I can't believe that summer is half over and I am still alive! HaHa! I was pretty nervous for school to get out because I would have nine children to entertain ALL DAY LONG! Well, so far, so good. We have had a lot of fun this summer playing ball, swimming, camping, biking, and swimming some more. In June I coached a softball team for Mallory and Ryen and I had the time of my life! It was so fun to have that time with just the little girls. I felt a little part of me healing as well, letting myself jump back into to who I was before and have the things I always wanted to have with my girls. It was a good opportunity for me to strengthen the bond between me and a couple of pretty fun little nine year olds. :)
In June we entered the "gauntlet of birthdays". We had four birthdays within 3 1/2 weeks. Whew! It was so much fun to plan something special for each of them, although we celebrated Megan's birthday a week early because she was at a music camp on her real birthday. One night after one of the last birthdays Brad and I were talking and he realized that the birthday rush hadn't brought on the deep feelings of despair that they had in the past couple of years. I had to agree. It is so hard to see your kids growing up and getting older without their other parent here to share it. But as time goes on those days get a little easier. Trent and Linda are never far from our thoughts but it is easier to smile on the special days than cry like we did before. I never would have believed that was possible, but it is. I am sure that is how Trent and Linda want it to be too.
A few weeks ago I was chatting with Mallory while I was doing her hair. She was having a bit of a rough day and was kind of acting out and being miserable. While we were talking she said, "I just don't understand why this has to happen to our family!" I reminded her that it happened to the Rowbury family too. She said, "I know, that is what I mean, why did it have to happen to our big family?" I was stunned just for a moment to think that she considered us all a family. That is a major step, especially for Mallory. But then I surprised myself when I answered, "I think it happened to us because Heavenly Father loves us. He must trust us an awful lot to let us go through losing Dad. He must have known that we would still love Him even though our life is really hard." As I said those words I started to cry. I didn't realize I felt that way. I know we are loved and cared for but I was never really sure that we had gone through all that we have because we are loved.
For the next few days our conversation kept playing over and over again in my head. Did I really believe that or was that just what I thought Mallory needed to hear? About a week after my talk with Mallory I had almost the exact same conversation with Ryen. This time I could answer with more assurance, I really do feel that we were trusted with this trial because Heavenly Father loves us. I know we have so many people pulling for us on the other side, waiting, hoping, and expecting our success in healing and making the most of life here on earth. Not a one of us will ever "get over" losing our loved ones, but even through all the pain, there is joy and love and happiness for us.
Last week Brad and I celebrated our first anniversary. We spent the weekend in Park City hiking and shopping. We also got to see WICKED in Salt Lake City. We had a great time and the whole weekend my heart was so full! This past year has not been easy by any stretch of the imagination...but we made it! Luckily, we still kinda like each other so it is reasonable to expect that we could do a few more years together. ;) I thought I had learned enough going through cancer with Trent and facing life without him. But Heavenly Father must have thought I needed more so he sent me Brad. I have had to learn so many new things about love and patience and giving. But I guess that is what this life is about...loving and learning. So we will keep on doing just that, loving and learning and maybe a little bit of healing too.