As the snow fell on Saturday morning, I encouraged my children to:
"Look outside! Isn't it beautiful?" It had been awhile since we received a proper storm. Unlike many friends, I'm not ready to say "goodbye" to Winter yet. As for the heat bill, that's an entirely different story. I check their faces to see if they're appreciating the gorgeous scene that is freely unfolding in their backyard. Do they, like me, feel the serenity and calm that those flakes bring? I feel myself mellow as I silently welcome a new month.
January certainly has a bad reputation. I feel sad about that; especially since we had a lot of happy moments this past month. However, there was a lot that transpired in our community and in our lives personally that left me reeling.
Grandma Flegal's funeral was a beautiful blend of family, memories, laughter, tears and celebration. From helping to finish her final quilt at her viewing to discovering that she was still wearing the bracelet Eliza made her in her casket; it was an emotional experience. We are grateful for the knowledge of Heavenly Father's plan and the peace it brings to know this separation is temporary. Even so, saying that final "Goodbye" was difficult.
Eliza's heartbroken face says it all.
As for the happy photo bomber in the back, what can I say? :)
About a week prior to Grandma's passing, there was a tragedy that received national attention that shook up our little neighborhood. It was a murder suicide, involving a Mother and her two daughters. And while it happened in another city, up until five months ago, the family at the center of the tragedy lived one street over from us. The funeral was held in our ward house. For many of my neighbors, this is extremely personal. There is a tragic, devastating layer to this event that so many are trying to work through. The phrase, "Be still and know that I am God." has been playing repeatedly in my head. Clinging to prayer, we ask God to comfort their loved ones and remind each other that He knows the beginning to the end. It's His place, not ours, to judge.
Are you ready for the next little piece of heartbreak? Well, neither was I.
My dear friend Krystle received a horrible blow a week (or so) ago when her family car was stolen. Inside her car were precious, irreplaceable mementos from her deceased son's (age 13 months) funeral and other Corbyn related belongings. Whatever fragile layer of healing existed was brutally ripped raw as she now tries to cope with the anger she feels at the heartless actions of those who first, stole her car and then callously disposed of the items she publicly pleaded to have returned. Krystle and I joined a gym this past month together (yes, you read that right) and have been faithfully going. Our friendship has grown and so has my admiration for her faith and strength. She's as beautiful on the inside as she in on the outside. It's been awful to see this happen to her family and any prayers for a miracle that these items are found as well as prayers for peace for her family would be appreciated.
Strep throat happened and with it came a selfless rescue from my Mother in law, Teresa. My sister in law Liz, who was hear visiting from New York, was so kind and gracious in sharing that time with her Mom with us. I was super grateful.
In reviewing these events with my own sister Ami (yay free therapy), we were in agreement that we were ready to start fresh with February. Returning to Saturday's storm, I invited some friends and cousins over to play. I was finally feeling better (from having had strep) and was ready to tackle the needs of my house and welcome over our guests. I even went as far as baking a batch of cookies (courtesy of Nestle's pre-made cookie dough).
And then I received the first unexpected February phone call. My Mom's voice is saturated with heartbreak as she informs me that my Uncle Rob, age 53, unexpectedly passed away. BAM. And we've returned to shock mode. Rob is my Dad's younger brother. This is still so fresh and devastating to us; especially for my sweet Aunt Laurie and their three daughters. I am sandwiched in age between my cousins Erika, Jessica and Monica. I can't begin to imagine their grief at his sudden passing.
(My Dad, my Grandpa's wife Katie, Uncle Rob and Aunt Lyn:
Taken in the fall of 2012)
Up next, we'll honor the life of my incredible Uncle Rob Mays and wrap our arms around his beautiful family. I don't share these events in an attempt to garner sympathy or pity. I am not at the center of these "hurts" but have felt the rippling effect associated with death and tragedy.Forced to think about death, I feel a stronger resolve to cherish loved ones and live more fully in accordance with the commandments of God. I sure hope that doesn't come across as being self righteous but have to acknowledge that I've been given a kick in the rear reminding me that life is fragile.
I've promised myself that my next post will feature happy moments from our day to day as well as other positive January memories.
Liz did a great job documenting Grandma's funeral. I, on the other hand, did not. Here are a few good ones (mainly starring Lottie and Chantel).