Monday, February 28, 2011


As I sat in church yesterday, a young family got up to perform a special musical number. The father was on the piano and the mother stood with the children. As I was watching them I was so touched by the sweetness and completeness of this little family. I looked at the three oldest. 9, 7, 5. I was suddenly overcome with feelings of grief. Grieving the years that have passed. Those innocent and precious children were the age my children were when their father passed. So young, so sweet. So wonderful to see this family - we were once a sweet little family as well. The tears started and wouldn't stop. I started getting strange glances from my children. The tears just kept coming and coming. Long after the musical number was over, I was still crying. I felt like I was holding back... allowing the tears but blocking the sobbing that so wanted to come out. I contemplated making a run for the bathroom but felt like I was already making a spectacle of myself and thought that may just exaggerate that. So, I sat and let the tears continue to fall.

I can't say for sure what brought it on - but I can say that the topic of "mourning the years gone by" has been heavy on my heart lately. In moments of frustration the kids have retaliated at me with 'facts from the past' concerning my bad parenting behavior. It has left me reflecting on years I don't care to think about again. Years that I can't re-do. Years that have been wasted. Or so it seems.

The question is really... what would / could I have done differently. My 'bad parenting' is a reflection of trying to be a parent to children who were reacting with anger to their father's death, while trying to grieve the loss of my husband. My patience was short. I was trying to process through my own grief and that left little brain capacity for disobedient children. I was quick to yell, to lose my patience. I was incapable of of doing it.... well. I became this crazy mother that was nothing like I had once been. I look back and wonder what could have changed things. How could I have maintained the happiness and love in that little family and just continued on? Perhaps there is another widow out there that has considered this more or been more successful that could share some tips. For me... I need to forgive myself. I need to let go of the thoughts that they have been years wasted and I need to make the most of the years I now have.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


The grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.
Mosiah 16:8

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I don't know the particulars of how it works when you "invent" something. Do you get to keep collecting money every time that item is sold or improved on? Is it like Hugh Grant in About a Boy, where the next generation doesn't have to work because they can sit back and collect the royalties?

I hope so. Especially for those who invented things like dishwashers and indoor plumbing. As a widow, with very little 'extra' time for leisure type activities, one of my favorite inventions has been 'books on tape (CD)'. That is fabulous. I would not have 'read' one book in the past five years if it wasn't for that invention. But, instead I have 'read' several children's mystery/action books, some inspirational ones for me, and even Twilight!

I was driving in the car last week and started to click through the CD's in my player to see what was there for me to listen to. I stopped at The Book of Mormon and decided some on-the-go scripture study may be just what my soul was needing. I was in 2 Nephi. Lehi is getting ready to die. He is talking to each of his children to counsel them and bear his testimony to them(reminded me of the day Chris passed when he had an opportunity to do that for his children). I got to Chapter 2 and it began... "And now, Jacob, I speak unto you: Thou art my first-born in the days of my tribulation in the wilderness. And behold, in thy childhood thou hast suffered afflictions and much sorrow, because of the rudeness of thy brethren. Nevertheless, Jacob, my first-born in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions‍ for thy gain. "

I stopped, went back and listened to it again and again. Then I did as Nephi did, when studying Isaiah, as recorded in 1 Nephi 19:23, "I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning."

Then as I listed to the scripture again I heard "And now, my children (specifically my three), I speak unto you. And behold, in thy childhood thou hast suffered afflictions and much sorrow, because of the passing of your father. Nevertheless, my children, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions‍ for thy gain. "

I knew in that moment very clearly and strongly, and I will testify to each of your now. That is true. I believe that when we are subjected to afflictions and much sorrow because of others or because of things that have happened to us in our lives, that God will consecrate those afflictions for our gain. I know that I need not worry about that pain and suffering my kids have endured, because every tear of suffering and sorrow will be returned a hundred times in the form of a blessing to them. The Lord knows, cares, and loves us. He will make right any affliction that is placed upon us.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


All widows should be unemployed... OK, not really. Especially if you are a widow like me that wasn't wise enough to end up a widow with a large life insurance policy. And especially if you are a young widow with children to support.

I have enjoyed my past few weeks of unemployment. I have had sick kids, snow days and regularly scheduled days off from school that have given me a household full (vs. the moments of quiet I had dreamed of). On the days that I have actually had to myself I have been brushing up on my ability to "sell myself". The joys of looking for a new job.

What I am discovering, is that in order to "sell oneself" you must KNOW oneself. I got started on that process this last year as I have written for my blog... but now it is getting down deep. Not just seeing my weaknesses, but now I have to see what is good in me. Why someone would pay me, hopefully a lot of money, for me to work for them.

This is hard. But since I am not the same person I was six years ago. Since I have new strengths that have come as a result of the path I have trod... the experience of getting to know that person... is good. Very good. All widows should do it. It is good to look back and discover you have become someone you would have have otherwise. And while we KNOW that... it is good to discover and admit the POSITIVE aspects of that!