‘Still Moving’

11 May 2013

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day.  It’s been one year tomorrow since Darren and I knelt down on either side of Tyler’s hospital bed and told him that there was nothing more any of the doctors could do to help him and that he would probably not make it through the night.  One of the three hardest days in my 40+ years of existence.  A few minutes after we talked to Ty, a sweet little volunteer came into the room and handed me a box of chocolates, wishing me a Happy Mother’s Day…  I remember the whole thing like it was yesterday, yet it’s now been 365 days since those darkest hours.

This year, I’m still a mother to four wonderful kids, one awesome son-in-law, and two even ‘awesome-er’ grandchildren.  I’m very grateful for the gift I’ve been given to be a mother here on earth.  My kids bring me joy and sunshine every day.  I’m trying my best to focus on that this weekend, instead of the terrible ‘day’ it was last year.  I am a mother each day of the year, not just tomorrow.

I’ve felt some pretty significant anxiety on the weeks coming up this month.  Isn’t it crazy how a certain number and a certain month can bring about such emotions?  After all, I don’t understand how, just because it’s a number, I can feel distinctly worse or better than I did the day, or even month before.  I am trying to wake up each morning and tell myself this and realize it’s all how I view things, and how I choose to act or react each day.

A wonderful friend gave me a book last year, (Thanks Holly!) called “See Good Days”, by Emily Freeman.  I think I have read more books in the last 24 months than I have read in the rest of my years combined!  But this one is a keeper!  Each chapter has given me new insight on how to see each day as ‘good’.  It’s all in our own perspective.

In one of the chapters, she writes about a time in her life when she was experiencing something very difficult.  Accomplishing daily tasks, even processing emotions just seemed to be too much for her at that time.  A friend asked her, “What the most essential thing you need to do get through the next days?”  Her mind began to focus on all the tasks that filled her lists, and also all the projects that seemed to be slipping through the cracks – she felt the anxiety begin to rise.  She wrote that her friend must have sensed her mind trying to ‘catch the fragments of the sky that was falling down around her’.  Before she could answer, her friend gently prompted, “There’s only one essential.  Breathe.”

She is right.  Breathing is essential.

I know how to breath.

I can do that.

She also related a story shared in General Conference years ago about a man named Henry Clegg, Jr.  Henry came to the states from England to join the saints in Utah.  He and his wife and children said goodbye to their elderly, frail parents, knowing full-well that they would never again see them in this life.  They began the long handcart trek across the plains.  Henry’s wife became sick with cholera and died.  They buried her in an unmarked grave along the way.  A short time later, Henry’s young son also died.  Henry, heartbroken, carried his child’s body back to his wife’s resting place, carefully unburied her, and placed their son in her arms and reburied them together.  He then walked five miles to join the company.  Henry was also suffering with sickness and still had a thousand miles to walk.  But still he continued on.

The author writes, “I find it heartbreaking that Henry stopped writing in his journal for several weeks after losing his dear wife and son.  I imagine his emotions and his illness exhausted his reserves.  Perhaps he too understood the principle of focusing on the bare essentials.”  My heart broke when I read about this brave pioneer.  When Henry finally started writing in his journal again, the first two words he used were “still moving“.  “Not leaping, showered in joy, or overwhelmed with celebration.  Just breathing.  Still moving.”

Okay, I can do that.  I can still go forward.  My stride might not be as big as I’d like it to be, but I’m not standing still, and I’m definitely not going backwards.  The heartbreak of this man must have been so overwhelming, yet he chose to keep going, and that’s what our family will also do.  There is much to be done.  I went to Tyler’s grave today for a visit, and felt very comforted.  He is happy.  He is busy.  He wants us to do the same here until we can be reunited again.   There are at least four Giving Trees that are waiting to be done and plenty of people in need.  I have recently had news of more relapses and cancer diagnoses.  People are going through difficult times.  We need to be there for them.  Please remember to pray for those who need peace and comfort.

I suppose the bottom line is, we won’t always have good days, but even in what feels like the hardest of times, we can choose to see good days, if we focus our perspective in the right direction.  I’m not always great at this, but learning how to improve each day.

I hope Mother’s Day is a wonderful one for all those out there who are mothers, who will someday be mothers, and for those who choose to mother children in need.  Thank you all for your efforts in making life better for me, for my family, and all those around you!

 

So grateful to know we are an eternal family!

 

 

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