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I’m watching President Thomas S Monson’s funeral, and crying more than the speakers. Pres. Monson, Eyring and Uchtdorf were the First Presidency when Drew went back to Church after 30 years. My initial reaction was to get out. After all of the unendurable things we’d endured, this was too much. But I stayed. He asked me to go to church with him. I said, “All these years, I’ve asked you to come to the synagogue with me and you always found an excuse to cancel at the last minute. But eventually I started going. And I started studying the LDS religion with a Rabbi very familiar with it, as well as my neighbors, Tom King and Barbara King , Jan Rachelle McDermott Snow and Scott,
Kevin Jardine, Kevin Bodily , Ryan Gauvreau . Dustin Thomas Bosley had been part of it too. I had the Trifecta of leadership: the First Presidency and Bishop Jardine, his Bishopic, Trent Murray and Mark Peterson. Drew’s son, one of his three children that I raised (however you choose to define it now) joined first. One night, I invited 6 or 9 or I don’t know how many couples over and shared my entire life story and asked Bishop Jardine is he thought I was ready. I described it as being at the top of a waterfall, jumping in with no idea what was at the bottom. He said yes. Two weeks later, with the absolute understanding that I would NEVER assimilate, I was baptized. I went “new dress” shopping with my still mother-in-law, Karen, and confirmed by C.l. Hyde - and so many others, including more Democrats than most of the award members had ever seen in one room. My still brother-in-law, Kent, spoke, and stopped on his way off the dias, saying to me: “I’ve never seen anyone glow like you are.” Amber Anderson and another Amber sang. Another child I raised sang. Rob Miller spoke. The following year, I received my Patriarchal blessing (perhaps I should have paid more attention to it), my endowments in August, then Drew asked me to be sealed to him for time and all eternity! We’d never had a real wedding; I’d never chosen my own wedding dress...we never had a honeymoon. I stuck to his budget; Hyde; Drew’s father was one of the witnesses, our guests overflowed the largest room. I looked into his eyes with such love and commitment - I knew this was what I’d been seeking my whole life. At our reception, we had a photographer, seven friends read the seven Hebrew blessings sung by the Rabbi under the chuppa in a traditional setting Jewish wedding. Since it was a Friday - 9/20/13, our actual 15th anniversary - we lit Shabbat candles, served Kosher grape juice and challah; a friend made made wedding cupcakes, everyone had their choice of Little America meals and Sparkling Apple Cider. Our honeymoon was extended by six hours! We were well and truly married!

So yes, it was a stunning, life devastating shock when Drew suddenly left with his kids, the grandkids: when his family just cut me off without a word. That for over a year, the utter hate towards me; no car, no money, homelessness, the lies, the thefts. That no one in his family has ever called. That my whole life was taken, and all I’ve been given are assorted excuses. I’ve been told to not ever write about any of this, but today is too hard to not remember the last six years and what they were supposed to mean, now and in the future. I’ve said before that I would not have survived this long if not for the good people who have supported and helped me. I’ve been accused of staying in just to get help. Sometimes it feels that way. Truth is, my life would be much easier if I’d give it up. But something inside says “However hard, this is the completion of my Judaism.” It is so much harder! I am so lonely. Having to listen to the untrue accusations; constantly worried about money; my heart, soul and brain broken, no independence...wondering how he can hate me so much, how his family can treat me this way...and knowing the nightmare will not be over until this is finally over. Is there a pill to forget? Do I want to forget? Will I be able to trust or love again lds wedding dresses