Monday, August 26, 2013

[August 27, 2013]

August 27, 2013
31 weeks

Dear Kenton,

Over the past week, my anger has abated some, replaced by a hollow, empty, soul wrenching loneliness.  This grief thing is pretty crappy.  I never know what emotion I'm going to feel at any given time.  I think night is the hardest for me to find anything except sorrow and sadness and pain - because when I go to bed, I still find myself headed to your room to check on you, to give you one last hug, and one last kiss on the forehead as I wish you sweet dreams...yet, I have to turn away, because you're not there to check on, to receive a hug, or a kiss on the forehead, or my wish of sweet dreams.  And that's when the tears come.

We're all a little more worn down, a little sadder, a little more lonely than we were a few months ago.  Grief is a refining process.  A painfully slow refining process.  We understand a little more, we love a little deeper, and at the same time, we feel your absence a little more profoundly as each new first approaches, arrives, and passes.

Yesterday I taught Sunday School again.  My testimony is stretched and strengthened and renewed each week as I pray, read, study, and prepare the lesson.  We just started the Gospel Principles book again.  The lesson was Our Heavenly Father.  I was reminded of the quote by President Benson... "Nothing is going to startle us more when we pass through the veil to the other side than to realize how well we know our Father and how familiar His face is to us." 

We talked a lot yesterday about our loving Heavenly Father.  The longest part of the discussion was how we come to know our Father.  It's interesting to me that "the Primary answers" are exactly that.  PRIMARY!  (Thanks, Machelle, for that insight!!).  We have to be reading our scriptures, saying our prayers, attending our meetings, paying our tithing, etc. in order for our hearts to be open and receptive to the Holy Ghost giving us the knowledge (not just the belief!) that our Heavenly Father is real, He loves us, He knows us.  (Thanks, Kent, for that insight!).  Karen shared that it's when we've stopped doing those things, and begin again, we feel such a sense of relief and realize what was missing.  Isn't it crazy how easy it is to get to busy for the primary source of peace?!

Another part of the discussion was understanding and realizing that these habits (reading the scriptures, saying prayers, etc.) are in place and when we come to a difficult stage in our life, whatever that may be, we might come to our knees in a "habit prayer," yet stay on our knees as our prayer becomes that of seeking solace, answers, and comfort.  It's during those times that we REALLY learn to know our Heavenly Father, we lean on Him and the peace of Our Savior through the Atonement.  We walk on a little higher plane with a little more faith and a little more understanding.

Granted, those soul searching times of anguish have the ability to bring us to our knees in defeat just as easy, if not more so, than to our knees in prayer.  There is a fine line - that's why those habits are so critical.

You know this.  You understand this.  You always have.  You are an old soul.  A valiant missionary with only a short while to share what you knew.  You did that well, my boy.  Your whole being radiated the Pure Love of Christ.  No one could look at you and think anything different.  

Saturday morning, Dad and I went to the early early session at the temple.  Brother and Sister Taukiuvea were there.  As we sat, waiting to enter the Celestial Room, Sister Taukiuvea leaned over to me, with tears in her eyes, and whispered, "I can just see Kenton standing so strong, so brave, so valiant, so ready just as Peter, James, and John."

How blessed I am to be chosen as the mother of one so valiant, of TWO so valiant, because your little sister is strong.  Stronger than she thinks.  And she knows, just as you know, that our Heavenly Father is real, that He loves us.

This afternoon (I'm actually writing this on Monday evening because, well, there's just no way to get up and write this on Tuesday morning, and still be able to pull myself together to go to school!), I was home alone - McKayslin was at Paigey's house, Daddy and Grammy were in town.  I turned on my "Sunday" station on Pandora.  As usual, the first song that played was exactly what my aching heart needed...

Be still my soul: 
The Lord is on thy side;
With patience bear thy cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.

And so my challenge this week, is to remember and to trust and to allow that healing to happen.

Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ stand ready, anxious, and willing to walk by me, to carry me, to strengthen me.  Help me remember.  Help me be strong.  Help me be humble with a heart and mind open and receptive.

I love you, son.  I am so blessed to have had 12 1/2 years to take care of you, to learn from you.  I miss you every single minute of every single day.  I am so proud of you.

All my love,


Kristi Stephenson said...

“Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow." -Mary Anne Rodmacher. Your courage is inspiring. I love you!

Josh & Shellece + 3 said...

I think of Kenton, you and your family often. Probably more often than I should since I only know you and Kenton through my son and through your blog. But little things always remind me of him. Thank you for helping me become a better mother. Helping me to try to cherish every moment with my boys. I ache and pray for you! I wish I could ease your pain!