I didn't remember having met Uncle RB before, so the family connection didn't make much difference to me. But my blessing did, because both in that moment and in the future decade it showed me with perfect clarity that even though Uncle RB didn't know me, my Heavenly Father did.
In many ways I wasn't a particularly happy teenager. As I prayed throughout my early teenage years, I almost always asked for help in knowing something using specific words that were a line in a song that I loved. As Uncle RB was giving the blessing, he said something, stopped, and then said something like "Know This: ______" and then proceeded to say the exact words from that song. That was amazing.
Before my blessing Uncle RB and I had chatted. I was in the process of applying to colleges and it was exciting. In the blessing he said several things about this. He said that I would receive a scholarship to the college of my choice, and that happened within the next year. But he said something else that eventually proved to be even more interesting, that I would graduate from this college with honors.
In the summer before I started going to BYU when it was time to register I had to make a choice--to enter the honors program or not. I think my academic record made me a good candidate for the honors program, but I decided (and this is the honest and slightly embarrassing truth) that I didn't want to have to hang out all of the time with nerds, and so I didn't register for honors classes. At the time I thought to myself, "well I know that my patriarchal blessing said that I will graduate with honors, but how could Heavenly Father know that I would choose not to go into the honors program?"
Then my freshman year I "fell in love" with a guy who was getting ready to go on a mission. We decided that I would go back to BYU for my sophomore year, and then work for a year to earn money so that we could get married just as soon as he got home. Again I thought about that line in my patriarchal blessing about graduating with honors and thought, "Well how could Heavenly Father have known that I would fall in love and get married and not graduate from college?"
It's really embarrassing to remember that time period of my life and I'm so so so so very glad that after the guy went into the MTC I started to come to my senses and realize he wasn't what I wanted for my life. I went back to BYU for my sophomore year and met and started dating Russ in January. By April or May we had decided we were getting married and after an interminable engagement were married, right after my junior year at BYU. I graduated from BYU the week before Cindy Lynn was born.
Some time in the month after graduation the diploma arrived in the mail. I opened it and looked at it, just curious to see what it looked like. And this is what it said--that Cynthia Watson Ray had been awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree...cum laude.
I looked at that and slowly realized what it meant. Cum Laude. With Honors. And then I thought. He knew. All along. When I was 16 and hadn't even been accepted to any college. When I was registering for college and decided not to enter the honors program. When I was in love and deciding to drop out of college to work. He knew that actually, the thing that was going to happen was that I would graduate from college with honors.
There are some that I don't really understand in my patriarchal blessing. There's something promised in there that doesn't seem to be working out very well right now. There's something that I'm told I will do that I just don't seem to have time for in my life so far. But I trust it, I trust it all. Because it is (and has been from the moment it was given) very clear to me that Heavenly Father loves me and does in fact know both me and my life.
PS--My patriarchal blessing also blesses me that I will have many, many children. There was a lot of time as I was dealing with secondary infertility that that phrase was a bit painful. Between the fact that we were playing genetic roulette even trying to have more children and the fact that it took so long for me to get pregnant, I thought that that phrase had probably been a mistake. Except, you know, it turned out that I had many, many children. It was actually a pretty accurate description.