"Do you ever have those moments, or those days even when you really, truly realize how blessed you are? So blessed you don't even know why YOU deserve to be so blessed? So blessed you feel guilty as you watch pain and misery spread all around you? I have had, like, 30 of those days, all really close together recently, and now more than ever, I feel so incredibly blessed.
Just in the past couple months:
One of my best friends from college found out her not even 6 month old daughter, her first child, has a terminal illness (Krabbes) that will likely take her life before she sees her 2nd birthday. My friend and her husband are both students.
One of my neighbors died of stomach cancer right before Christmas, leaving his wife and 2 kids to care for themselves and the business he ran to provide for his family. They do not have health insurance.
A friend had her hand run over and it took serious surgery for her to save that hand. She cares for her mother-in-law and her paraplegic daughter, and does not have health insurance.
A friend was healthy and pregnant one day, found out she was having her 3rd baby girl and then in the same doctor visit found out that baby girl would not make it. She has now delivered her stillborn child but is in ICU suffering from blood poisoning.
A friend of our family's son was as healthy as any 18 year old could be expected to be, went out running one night to finish his last requirement before becoming an Eagle Scout and was found dead on the track hours later. Nothing brutal, his heart just gave out. 18 years old.
3 friends from High School have passed away- 2 suddenly and for no apparent reason. One with a brand new family and a tiny baby. One was shot by his mother who was financially stressed and worried because he had been in trouble with the law.
Friends have been hurt and sick.
Mothers, fathers, grandparents, babies, so many people have died and even when it's expected, death is never easy.
Can you even imagine?
Can you imagine being in any one of these situations - either as the one suffering or as a husband, a wife, a father, a mother? No health insurance, no preparation, and in some of these cases they don't have the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I can't imagine what these people must be going through, but I know that I could never be okay in a situation like that without the knowledge I have of the Gospel and Heavenly Father's plan for us. I would never be able to feel comforted without the companionship of the Holy Ghost, and the peace that comes after Priesthood blessings.
Here, we have been sick so much in the past few months. Thatcher's had really awful colds with ear infections, sore throat, the works. They last for weeks and he's had it three times now. Levi had a cold, got over it, then came down with this Bronchiolitis/RSV/Ear Infection combo and has had a really rough time with it.
Evan's been on and off really sick with a nasty cold and now the flu. And it's easy to start to feel bad for yourself sometimes! But in the midst of all these brothers and sisters around me who are going through so much more than I pray I will ever have to go through, I can only feel gratitude for our many many blessings. I can only hold my family closer and pray with all my heart that they will be protected and that we will be able to make many, many memories together. I can only tell them I love them more and try to live each day like it's the greatest blessing of all, because really, each day is a wonderful, beautiful gift from our Heavenly Father! Tomorrow is never guaranteed.
I've been reminded so much of several General Conference talks lately, especially Elder Bednar's talk on "Tender Mercies" and Elder Claudio R.M. Costa's talk, "Don't Leave for Tomorrow What You Can Do Today." In Elder Costa's talk he reads a poem, and I'd like to share that here.
It is entitled “Tomorrow Never Comes” and is based upon a poem by Norma Cornett Marek.
"If I knew this would be the last time I would watch you sleep,
I would hug you tighter. I would plead with the Lord to protect you.
If I knew this would be the last time I saw you walk out the door,
I would hug and kiss you and call you back to hug and kiss you one more time.
If I knew this would be the last time I would hear your voice in prayer,
I would record every gesture, every look, every smile, every one of your words,
So that I could listen to it later, day after day.
If I knew this would be the last time,
I would spend an extra minute or two to tell you, “I love you,” instead of assuming you already knew it.
If I knew this would be our last time, our last moment,
I would be by your side, spending the day with you instead of thinking,
“Well, I’m sure other opportunities will come, so I can let this day go by.”
Of course there will be a day to revise things,
And we would have a second chance to do things right.
Oh, of course there will be another day for us to say, “I love you.”
And certainly there will be another chance to tell each other, “Can I help with anything?”
But in my case, there isn’t one!
I don’t have you here with me, and today is the last day we have—our farewell.
Therefore I would like to say how much I love you,
And I hope you never forget it.
Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, young or old.
Today might be your last chance to hold tight to the hand of the one you love and show all you feel.
If you are waiting for tomorrow, why not do it today?
Because if tomorrow never comes, you certainly will regret for the rest of your life
Not having spent some extra time for a smile, a conversation, a hug, a kiss,
Because you were too busy to give that person what ended up being their last wish.
Then hug tight today the one you love, your friends, your family, and whisper in their ears how much you love them and want them close to you.
Use your time to say, “I’m sorry,” “Please,” “Forgive me,” “Thank you,” Or even, “That was nothing,” “It’s all right,”
Because if tomorrow never comes, you will not have to regret today.
The past doesn’t come back, and the future might not come!"
I know I am learning my lesson and I am hugging the ones I love a little tighter. I am working so hard to never, ever take a moment I have with loved ones for granted. I am trying to say "I love you" more and with more intent. I am praying in a new way, with more fervor and thought.
Thank you Heavenly Father, we are so blessed.
guest post by Krista Mullins
Photo by Infrared