Friday, October 7, 2011

I truly believe.

Is it just me, or are there more still borns, early terminations, extreme pre-mees and miscarriages around you too than ever before?

Is it because I have a child myself that I'm suddenly acutely aware of the painful side of childbearing, namely the loss of one so dearly wished, expected and hoped for?

This past year it seems like there have been so many sad news from friends and family, the latest one being today were a father proclaimed on Facebook that his wife is now back to having only one heart beat and he thanks everyone for their love and well wishes.
Just a couple of weeks ago a dear friend lost her son in labor after a complete, full term pregnancy.
He had a name, a nursery and a family anxious to meet him.

I want to cry.
I don't know what I would do if it were me.
I hope it's never me.
But at this rate, I can't say "That will never be me".

I feel almost guilty for having a beautiful, healthy baby while others suffer through the pain of loss.
I want to hide her so that she won't remind anyone of what they lost.

Why? WHY?? I ask myself
But then I realized something that I'm sure has occurred to more people than just me.

With the knowledge that I have of this world, this life and our Father in heaven and his plan I've come to the conclusion that these sad events are indeed signs of our time. 
The return of the Savior of the world is close.
As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we understand the sad things in life with a perspective most people don't have. We believe we will see our loved ones again, that our children will always belong to us, and that hope is never lost.
Our children that were taken too soon where meant for other things, greater things beyond this world. That they do have a mission to accomplish, a purpose to fulfill. 
I don't have all the right answers nor do I claim to know all things, but this I do trust: the Lord has a plan for all his children.
It's not destiny, it's not fate. It was predetermined as we proved loyal to His plan as it was presented before the beginning of time. We were foreordained to be who we are because we already were somebody before we came here and we will continue to be somebody when we pass beyond the veil of death.

To those who do not share my belief, all I can say is, each person must find truth in their own life. It's their duty and privilege to acquire knowledge so that they may make informed decisions for themselves. They owe it to themselves to explore ALL possibilities. 

But no matter who you are or what you believe,
this IS truth and I will stand for it and trust it now more than ever:
That God is real, a Father in heaven that DOES care, that does know our hearts and that He can indeed speak to us as we are willing to listen. That He yearns for us to return to Him because he loves us.

That Jesus Christ was no mere mortal, that he is the Son of God, the risen Lord, the conquerer of life and death. The only Begotten who gave his life to save ours.

That this life is our time to be tested and tried as we choose between good and evil, between what is popular/politically correct and what is righteous, between a love of the worldly and a love of our Savior.

If it is my lot in life to experience the pain of loss of a loved daughter or son, I will not despair for their sake. All I can do is my very best to deserve to have that child again, to deserve to return to my Father and to deserve the blessings that God is waiting to pour down on me by staying faithful to the One that gave me life and those lives that I will bear as my children.

Those around me that have suffered the excruciating loss of a child have borne it so well, with so much dignity, power and love. Their examples mean the world to me as their faith is stronger than ever, because faith must and will always endure.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ode to Atlas the barbarian

Who knew that parting with a dog could be so emotional?

I cried. Not for his sake but for mine. 

Atlas came to me as a surprise in a box on my front step. Kimball was waiting around the corner and I went and got him because I knew he was there... He was mad about it. "Why can't you just at least pretend like you don't know I'm here!!??"
The box was shaking and Kimball had been muttering about delayed furry birthday gifts and what not for weeks.
Dead give away.
This time I knew it wasn't a bunny (Christmas gift 2009, it's had a gift bow on its head).

So there he was, small, scared, cute as heck sitting on my kitchen floor wondering where his mom and his brothers and sisters where.
10 minutes later he'd forgotten all about them and was jumping on me and sniffing around.
He never cried once.

Kimball and I slept on the back porch with him so he wouldn't pee in the house. He'd try to crawl into bed with us and would bite our hair and put his wet nose on our faces.
He grew up to be such a handsome, smart dog.

We decided he would be raised to be an outdoor dog and boy is he ever! Rain, snow or shine he would sleep on his back in the middle of the back yard. Or on top of his dog house for that matter. He didn't know the difference.
Sadly we found that we didn't have the time to give him everything he needed to be a happy outdoor dog. And having such a big dog with all that shedding inside the house with our baby girl seemed impossible.

The best thing for Atlas was to be given a new home where he can live with a family, with kids to play with and people that have time and space for him.

Today a couple came and picked him up. They run a program where dogs are trained to serve as aids to children that have a hard time learning how to read. They help calm their nerves and serve as faithful friends who always listen and never make fun of their reading.
So, Atlas is in a home with some dog friends, a loving family and soon he'll be trained to have a job.

It's exactly what he needs and deserves.
I will miss him for a long time.