I went out today to mail off a couple of packages. As I was doing so I looked around and thought this has been my home for 65 years, now it seems like a foreign land, it is all familiar but at the same time it is foreign.
I saw a man stop to jump start a ladies car, it was good to see there was kindness still around and how we need more of this in the world.
I had my Vitas cd in my car playing. Although he sings in Russian he has a beautiful voice and it always captivates and draws me to it. I remembered how I used to love to sing, I think I sang more than I talked for the most part. I used to work as a custodian cleaning office buildings. I would work late at night and if someone came in they would hear me sing, I know that my Redeemer lives and Love one another or it might be a more jovial tune of Rudolph the red nose reindeer. Due to a virus, it wiped out my voice to where I can no longer carry a tune. My mind is drawn to the future when every part of me will be restored to its perfect self. I smiled at the thought of singing once again and it not having the sound like a cat squalling. LOL
I came home and sat down and began watching what was going on outside. A gray squirrel who has taken up residence in our park for sometime now, is running around not sure if he is running to or away from. We have a lot cats that run loose so my guess is he is trying to run away from one. He has lasted this long I imagine he will last longer still. This is a prime example of fortitude.
There are people in my park that walk their little dogs many times a day. I love seeing it but it is bittersweet for me as it makes me think about my dogs and the void I feel grows wider still.
How vivid and surreal this life has become. We can all stop and see the beauty of the smallest things this world has to offer if we just take the time to stop and pause a little more, linger a little longer, live a little more, and above all else love a little deeper. The turmoil of this world, the hate that fills the air waves, the discontent that is so rampant will wait! It isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Stop and snatch at what blessings there are for us. They are there and will continue to be there in the flowers you smell, the laughter in a child’s voice, the look of a sunny day, the still small voice in a fervent prayer and even in our tears.
I think about my dogs often. When Vitas, my shih tsu was diagnosed with lymphoma, I was told there was no cure. I could prolong his life through radiation and chemo but the outcome would still be the same. This was heart wrenching and as the days went on and he grew worse, it tore at my heart. Finally the day came I took him to be euthanized to end his suffering but mine would continue on even after he was gone. I was given the opportunity to stay with him till his last breath or walk away. I chose to stay. I held his head in my hands, my face buried in his neck, I cried and tried to reassure him it was almost over, I told him I loved him and told him he was a good boy. I could feel my heart being ripped out as he took his final breath. He lay there lifeless but I knew this was one of the greatest acts of love I could give him.
About 1 year later my other shih tsu, Chewy who had reached 15 years old had succumbed to old age. He was blind, had severe arthritis, had lost control of his bowels, he was disoriented and was not doing well. He had a great spirit and continued to be loving through it all. Once again I took him in to see if it was more humane to let him ride it out or have him euthanized also. After a check up it was discovered that he had a severe heart murder and it would be in his best interest to let him go.
Once again I was given the choice to stay or go. I chose to stay. I held him as I had Vitas and tried to reassure him I was almost over, I said that I loved him and thanked him for being a loyal companion. Again my heart was shredded and ripped out as he took his last breath. I walked away each time broken.
Now as I am in the final stages of my life, I feel my Savior holding me comforting me with soothing words, “it’s almost over, I love you and thank you for being a loyal daughter.” Now instead of my heart being ripped out, shredded and laying on the floor, it is being filled with joy, gratitude and healing of what is yet to come.
In reading the Book of Mormon. I came across the scripture that talks about Christ being born among the Jews. He had to be born there because of the wickedness of the people. It was said there was no other nation that would crucify Him. All other nations would accept Him, follow Him and love Him.
I love how it mentions nations as in plural. Amazing how there was so many and yet only one place was wicked enough to cause His crucifixion.
So important was His sacrifice He was born into a pit of vipers to bring about His redemption. Amazing and awe inspiring. The planning of His ministry before the world was and then sent down to this earth. He began lower than low and yet He rose above all else.
I am deepened even more into humility and gratitude for His love for us all.
I have a painting that my husband gave to me. I love it very much. It is a lighthouse standing tall in the midst of the storm. The waves surrounding it are crashing against but yet the lighthouse stands firm and strong. A light shines from the top to show travelers the way to safety. If you look into the skies you can see Christ’s hands coming out as if to calm the seas and give aid.
I always loved that through the midst of trials and our own storms we can rest assured that Christ is there helping us endure our hardships.
Now as I look at the painting, I realize I AM that lighthouse.
An image is burned into my mind, the origin of it isn’t clear. Was it a dream, an illusion or a thought? I have no clue.
I am lying in my darkened room, my bedroom door is open and in the hallway is a light but just enough to make out who was standing there. It is my father.
I look at him and my thoughts were he is come to take me home but I tell him I can’t come yet, there is still something I must do. A goal I must complete.
My mind cuts to another scene. My father is walking with me and as we get closer to our destination he says, “Look mama, Debra’s home.”
There is little left that makes me smile but this wonderful scenario gladdens my heart. Is it a scene yet to be? Is it something made up in my mind? I don’t have an answer but it doesn’t matter, it serves as a comfort to me.
I can remember as a young girl coming home from school and being greeted with the scent of freshly baked bread and cinnamon rolls. Oh how I never got tired of it.
