Hello to all my children/in-law "adopted" children…
My heart has been pretty full this past month as I have been called upon to perform a variety of activities that have pretty much pushed me out of my comfort zone and caused me to push beyond my usual "selfish self", or my own quiet little world. My month started with a trip to New Jersey, to try to be a help and comfort to Halley and Jared as they took their well-deserved getaway for a couple of days....minus their children...thus needing my "services"! I prayed mightily for strength and calm and peace, especially for their children as this was really the first time I have been all alone with 2 g-kids, in their home, far from my own and knowing how far away their parents were also.
What I prayed for and what I received was surprising and truly humbling when I found myself on the floor, playing with every toy those two kids owned, with a patience that I can only attribute to my Heavenly Father as a precious gift that I didn't really know I could attain. All I wanted was for those two "babies" to be happy and safe and secure in my care. And I have to say that when our little miss Annie was "sad" I was grateful that she let me hug her close because, at that moment, the years melted away and I was holding one of you, hoping that the depth of my "mothers" love would be enough to chase away her tears. I am truly thankful for the blessings of having an amazing family and for those unexpected moments to serve each other. (Footnote to Halley and Jared......As I watched your children play and talk about you and wonder about each day that you were gone, I reflected on the times when Dad and I left you alone with my parents. I wondered what they did with you and were you happy and maybe did you miss me. So I decided that I didn't want you to wait until you were old and had to ask those questions.....the answer is "YES"...you are awesome parents and your children/child spoke of you with love and longing but with comfort that you were still close by and would return soon. I want you to know how very loved you are by them, for the all the things and sacrifices you have made and continue to make for them. They are blessed by your love in ways that you cannot see but I felt and was privileged to witness. I can pretty much say that about all of you. You are all better parents today than I was, maybe ever....)
Next in my month was the unpleasant task of trying to assist my aging parents in gaining a new level of "quality" of life and was met with a variety of emotions. I can appreciate the process of "aging" and how cruel it can be to some and I truly have compassion for the lose of freedom and independence that also comes, however, attitude is everything......I am sorry that my parents have made it so difficult to "help" and to even love and care about them. I am not an aggressive person and I would never force anyone to go beyond their will, even in this case of possible danger or hazard. They either have to WANT my help or have it forced on them because of some "tragedy", brought on by their stubbornness. Either way, Dad and I went down there and did the best we could to convince them that it was time "trust" us to be of service to them. In the end, we hired a housekeeper/care-giver and a property manager, of which we have serious doubts that either will last after the first paychecks go out. My parents have MORE than enough money to live comfortably for the rest of their lives but just can't quite bring themselves to part with any of it. As a result of that, they live in unbelievable squalor, with maggots in the silverware drawer and their pills scattered around the kitchen floor because their pride will not allow anyone to help. While I again understand the code of aging with grace and dignity, there still comes a point where that code could make you sick or worse.
I am sharing my thoughts with you today because I wanted you to know about your grandparents and their struggles. I suppose, at this time, its a wait and see game and prayers for them is the best thing we can do. As for me, I have learned a lot of things about myself this month. I taught a lesson in relief society yesterday entitled, "What would a Holy woman do?" I have never considered myself a "holy" woman before but as I have examined the meaning of the word "holiness" I realized that maybe I did pursue an activity as a "holy" woman would do during my month of "adventures"! Heres my definition of this word. "Holiness": Spiritual and moral character; Purity of a persons heart and intent; purity, sanctification... Don't know, but I believe the Lord certainly has blessed me opportunities to grow and push beyond myself. Its really hard to do sometimes, especially as you get "older". Change is hard but EVERYTHING is possible because of the atonement of Christ and His love for us. I give Him full credit for bringing me safely to the other side of the issues of life.
So to you, my darling family, who are more precious than life itself, thank you for your goodness and your love of your own little families. And especially the love you have for each other and the willingness to put your spouse's needs ahead of your own. I love you all and you are an inspiration to me. I would like to challenge each one of you to find something in your day that could ask yourself this question...."How would a Holy person do this?" I promise you, that you are probably already doing acts of "holiness" that you haven't recognized as such, but it is there.....think about and go one step beyond. You will be amazed!
I love you, again. Thank you Halley and Jared for letting me be part of your little life and I hope I did not "damage" children to badly! I am proud of you and all you do and I am grateful for the love you share with me......