I am embarrassed to note how much time has passed since I posted. Truthfully, life has been busy, difficult, heartbreaking, and too private to share for a while. I think for the past six weeks or so I have had a love/hate relationship with this blog. I have yearned to write and get out some of my emotions but I couldn't. Some people who read my blog have made comments and judgments as to the content and it stung just a bit. I have chalked it up to "they don't know because they haven't been there" but it made me a little gun shy to share the truth of my feelings. I understand I have made myself vulnerable to the world by writing this blog but I don't write this blog for "an audience", I write it for me, Trent, our kids, and now for Brad and our new family too.
So back up almost two months, (how embarrassing!) I was having some problems with my gall bladder, which often goes bad after you have your appendix removed. As I was having an ultrasound of my gall bladder, the technician found several large kidney stones in just one kidney. That set me up for surgery to remove my gall bladder and have lithotripsy on my kidney at the same time. Honestly, the gall bladder removal was a piece of cake. The lithotripsy just about did me in. I had surgery on the last day of February and don't remember much of the first two weeks of March except being in a whole lot of pain. Brad was right there, attending to my every need, most often before I knew I needed it. My mom was there for the first several days but I don't remember being conscious of her being there until the second to last day she came. I ended up in the emergency room four days after the surgery because the pain was so intense. I was passing kidney stones like crazy and although I had a stent in my kidney the pain was still severe. As I lay there in the emergency room soaking up the glorious relief from the morphine, my mind went back to Trent and all that he suffered for so long. It still makes me sick to think of how often and how much pain he was in. I wish I could go back and change our journey. Even if the outcome had to be the same, I would change the course and at least give him more comfort, less pain and fear, and sweeter memories.
While all of this was happening things at home seemed to be falling apart. Satan really knows how to get you when you are down and boy did he try. I was really ready to strike March from the record completely but as I look back there are shining moments I wouldn't want to trade. March 20 was Trent's birthday. I had been pretty iffy because of all the surgery stuff but wasn't really prepared for how hard that day would knock me down. The tears started the night before and just didn't want to stop. Brad left for work as usual but returned home shortly afterward to spend the day with me instead. For the first several hours I could only lay on my bed and cray. Brad was so good. He stayed with me the whole time and gently rubbed my back or just held me while I cried. I finally decided I needed to DO something so we went to Hobby Lobby to get flowers to arrange for Trent's grave. Later that evening I took the kids to the cemetery. I think I must have cried out all my tears earlier in the day because it was okay for me to be there then. We finished off the night with dinner at Maddox with my mom, Mike, and Lyndsi. It wasn't an awesome day but we made the best of it and even had a few smiles and laughs.
The day after Prom I had to teach in Relief Society. As nervous as I was to do that, it was very healing for me. It was easy for me to speak from my heart and I felt lighter when I was done. The lesson made me realize once again just how much love my Heavenly Father has for me. I was reminded that I have complete control over my feelings and attitudes and if/when I get to a point that I don't think I can carry on, Christ is ALWAYS there take up that slack.
The next weekend I got to attend Trent's father's wedding in the Rexburg Idaho Temple. I was anxious to go because I was sure that Trent would be there and I was eager to feel him near me. The ceremony was very sweet and I did feel Trent there, if only briefly. It felt good to be surrounded by people who love Trent as much as I do. However, it was difficult too. A few different times in the temple and at the reception afterwards I overheard people talk about me as "the one whose husband died". We are coming up on two years but it still hurts and it feels so awkward to hear people talk about it like that, thinking that I can't hear them. Brad was supposed to be there with me but fell ill the day before I left. I was disappointed but was okay with it because I needed a little space for a while. The space turned out to be a little too much. We had a birthday party for Doug on the Sunday following the wedding and there were family pictures all over that were used to decorate for the party. It is always a double edged sword to see my smiling Trent in those pictures. Somehow during lunch I was left alone while everyone else chatted with those at their table. I didn't try to be alone but I didn't try to include myself either. After some time had passed someone recognized that I was alone and invited me to join them. However, the damage had been done. I had let myself give in to the overwhelming feelings of sadness and the tears started. I excused myself to the bedroom and bawled my eyes out. Ugh. Brad happened to call right then and was able to comfort me to some extent.
The weekend following was LDS General Conference. Brad and I had two tickets to the Sunday afternoon session but ended up not using them. I was very sad to let the experience go. I love Conference weekend and wish it came more often than twice a year. I am always given hope and strength to carry on when I hear the words of our prophet and his apostles. I was especially touched by President Packer's sincere testimony. He all but told us that he has seen Christ in person. He is a WITNESS of Christ. I keep thinking how awesome it will be to one day be able to say the same thing. Since then I have enjoyed working off some stress in the yard or house while listening to the talks from Conference. Thank goodness for my iphone. :)
As Easter approached I became more and more excited. Yes, it was another holiday that we had to figure out how to make work for both families, and yes, it is a ton of work to get holidays ready for nine kids. But, I was overcome with gratitude for my Savior, Jesus Christ. Because of Him Easter is a joyous holiday for me and not one of sadness without Trent. I know that I will see him again. I am in awe of all that the Atonement encompasses. It seems I am learning constantly of more ways to apply my Savior's atoning sacrifice to my life. Looking back over the past few years and most recently, over the past two months, I can see the learning process I am in. I have made great strides at times and have fallen great distances at others. But each time I am picked up, dusted off, and set on my path again. This life is not about proving myself to my Savior, He already knows who and what I will become. It is about proving myself to myself and learning to lean on my Savior every step of the way.