Saturday, February 8, 2014

I Have a Family Here on Earth

Bishop was inspired to take the young women
and young men to the Gilbert, Arizona Temple open house last weekend.
It was a wonderful trip.
When I returned home Tom and I celebrated our 12 year anniversary.
It's been 12 years of wedded bliss.
And 12 years of the hardest struggles I have ever had to face.
Have I mentioned that I'm a runner?
Well, I like to run from my problems.
And this latest problem, of losing my son, has made me want to knock down
what I've been building for the last 12 years and start over again. 
Somewhere else.
Somewhere new.
With people who don't remind me of Bradley.
Somewhere that the hole Bradley left wouldn't be so obvious.
It's been the most my relationship has ever been tried.
So I came home last weekend, feeling refreshed.
Feeling like I did want to be with my family forever.
And Tom and I decided we needed a little vacation alone as a family.
And what better a place to go than to the temple together?
So yesterday we packed the car and hit the road and traveled down to sunny Arizona.
And today we entered the undedicated House of the Lord with our children.
And as we got to the sealing room,
I picked up Charlotte and looked into the mirrors
with Tom and Maddy and Jacob beside me
and I realized that we are just the ones left here on earth.
That our family is more than just the five of us.
Our family reaches behind us and ahead of us.
And our family is going to be dynamic.
It's going to change.
More will be taken from us.
And more will be added to us.
And as long as we are sealed,
it doesn't matter who is still here on the earth and who is in Heaven.

And we then we went over to the Mesa Temple.
And the brides were numerous because it is a Saturday.
And all of the babies and grandparents were there too.
And I was reminded that I'm out of the having-baby-stage of life.
And I realized it is going quickly.
This life is just a moment.

And we went into the visitor center and watched a presentation about families being forever.
And after it was over the sister asked us what our favorite part was.
And Jacob said,
 "We have a baby brother who is in Heaven because his brain didn't work.
And I'm glad to know that families ARE forever.
It means so much to me because of my baby brother."

This trial. This hard thing. It was part of our plan.
I know it when I look at my children who hold hands so often.
I know it when I see the beautiful skies Bradley has painted me.
And I know it when I hear Jacobs beautiful testimony, that families are forever.