Today was easier and better than I expected.
I knew Heavenly Father would help me, but it was truly another experience of being comforted by the Spirit and the ministering angels of family and friends.
I knew before that the Holy Spirit did correct, instruct, and guide.
This year has taught me that the Holy Spirit also comforts.
Nathan and I both were up before six this morning, so my morning was slow and easy getting ready. We met his parents for church, and it was so special to be there. What an experience to go to church with your parents! I do not know if members with member-parents take this for granted or not, or if they understand what a miracle it is. But it was very special, and I was so grateful.
I was also grateful for the tender text messages from friends this morning, and so appreciate the love and support.
Nathan had to teach third hour, so we barely made it back in time. We cooked lunch together after, making BLT’s with gluten-free bread. Really they were BKT’s because we used kale instead of lettuce, and they were so yummy!
We talked of how it was easier than I was afraid it would be, but that has consistently been our experience this year. We have endured hard things, but the Lord consistently helps us through them and over them. Part of our mortal experience is the hard things, so we don’t expect to avoid them or get around them. But we are consistently strengthened and helped. For this, we are so very grateful.
We played crafts together as we prepare for hosting a gathering next weekend, and talked about how being busy helped. Friday night at Relay for Life was far more emotional and difficult than I expected, being there without mom for the first time. But Saturday with family all day and working hard on gardens and cleaning, all of that helped with grief. We think it prevented that kind of moping around that gets a person swallowed up faster than they can swim out. It really set the tone for today, making it much easier than I thought it would be.
This afternoon people dropped off the sweetest cards and letters, even some from the young women, and it touched – healed – my heart.
Tonight we had a family video chat with Nathan’s family, and confirmed scheduling with my brother’s family the date for finally laying mom’s ashes to rest. We had to wait for her case to be settled and closed, and now the driver of the jeep has entered his guilty plea and all that is almost settled, and all that business side of things finalized. My brother has worked so hard keeping up with phone calls and tracking everything, and I am so proud of him. Now we have looked at our schedules and talked to mom’s family in Missouri, and we will finally be able to bury her ashes. There is a family cemetery there where her parents are buried, and we will not even have to buy a plot. We can just make a place between her parents for the ashes, and let her rest.
I feel like words are starting to flow again, though I am still hesitant to let go of too many for fear they hold my air inside.
But I am breathing.
Nathan is good and kind. He made me a corsage this morning, and tonight he made me a delicious oh-so-good dinner. He served us on the fancy china, and then he cleaned the kitchen PERFECTLY. More than anything, though, it is his tender words and righteous priesthood holding that I treasure. He is a blessing to me, consistently, and a treasure to me.
Heavenly Father was perfectly right in His timing in sending me Nathan, waiting until I was ready and prepared, and yet answering such prayers just in time, more than I even knew I needed.
He was perfectly right in His timing for calling my mother home, releasing her from sorrow and pain and freeing her to be with her parents as our family continues to learn and progress.
He will be perfectly right in His timing for the maternity of my motherhood, and perfectly right in whatever form that comes.
I know this is true, and that is what gives me air, even today.
Today was hard, and I did some crying.
But it was also good and sacred, and I did some laughing, too.
Our happiness is not defined by circumstance, nor our success limited by challenges, nor our promises squashed by mortal moments.
We know the end of the story, and have faith in its fulfillment.
We also know we are only at the beginning.
It’s not time to quit, and never time to give up.
It’s only just now time to get started.
And sometimes, beginnings start with endings.
This was the last Mother’s Day of its kind. It was our first Mother’s Day without mom, but it was the last mom’s Mother’s Day. I felt mom very powerfully at Relay for Life, which is unusual for me to have such experiences in a place with so many people and so much noise and chaos. I felt mom while visiting my brother late Friday night. I felt mom when I watched Jess sleeping, when I heard the kids laughing and playing while getting ready, when Nathan and I drove our tired bodies to a parade on a Saturday morning just so we could be an aunt and uncle. I felt mom while we laughed and played during the parade, made plans for lunch, and laughed our way through lunch. I felt mom when we saw all the dogs reunited, just for a night. I felt mom when we parted again, leaving each other after making the plans for her ashes. I felt mom when we couldn’t leave flowers for her at the accident site because of the construction where they are fixing the road where her car and the jeep and the semi tore it up. I felt her while I learned to serve my mother-in-law the way I would have my mother, while I learned to let go of waiting for mom to come home and get back to loving my mother-in-law who is right in front of me. I felt her when we found a new (appropriate) pub for dinner, and I delighted in the absolutely perfect menu and quaint-hip atmosphere. I saw her when I woke before the sunrise this morning, and felt her as we talked. I felt her at church this morning, remembering it was a year ago she started coming to church with me. I felt her in the stillness after, while I waited as Nathan rehearsed violin. I felt her as he played for an elderly friend of ours, and I felt her while he and his dad gave our friend a blessing. I felt her when Nathan and I made lunch, and when we talked, and while I sorted some files, and while we watched a movie. I felt her when Nathan made me Sparta green beans without knowing it for dinner, and I felt her when I told her dogs goodbye. Again.
There is always the saying goodbye, again and again.
But it’s true, I know, what I have learned this year about how sometimes beginnings start with endings.