A couple of weeks ago I was getting anxious about decorating Trent's grave for Fall. The cemetery he is buried in has lots of restrictions on what you can put on the graves and I was having a hard time finding exactly what I wanted. Finally I decided I would make two flower arrangements and went to Joann's to pick the flowers. As I was purchasing the stems the cashier asked me in a really excited voice what I was going to do with all the pretty flowers. Awkward. I quietly told her I was decorating my husband's grave and then struggled the rest of the time not to cry in front of her. I am sure she felt dumb but sometimes I just want to spit out a very direct answer to put them on the spot on purpose. Rude, I know.
I also picked up some Swedish Fish and Jonny and I drove to Brigham. He was so sweet and tender when he put the box of fish on the headstone. He kept asking me if Daddy was going to come alive and eat them. Oh how I wish...
A couple of nights ago I overheard Jack and Jonny discussing the fact that Jonny's daddy is dead. Jonny was adamant that he was not dead. He said, "My dad is NOT dead because he lives in me!" Yes, the tears were flowing after that. One night while I was putting Jonny to bed he told me in detail about the day that he ran away and crossed the big street all alone. (You can read about that HERE.) He told me that "Dad came back alive in his body and made the cars stop on the road. After we got across the street he waved his arm and the cars started going again." I would love to have seen that! I really hope that Jonny is able to hang on to these memories.
The next day was Zach's 14th birthday. I can't believe he is that old! It is also another sting because he will be ordained a teacher on Sunday and Trent should be here to do that. Ouch. I think that has weighed heavy on Zach's mind too. If nothing else, Trent better be there in spirit.
Last weekend we took all the kids but one and went to Idaho for Savannah's farewell. She is Trent and my oldest niece. She was receiving her endowment in the Rexburg Temple on Saturday and giving her farewell talk in church on Sunday. Brad was a little nervous about being there "where Trent should be". On the drive up there I had the thought come to me that during the session Brad and I would be asked to be the witness couple. We have been to the temple together several times but have never wanted to act as the witness couple. It is just one of those things that is a little weird for us. I had my response planned. I would politely say, "Things are complicated and we would rather not, thank you." When I met Brad in the chapel he whispered to me that he had a feeling that we were going to be asked to act as the witness couple. I kind of laughed and told him about my impression. I wondered out loud if we were supposed to do it. Not thirty seconds later the temple worker tapped me on the shoulder. As he *loudly* asked us to be the witness couple I stared at him in disbelief. My mouth would not form the words of my planned response. I looked at Brad hoping he would save me. He was as stunned as I was. I finally reluctantly agreed. We stood and walked to the front of the room. As soon as I sat down I started to cry. I stared straight ahead while tears slipped down my cheeks. Travis, Trent's brother and Savannah's father, stood up and grabbed a handful of tissues for me. I don't think he knew what to say and I wasn't sure either. He just sat by me while I cried. Pretty soon he had to get up for more tissues...for Trent's mom. It was strange, I was not sure why I was crying because it was not a bad thing to act as the witness couple...just a tender one. While I sat there I felt the warm peace of the spirit enter my body. I knew Trent was there and was missing me too. It was a bittersweet moment.
I have been carefully deciding what things of Trent's should be given to whom. I had a picture of the Idaho Falls Temple resting against the wall in my bedroom, waiting for me to find a place to put it in our new home. One day I walked by it and go the very distinct impression that I should give it to Trent's mom. She and Trisha came to stay with us for one night last week and I took the opportunity to give it to her then. I told her about my impression and that I knew that Trent wanted her to have that picture. It had been an anniversary gift from Trent a few years ago. It was an emotional moment but I wasn't sad or hesitant at all. I also knew that I wanted all of Trent's brothers, brothers-in-law, and both of our dads to have a tie of his. I let our boys choose two ties each and then took the others to Idaho to give to Trent's family. Everyone was grateful for the ties but when I gave one to Travis it was different. I didn't let him choose as I had done for the others. There was one specific tie that I wanted Travis to have. When I gave it to him he was instantly choking back emotion. He thanked me and I walked away. When I got to the doorway I looked back and watched him wipe the tears from his eyes. I lost it. I ran upstairs to try to get my emotions in check in private. As soon as I turned around Brad was there. He took one look at me and gathered me into his arms. I am not sad to give Trent's things away. It is just stuff and it is only useful if someone is using it. Trent has no need for it anymore and I know that his family is grateful to have something of his. I was just glad that Travis seemed to really appreciate it. It is surreal doling out my husbands belongings but it needs to be done.
On the way home we stopped in to see my grandparents. My grandpa is bedridden and we don't know how much time he has left. My grandma had just returned from a weekend spent with her daughters and the emotions in the room were quite tender. I could tell they had really missed each other. As my grandma lovingly rubbed my grandpa's leg I could see how much she loves him. She is facing the same thing that I am, life without the love of her life. It is not easy but Heavenly Father is mindful of us and blesses us beyond what I can comprehend. Life is hard and we are asked to do hard things but it is really a matter of trusting in God and taking things one day at a time.