Tuesday, May 26, 2009

'Hope Ya Know, We Had a Hard Time'

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It is just after midnight after a long day celebrating Memorial Day. I don't have more photos ready from today's activities, I will post them later... but I wanted to write while my thoughts and feelings were still fresh.
This is our second Memorial Day since Aaron passed away. It still feels surreal like we could wake up at any moment and this would all have been a nightmare.

This coming Friday I will be an 18 month old widow. I almost feel like I am a small child in this journey that started 18 months ago. Don't you think each trial in our lives that has a major impact marks an end to something and a beginning to another? I have always felt that way.

This is not necessarily a 'beginning' that I chose or even wanted, but since it has only been 18 months, I feel like I am still so young in this experience... like an 18 month old child who is learning to walk; learning to experience this life with joy even when they stumble and fall or when an obstacle is in their path that looks gigantic... I feel like I am learning to live again.

You know when you are teaching your child to walk, you walk beside them or behind them holding their hands to guide them and to help them balance? I feel like this past 18 months, I have been the little child with my hand in the Lord's hand as he guides me. I am learning to walk a new path... same destination... but a new path as He holds my hand to help me stay balanced until I find my footing and learn to run again.

This reminds me of a Song that we sing at church. Here are the lyrics and I have it playing in my playlist on the side:

I am a child of God.
And He has sent me here.
Has given me an earthly home,
with parents, kind and dear.

Lead me, guide me.
Walk beside me.
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with Him someday.

I am a child of God.
And so my needs are great.
Help me to understand His words
before it grows too late.

Lead me, guide me.
Walk beside me.
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with Him someday.

I am a child of God.
Rich blessings are in store.
If I but learn to do His will
I'll live with Him once more.

Lead me, guide me.
Walk beside me.
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that i must do
To live with Him someday.

I am a child of God.
His promises are sure.
Celestial Glory shall be mine,
if I can but endure.

Lead me, guide me.
Walk beside me.
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with Him someday.

I am so grateful for the love of God, our Father in Heaven. We truly are His children and he loves us as a father loves his child. He is concerned for us as a father is concerned for his child. He is there to lead us, to guide us, to walk beside us, and to help us find our way. He wants us to return to live with Him again after this life. He knows each of us individually. He knows our names and He knows our hearts. He knows our weaknesses, our strengths, our joys, our sorrows... He knows the treacherous and seemingly impossible path on which we are traveling and He is there to guide us through. He is there to be our light in the darkness.

This is a clip from Elder Quentin L. Cook, one of the Apostles of Jesus Christ. I have watched it several times in the past 24 hours and it has brought me to tears each time. Please watch it and let it touch your heart... (pause my music in the sidebar above while you watch this) You can watch the whole talk given by Elder Cook by clicking on this LINK and scrolling down to the 'Sunday Afternoon Session' section on that page.

I am grateful for the people who have been put in my path in these past 18 months to be an instrument in the Lord's hands to help me as I have had a hard time. I have such great families, I have such great friends, even friends I have never met... and I am grateful for each and every one of you.

I hope Memorial Day was a joyful day of remembering for all of us. May we all remember those who have gone before us...
And may we also remember to lend a hand, or speak a kind word, or share a smile or a hug with someone who is having a hard time. They are all around us if we allow ourselves to be aware of them. We are instruments in the hands of God to serve, lift, and help others.

We love you Aaron and Bruce...
we will remember you both always...

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Kate, Alek, Hank, and Cash (RIP RED) said...

Leslie thank you for the comment as always your words are always helpful. You are very right that leading up to the day is so difficult. Anxiety like crazy. Saturday and Sunday were much more difficult days for me. I have yet to go up and see Randy's stone, I feel guilty about that, but cannot bring myself to see how permanant that is.......Did you have that issue??
As always Love
Kate and Alek

Anonymous said...

I thought of Aaron on Memorial Day...all the way over here in Australia.

Love to you,


AlanaBD said...

Hi Leslie,

I have read every posting to your blog and am always just in 'awe' of every single one. You are a remarkable woman, mother, father, daughter, sister, and friend! You amaze me. I know this is so hard for you, but I am so confident that you are doing the best possible! It is comforting to know that you have the best family (and biggest :) ) that is there for you daily.

