Sunday, January 30, 2011

Imperative duty

Dear Mikkie,

It's been far too long.

Our neighbor's dad just died recently and daddy and I completely felt their pain. When I saw the look in his freshly grief-stricken face, my mind reeled back to the awful day we got the same gut-wrenching news... they didn't make it. We truly could mourn with them, daddy and I cried that morning. No one can ever fully understand unless they themselves experience the same thing. It was interesting though, when I went over to say something all I could say was "I'm so sorry". You would think I'd have a little more knowledge of what to say, but I was at a loss for words. All I really wanted to do was cry, to know that someone else is experiencing the same pain we are just made me feel truly sympathetic. I may not have known exactly what to say, but I did know, however, what not to say. I'm keeping a list of things people say that make me cringe, and make sure to never repeat them to others who grieve. I know they mean well, they just don't know what to say! More often than not, a hug and a listening ear is all a person needs.

You'd be proud of me, it's been almost a whole month since I've last been depressed. I tell you, there is nothing as powerful as a priesthood blessing. Don't confuse that with not being sad though. There have been plenty of times where I still bawl myself to sleep, but it has not led to utter despair and self-hatred. I think it's safe to say I am crying more times than not, but it's evidence of just how much I love you. How can I not cry when part of me and my heart are missing. Daddy agrees that I'm struggling most. I told him there's nothing quite like a mother's love. I wonder if you truly know how deeply my love for you runs? Then I wonder if I know how much you love me. I'm still trying to imagine.

I went through my journal the other day, instead of writing in it, I went back to the beginning of last year and read through to most recently. It's an interesting experience to reread things you've written. I realize I need to do less complaining and express more gratitude. I had to laugh at the entries when I complained about life being tough...I thought to myself "oh stupid me, little did you know a few months later you'd be begging for these so called 'unbearable days' compared to what was coming up." I laugh in disbelief because I had no clue. No clue whatsoever. I do feel in some other entries that I've been inspired, and I felt touched all over as I read it again. There was one entry that stood out most to me at this time that said:

"Tim taught the lesson today in Priesthood and he shared a bit from it with me last night. It struck me. It was by President Uchtdorf. He said that it is our duty, when we’re strong, to care for the feeble; when we’re happy, to take care of those who sorrow; when we’re financially stable, to take care of those who are struggling. It is our imperative duty to do so. If we don’t we exempt ourselves from our salvation."

Wow. It struck me even harder than when I heard it the first time. We must take better care of each other. Am I doing all I can to mourn with those who mourn, rejoice with those who rejoice, tend to the sick, help those who struggle, bear up other's burdens when they are weak? I'm afraid to answer I have not been doing all I can do. That last part of the quote just screams to me the seriousness of the matter, 'It is our imperative duty to do so. If we don’t we exempt ourselves from our salvation'. You can bet I'm going to be pushing myself harder to do a little better.

I love you with all my heart, and then some.



Sunday, January 9, 2011

Conversations with Faith

Dear sweet Mikayla,

I've been noticing more how much your sister misses you. She's been sick this weekend so she is extra sad. When I tucked her in last night, she was crying. I assumed it was because she wasn't feeling well, but I asked her what was wrong. Without hesitating, I heard clearly through her sobs, "I miss Mikkie." Talk about a dagger to the heart. It broke my heart and I couldn't help but cry with her. As I sat there and stroked her face and brushed her hair out of her face, I saw you in her. She is the sweetest little girl, no wonder why I'm reminded of you when I look at her, you're a perfect little angel. I love you both more than...more than I can find words for.

Today I was talking with her about Jesus and how much He loves her. Whenever I ask if she loves Him, she says "yes, and we go see Jesus too!" I told her that she's going to grow up, have babies, grow old and then we can all be with Jesus again. To which she exclaimed "and Mikkie too!" Yes, without a doubt, our Mikkie too. "Yea let's do it!" She says excitedly. I say, 'unless the Second Coming comes sooner than we think, than we can see her even sooner." I don't think she quite understood (or the play dough won over her attention) because she said, " *sigh*, let's just go take a nap, k mom." She cracks me up. I was expecting the total opposite reaction. That would be the easy way out, just sleep life away and wake up when its all done. :)

Faith was making a hat from some of her toys, put it on her head and made another one. I asked who that one was for. "This is my Mikkie's hat." So sweet. She is always thinking of you and including you. Did I tell you what she did on Christmas morning? The first thing we did was check out the stockings, and before she looked in hers she immediately asked where yours was. Surprised, I went to get it and laid it by hers. When we go to the store and there is an empty seat next to her she reminds me "this is Mikkie's seat." I'm so extremely glad that she is remembering you. She is helping me to talk about you more, to include you in things even though you're not physically here. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten. Faith is doing better than me at including you in life. I think adults tend to make themselves busy more than kids. Daddy and I recognized the reason we've been watching so much tv lately is to take our minds off things; I like to forget about reality for a while. When I hear Faith say things about you and the things she does, I realize even though it hurts, I need to keep your memory alive by including you in things more, talking about you, looking at pictures, watching videos, anything to help it feel like you're still with us.