The first thing I did when I entered my home was call for mama. She would answer, “Yes, dear. I am here.” I always knew she was home but just the little bit of reassurance was all I needed. To me this was my world, my security.
My mother was a hard worker, she got up really early to get my father off to work, prepare breakfast for her children, get her children up and off to school. She spent her days cleaning the house, preparing meals, sewing clothes, crocheting, quilting, canning fruits and vegetables. Her days were full and I imagine it made her life complete.
I had always had nightmares from a young age and would wake up terrified and run to my mothers’ room to be held and comforted. I was also prone to fall asleep on my arm only to be woken up by having my arm cramped up and me once again running to my mom and she would tirelessly rub my arm till the feeling came back. She never uttered a complaint.
The times I was so sick, she always did what she could to ease my discomfort and sometimes it was enough to just have her lay by me while I slept. I remember one time I was being rocked by her and I was looking up into her face and my thought was how beautiful she was.
She didn’t ask for much except to be loved and appreciated, but as ingrateful as kids can be I was one of the worse. Even through the turmoil of our oil and water relationship I always loved the memories of the things she did to make our house a home. I love you mama.
Mosiah 2: 28 I say unto you that I have caused that ye should assemble yourselves together that I might rid my garments of your blood, at this period of time when I am about to go down to my grave, that I might go down in peace, and my immortal spirit may join the choirs above in singing the praises of a just God.
In reading my scriptures today, this jumped out at me. One of my most grievous things I have had to repent of is my lack of setting a proper example to my children. I squandered so much of my life in living selfishly and not worrying about the future.
Now in this past year, I have hustled to try to make amends but sometimes I question is it too late? I have to remind myself it is NOT too late. I may not be here to witness the transformation but it WILL come.
I have spent this past year assembling my writings of things that have a deeper meaning, prepared material belongings to benefit my children in their spiritual journey to help them find their way to the covenant path.
I can do no more than this while I am here in the flesh. The things that will lead them home can only be achieved by the Spirit. Into the spirit realm I can reach them and for this I am so grateful to my Heavely Father. I will stand with my earthly parents and many others as we speak truth to their hearts, minds and spirits. Thereby helping them to discern and yearn for things of more importance than what their mortal bodies and senses knows.
For all those who have lost their way or who have loved ones who have strayed. I testify to you now that it is NOT the end and all your good works are not forgotten. It is painful to see where so many are now and our vision is obscured by the social mores we sees rampant. But to not realize or believe there is no hope is like saying God doesn’t have the power and wisdom to see us through. Our only job is seeing that we keep on pushing through to the day when we will ALL be together as a family in the Celestial Kingdom. To anyone who reads this just know I love you deeply and completely.
I remember my fathers hands, they were rough and worn from all the hardwork he had performed throughout his life. His hands had served him well in providing for his family. And as beaten up as his hands were they could also offer up prayers of humility, he gave blessings to his family and others. One glance by a stranger might cause some to look at them in disgust because they were so unkempt. But as his daughter I only saw the beauty they possessed. My father’s hands were a work of art.
There is little that is more beautiful than a well read, well marked up set of scriptures. Like my fathers hands, a used set of scriptures shows they served the reader well. One could become humbled and bless the lives of all who possess and search them for answers and a deeper meaning to life eternal. One glance by a stranger or non believer might cause a look of disgust.
To have a set of scriptures that haven’t been opened and read is a sin in and of itself. They are meant to be used as a compass, a source of strength, knowledge, joy and peace. What sense is it make to have them if they do nothing more than sit on a shelf and collect dust? Much like my fathers hands being worn with age, there is so much beauty in things that have been used to bring about joy throughout this life and in the life to come. My fathers set of scriptures were well read and well marked. I would look at his rough hands holding his scriptures tenderly and reverently. To me this was real beauty.
I had 2 dreams that I can recall where I was in the Heavenly realms. One was of my father bidding that I should come and join him. Oh how I wanted to go.
I remember vividly the sun was shining so bright but it was neither hot nor cold. It was bright enough that under normal circumstances I would have squinted but it wasn’t necessary.
In the other dream I was going on a tour and I saw a woman planting flowers in her front yard, she looked up at me and smiled warmly, then she went back to planting her flowers. Again the sun was shining brightly but it was neither hot or cold. In both dreams the temperature had no definition, it just was.
In studying the scriptures I now realize there was no sun either time but instead it was the glory of God. How miraculous it all seems now. When we will be in His presence and He in our midst His glory will shine brighter than anything we know now. A light without heat or blinding brightness, something we will accept and love. Something all encompassing.
D&C 88:33 For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift.
For Christmas this year I bought each of my children a 4 in 1 with their names engraved on the front. As I have gotten older I have found that the material things, the things of this world have little value to me.
It is the spiritual things that I deem valuable. These are the things I hold most dear.
I won’t be here at Christmas but I imagine that when they each open the final gift I give them, there will be some that will scratch their heads and say that mom had lost her mind, or wonder what was I thinking.
I imagine someone saying, “But I wanted a Maserati!” Some might say or think, “I don’t want this junk!” I imagine there might be a few that looks at it and sees the value in it.
Whatever each person deems it to be will be what they each value most in life. I wanted them to have the things that I hold dear and that alone has some value.
As a method to my madness, I had their names engraven on each one so that none of them can pawn them off saying, “It’s not mine!” *evil laugh*