As Mother's Day approaches, I am reminded of MY mother and how wonderful she was. She was so good. No offense to anyone, but I truly feel I got the best. I am also reminded that MY mother isn't here on earth anymore and that I still need her.
Dad & Mom - Mother's Day 2008This was the time of year, when my prayers were filled with panic, fear, heartache, and with constant begging - that my mom would live. This time of year, my heart hurts. I have a hard time keeping my emotions in check. I cry. I smile. I say a lot of silent prayers to help me smile and not cry.
Betty & Hollis January 10, 2010 - Betty's Birthday
Yesterday was Aaron's grandpa's birthday - Grandpa Hollis. Aaron loved his Grandpa Hollis and Grandma Betty. He has an unconditional love for them filled with gratitude. He gives them all the credit for the good choices he has made in his life. Grandma Betty passed away last January. This is Hollis's first birthday without his sweetheart. I hoped she was close. I prayed that Heavenly Father would give her some time off, up in heaven, to spend time with her lonely spouse on his birthday. Birthdays are for celebrating, but I knew this birthday would be hard. I worried about him and thought about him all day.
Feb. 2010 - Aaron, Grandpa Hollis, Ryan (Aaron's brother) at Betty's funeral
I wish I didn't think so much. But I do, and it tends to get the better of me. I know that each one of us is asked to endure trials. Trials come and go. Life goes on, whether we want it to or not. We learn from our trials and we, hopefully, see the good that comes from having to endure them.
I remember in May of 2000, I miscarried a baby. I was devastated. But I was surrounded by wonderful people and two very wise friends. As I was venting to my friend Gloria, she patiently listened to me and then she said, "Wow, this must be really hard. What are you learning?" At the time, I didn't appreciate her question. In the years that followed, each time I was faced with a hardship, I could hear her voice ask, "What are you learning?"
And then as I was at work, my friend, Tracy, allowed me to cry on her shoulder. I felt silly and told her how dumb it was that I was crying over a miscarriage. She had had twins, a boy and a girl. Her little boy got sick and passed away three months later. I couldn't imagine - my hardship was nothing compared to hers. But, she calmly said; "Heavenly Father knows each of us and what we can handle. My situation wasn't worse then yours, it was different. They all hurt the same." I was grateful for her wisdom.
Trials are hard. They come in all different sizes and death isn't always a factor. My sister had to move across country the year my mom died. Moving was hard for her. She is seeing the blessings now, but it was hard. My other sister endured a divorce. She is blissfully happy now, but it was hard for her too. No one gets to sit back and enjoy life "trial-free". Whatever the trial may be - it is hard.
Last night, as I said my prayers, I cried. I miss my mom. I asked for peace. I asked for a remembrance of my mother. I sometimes feel my memory of her is fading and it scares me. I promised that I would continue to be faithful and do what is asked of me, but that I was still so sad and that I still hadn't figured out why she had to leave.
People ask if losing my mom changed me.
I know I am different.
I am more aware of the people around me.
I also know that I feel like I am missing something - a part of me.
I am more understanding of others and aren't as quick to judge.
Yet, I don't have the confidence in myself that I once had.
I listen more. I still talk a lot, but I try to listen more.
I am a nervous wreck in front of a crowd - it is hard for me to even conduct primary. I was fearless when my mom was alive.
I know that my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ is different. It has grown.
I know the plan that our Heavenly Father has for us is real.
I know, without a doubt, that when we are enduring the hardest things, that our Father in heaven doesn't leave us alone.
And yet, I still struggle with me...and who I really am.
I watched a Mormon Message earlier today about Stephanie Nielsen. Please take time to watch this... amazing!!! I have been so impressed by the way she has handled HER trial. Her face and body look very different now. In the clip she says; "I am ME, I am not my body." That statement struck me. She knows who she is. She isn't broken. There are days when I feel "broken". I know I will get there, but today is just one of those days....
I know that as I cry and ponder, as I question, the trials I am asked to endure that my Heavenly Father wraps me in his arms of peace and comfort. He knows how sad I am. He knows how much I miss her. He knows how broken I feel, because He has felt all of these feelings Himself - for me.
President Thomas S. Monson said:
"...to those who obey Him, whether they be wise or simple, He will reveal Himself in the toils, the conflicts, the sufferings which they shall pass through in His fellowship, and...they shall learn in their own experience who He is."
I am still learning... but I know He is there.
So....AGAIN, I am okay. I am happy. I am still learning. And I know I am not alone.