{christ centered} these precious ones

Saturday, March 16, 2013

When BH and I had been married for barely two months, my darling step sister lost her husband in an ATV accident. She was only a year older than I was and had two young daughters, the youngest only a year old. BH and I were full swing into our newlywed-euphoria-on-top-of-the-worldness and her loss had a big effect on me. Up till that point, loss like that had always been at arms length. I'd been to plenty of funerals to support other people when their parents and close family members had passed. I'd also attended funerals of my own family members, usually grandparents and others that seemed to have lived full long lives. But then, with the passing of my step sister's husband,  the loss of someone real, close, in the prime of their prime of their life, and needed by their family, became a real thing to me. I quickly began thinking of my own hubby.

We were desperately in love, and still are. We were at perhaps the most untouchable phase of our lives. Troubles and arguments and hard times hadn't hit us yet. Though he had a real medical scare while we were courting, there hadn't yet been a thought of losing him before we were old wrinkly porch-sitting people, at which time we would both go together, preferably in our sleep at our beautiful home, after raising lots of kids and grandbabies. But then my sister's loss touched me.

It touched me and hasn't left yet. It probably never will. Usually I go to funerals and give other people hug and pass the tissues to other people. But this time it was too close. At the funeral I held her one-year-old and kept thinking how real it was. How real it could be for me one day if my idea of not losing my hubby till we were old and gray wasn't in the cards for me.

Since that day I have been keenly aware of the time I have with Hubby. I try to take mental snapshots of all the beautiful moments we have, in case I don't have him and need to rely on the memories instead. I try to make sure that whatever note we end on is a pretty and loving one in case it is the last note of our song in this life. It's become a central idea in my concept of marriage and loving another person. It made me a better wife and has made he a better daughter.

Then came Darling. When baby girl was born I was overwhelmed with how much I loved her. My love for BH grew slowly, like a sunrise, and my little heart had time to grow with it. But with Darling the love came so strong and so fast that it felt like my heart was breaking at times because there wasn't room for all of it. I was lucky enough to stay home day after day and just hold her. I'd snuggle her to my chest and lay my cheek against her head and just breathe her in, trying to get used to how precious she was to me.

After we added the baby to our family a tiny bit of fear crept up. I had been thinking of how hard it would be to lose one so close, how I would get through it, how I would have faith in the promises of our temple sealing, how I would remind myself over and over that mortality is but a small moment and we'd be together someday. But then I became scared. Scared of losing baby. I guess it stems from the idea that if BH were to go, then it would be because of the Lord's plan, and I could be okay with the Lord's plan because he loves us. But I was responsible for baby. If we lost her would it be because of His plan or because I wasn't as watchful as I needed to be? I began to be scared, to have bad dreams and to hold her too close to my heart, not wanting anyone to take her from me.

I knew if I kept feeling like this it would have the opposite effect on me and keep me from living life, keep me from making memories to take mental snapshots of. I knew if she were to go I would need those memories. I needed to feel life more fully. I became afraid of being afraid of losing my baby or my hubby.

It's usually a seemingly random thing that will touch my heart and teach me something I need to know. I watched a CES fireside with Elder David A Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He was speaking about something or other and I just started paying attention. He was talking about how we need to have the faith to be healed, but we also need to have the faith to NOT be healed. That struck a chord. I had always believed that whatever plan God has for us, that we could not only survive it, but that it would lead us to our happiness. I knew that the blessings and promises of the temple sealing give us the opportunity to be together as a family forever after this life. But suddenly I had the faith to NOT be together in this life if need be. Or, rather, I had the hope to have enough faith to lose one I loved and still be happy. I realized that whenever I lose any of them, no matter when, that it would be too early for me. And that thought gave me a huge sense of freedom and peace.

I know this is a long and personal post, more personal than most are or probably will be for a while. But it is an important part of my life as a wife and mother. I would encourage you to let it be for you as well. Make sure each moment is one that you would be okay with leaving as your last note. But more than that, be prepared for the probability of loss in your life. Get a good life insurance plan for you and your spouse with a rider for your kiddos if you're lucky enough to have them. Always have good medical insurance if in any way you can afford it. Talk about the practical things, about the emotional and spiritual things. Make sure if that day were to come that those left to miss you would have the temporal things already worked out so they can spend their time in the memories they have of you instead of going through paperwork and making financial decisions. Tell your spouse what you would want if you passed so they aren't worried about coming to grips with your loss and wondering if the celebration of your life they suddenly need to plan would be how you would want it to be. Talk about it. Do it now when you have little concern and little fear of it happening. Do it now when you are happy, it will make it an easier conversation to get through. Then go tell your kiddos you love them and give them big squishy slimy hugs. (Slimy part is optional, unless your kiddos drool as much as Darling Baby does).

I know you will be happy you did. I am happy we did. I know we will be together forever as an eternal family, but I know that at some point one or all of us will go without one or all of the rest of us in this life. I know we can do that now with love and faith and still be happy because God loves us and we love each other, both very dearly.

Kisses and Hugs,
Mon Bons

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