Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Two Months...

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I truly cannot believe it has been two months. I have talked to several people today that also cannot believe it. It feels like it has already been an eternity since I have seen Aaron, but when you think about the actual time... TWO MONTHS... that is such a short amount of time.
With how long two months has lasted for me... the rest of my life seems like it will go on forever. And living that long without Aaron... it is a daunting feeling. It hit me today pretty hard... that I haven't even lived half of my life yet. If two months seemed like an eternity... right now imagining what fifty years will be like without him... it is so long.
We had some visits from friends and family today. It was a great distraction for us. I am truly grateful for all of the love being shown to us. I have wanted to mention specifics of what people have done, but there is a list a mile long. I wish I could mention everything in this post, but it is already after 3:00 a.m. and I would be up all night. I hope those people who have done such kind things for us know how grateful we are. Those who we know about and those who have done it anonymously. People are so thoughtful. Nothing has gone unnoticed.

As I was putting Aaron Jr. to bed tonight, I had a sweet experience. He was holding a 4x6 copy of this photo below...

and as he pointed to each person, he said, 'Daddy', 'Mommy', 'Aaron'.

I took the photo from him and gave Aaron a kiss and asked him if he wanted to give Daddy a kiss. Then he took the photo and gave Daddy a kiss. Then he held it close and wrapped his arms around it tight and said, 'hugs'... 'hugs'. It brought on some tender emotions. He is so sweet. At one point, he pointed across the room to one of the many photos that I have framed of our family (one that is almost identical to the one at the beginning of this post) and said 'Daddy', 'Mommy', 'Aaron', 'Ode'. (Ode is our dog.) Then he asked, 'Where's Ode?' I told him that Ode is at home. Then he asked, 'Where's Daddy?' I then told him for the first time that Daddy is with Jesus. Then he repeated the name 'Jesus' a few times. I am sure he doesn't comprehend what that means yet, but it was actually really difficult to say honestly where his Daddy is. I think by telling him that, it made it all feel more real, and I don't like that.
Then there is a calendar that Aaron's mom had made for me for Christmas that has photos in it... Aaron pointed to this photo...

and said, 'Daddy', 'Mommy', then he asked, 'Where's Aaron'? This photo of Aaron and I was in March of 2003 when we went to Disneyland and California Adventure... two years before we even were able to get pregnant with Aaron Jr. It was an interesting exchange because he is realizing that the photos of Aaron and I don't have him in them... I am constantly being amazed each day at what he is learning and realizing. It was sweet that he knew he was missing from that photo.
Later while I was holding him as he fell asleep, he pointed up to this photo of Jesus that is hanging on the wall...

and he said, 'Jesus'.
This painting was given to Aaron Jr. and me by my family right after Aaron passed away. It is a painting by Greg Olsen called 'Walk With Me'. It is framed with a poem beside it that Greg Olsen wrote and it is so beautiful. Aaron's parents also were given this same painting by Aaron's sister. It actually is a perfect one. Aaron loved the outdoors, so this reminds me of all of the trips we took camping, and fishing, and hiking. I believe that each of us goes through times in our lives when we 'walk with the Savior'. I know that He is walking with me helping me to bear this burden in my life.
Some of my family subscribes to something called LDS Daily Gems, which sends an inspiring thought each day to our emails... today's reads:

"Each of us will have our own Fridays--those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays. But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death--Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come. No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or in the next, Sunday will come. I testify to you that the Resurrection is not a fable. We have the personal testimonies of those who saw Him. Thousands in the Old and New Worlds witnessed the risen Savior. They felt the wounds in His hands, feet, and side. They shed tears of unrestrained joy as they embraced Him."
(Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Sunday Will Come," Ensign, Nov. 2006, 30)

That unrestrained joy that is spoken of is what I look forward to. Imagine the joy that is to come for all of us when we are blessed with the experience of not only embracing our loved ones who have passed away, but also when we are blessed to embrace the Savior.
Those 'Fridays' that it speaks of... I have so many of those days. Days where I miss Aaron so much, I don't even feel comfortable in my own skin. It just seems like there is something terribly wrong in the world. The world doesn't feel right, it feels like a nightmare, where nothing seems to make any sense at all. Days where I feel like it just can't be real... he just can't be gone... I just can't be left here to raise our son without him. Right now, my future seems bleak...
but this 'Sunday' that is spoken of... I know it will come... it has to come. I know that this much pain and sorrow can't overshadow me forever. I know that the sunlight will start to peek through as I cast more and more of my burden upon the Savior. It seems so far away right now, but I know He is there ready and waiting.

