There is no footprint too small to leave an imprint on this world.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Today has been one of the greatest days an LDS mother can experience. Today, my brother in law has been reunited with our family. He has been faithfully serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for the last two years in the Phillipines.
The separation is difficult. We are only allowed weekly emails and bi-annual phone calls home. It has been a mixture of emotions for me and I'm not even his mom! We are so so proud of him for choosing to serve the Lord and the Filipino people. We are grateful he has gained these experiences; but heartbroken for the family vacations, Christmas's, birthdays and just about every other day that we don't have him physically with us.
I was able to FaceTime my in-laws at the Salt Lake City Airport so I could see him arrive and be apart of the emotional homecoming. I could not stop crying! (The boys were totally confused why I couldn't stop crying, they thought I was sad he was home.) The reunion was so full of love. I am sure the tears I couldn't hold back were because this reunion was a small glimpse of what I have awaiting me when I see my Jane again.
As hard as this time on earth is without her, I'm proud of her strong and righteous spirit. I ache, but know she is doing the Lord's work. I wish I could see her right now, but in wishing that I am taking away from the glorious work she has been called to do. I realize that now, it was my epiphany today. I want my sons to serve missions to grow in character and testimony, so I wouldn't wish them home. The same is with Jane. I should not wish away the eternal work and glory she has.
And when that day comes, and it will...I have to always remind myself that it will... our reconciliation will be the most joyous moment! I don't believe there are words to properly describe the celestial and perfect joy I will feel to have my princess back in my arms.
I'm happy today. I am so happy. I am grateful for this truth my Heavenly Father taught me. And using my family to teach it to me. I love them and am blessed to be in their lives.
I read a great talk by Russel M Nelson titled "The Doors of Death". The following paragraph was on my mind this afternoon, "Moreover, we can’t fully appreciate joyful reunions later without tearful separations now. The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life."

Be still, my soul: The hour is hast'ning on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: When change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.
verse 3 "Be Still, My Soul"
(Sorry for the super grainy pictures, but let's celebrate the miracle of FaceTime!)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

My take on the Saratov Approach

Our thoughts and experiences tend to color the way we view life and interpret things. That is why a book, poem or art can mean different things to everyone. Tonight we watched the movie Saratov Approach and I noticed so many parallels to my trial of losing Jane. Most of the characters in the film experienced some of what I have gone through.

The missionaries, Elder Tuttle and Elder Probst, were living a good life. They were doing what they were supposed to be doing. They had solid faith in the gospel. But they were chosen to endure something scary. Their fear, then faith, then fear, then faith was so familiar. I feel like that daily, even hourly sometimes. But one of the Elders repeated his first discussion to bring himself comfort. Sometimes when our faith is shaken, we have to make a choice to have faith in what we already know instead of fearing everything we don't have answers to. 

The poor mothers of those missionaries were inspiring. Though some aspects of our situations are very different, there were many the same. They were grieving the loss of their child. Scared, confused, trying to cling to faith. One mother stood in the hallway and stared at a framed portrait of her son, and I thought, that is all she has right now. With Jane's beautiful portrait hanging on a wall right in front of me, I felt the pain that I too have to settle with a picture of her beautiful face for now. As we saw prayers coming from all over the world for their family and all the gifts, notes, flowers and kindness; I found myself getting emotional. We received so much. So so so much. The Probst and Tuttle family may have been scared and confused, but they were not alone. And neither were we. I will never have the right words or ability to express my gratitude for so many people who surrounded us in a bubble of faith and pure, Christ-like love. As I type this, my cheeks are wet. I love you, thank you for loving me.

The moment when the Elders were told to get ready to be executed, they looked at each other and asked how they were feeling. To their surprise, they were calm. That took me back to our time in the hospital. It was crazy, like CRAZY. There were at minimum a dozen people running and shouting around the ER. I was incredibly nauseous, probably from shock and had a lot of anxiety in my hands and legs. But I remember feeling an unexplainable calmness. That may sound contradictory, anxiety and calm, but it's how it was. My physical body was in shock, but I knew, with ABSOLUTE surety that everything was okay. Whatever the outcome, we would be okay. I don't know how many angels it takes to bring a shocked, anxious, mother of a dying baby to that much faith but I don't doubt there was an army of angels with us.

The last significant parallel I can think of now was when the missionaries were released. It was in a field of white snow, completely white. I love snow. I especially love big heavy snow storms. They feel celestial. I wish I could know what Jane saw when she was received into heaven, but endless white is what I imagine. As the missionaries ran with pure relief and joy because they were safe, I was reminded that my Jane knows pure joy and she too is safe.

The reunion those missionaries had with their family and friends was 1,000 times more sweet because they had tasted something 1,000 times more bitter. They knew what was truly good because they had experienced truly bad. I dream of that reunion with my baby girl and am anxious to see her again.