It's midnight. I've been debating whether or not to sit and write all afternoon. I guess the answer is that I need to just get my thoughts out - coherent or not.
I've been thinking a lot this week about the power of one. Sitting in our living room right now are four large boxes full of toys, games, play-doh, coloring books, and craft kits. All of those items given to us by friends, family, and followers of Team Kenton in honor of Kenton's birthday. Soon those boxes of gifts will be delivered to PCMC - specifically the ICS floor. We couldn't have done that on our own. We couldn't have even come close to doing that on our own. But when so many people pitched in just a little, amazing things happened.
11 days from now, we will participate in Allisa's Run For Wishes in memory of sweet Allisa Berry on what would be her 21st birthday. Proceeds from this race go directly to Make-A-Wish Utah. Kenton's wish is one of our favorite ways to remember him. Make-A-Wish does great things.
18 days from now, we will participate in the F2TF 5K . This is our 2nd year for this race. Last year was incredible. Beautiful. Powerful. Proceeds from this race go to the Giving Tree project. We were humbled, grateful, and so blessed to receive one of these trees shortly after Kenton died.
I know both Allisa's mom and Tyler's mom personally. Beautiful strong women. Full of faith and strength. Both fighting to make a difference in honor of their brave and precious warriors who, like Kenton, won their fight against cancer on the eternal playing field.
The power of one. Alone it's not much. But my one and your one and someone else's one, that is something. Something big. Something brave.
I've felt almost like an outsider in my own life this month. Sometimes I think we're blessed to feel numb. Heavenly Father knows our triggers. Those memories and traditions that will stop us in our tracks, heart beating too fast, unable to breathe moments. And He gives us the ability to feel without really feeling, to watch without really seeing. Numb.
As I've watched this month unfold, I've seen texts and treats and phone calls and visits and emails and Facebook posts and cards and gifts show up - our friends, each of them doing what they can to help us through. All of those little moments of one build into something strong. Something healing.
We are so blessed.
I know this little blog is sorely neglected. It's hard for me to write. Sometimes I feel like I should write about our day to day life.
I should write about how proud I am of McKayslin. About how she gets up each day determined to make the world just a little happier. About how, even in her own sadness and grief, reaches out to those around her, lifting them, cheering them. About how she bravely faces each new same thing. I should write about how she giggles as she remembers summers with Kenton, and about how she encourages us to just be strong.
I should write about the things we do. And how, in our attempt to choose happiness, we really are able to feel moments of genuine happy.
And then I feel guilty that our day to day life is, in fact, moving forward. Without Kenton. His memories are safely tucked in our hearts. We speak of him often. Remember him with so much love. Miss him with so much sorrow. But the truth is that life.just.moves.forward.
It's not a new normal.
It will never be normal.
And it's hard.
And none of it makes much sense.
This weekend our little neighborhood and ward family will say good-bye to one of our own. Jason may not have battled cancer, that battle might have been easier. His battles were hard. Heartbreaking. Yet his insight into the love of our Heavenly Father and his testimony of The Atonement would often catch me off guard during a Sunday School lesson as he quietly shared moments when he acquired that knowledge.
That kind of deep, abiding faith often comes as a result of trudging through darkness, one foot in front of the other, praying desperately for a glimpse of eternity, longing for peace. The faith that you simply must cling to because it's the only thing that makes any sense. When faced with sorrow that threatens to consume you, you have to live in that place in which you only once believed.
Today I sat at the piano as I often do when seeking peace, playing through the hymns. I usually play whatever hymn opens as I turn the pages of the book. Today (yesterday now, I suppose), 4 different times in the course of 15 minutes or so, I turned to "Abide With Me, 'Tis Eventide." I seem to understand the messages being sent better through music than any other way...
...O Savior, stay this night with me;
Behold, 'tis eventide.
O Savior, stay this night with me...
Behold, 'tis eventide.
Our eventide is our life now, learning, still, always learning, to live as a lopsided earthly family.
The power of one.
The power of the One.
One so holy, so perfect, so willing.
One in whom I find peace.
And even joy.
Tonight, I am grateful.
Grateful to know that Kenton's earthly mission was completed faithfully and that he's serving well on the other side. We feel glimpses of that eternal mission and know that he's okay.
Grateful in the promise of eternal life and forever families.
Grateful for a loving Heavenly Father and elder brother Jesus Christ.
Grateful that through that One, I feel peace.
There really is power in one.