Thursday, October 16, 2014

Oh, my, where to even begin.  Yesterday was soooo full, in the very best of ways.

Sisters:  Birthday girl and missionary.  Love this!

It was Deborah's birthday (although we're celebrating on Sunday).  I have been so blessed to call this girl my daughter, and now my friend.  I always dreamed of having girls that could grow up and be my friend, and reality has turned out to be even better than the dream.  Especially in the last few years, she's been by my side, working and helping to keep things going.  Love that girl.

And Mary came HOME!  Back early in her mission, she counted out the transfer cycles and sent us an email saying that if she calculated correctly, she'd be coming home on October 15th.  Deborah fired back that she was holding her to that birthday present.

I simply couldn't sleep the night before she came home. Finally gave up and got up at 5:30.  I'd made her cake before and it was waiting for her at home.

We got to the airport, and I felt like I couldn't even stand still, bouncing back and forth on the balls of my feet, trying to see up past the escalator, down the corridor.  Absolutely impossible, but it didn't stop me from trying.

Waiting for her with signs we made in Family Home Evening.

Finally, FINALLY, there she was.  My beautiful second daughter, coming down the escalator.  I waited as long as I could, and then the tears (which had been threatening all day long, by the way).  I had her in my arms again.  Until that moment, 18 months really hadn't seemed that long.  But at that moment, I think I felt every single one of those days.

Something that's been on my mind a lot as her homecoming has gotten closer has been Aaron.  He made it.  He's still here.  When she left (and David and Jonathan), she didn't know if she would ever see him in this life again.  Another thing I shoved deep into the back of my mind.  Some thoughts just don't bear being considered, but then, they have to be.

I've been realizing that if/when he passes, I'm going to have to go dark on social media.  (And no, just because I haven't been on much doesn't mean something bad is happening.)  But my children deserve to get this news personally, from me or from someone close to me.  And they deserve to
know first.  But right now, they're scattered, and that's going to continue to be the case probably from now on.  One of the realities of my life is that I have emergency numbers for each of their missions in my cell phone.  That's just the way it is.  But she's here, and so is he.

Another part of October 15th is that it's Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day.  Across the globe, we cast a wave of light remembering these little ones.  From 7-8 p.m. in each time zone, candles are lit to remind us.  I have to admit, I wondered about doing that this year.  It was Deborah's birthday.  We were having family over to see Mary.  She was being formally released as a missionary at 7:00 p.m.

But then Deborah's alarm (yeah, the birthday girl) went off at 6:50, as a reminder to light those candles.  And I figured that if the birthday girl wanted to do this, it was a good thing.  So we lit them, and I was glad I did.  I have so, so many families I remembered during that time.  The gentle glow of light was a soft reminder of the sweet souls we all miss so much.  Sweet angels, watching over their families, and missed so desperately.

God gave us the gift of life; 
it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.

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