I feel compelled to write.
There has been so much on my mind though, that sorting it all out seems a bit confusing. So, here's my attempt.
Ever since Nienie's crash (see here to follow updates), I have been quietly thinking and praying and evaluating. I have been surprised and blessed to see how much a woman that I have never physically "met" has influenced my life. I remember seeing her in high school but we never knew each other then.
I have thought essentially about three things: my belief in the power of prayer, the power of example, and the power of family.
I know I have been prayed for my entire life. I have been blessed with great parents and grandparents, to say nothing of joining yet another family and getting another set of parents who care when I got married. I know all of these people have prayed for me. They have prayed for my success and my happiness. I know, because I now know, personally, what it is like to love a child and to dream for them -- and to pray in their behalf because of that love. And I do this because I know my voice and influence are small, and that there is a greater Power beyond myself who has an infinite ability and reserve to bless and to heal and to lead. I feel connected in these prayers.
But I also was just thinking a week or so ago about specifically asking a friend of mine to pray for me about a year ago now when I felt pretty emotionally destitute. I think I have probably asked others in times past as well when I have needed added comfort and strength. But now, as I have added Stephanie and Christian to my prayers, along with other people in my life who mean a great deal to me, I have thought about the special privilege it is to raise your voice and exercise your faith for someone else. It is a sacred trust and privilege and it feels sweet. It feels like the world is a better place, like our hearts are coming together. It is wonderful to ask for blessings and wrestle with faith, knowing that prayers are heard, that we have a Heavenly Father who is in control.
These prayers are real.
This is something that brings a lot of comfort to me.
I've thought about example and about what a small, simple person like me can contribute to the world. In this case, though I've never met Stephanie, I have admired from afar and learned a great deal from her, and have felt inspired to try to send good out into the world, the way she does -- more positive, more love, more kindness. One person can make a difference. And it also makes me grateful for the people that have made a difference in my little life.
And then, I've thought about the people that make it matter for me.
I married my husband almost four and a half years ago. I am more committed to him now than I ever was then, and I love him more. He has made life dreams come true, been my best friend, and allowed me to not have to be any different than what I am. He doesn't expect more, and he encourages me in any thing that I may want to accomplish. I find myself wherever he is, and I am grateful, more and more, that I have someone who loves me. At the end of the day, flaws and weaknesses and imperfections and all, I have a companion, a friend, a lover, another perspective, and strength beyond my own. This blessing has a beautiful song of its own. And the amazing thing is, the melody keeps going and I catch a note here and a note there. With each of these glimpses, each faint lingering of song, comes understanding, depth, gratitude and commitment.
How does my voice even make a stab at giving resonance to that sound?
Last night, I was looking at one of my boys that had fallen asleep on our bed. As I watched him, I saw the same little face that is captured in some of his early baby pictures. I couldn't help but feel emotional as I lay down next to him and watched his face. When I moved him into his bed, I was noticing how quickly he has changed. When they were born, I could hold them up next to me, and their little bodies, head to food, weren't wider than my chest. Now, their legs hang over my arm if I hold them when they are asleep. They are heavy, talking, walking, busy boys. And not a week ago, with the other son, I had a similar experience. Before coming to bed I had been looking at photos of them since birth and felt that familiar pang of time and realizing how precious these moments are. I cried as he lay in bed, asleep, next to me.
In that darkness, I understood the way my parents loved me, the way grandparents loved them, this chain of parents-children-parents-children growing and strengthening into something I am just barely beginning to understand.
And just this past weeked, Scott and the boys and I went to Boise to see my grandparents again. We were up late into the evenings talking, and some of the stories that came up involved stories of my siblings and I when we were younger. The funny thing is that those memories seem like a long time ago, but also, like Jacob says -- almost "...like a dream" -- like they are floating in my past, almost simultaneous with now. And then I have the realization that although to spirit, time is all one and these things shall never pass, time in this existence is real. My grandparents are getting older, just like I am. We have measured time with each other, measured time to love and be impacted and learn what we have to learn from each other.
And I find myself thinking about how these moments are simply without value and the desire swells in me to make the most of everything I have, of each moment I can spend with whoever I am spending it with.
Last night, watching my son, I found myself thinking this thought:
When I look around or think about all the things I could do with my life right now, or when I wonder if I could be anything -- if I had my choice of influence, where would I be?
Exactly where I am.
It doesn't get any better than this.