Mom

My mom doesn’t read my blog.  I think she tried to read it when I first started writing it but it was all too real at the time.  Then I think she just forgot about it.  Now that she is away from home serving her LDS mission I  send her a letter every week.  I can still talk to her on the phone when I want to and email her, but there is something about getting real mail in your mailbox that is much more personal.  So my goal is to send her a letter once a week while she is on her mission.

Well when you still talk to someone 2-3 times a week there isn’t much to say in a letter so I decided I would start sending her a copy of one of my blog posts each week, starting with the most recent and going back.  So this week I sent her my post about distance since at the time it was my most recent post. I was nervous about her reading it.  I didn’t want to make her sad.  I didn’t want her to feel like I was sharing too much personal information with the whole world.  Her reply was perfect.  The quote she added was just what I needed to hear.   I wanted to share her response. (With her permission.)

Heather,
I am amazed at your writing skill. You are able to feel and express your emotions so much better than I can.

I’m not sure what I can say to help you feel better. Just that I love you.

Yes, the grief and pain are there, but for me, I have to look forward to good things coming, rather than dwell in the past. The past hurts too much and it cannot be changed. If I had my way, it would have never happened. But it did. We can’t change that. What we have to do now is live in the present with hope for the future.

Today I was reading the Ensign magazine and I came across this. It helped me feel better. I hope it can help you too.

Russel M Nelson, as quoted in the current Ensign:

“Life does not begin with birth, nor does it end with death. Prior to our birth, we dwelled as spirit children with our Father in Heaven. There we eagerly anticipated the possibility of coming to earth and obtaining a physical body. Knowingly we wanted the risks of mortality, which would allow the exercise of agency and accountability. ‘This life [was to become] a probationary state; a time to prepare to meet God.’ (Alma 12:24.) But we regarded the returning home as the best part of that long-awaited trip, just as we do now. Before embarking on any journey, we like to have some assurance of a round-trip ticket. Returning from earth to life in our heavenly home requires passage through – and not around – the doors of death. We were born to die, and we die to live. (See 2 Cor. 6:9.)   As seedlings of God, we barely blossom on earth; we fully flower in heaven.”

I’m sure Dad wouldn’t want you to be so sad. I don’t either. Life is for living, trying to do the best we can in every situation that comes our way. I know you are trying to do that. I just don’t want you to get bogged down in past sadness.

I’m afraid that I cannot come up with the right words to ease your soul. But do remember that I love you, and so does Dad, and Grandpa, and Grandma, and Heavenly Father, and Jesus, and everybody you knew before you were born, whoever they are, and so many people that are here on earth now: your friends, siblings, and relatives. Feel the peace and love coming coming from all of us to you.

Love, Mom

I don’t think it matters how old we get.  Mom’s always know the right things to say.

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After – 20 months – Service

This is a heart wrenching situation and I don’t know how I feel about it.  You can read the full story here.  Short and condensed version of this is she has been diagnosed with GBM and has moved to Oregon to be able to legally end her life on her terms, when she wants to.  It is called the Death with Dignity Act.  It is only legal in 4 other states besides Oregon (Washington, Montana, Vermont and New Mexico.)  I’ve never heard of it before.

I’ve seen the end stages of GBM.  I watched as it robbed my father of himself.  I watched him die for 9 days.  If it were me I think I would want to go on my own terms. I would want to spare my family the heartache of seeing me decline, having to take care of me for weeks and weeks before I finally died.   But I strongly believe everything happens the way and when it does for a reason.  If I hadn’t had those 9 days with my mom and sister I don’t think we would have grown so close and formed such a strong bond, one we didn’t have before.  I wouldn’t have had the time to take care of my dad and give to him after so many years of him taking care of me.  It would have deprived so many people the chance to do service for our family.

Service.  Kind of a stupid concept when I first heard this idea from my best friend Donna.  It was during one of those horrible 9 days that I asked her why we had to wait so long.  Why didn’t God just take him now?  What was the point?  She said that this whole experience my dad was going through wasn’t just about him.  It was about my family.  It was about all the friends and family that were helping one way or another.  I was mad.  Why did my dad’s disease and dying have to be used as something to make other people feel better about themselves?  Why did God choose for MY dad to get brain cancer? What did I do so wrong in my life that I needed to learn a stupid lesson like service THIS way?

Then I thought about it some more.  My father was the most kind giving person I have ever known in my life.  I’m not just saying that because he was my father.  He seriously had no ill feelings towards anyone.  Never said anything negative about a person.  He would do anything for anyone pretty much no questions asked.  My dad always wanted to help people feel better about themselves.  He would have wanted to give them opportunities to serve the Lord.  I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have chosen getting brain cancer and dying as his preferred way to do it,  but it is what it is (as he would say).

I found this quote here.

As you devote yourself to serving others, you will draw closer to Heavenly Father. Your heart will be filled with love. You will learn that service and sacrifice are ways to overcome selfishness. You will enjoy happiness that comes only from giving service to God and others. Your capacities will increase, and you will be an instrument in God’s hands to bless the lives of His children.

So in my father’s case I know he wouldn’t have chosen this option to end his fight with GBM.   I think that Brittany Maynard is a strong inspiring woman.  Her going public with this makes me admire her even more.  I have read the comments on different articles about her that have been so cruel and uncalled for.  Her intentions are pure.  She loves her family.  She wants to spare them from the way this all ends.  She wants control.  If you have read my blog even once you know how I feel about control.  So I wish her and her family peace and comfort in the days to come.