Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Letter

Today was our home study with the Office of Licensing. Ellen said to expect it to take 3 hours; it took 3 1/2. The home inspection was a breeze and lasted maybe 15 minutes. The rest of the time was a study on us as individuals, a couple, and a family. Instead of a true/false or multiple answers test, it was an oral essay, so to speak.

Ellen asked us how our community support was. Immediately I thought about all the amazing kindnesses shared with us yesterday. Two years, 24 whole months, had gone by since Josh passed away and still people were showing true compassion to us. We explained that to Ellen. And then the doorbell rang. There stood my Primary friend, Ashley, and her mother, Mindy. I got a beautiful homemade card with a picture of what I assumed was me and Ashley enclosed in a heart as well as chocolate and a hug from Ashley. We also received a dozen red roses and a letter to treasure from her mom.

Do you remember on that Chevy Chase movie when they were trying to sell the house and someone says, "Cue the deer." During our interview, it seemed that we were trying to 'sell' ourselves as a wonderful family that had strong family and community support and after receiving the timely gifts at the door. I sat down and said to Enos, "Cue the deer." He smiled, knowingly.

During the interview we were asked many detailed questions about Josh's death and how we have been coping with that sad reality. It was exhausting, especially after the emotions from yesterday, the day that marked two years from Josh's passing.

Enos and I were asked to talk about each of our boys, all three of them. What were they like?

After Ellen left, I opened the envelope and read the letter from Mindy. What was Josh like? She answered the question for me and tears streamed down my face. Among other things she said...

They (the memories I have of Josh) are something that I feel impressed upon to share with you. He was always so well behaved in primary. He was the one being reverent, listening. He was the one I could count on to give an appropriate answer in sharing time (and it was always the right answer). He was always one that we could go to if we needed the prayer or scripture in a pinch. He was always so respectful.

When he turned 12 and made that great transition into the Aaronic Priesthood, we still got to see those fine qualities of Josh's. The way he passed the sacrament, so reverently, always looking so handsome, was a quiet reminder of how I needed to be during that ordinance.

My children are another story...

Mindy's sweet family

(In Sacrament meeting) it seems as if their selection process when it comes to the bread or water goes on a bit too long, and I grow impatient. I had the thought in my head that those young men probably felt the same way, just needing to get on to the next bench, the next family, and my girls take their time. One Sunday, as Josh was passing to us, these thoughts were running through my head, and I looked up at him, just expecting to see an exasperated expression. It wasn't there. It wasn't at all what I had expected. He was standing there, doing his duty, and smiling down at Ashley. Not a bit of impatience in his face. It was so sweet to me. Just another great lesson taught to me by an incredible person.

Another time, when I was pregnant with Peyton (and I remember that because the pregnancy and that placenta sucked out just about every fully functioning brain cell from my head...I forgot many things as you will soon read.) Still in the Primary, I had brought some treats for teacher appreciation. After getting them to all the primary workers, I had leftovers and thought I'd take them to sacrament meeting in the box I brought them in, just in case I thought of someone else that could use the uplift. By the end of Sacrament meeting, I had totally forgotten that I brought them into the chapel with me. They stayed underneath the bench. Josh and another boy (I think it was Connor) went in afterward and cleaned up the chapel. I was in the primary closet when Josh brought it to me and asked if it was mine. I was so impressed! I would think that most boys would find an abandoned box with candy in it and claim it for themselves. Not your boy. (I did give it to them anyway; they deserved it.)

Just another small example of how his life has touched mine for good. I know he is doing even more incredible things where he is now. Hopefully he found my relatives, especially my grandpa, and is teaching them of the truth. Josh had that capability too, I learned that from a few sharing time role-play sessions.

Mindy will never know (even after reading this post) how much hearing about Josh in such a personal and poetic way meant to me at that moment. I'm so grateful she listened and acted upon her impression. I know that Josh is involved in our foster to adopt journey. (I will share more details about that at the right time.) But reading that letter helped me feel so close to him. I needed that. So, Mindy, thank you for following that prompting and taking the time to write and deliver that letter. It is sweet that you let Ashley also have a gift to deliver. That's what mothering is about. Oh, and the roses were nice too! :)

1 comment:

  1. NOTE to Deanne, Enos, and family:
    I was about to post my comment below when I thought "I had better be careful not to offend Deanne and her family!".

    I realized however that none of Josh's family would in any way be offended by the comment that I am about to post, on the contrary I believe that all of Josh's family, including Josh himself, would no only NOT be offended but they would agree wholeheartedly with my comment (below).

    My Comment:
    As I read the comments above about Josh, as well as other comments posted on this blog and elsewhere of s similar theme, I can't help but think that these kinds of comments do indeed speak of Josh but they also (and maybe more importantly) show us how the love of God is shown.

    It is not shown by some big grandiose act or event. It is rather shown by the seemingly small and insignificant acts, or actions that are taken daily, show "The True Spirit of God".

    Most of the time these kind of acts of God go unnoticed. It is not so much because they are small but rather because at the moment that they happen we are not, at that moment, in tune enough to the spirit of God to see that act or action for what it really is ... God helping "us" through someone else.

    This is how God usually helps us on our road to perfection. The more we "let" ourselves be inspired by the lord, and the more we act on these inspirations, the closer we will become to the lord and the more receptive we will be to these promptings.

    It is like anything else in life. The more we exercise anything the more it grows. Why do you think some people are more receptive to these kind of promptings? It is usually NOT because we are the only one that can be used for the purposes of the lord. Most of the time it is because we listen to the promptings and "act on them". The lord knows he can count on us just as we know that we can count on the lord.

    Unfortunately the same is true for the devil and his plans. The more we listen to him, or don't listen to the spirit of the lord, the more the devil can AND WILL use us for his designs.

    [Thank you for letting me ramble. I hope and pray that all of you will listen and act upon the promptings of the lord rather than helping the devil with his plans simply by not listening to the promptings of the lord.

    We, all of us, either move forward towards the goals of the lord OR we move forward to the goals of the devil. We can not simply stand still. Doing nothing is in reality NOT doing something.