Today was a challenging one. Not because of my normal whining about how my kids are going into this phase or that of their life, or how there never seems to be enough hours in a day to get everything done that I want, or whatever other little thing I feel needs to be over examined in my life. Today was a different kind of hard, but also left much room for reflection and self examination and gratitude. I attended a funeral for a friend of mine that I've know since about 5 years of age. Her 14 month old daughter drowned last week. After hearing the news of little Emma's death, I was over come with sorrow for her loss and a great sense of love for my own children and how blessed I am to have the opportunity to share these precious moments with them on a daily basis, and a realization of how much I take for granted.
While I went to the service to give my love and support to my friend, I found myself needing to be comforted as the service proceeded because I couldn't turn my thoughts away from my own children. While my boys are both just slightly older than her daughter was, the possibility of losing them was too much to bare. Two messages where given at the service that touched my heart and the spirit reconfirmed to me the existence of my Heavenly Father and the great love he has not only for me but for all the little children. I couldn't help but think of how happy Emma must be on the other side in the arms of God, who has a love stronger than we can even imagine. It was hard to flip back and forth from thoughts of sorrow for my friend and the time she'll spend here on earth without her little girl, the the peace and joy I felt for the knowledge that they will be able to be a family once again in the life here after. President Mullen (a past leader of our Stake within our church) talked about the fear many families have of losing a child and being able to have the chance to raise them, and he confirmed that as these spirits are resurrected the mother will be able to hold her child and raise it with more love than she'd been able to do so in her current life. I probably said that wrong, but basically, yes, they will be a family and be able to raise this beautiful little girl, even though her time in this life was cut short.
Moments like this morning make me so grateful for the chance I have to be a mom and see my little boys grow up. I get to step back and take a deep breath and realize that this is my moment to grow up myself and be the best mother I can for these beautiful spirits that have been put in my care for a time. President James E. Faust once said, "Your influence for good is incalculable and indescribable." I often joke about my need to have a career, even if it's just my little photography business, outside the home, because that gives me a sense of accomplishments. Keeping up on the laundry and vacuuming and getting the boys dressed, sometimes serveral times a day, isn't always the most immediately rewarding job.
In a talk given my Elder Boyd K. Packer in Nov. 1993 he quoted the First Presidency saying, "Motherhood thus becomes a holy calling, a sacred dedication for carrying out the Lord’s plans, a consecration of devotion to the uprearing and fostering, the nurturing in body, mind, and spirit"..."This divine service of motherhood can be rendered only by mothers. It may not be passed to others. Nurses cannot do it; public nurseries cannot do it; hired help cannot do it—only mother, aided as much as may be by the loving hands of father, brothers, and sisters, can give the full needed measure of watchful care."..."Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind. It places her who honors its holy calling and service next to the angels."
I am grateful for my opportunity to be a mother, and have a wonderful husband to support me in my endeavors. I am also grateful for the knowledge of the Savior and the opportunity my family will have to be together forever as a family after we pass on from this life. My heart goes out to my dear friend and her family, but I know that Heavenly Father has a purpose for everything that happens in this life, and if we let our hearts listen to the spirit we can grow from every experience the Lord places before us.