Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Finding Purpose in Life

We had a good time at Jesse's birthday celebration.  The movie was better than we thought it would be.
We had so much fun playing 1000 Blank White Cards.  Moselle made wonderful instruction booklets with copies of some of the cards that Jesse had made.  We had such a good time playing the game.  It was so good to have friends and family there.  I love having Jesse's friends around.

Ethan and Benjiimon wrote a story that they read to all of us.  I loved it!  It was fun to read the memories that Jesse's friends and family shared of him.

Yesterday I received an email from Daily Kindness that told the story of Elena Desserich who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor at the age of five and then died at the age of 6.  It reminds me of my niece Rachel who also died of a brain tumor.  Here's the link to the facebook page for Acts of Daily Kindness and this story.
 There are a couple of videos about Elena's story.  Elena had a to do list of things she wanted to do in her life and one of the things she did was to take art lessons. Her parents kept a journal to keep family up to date on what was going on.  That journal ended up getting ready by hundreds maybe thousands of people and was published "The Notes Left Behind ... or maybe just Notes Left Behind. Elena left hundred of notes for her family and relatives that she secretly hide before she died.  Elena has inspired me again.  Jesse isn't here to share his story but I am and I want his life to make a positive difference ... even more than it already has.  I have wanted to write a book ... a book that will serve many purposes.  Mostly it is giving me hope and a purpose as I continue to pursue my life.  It can be hard to want to stick around when you feel like such a big part of you is already gone.  Finding purpose in life ... our purpose and our mission is important ... especially if  it is a challenge to want to be here.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Celebrating Jesse's Life

December 17th will be Jesse's "Golden" Birthday -- or the day he would have turned 17 on the 17th.  For me it was when I turned 29 on the 29th :).   To celebrate Jesse's life and remember him on his birthday this year -- our first year without him on his birthday,  we are going to see the movie Tron (3D) the 4pm show at the Provo Town Center Mall.  We will then meet at BYU in the Wilkinson Center to have his favorite cake - All American Chocolate Cake from Costco with milk and play one of his favorite games, 1000 blank white cards.  

I am inviting people to bring food for the food coalition and the Woman's Shelter.  We will have some of Jesse's art work there and I'm going to bring a notebook with sheet protectors and paper so we can write our favorite memories of Jesse.  

I am looking forward to seeing everyone and having a good time together as we celebrate Jesse's life.  I know he wants us to have fun and to have a good time together remembering him.  I also know he is pleased that we are helping those in need.  Thank you for celebrating Jesse and his life with us. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Guide Me to Eternity

I had the wonderful opportunity to hear Christine Tuttle Monsen,  a few years ago in a church Relief Society meeting.  Christine lost her husband of eight years, John, in a boating accident.   It was a powerful and wonderful meeting.  My dear friend Sharlen who has gone through the pain of losing her son Coltan,  her only son,  recommended Christine's book -- Guide Me to Eternity.  I got it and today I read over half of it.  It has been helpful and healing to read.

Sharlen (who I found in a miraculous manner -- in fact we have come to recognize our son's hands in helping bring us together)  has been so helpful to me as I have been going through my own grieving process.  I have started a notebook where I am saving my email conversations with Sharlen.   When I figure out how to have a guest blogger Sharlen can add posts personally.  I have already added a post from Shar :)  I will be adding more from Sharlen. As I began saying,  it has been so healing to be able to share my feelings and writing with a friend, who can understand in ways that many cannot,  what it is I (we) am (are) going through.  It is the same kind of healing experience as I read Chris's (Christine Monson) experiences and feelings.

She says and I quote Christine's book -- Chapter 8 pg 119 -- "I felt comfortable telling him ( Bramwell, a close friend) things that I would not have told my parents, or John's (her husband who had died) parents or anyone in the family -- things that might have caused them pain or worry.  Families are important in this life, God ordained them.  But I believe that God ordained friendship, too. Friends provide a special kind of comfort and freedom that families can't.
    I told Bramwell (a close family friend) exactly how I felt, entrusting to him my tears and pain. I needed a witness to the worst part of my torment, someone who could say 'Yes, I understand those feelings and they are appropriate.  Don't worry Chris.' Though Bramwell didn't say those words, his willingness to listen had the same effect."

pg 103 (also Chapter 8) -- "The next morning I awoke feeling lonesome for John.  It was just as Carly Simon described in her song. 'The wee small hours of the morning' would be the time I'd miss him most of all.  But it was an emotion I let myself indulge in -- today was his funeral and burial.  Besides, I knew these feelings would be with me for awhile.  I was learning to relax and let them happen.  I was even coming to trust them, knowing by experience now that they would not destroy me.  Fearing them or fighting them only heightened my anxiety.  By accepting them and giving in,  the worst often passed sooner, and I felt better afterwards.  A good cry does wonders when you need one."

Wise words.  My conversations with Sharlen have blessed me immeasurably,  I count Shar as a special  blessing in my life.  Our Heavenly Father is so aware of us and our needs,  he allows us to bless others and be blessed by others in our friendships.   I have been so richly blessed by amazing family and friends in my life.  I have been blessed with family that are also friends,  family that has sustained similar loss and can share with empathy,  or are simply blessed with great compassion.  Thank you all who have blessed our lives in such great ways.  I love and appreciate you.