What an emotional Wednesday.
I went to visit my sweet friend, Norma, who is 97. She's the one who climbed the Great Wall of China at 90. She's amazing. However, recently, she has had some health issues and surgery. Now, she's improving from the surgery, but, she's come to realize that she should no longer live on her own. Her mind is sharp, but her body is not quite so co-operative! Just two winters ago, she was shoveling snow from her own sidewalk. Her two daughters, who are just a few years older than me, are there, helping her go through her things because she'll be moving into an assisted care home. Norma called to invite me over because she had a gift for me. While visiting, she shared stories of the entertaining that she has done in her lifetime. I had no idea! She's remarkable! She then gave me a beautiful punch bowl and cups, telling me that she wanted me to have it because she knew that, since I entertain like she used to, I would appreciate it and care for it . She still praises the tablescapes I created for Senior Singles Family Home Evenings. I will always treasure this gift. I will always treasure my friendship with Norma!
As I walked in, she was filling her candy dish with chocolate covered raisins because she knew I was coming! I laughed when I caught her and told her that while I was blowdrying my hair earlier in the morning, I'd thought, "I'll never eat a chocolate covered raisin, for the rest of my life, that I don't think about Norma!" The first time I ever visited her, I'd told her that she had the best chocolate covered raisins I'd ever had. And she's never forgotten that!
Norma shared many of her experiences from her lifetime. We laughed several times and I teared up just as frequently. She's such a delight! We spoke openly about her death, which she hopes will come soon! Her reasons were completely unselfish. I don't want to see her leave us! NOT YET! Not even to go to the assisted living center. I love having her as a neighbor. I love her hugs on Sundays. I've loved every second with her. She's a delight!
I was intrigued watching Norma and her two daughters interact. They have such a unique and special relationship. I can't even begin to imagine what that would be like, but it was beautiful to observe. I hope and pray that my girls will treat me so gingerly in my old age. My favorite thing was Marsha telling me about how they lie in bed at night, just giggling and laughing. I could just picture it! We spoke so openly of death. I love the Plan of Salvation, that this life is just a step into eternity. I love the hope that it offers and the peace that it brings. I love the promise that we have of being eternal families. It makes separation so much better, knowing that it's only for a time that we are apart. ANYWAY, I loved our visit! I love Norma and her daughters!
After leaving Norma, Natalie and I enjoyed a long lunch, including several more good hearty laughs. I shared with her how much I loved watching Norma and her two daughters together. At one point, Nat commented that she felt sad that I don't even have a sister. Without a thought, I said, "You are my sister." I thought about that after I dropped Natalie off. I am so blessed to have several sisters, not by blood, but by choice!
I came home and created my Valentine's tablescape (simple with no new frills), broke one of my favorite pieces of glassware when I dropped the lid from another on it, and wanted to cry some more. Gee, call me emotional!
Then, I checked the blog of sweet Hayley, who's husbandis fighting a serious battle with cancer. As I read her blog and started to bawl, I. Could. Not. Stop. All afternoon. I just thought over and over about how at peace Norma is, after her long 97 years on this earth. And then about how difficult it is to watch Hayley's young husband suffering so. The Plan of Salvation does bring us peace and understanding, but when you are looking at this sweet young family, there's no way around it. It hurts! I sat down and wrote Hayley a letter just to tell her that she's amazing and wonderful and exemplary. Then, I cried some more. It was just one of those days.
Dinner was in the crockpot, so I had the afternoon off. Grace had a basketball game at church, ZJ had her Achievement Day activity and Quayd spent the afternoon sculpting. I knitted and thought some more about the day and cried some more. Poor Doug came home to a bawling baby.
This talk by President Uchtdorf has been on my mind this past week. I've listened to it several times. (I know, me listening to President Uchtdorf again, imagine that.) Upon hearing this talk for the umpteenth time, it has really occured to me, that we, regardless of who we are, will be here upon this earth for but a short time. I say "Make every moment count!" often. But, I love President Uchtdorf's outlook! I love his counsel:
To avoid some of the deepest regrets of life, it would be wise to make some resolutions today. Therefore, let us:
- Resolve to spend more time with those we love.
Resolve to strive more earnestly to become the person God wants us to be.
Resolve to find happiness, regardless of our circumstances.
I've been thinking about this talk for days. I did cry many tears yesterday. Some happy, some sad. All were love-filled tears. But one thing is for certain...each of those tears...happy and sad... reminded me to count my own many blessings! Life is good. Enough said.
We shouldn’t wait to be happy until we reach some future point,
only to discover that happiness was already available—all the time!