I can still remember the week I graduated from primary. My dad was invited to my last sharing and singing time. I remember him sitting with me and I can still remember what he said when they called on him to speak. He shared the words to a familiar primary song- “Give said the Little Stream”. He said there was a part of the song that reminded him of me- “I’m small I know, but wherever I go, the fields grow greener still”. He said that though I am small, I make every place I go a little better. I think about that often and I try really hard to live up to that sweet compliment from my dad.
Fast forward a few years and I’m student teaching at the Cedar High Seminary. Brother Banks, the seminary principal, came in my classroom after class one day and said, “if I close my eyes and imagine your voice a little lower, I hear Greg Townsend teaching in this room”. That was one of the greatest compliments I have ever received.
The past few weeks have been special. Jake and my dad have both received new teaching assignments. Jake will be moving to the Parowan seminary and my dad will be joining me at the Cedar City institute. It has been sweet to help my dad pack up his office and help Jake to unpack. The Parowan seminary is a sacred place for all of us! My dad graduated from seminary in Parowan and started his student teaching there. Jake and I both graduated from that seminary.
Parowan is home.
It was amazing to me to see my dad’s incredible career so far packed in small Home Depot boxes. Amidst all the pictures, gifts, and thank you notes, there was one box that seemed to hold the most weight. It held my dad’s journals filled with his every day life for the last 30 years. What an incredible feat. Those journals are inspiring to me.
As we chatted my dad opened one up to April 26th, 2014. He read about my first
date with Jake. My dad and I both got emotional as he read about the kid who was “one of his favorite boys in Parowan” who came to pick me up for a date. He wrote that he was more excited than I was.
Look at us now.
Hank said “dad” first. In fact, he says it about 1,000 times a day. This little boy loves his dad.
I was pregnant in 2020 so I spent most of our prenatal appointments in the doctor’s office alone. Covid-19 caused some restrictions on hospital visitors. Jake drove me to each appointment and waited in the parking lot so he could be the first to hear how our little boy was doing. I recorded ultrasounds on my phone and we watched them in the car. I mostly watched him. He was smiling so big.
I spend a lot of my time just watching Jake. So does Hank. I see those big brown eyes follow Jake’s every move. I can think of no one better for him to watch.
I’m grateful for these two fathers. I owe a lot of who I am today to who these men are. They remind me of Heavenly Father. They make me happy.
My name is Maddie Townsend Topham and I am a happy wife!