The beginning of this story is kind of embarrassing for me. Let me give you a little background. When I was a kid I was so good at remembering names. I could meet someone and know they're name from then on and never forget it. Somewhere along the line I lost that talent. I have a really hard time remembering names. Cami is a prime example of my old age setting in.
I'd been home from my mission about a year, trying to get involved in a new singles ward (trying to memorize the names of a bunch of people who, quite frankly, all looked the same to me and were far too young for me to want to be friends with). I was in the Relief Society Presidency when Cami first came to the ward. She'd just graduated from high school. She was there with two of her cousins who I only knew as "The Lemmon Girls." She was another Lemmon. They were all blond and all back row dwellers. That's all I could tell you about them.
Over time we got our ward involved in stake volleyball. I love volleyball. I suck at it, but I love to play it. We had a ward that was... hard to play with. Some were really good and some were those who would move when the ball came near them and didn't even try. Despite our lack of skill and teamwork, I continued to go to volleyball. Cami came too. It was the ideal opportunity for me to get to know her beyond being "another Lemmon". But I could never remember her name. It took me a few weeks but I finally got it down. I'm a very vocal player. I cheer people on- and sometimes make noise to distract the other team. But that's how I learned Cami's name, by yelling out "Cammmmaaaaaayyyyyy" every time she hit the ball. She'll never let me live it down that it took me so long to remember her name.
Another thing she'll never let me live down is the fact that once *once* I forgot her birthday. Well, I didn't forget it, I said the wrong month. You have to know, sometimes I say January when I mean July. I said May instead of March. Sorry. I'll never forget her birthday again- even if I try.
Along with volleyball, Cami and I were both avid FHE attenders. Once I started to get to know more people in the ward (and got over the age difference [yes, I really have age issues]) I started hanging out with them more. Every Monday after FHE we would go and descend upon Denny's. I always ordered a "giraffe" of water.
Sometimes Cami and I would go for walks. I'd walk towards her house and she'd walk towards mine and we'd meet in the middle. Or she'd drive to my house and we'd walk around the park. We never ran out of things to talk about. I don't remember many of the conversations in detail, but it was nice to have someone to talk to. A real kindred spirit who understood me.
Cami and I started the institution of Thursday lunch at Bamboo. It was a rare Thursday that was missed. Sometimes Cam had to work but we'd carry on still. The incident that stands out the most vivid for all involved was the "Mexican Sucker from German Class." It still makes me gag just thinking about it so I won't go there. If she wants to tell it on her blog, so be it.
me with Melissa and Cami at Bamboo
One of my favorite memories with Cami was Sunday night sing along. A few of us would pick someones house (usually mine) and sing along with Ryan playing at the piano. We sang church stuff. We sang Broadway stuff. We sang contemporary stuff. It was the funnest time ever. I really really miss that. My favorite moment of all those times was when Cami hit the high note at the end of "Phantom of the Opera." and I mean that *H.I.G.H* note. She closed her eyes, she clinched anything that would clinch and she totally nailed that note! (Wiki says it's an E6 if that means anything to you) It was amazing. You don't even know.
Cami wasn't the person to introduce me to Wicked but she helped me love it. We would sing the songs together all the time, especially "For Good." She took the Elphaba part and I would take Glinda. The best ever was when we were singing at the ward talent show. Our bishopric had just been released and we dedicated the song to them. Both of us nearly cried through the whole thing. It was awesome.
There was even a time, at the end of a near perfect day, that a few of us were in the Park down the street from Ryan's house. It was night time and Cami and I were playing on the swings and singing together. You may think it sounds super cheesy, and maybe it is, but it was so fun.
When Cami went on her mission I was living in Colorado. I was home long enough at Christmastime to go to her farewell. I remember it was a miserable snowy day and I almost got stuck on the un-plowed roads. But I made it. While she was on her mission I wrote Sister Lemmon a lot. I wrote her more that I've written any other missionary- and that includes my brother. I attribute it to Dear Elder dot com. It was too easy to write her a letter, almost like an email, but she would get a paper letter in the mail- which being a former missionary myself, I know missionaries love getting actual mail. She wrote me back a few times, which to be honest was more than I expected. I knew she was busy and had a lot of people to write so it made me feel special that she took the time to write to me.
Since she's been home and I've been home our paths haven't crossed as much. She's got like, eight jobs and I have my crazy hour job. But it's still fun when we can squeeze moments in for Chinese food or game night. There's probably so much more I could talk about. But my brain is fried from staring at this screen.
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