Friday, April 27, 2012

Family: Heaven on Earth

Yesterday I had the opportunity to see my great grandmother Marybelle on my mom's side. She is 98 years old, has basically no memory, and has not left her bed in a few years. She can't communicate anymore and has to be spoon-fed like a baby. It's strange to see someone who I used to talk to and have conversations with be in this condition, and I find myself having nothing to say to her, and even if I can think of something I get too choked up to say it. I am not really sad though, at least not for her. She's not really suffering, she barely takes any medication at all, she just can't care for herself. I'm sad for my great Aunt and Uncle who visit her regularly and have to see her health declining. They are the kindest people and have such good hearts, and I know it would be difficult for me to watch my mother starting to slip away like that. But again, its not really sadness that overwhelms me and makes my eyes "leak," as my mom puts it. I cry because the veil is so thin around Marybelle.

When I am with either the very young or the very old I can feel that Heaven is close. I can feel our Father in Heaven's love more strongly and clearly than I otherwise can. I know that he is waiting, for his own reasons, to welcome my grandmother to the other side where she can rest from her mortal trials. I believe my grandfather, her husband Bob, was there in that room with her, watching out for her as he did all his life until the moment he passed away two years ago.

I am so blessed to have been able to know three of my great-grandparents, and to still have two of my great-grandmothers alive. I'm so grateful for the spirit I feel when I'm with them and for all that they've taught me about perseverance and hard work. I pray for them, and hope that when they have done all they came to this Earth to do that they can slip peacefully to the other side of the veil and be reunited with their loved ones.

I am so grateful for my testimony of the atonement, life after death, and the resurrection. I know that someday I will be able to see these remarkable people again, and be able to live with them as a family forever.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Close Enough to Touch

In Relief Society today our president shared something amazing with us (to paraphrase...)
“The Savior is never more than an arm's length away, because he will not stand further from you than you can push him.”
I know this to be true, metaphorically speaking. The savior is only as far from me as I make him stay. The moment I turn to him for love, or comfort, or support, or validation, He is there embracing me and opening the windows of Heaven to pour out more blessings and comfort and healing than I could ever hope to receive. He is ever so much more than just. He is merciful, he is tender, he is loving, he is compassionate, he is self-sacrificing, and he is always there for me.
No matter how selfish I tend to be, which sometimes is sadly probably an 11 out of 10 on the self-centered meter, he sends me angels as soon as I am ready to accept them. On Wednesday he sent me one such angel: my wonderful friend Sam. He is always ready to listen to the spirit, and offer comfort and advice. He didn't know why, but he followed a prompting to come talk to me and because of what he said, and because of the love of my Heavenly Father he helped me to recognize, my burdens have been made light. They are still there, but they are now manageable.
I know that our Father in Heaven and Savior love us. They would do anything for us. I am so grateful for the sacrifice our Lord made for us when he suffered and atoned for our sins in Gethsemane, gave his life on Calvary, and finally was resurrected so that someday we, too, may be reunited with our bodies, and become perfected like him, and live forever in his kingdom. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His church on the Earth today, and that he leads and guides it. I know that no matter how close we stray from the path, he will always be beside us, waiting to give us the help we need, always close enough to touch.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I've had a LOT of little, and a few not so little, things piling up lately, and although I have been keeping my head above water, it's just barely. I sadly have not been turning to the Lord as much as I should, but General Conference came just in time, and gave me an opportunity to spend the entire weekend with my family.

I am so grateful for my family. I love them so much, and am so grateful for the way they are consistently willing to do everything they can for me. I love how much love I feel when I go to their homes. I love being cared for, and having the opportunity to care for them in turn, instead of being alone.

My sweet, sweet cousin Taelor, who is a whopping three years old, voluntarily sang me a lullaby and tucked me into bed before she was sent upstairs to bed sunday night, and then came and woke me up in the morning, announcing that it was breakfast time and helped be to select the best options from the pantry.

I am so grateful for this, and for other expressions of love I've received over the last few days, and my whole life, from my wonderful family. Thank you all so very much :)

Thank you also to my friends who treat me like family--who consistently take care of me, love me, and support me. You're the best!