The first time I opened my scriptures after the funeral, this is the chapter I turned to and this verse was in that chapter. It hit me pretty hard.

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. - Revelations 3:20

He is ready and waiting... for all of us.

I am grateful for Aaron. I am grateful for the happiness that I know he is enjoying being with those who have gone before him. I know that he wants us to be happy... and for that reason, I want to eventually strive for that happiness. I will miss him always, but Aaron would want us to be happy while missing him. I hope he is understanding that it will take some time though. :)

We love you Aaron... with all of our hearts.

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Emma-Kate Castricum said...

I have been reading your blog for a while now, after finding it through Sheye Rosemeyer's.
I don't even want to imagine what you are going through, it's too difficult to comprehend. I've always had a fear of something happening to one of my children but until I read your blog I never dreamed I could loose my husband. Like Aaron he's just too big and strong, he's the one who protects and takes care of us. The thought that one day I could wake up and find him no longer in my life is just too hard to imagine.

I want you to know that although we are on different sides of the world I'm thinking of you often all the way down here in Australia, you and little Aaron are constantly in my thoughts.

The pic of him kissing your family photo would have to be one of the most gorgeous shots ever taken, there's so much tenderness there. What a lucky little boy he is to have such a beautiful Mummy.


Vicki said...

I feel so sad for you when I read your posts and can't even imagine what you must be going through. I'm so glad you have so many family members and friends helping you through this hard time. I'm glad you have Aaron Jr. to help comfort you. I love the picture of him kissing the photo... so precious! I know the Lord will heal you with time. Thank you for all your words of inspiration! Love you, Leslie!

Anonymous said...

I don't know you, but I found your blog randomly through distant friends.

We have an impending death in our family right now, but your experience has helped me put things in perspective. Reading about your grief has helped me temper mine. I love that you are open and honest with your emotions and that you are allowing yourself to just feel.

I know that you will never be the same and that no words can really comfort you. However, your words are comforting others and helping to heal them. So there is a miracle in all this, even when it's still too dark to see the light you're shining for everyone.

Brenda said...

Leslie, I love reading your sweet posts, and I'm so sorry you have this sorrow you have to go through life with. That is a beautiful picture of Jesus. He will get your through--keep trusting in Him.

Leslie said...

i wanted to let people know that aaron jr actually kissed the front of the photo, but this one showed what the photo was, so i put this one on the blog.
i am grateful to all who leave comments on my blog.
you should know that the comments that are left bring so much comfort to me because it shows me how many people are thinking about us and remembering aaron.
i love you all and i am truly grateful for all of the support and love you give to us.
thank you everyone.
love always, leslie *

Tawnie said...

I love you Leslie. What sweet moments with little Aaron. And with such a sweet love for Jesus, it will always be comforting to know his daddy is with Jesus. That is precious.
You are wonderful!!! I am glad you have this place to share your feelings. It is good for you and for so many others.

Joann said...

It amazes me how in tune small children are. They are just so fresh from His presence, you have to know that they know who Jesus is. I love the all of the pictures, especially the one of you and Aaron before Aaron Jr. was born. Gorgeous couple!

Sheye Rosemeyer said...

Beautiful post Leslie..You are being amazing and I know you don't want to be and you don't feel it but you are...Aaron would be SO proud of you and Aaron Jnr will only grow more proud of his beautiful Mummy every day.
I hold your hand from afar.
S xx

Seesalou said...

cute little guy. that is so sweet. i just want you to know how much i love you and how sick i am for you, feeling so alone. please know that i'm praying for you many times each day and that i'm always here for you. know that no matter how alone you feel, you could never really be alone. you have a heavenly father who loves you so!! you are his daughter and he knows you personally. he will guide you. i love your scripture this month...the Savior is ther for you leslie. "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." let this bring you peace. this life is just a small window of time. but even this small window should have joy in it. i pray that you will...i love you.

