May 28, 2009
by Stephanie Abney
My husband, Jim, and I are a couple of “show-uppers.” We show up to just about everything and anything we are invited to, are expected to be to and even lots of places where no one thought we would be there. Life happens, of course. Sometimes we are double-booked, out of town, ill or a few times, just plain forget. Nevertheless, generally speaking, we show up. So do a lot of other people. I can’t help but notice a pattern, however. It seems in any given circle, it is pretty much the same people that show up.
The same teachers show up at afterschool events or meetings, the same people show up at ward temple day, welfare assignments, service projects, Eagle projects and Courts of Honor, convert baptisms and wedding receptions, particularly those that are really too far away (but the “show-uppers” will come anyway). They show up at kids’ performances (often when they are not even related), graduation parties, baby and bridal showers and more.
We are also “stay late and help clean-uppers.” Oh yeah, I married into a large bunch of stay late and help out folks. If we are at a wedding reception of someone we don’t even know that well and we happen to get there as it is ending, I can guarantee that the Abneys are not going home until the last table has been stripped of its cloth and decorations, the last chair has been stacked and the floor swept, if not mopped.
Am I bragging? No… just making an observation. It takes a big chunk out of your life to be a “show-upper.” Yet, I know from experience, that when we have an event, a talk to give or any other number of things that may involve others and we look out to see “so-and-so” and we KNEW they would be there… because they always “show up” and we knew we could count on them, there is something so sweet that washes over us. Everyone has fun, gets the work done, cheers the drama student or band member, finishes the Eagle project, does the temple work, supports the new church member, the new grad, the new bride or the new mom or whatever the event may be. Everyone is also enriched, either for having given or received. Everyone becomes closer, bonds of family and friends are strengthened. In this there is real, tangible power… something that adds to your own framework and rounds out the empty spots, fills in the gaps, brings out the smiles and creates value, love and blessings. Yep, I have a lot of gratitude for those who “show-up” and I’m proud to be counted among them because the blessings are a two-way street. It’s impossible to bless the lives of someone else without blessing your own life. You just have to “show-up.”