Faith has a stuffed animal froggy that when you press the hand you hear the sweetest, cutest giggle; yours Mikkie. Everytime I hear that, my ears perk up at one of the sounds that always brings a smile to my face, and now a tear.

I love you sweet Angel!


Saturday, January 1, 2011


Dearest Mikkie,

I can't bring myself to even smile right now, the pain is too overwhelming. I've been saying how glad I am to say goodbye to 2010 and bring on a new year....but the more I think about it, and as awful and heart-wrenching as it was, I want the year back. This will be the first full year without you and it's unbearable to think about. I feel so angry, confused, hurt. The holidays have been down-right depressing. Last weekend I just couldn't hold it together and pretty much hit rock bottom. There were only a few people I could count on to be there for me. The same ones that are always there.
It was that night when we were talking and we came to a realization how involved in our own lives we all are! We make ourselves so busy and are so caught up in our day-to-day living that we are completely blind to what's happening around us. I could be sitting here having the best day of my life, or just going about my day when someone I know(or someone I don't even know but could possibly help) and love is sick, depressed, thinking suicide, starving for comfort, starving for anything, losing a job or house or loved one or their sanity, or just plan having a rotten day and needs a listening ear. I realize that this world has got to do better! We have got to be taking better care of each other, not just watching out for our own skin. I mainly mean me. How do we expect our Savior to come when we are in a state like this. Realizing this could make me feel even more depressed, but instead I'm going to make sure I forget myself and serve others. I need to and want to be more in tune with who is in need of help or who is in need of a friend. I can't believe I've been so dense to not see this a little sooner.
Someone you know Mikkie, is having a very hard time and has not been to church for a while. The thing that baffles us is how not one soul has bothered to check in on them to see why they have not been coming or to say they missed them. Don't you think there is something incredibly wrong with that picture?
So many have lost loved ones recently, the holidays approached; you'd think people would know how rough it would be on them, and call or write saying something as simple as 'we're thinking of you'. I know for myself, I can count on 2 hands the amount of people I heard from. Yet I, myself didn't check-in with people I know are most likely suffering.
A friend of mine is sick with cancer and could possibly go anytime. People have the nerve to say and do unkind things to her. WHY is this, Mikkie, tell me WHY! No one cares, it seems.

I think I know an answer only because I recognize what's been going on in myself, I am among those who seem not to care; We DO care but don't show it. Why? it's because like I said before, we are so busy we're oblivious to anything going on outside our own little family, we're comfortable living in ignorance (what we don't know can't hurt us, right? wrong.), we're ok with mediocre, we simply don't make the time to check in on others, and we figure maybe they're just sick or maybe they just need to be alone and the biggest mistake of all, we assume.

Someone is missing from church or school or work one day, the normal thing to do is assume they are sick, or maybe out of town. I do this and think it all the time for everyone, and think nothing of it. Until last week when I missed church, one day after Christmas and hear from but two people. I was not sick and I realized maybe other's experience similar circumstances when they are not in attendance. Maybe instead of being sick or the other normal list of things we would think to assume, maybe they are in trouble, stuck somewhere, can't get their car to start and no one's around to help, or are home crying their eyes out because they desperately miss someone they love. I cannot afford to "assume" anymore. God wants us to serve one another, but He can't help if we don't make time and make ourselves available.

I'm sorry if I sounded a little harsh Mikkie, I just feel very passionate about this realization I've come to...and I feel very strongly that this is one of the answers to life. It makes sense when you think of the life Christ lived and the example He made; He was always helping others, attending to the sick and needy, healing, blessing and comforting. We need to take this more seriously and follow His example and what He said "Do thou likewise" and show more compassion for others. There's so many times and people I wish I would've taken the advantage to check-in with, including you Mikkie. Maybe not every time we don't check-in with someone, something as traumatic as your experience happens, but we certainly do miss a chance to "save" someone...whether that be physical, mental or spiritual.

Oh how I miss you, Mikkie! How I wish I had the power to turn back time and have you back.
Although this new year is bound to have hard times as we continue on experiencing "first's without you", I hope it will bring more happy times.

I love you more and more every day.

Love me,