. My very clever mother decided one day to take me through the house, gathering all my nightmares up in a paper bag, summoned the family together to drive to the neighboring town of Kearny (8 miles from Hayden, where we lived at the time), where we dumped all my nightmares out before returning home to Hayden. And I'll swear, I never had another nightmare until we moved to Kearny a few years later! (And even then, I never dreamt the cacti-battle again. The Gila River must have washed them cacti away. Whew!)

3. One of the hardest "revelations" of my life was when, while taking care of my aging (and occasionally quarrelsome) parents, the thought came to me, "Sometimes the child just has to be more adult than the parents." That realization made a world of difference in my coping strategies--and yes, I know that thought didn't just come "out of nowhere". The Spirit truly does speak in a "still, small voice"-- usually one that sounds just like mine! (Though much, much wiser than I would ever be on my own!)

4. I share the same birthday as my favorite Classical/Romantic composer, Peter Iliyich Tchaikovsky, whose music helped me so much during the difficult "transition" following my parents' passing.

5. I hated Sunday School as a child, and insisted on staying home on Sundays with my non-member dad, while my mother and siblings went faithfully each week to Church. Fortunately, the Lord, in his mercy, refused to let me be lost, as could easily have happened, by blessing me with Primary (which was then held on a weekday). As much as I disliked Sunday School, I loved Primary with all my heart, and credit it with planting and nourishing the very first seeds of my testimony. (Along with my mother, of course, who faithfully drove me there each week, sang Primary songs with me in the car and at home, always encouraged me to tell her what I'd learned in class that day, and demonstrated through deed, as well as word, her love for the gospel...and Primary.) When the Church instituted the block Sunday program, how I rejoiced to hear that Primary would supercede the former Jr Sunday School program. I have an unshakable testimony of the power of Primary to help "raise up a child in the way he or she should go", and the life long blessings that can follow.

Post script: Does anyone else remember this graduation song?

We are leaving Primary,
Grateful we will ever be,
For the happy days we've had with you.
We have learned that we should pray
To our Father everyday,
For He cares about the things we do.
If we always try to please Him
In our work and in our play--
We will merit honor shown us
On this graduation day--
We'll be true to you, Our Primary,
And we'll keep the memory
Of the happy days we've with you.

(Now I'm all choked up. )

Long live, and God ever bless, the Primary!

Tag: New member Kristine John, and Donna Hatch (unless, of course, Donna has already done this exercise)


  1. Joyce, I do indeed remember the Primary Graduation song. Thanks for the memory! Thanks also for letting us get to know you better.

  2. I enjoyed your posting. I particularly liked the nightmare story. Sounds like that could find its way into a book.

  3. Wow, getting chased by cacti? I often wonder if Stephen King got his ideas from his nightmares? If so he must have scared himself half to death. Maybe there's a horror story in you waiting to come out.

  4. Joyce-
    The cactus image cracked me up! that sounds like a children's book in the making. Or a weird scooby doo episode. I'm glad you came through your "hates Sunday School" phase. It gives me hope for one of my contrary daughters.
    PS-retribution not required :)

  5. I have been looking for this song forever. I remember crying while trying to sing this on our graduation day. Glad you posted it and I found it many years after the post


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