I love the new pictures you posted at the header. I love you, girl! I'm here always for you!


Kristi said...

I loved the analogy of a toddler learning to walk. You have come so very far. Although it isn't a life that you would choose for yourself, you have grown so much because of it. We love you.

Sarah said...

Thank you. You always make me think and re-examine my life. You help me be more aware of Christ everyday. You are amazing!

christa said...

I checked here today, thinking there'd be something about Aaron. You had me in tears. We were thinking of you yesterday. I'm glad you were able to enjoy it with your fam! Talk soon!

Matchbox Mom said...

Big cyber hug from me to you and Aaron Jr. I thought a lot about you and your adoreable family. Our prayers and thoughts are still with you.

Jennifer said...

Leslie, I am one of those faithful readers you don't know. I just wanted to say that as a regular reader, I think you have come a long, long way. I know there are still really difficult days, but you should be proud of your progress. Even during your worst days, you've been a wonderful mother to that little boy. You are an inspiration to others, definitely to me. My husband is battling cancer, and it's meant so much to me to read your reminders to appreciate him and love him every day I am able to. None of us ever know how long we'll have together, do we?
Love, Jennifer in Michigan

dani said...

i think the most obvious aspect of your last 18 months is that GOD has been holding your hand, leslie:) our GOD is an awesome GOD!!!
much love,
dani xx... x

Crystal Eldredge said...

Hello Leslie,

I wanted to thank you for your blog posts. I am so sorry for your loss. My husband and I just lost our 8 month old son Sage, to SIDS. He was our baby #5. Our 4th son. I have wondered over the past 2 months what my son might have grown up to look like or what kind of man he might have been. After, spending some time reading your blog I kinda think he would have been and looked a lot like your husband Aaron. I wanted to thank you for your pictures. It is sorta weird. I read this talk over and over again as well. I sorta laughed to myself. "Hope ya know we hard time"! Is sorta an understatement but, in simple words it is the truth. I hope you have a good day. From Queen Creek Az.

Eldredge Family said...

I found your blog from Becky Norris's blog. Thanks again for all your words. I have 2 blogs one for Sage and one for our family blog.

Lisa (seesalou) said...

thanks for the nice message. it is good for all of us. love you.

Joann said...

Leslie, you just amaze me. I always love your inspiring words, but today you really made me cry. You are so strong, Leslie, and I thank you for your amazing example of faith and for your friendship.

Marc and Megan said...

It's been a while since I've checked in, but I was thinking of you today and wondered how you were doing. I was struck as I read this blog post because so much of what you wrote here has been on my mind a lot the last few weeks. Even though our losses are different, I feel like you understand so well the feelings in my own heart.

I just wanted you to know that I'm thinking of you and continue to admire you from afar.

Nancy said...


I pop onto your blog once in awhile to see how you are doing...I left a comment several months ago. Hark was my visiting teacher when I was at UVSC---in fact I think I might have met you once---did you ever go wake boarding with Hark (Aaron) and his old mission companion David and he brought along a red-head (me) and my friend, Ashlee (a short blond)? Did you used to have really short hair? I am pretty sure it was you...anyway, maybe it will jog your memory about who I am...although it was 9 years ago!

Okay, so, I was thinking about you last night and what you have been experiencing and then I suddenly had a thought you might want to put into action. My grandmother was widowed when she was still young (in her 30's) and because it was such a life-changing event, she was allowed to get another patriarchal blessing. It was SOOO comforting to her. It even spoke about why my grandfather was taken at a young age. I think, if you are allowed to do it (I'm sure your bishop would be open to it) you should consider getting a new blessing. I think the Lord would use that to comfort you further.

Just a thought.

Be well, my dear.


Steve said...

As always Leslie, Beautiful, absolutely beautiful, you and the blog and the pictures.

Anonymous said...

Hi Leslie,

Just checking in to say hi.



jensenfamily said...

Feel like we haven't seen you in forever~ I love to catch up on your blog - love you and take care! Erin