There are moments in time, that when we pass through them are so profound we just know that life will never be the same. I think of the five trips Dee and I made to the hospital, late at night, early morning hours, in sun, rain, and snow. I knew each time that the next time I sat in our car our lives would be different because there would be a new family member with us. Our family dynamics would change. The direction our family destiny was taking would be forever changed by the addition of a new baby. Which of my children would be happy and who would feel misplaced with sibling jealousy. Would it be a hard transition? Was I up for it? I would sit back in the car, take a deep breath and tell myself I could do this, again!
I remember another moment like this on my wedding day. We were ready to go to the temple, my father started the car and I knew that when I got into that backseat it would be my last ride as a single young woman. Life was about to change in a big way. I recall asking myself if I were truly ready because it was all about to change.
We have made decisions as a family, as a couple, and as individuals that have shaped our futures. Mission calls, job opportunities both accepted and turned down, which house to buy; these have all placed us in times and places that have helped shape who we are and what our futures will be. Phone calls come that bring these moments of sure knowledge that "it will never be the same again".
One such call came ten years ago. I answered our kitchen phone to hear my sister-in-law Renda on the other end.
"From everything the doctors are telling us we think it would be a good idea if you could catch a flight to Albuquerque and get here as soon as possible."
I was stunned. Wasn't my Dad getting better? Mom had just said so this morning! And there it was, that sinking feeling that my life wold never be the same beyond this moment.
Ten years ago on this very day (ten years?) I lost my sweet father. He slipped away from this life with all of us around him. It was a sacred moment of sure knowledge that while we would not see him again here on Earth, he wasn't very far away at all. The pain was intense as we held each other and wept in his hospital room. As I turned to leave that place I knew that everything had changed...again...and that it would be alright. There were many deep breaths after that day. "You can do it" I would tell myself. Ten years later I have done it! I know with every part of my soul that my Dad has gone on to his heavenly home where he lives in spirit form with his parents and brothers and sisters, tow daughters & a little son, as well as many loved ones from his earthly life. I know that there will be a resurrection day and we will live again in glorious, perfected bodies. Most importantly I know that through Jesus Christ's atonement we can be a family, forever dwelling in the presence of God our Father and with our loving family!
On Thursday afternoon a life changing call went out to the family members of a young man who has been valiantly fighting Hodgkins Lymphoma. "Come to the hospital" was the message they received. Among them are Brittany's friend and roommate Sarah. Their son and brother Stephen was sent home from his mission to NewYork when it was nearly complete because he was not well. He hated that he could not stay and finish. When the diagnosis came he faced every treatment, every new medicine, every invasion of his life by this awful disease with great courage and faith. Memebers of his family, church, former swim team, and the community came together in fund raisers and events to help his well-loved family. If I recall correctly, this battle has gone on for about two years. Yesterday he was called home, surrounded by his loving family. I am grateful to know the Griener family and to have known Stephen. He was a swimmer for Dee's team and one of his very fine students at Lone Peak High School. I know he is not very far away and that with the passage of time, life will settle into a new normal for all who loved him so dearly. Until then, please pray for this sweet family. They are going to miss Stephen and need this support for awhile to come. Jeff & Jane, we love you! It is a privilege to know your family. You inspire us all!