Steve & Liz said...

Leslie I have no idea what to even write. Your post is so beautiful but yet so sad. I love little Aaron and that he takes a picture with him of his family to bed. He is so blessed to have you. I have always thought that you are such a wonderful loving mother, and you still are.

Amberly said...

leslie, I think it is beautiful that little Aaron knows where his father is and that he is with Jesus. It may be hard to say that, but I hope that fact will bring little Aaron peace as he goes through life knowing he is watched over by both his Savior and his Father. This was a beautiful, heart-felt post. thank you.

Kristi said...

I have been wondering how Aaron is comprehending these things. Now that he can talk better, it seems like he can have more understanding of why his life has been turned up-side-down. He is so sweet and I think that growing up, knowing that he has such a close connection with the other side, it will keep him close to his Savior and help him to keep perspective. You are so amazing to endure and be strong for him as you are suffering.
We love you both so much.

Bonnie said...

I don't know you, but I am so impressed by your strength! I have a little boy that is Aaron Jr's age. I can't imagine what you must be going through, trying to explain to him where his daddy is. I will pray for you!

April said...

Aaron Jr. is so precious. I can't stop crying as I look at his sweet little face, while realizing what he has lost in his life. I love both of you.

Anna said...

Thank you Leslie for allowing me to share in your tender moments.

When I read your blog I couldn't stop crying, I truly feel for you, I can only think how deeply the pain must be.

You seemed to be doing so well, i know Aaron Jr must be such a strengh to you to get you through the hard days.

I remember our missionary days and you were such a strong missionary, I know you will get through.

I know for me when I lost me brother the pain was so real and so deep, but it did ease over time.

Cling onto that knowledge of eternal families, it will get you through.

Reading your blog has made me refect upon my own life and i know i need to make each moment count.

If there's any thing i can do. please let me know.
I am praying for you and your son.

An Australian Belle said...

I check in on you every day or so Leslie.

Once Penny gets her computer working (she is not as computer savvy as us) she will write. I hope she fixes it soon. You will be a comfort to each other. I know that.

I try to be a comfort, but I have not suffered the deep loss that you and she share, so struggle to understand the depth of the grief and how to address it.

I am just so thankful that she has Natalie and you have Aaron Jnr. You will see your husbands in their eyes, their expressions, their voices, their tempers. Bittersweet.



amy said...


I found your blog through Liz's and hope you don't mind that I read it. I think of you often and am so amazed by your strength. You are comforting and inspiring all of us when we should be doing that for you. Bless you.
Amy Lund

K&K&kids said...

I love your pictures. Aaron Jr. is getting so big and he looks so much like his daddy. I think of you often and I hope you are finding moments of peace. Hopefully, I will see you this weekend. Love you.

cucciolo25 said...

Leslie, Luke saw the picture of Aaron kissing your family picture and started laughing and said 'Aaron'! We are excited to see you both in a few weeks. Luke and Aaron are such good 'frienemies'. We love the 3 of you. You are in our prayers.

Jody said...

I just want you to know that I was here, reading your posts, seeing the beautiful pictures of you as a family...and sharing your pain and grief. It is not an easy burden to bear in life. But my own journey of sorrow has held moments of beauty. I will pray you will find beauty and seek Joy. It is there. Buried beneath your heartache.
But I just want you to hang onto the Hope- simply that it is there. And one day I hope you will find your way back to this amazing Joy. I send my prayers and sympathies to you as you miss Aaron so much.

In my own experience I found that for a long time I missed my little girl more and more as time went on. It's the reality and finality of death that didn't hit fully until months later. I hope you will hang onto Aaron's memories tightly. And truat God to carry you through these hard days when you're to weak to go on alone. He has never failed me...and I know you trust Him too. Keep trusting.
All my best to you.

Mindy said...

Leslie, your posts are so tender and uplifting.

Thank you for the birthday wish on my blog! I was out of town for my birthday, and it was a nice surprise to come back to!

An Australian Belle said...

Hi Leslie,

Just checking in on you and sending you and Aaron Jnr my love.