The next morning Brad and I left for the Widow/Widower Conference. In the Fall they hold a "mini" conference with classes only on Saturday but we decided to make a weekend of it and leave a little early. When Brad was booking our hotel he asked if there was going to be any place that I did not want to stay. I told him The Little America was completely off limits because that is where I spent part of my honeymoon with Trent and we had stayed there on numerous occasions since then. He assured me he wouldn't book there and proceeded to use hotwire to find a room. As luck would have it, The Little America is where our reservation was made! Ugh! We both stared at each other in shock, not sure what to say. My mind was reeling, not sure what to do. We tried to cancel the reservation and Brad even called to explain the situation. Guess who had to pay for two rooms...at different hotels...? Yep, I am expensive.
Anyway, we headed down to SLC to do some shopping and spend the day together. I wore a new outfit that Brad had given me for my birthday which included a new pair of shoes. As we were walking around the Gateway I noticed that only one of my feet was hurting. I was silently cursing the new shoes but hoping that I could break them in enough so that they would be more comfortable because I really loved them! We stopped at a little shoe shop and I found a pair of boots that I wanted to try on. Brad bent down to undo the zipper and help me put on the boot. He started laughing and asked me what the significance of the cardboard was that was peeking out of my shoe! I laughed so hard! I was actually relieved that the cardboard was the problem because as soon as he took it out I loved the shoes even more. We both laughed so hard we were crying and jokingly said we hoped there wasn't any in the other shoe. Guess what we found at the next shoe store. Yep, more cardboard. I am such a nerd!
We had a really fun night and ended up strolling through Temple Square. It is kind of weird staring up at the temple with Brad knowing I am not sealed to him. I thought it might be uncomfortable but it wasn't at all. As we sat near the reflection pool I had the most intense feeling of gratitude come over me. I have an eternal marriage to an amazing man that I can't wait to see again and spend eternity with. I also have a marriage for time to a wonderful man who blesses my life daily. I am overwhelmed by how much I am cared for and watched over. I truly have so much to be thankful for.
The conference the next day was so good. We firsts heard from Brock Richardson, son of the late Lance Richardson who is the author of the book, "The Message". He gave an inspiring talk and reminded us that our children were given this trial because they have been marked for greatness by a loving Heavenly Father who knows what they can become. Of course we also heard from Kent Allen, whom I LOVE! Thankfully I had coerced a handful of my widow/widower friends into coming to the conference so they could hear him too. I think they all enjoyed Bro. Allen as much as I did. The only thing I did not like was hearing from Brother Allen that it would take 22 years for two blended families to feel like one family. Wow. Didn't love that.
At lunch we were joined by a man I did not know. We had one extra seat at our table and he took that seat. He was kind of shy but nice enough. I made small talk with him for a bit and introduced him to everyone at the table. During the conversation I ended up telling him about my recent marriage to Brad. When everyone else left for class he asked if he could ask me a personal question. He asked me how I knew it was okay with Trent that I married Brad. He told me that his wife had asked him not to remarry but he was feeling the need for companionship. As he spoke he was a little emotional and I knew exactly what he was feeling. We had a nice talk and I spoke very candidly to him about my experience. As I told him about Trent and Brad I felt the assurance once again that the decision I made was correct and that Trent is not only okay with it, but happy that I have Brad.
That evening as we went to bed my stomach began hurting really badly. At about 3 am I woke up with a horrible crushing feeling in my chest. I couldn't breathe and I was scared. I woke up Brad and he tried to calm me down for about 40 minutes until I could breathe again. By six in the morning I was in the tub trying to get the pain to go away from my stomach. We had planned to go to the "Music and the Spoken Word" broadcast at Temple Square so I got up and got all ready to go but was in horrible pain still. I laid on the bed for a minute trying to get comfortable. Brad kept suggesting that he take me to the ER. Of course I said no. We decided to head back to Brigham City to get the kids from my parents. When we got there all I could do was lay on the couch and try not to moan. Brad finally insisted that we go to the ER. We compromised and headed to InstaCare instead. We left most of the kids with my mom and drove home to drop off Jarom. I kept thinking I would get better if I could just find a comfortable position to lay in. On the way to InstaCare Brad got pulled over by a cop. When he saw the situation I was in he asked if we needed an ambulance. Brad said we didn't but neither one of us knew how close we were to needing one! As we walked up the steps to InstaCare Brad said he had a firm impression that we needed to go straight to the ER. He knew I wouldn't do it so we went in anyway. After a few tests the Dr. said that although I had an infection she was not sure that was the only thing wrong with me. She said I was "risky" for appendicitis and sent us to the ER for more testing. When we got to the ER Brad was all in a twist. Of course it had to be the same hospital that Charlie and Linda were brought to that started his traumatic experience. Neither one of us was thrilled to be there but I could tell that Brad was really struggling. I tried to reassure him that I was fine by holding his hand and winking at him when he looked at me. He was not having it at all. I was finally taken to a room and examined. As the nurse started my IV I let a single tear slip down my cheek. It was not that the pain was so much that I had to cry about it, but I thought of how many thousands of times Trent had to do that. The amount of pain that I was in was constant for him. It made my heart hurt knowing how much he suffered for so long. I was finally given some pain medicine that made me extremely loopy. They asked if I was nauseous and I told them I wasn't. They insisted they give me Zofran anyway, "just in case". I hated that I knew that drug. Ugh
Shortly after that I had an ultrasound. It hurt and was uncomfortable but as soon as the tech lifted the wand from my stomach I gasped and lurched off the bed. That was when Brad finally felt better because he knew it was appendicitis. Ironically, that was when I got scared because I knew it was appendicitis! I had been hoping they were going to tell me to go home and fart and I would feel better. No such luck. Brad and a hospital volunteer gave me a blessing and I was wheeled into surgery about one hour later. The surgeon said that had we waited much longer my appendix would have burst. Brad gave me the look like, "When are you going to start listening to me?" hehehe. I would like to say that I will, but it probably won't be anytime soon, I am kinda stubborn like that.