August 13, 2013
I loved being in the temple this morning.
I feel you so close when I'm there. I know that the work you're doing there can only be completed with work done here. Doing my best to get there often and help you out. :)
Tonight, as usual, we headed up to the cemetery. McKayslin had chosen a very special little horse to leave there for you.
We were trying to decide what it should be named. I *think* she settled on STAR, but I'm not sure. We chuckled as we remembered that when you were little little, every one of your animals was named a treat name - caramel, fudge, brownie, chocolate chip. And then when you were little, every.single.horse you had was named Denny (because you loved The Man From Snowy River that much!). It's fun to share those memories with McKayslin. Those memories keep you close.
Kena stopped while we were there. Left you a little something. I didn't think to get a photo. I will next time we head up. Your friends still talk about you. They still miss you. And I love that they still talk to us. Sometimes it's really hard because my mind starts to play the "what if" game, or I dwell too long on the "if Kenton were here, what would he be doing right now?" But I don't want them to avoid us. Or stop talking to us. Their love of you that they so freely share with us keeps you close.
Are you seeing a theme there?! Clearly we're starting to figure out what we need to do to keep you close. ;) LOVE YOU, pal!
Monday morning we'd taken Grammy to therapy and gone over to Lee's to pick up a few things. Robert saw us and made a point to come over and talk to us. He and his wife Kristi were among the first cancer fighter parents to reach out to us. As a fellow angel parent, no words were necessary as we clasped hands in a firm handshake.
We did visit for a few minutes, drawing strength from our shared experiences, and as we parted with tear rimmed eyes, I was reminded again of one of the first posts I read on Tanner's blog...a post that reminds me so very much of you, my own little brave soul:
Not too long ago in Heaven there was a little soul who took wonder in observing the world. He especially enjoyed the love he saw there and often expressed this joy with God. One day however the little soul was sad, for on this day he saw suffering in the world. He approached God and sadly asked, "Why do bad things happen; why is there suffering in the world?" God paused for a moment and replied, "Little soul, do not be sad, for the suffering you see, unlocks the love in people's hearts." The little soul was confused. "What do you mean," he asked. God replied, "Have you not noticed the goodness and love that is the offspring of that suffering? Look at how people come together, drop their differences and show their love and compassion for those who suffer. All their other motivations disappear and they become motivated by love alone." The little soul began to understand and listened attentively as God continued, "The suffering soul unlocks the love in people's hearts much like the sun and the rain unlock the flower within the seed. I created everyone with endless love in their heart, but unfortunately most people keep it locked up and hardly share it with anyone. They are afraid to let their love shine freely, because they are afraid of being hurt. But a suffering soul unlocks that love. I tell you this - it is the greatest miracle of all. Many souls have bravely chosen to go into the world and suffer - to unlock this love - to create this miracle for the good of all humanity."
Just then the little soul got a wonderful idea and could hardly contain himself. With his wings fluttering, bouncing up and down, the little soul excitedly replied. "I am brave; let me go! I would like to go into the world and suffer so that I can unlock the goodness and love in people's hearts! I want to create that miracle!" God smiled and said, "You are a brave soul I know, and thus I will grant your request. But even though you are very brave you will not be able to do this alone. I have known since the beginning of time that you would ask for this and so I have carefully selected many souls to care for you on your journey. Those souls will help you create your miracle; however they will also share in your suffering. Two of these souls are most special and will care for you, help you and suffer along with you, far beyond the others. They have already chosen a name for you". God and the brave soul shared a smile, and then embraced.
In parting, God said, "Do not forget little soul that I will be with you always. Although you have agreed to bear the pain, you will do so through my strength. And if the time should come when you feel that you have suffered enough, just say the word, think the thought, and you will be healed." Thus at that moment the brave little soul was born into the world, and through his suffering and God's strength, he unlocked the goodness and love in people's hearts. For so many people dropped their differences and came together to show their love. Priorities became properly aligned. People gave from their hearts. Those that were always too busy found time. Many began new spiritual journeys, some regained lost faith - many came back to God. Parents hugged their children tighter. Friends and family grew closer. Old friends got together and new friendships were made. Distant family reunited, and every family spent more time together. Everyone prayed. Peace and love reigned. Lives changed forever. It was good. The world was a better place. The miracle had happened. God was pleased.
Later, McKayslin and I were sitting in the waiting room, waiting. Well, duh, what the heck else would we be doing in the waiting room?! Whatevs. McKayslin was coloring, and I was reading from the October 2002 conference Ensign on my tablet. I had loaded that issue on Sunday when a talk was referred to during the lesson. However, as I scrolled down through the talks, the title of one caught my eye...BUT IF NOT. I don't exactly remember that talk from conference. You would have been 2. Pretty sure you were roping Grammy during that session which made it a little bit difficult to listen and pay attention. I clicked on the title and the talk opened up. I began to read and had the hardest time keeping tears from just spilling down my cheeks right there in the waiting room (where we were waiting, remember?).
Mortality’s supreme test is to face the “why” and then let it go, trusting humbly in the Lord’s promise that “all things must come to pass in their time.”
Some of my richest memories are associated with weekend assignments to stake conferences as I have accompanied a stake president in visits to members of his stake wrestling with life’s challenges in courage and faith, especially those who have lost a child...I know from poignant personal experience that there is no night quite so dark as the loss of a child.