Thursday, April 24, 2014


My blog suffered a drought from Dec 2011 until this spring. But there were still tender mercies raining down on me, washing away sorrow and giving bloom to hope and joy. Many of the little miracles, especially the ones that let me know Josh was near, had to do with our foster daughters who were still in state custody. I wasn't allowed to share much information or pictures. Now, that I've started adding posts again, I had to go back and read previous ones. I realized that I needed to follow up on one that I posted after my first Mother's Day without Josh.  

I just did a search in my journal for "Kaleb". With Josh gone, we don't see his friends much, but we tried to stay in touch with Kaleb particularly because of a dream I had. (click here to read about it) Little did I know that our small efforts would bring me one of my most memorable tender mercy with Josh.

Josh's friend, Kaleb
March 28, 2010: "Kaleb came to church with us for a 2nd week in a row. As a bonus, he and Rachel and Brian also joined us for dinner, a "Speak it Not" game and dessert. They left with a full belly and a smile on their faces."

April 8, 2010: "We brought Kaleb and Levi with us (to the BHS production of Les Mis) and they seemed impressed with it and grateful that we would include them. Good kids.

June 5, 2010: "On Saturday, Cody picked up Kaleb and we loaded up the kayaks and some snacks. Brian Jasper and his parents joined us on the water as well and it was a beautiful, sunny day."

June 6, 2010 "After Sacrament meeting I asked Kaleb if he were working toward getting the Priesthood.  He said he’d like to have it but didn’t know what to do.  I asked if he’d like to sit down with the Bishop and put together a game plan.  He said, “Sure.”  They did and on my solitary walk home, I felt that emotion that’s bigger than my heart.  If we don’t help Kaleb get to the temple, I would feel that I’ve failed Josh.  Kaleb joined us for dinner."

Jan 26, 2011: "Enos took Kaleb out to dinner on Wednesday night.  We got a late night call from Kaleb where he was worried about some things so Enos was good enough to give him a good visit. We’re hoping to get him going to church."

July 5, 2011: "The Priests went kayaking Tuesday night.  Enos told me later that Kaleb talked about his working to get the priesthood.  Kaleb had said, “Deanne’s dream is coming true.”

July 17, 2011: "We did make it home (from California) by noon and to church by one.  Kaleb had his grandparents and uncle & aunt’s family there from his mom’s side, plus his dad, Larry, came.  I was so happy to see their support for him.  There were too many of us to fit in the Bishop’s office so we went in the High Counselor’s room.  Enos had Keaton and Cody join in the circle, besides the Melchizedec Priesthood holders.  Kaleb’s uncle ordained him.  As he was asking Kaleb for his middle name, I bowed my head and asked Heavenly Father again that in the prayer, Kaleb would know of Heavenly Father’s love for him and would have no doubt that he was doing the right thing.  My prayer ended as the ordination began, but I didn’t hear it.  Josh entered the room.  My eyes remained closed but I felt him, his full presence with me, like I’ve only felt once before since he passed.  Just as when it happened on our front porch at Christmas time, it was unexpected.  I hadn’t prayed for that blessing; I hadn’t even entertained the possibility.  He was just there.  And like before, it overwhelmed me.  I don’t know how else to describe it except powerful and pure.  I found myself struggling to quiet the sobs as tears streamed down both cheeks.  I heard Kaleb’s uncle finish the prayer, catching a sentence or two, just enough to know that he was a man of the gospel and I felt a reassurance that the prayer I had sent heavenward just before his uncle’s prayer began, was answered.  As Kaleb shook hands and received hugs from those around the circle, I did my best to discreetly compose myself.  I wasn’t planning to tell anyone what I just experienced; I didn’t want it to be about me or Josh.  I didn’t want to distract attention away from Kaleb and his moment.  Kaleb’s grandma, who sat to the left of me, turned and looked at my face and just like ‘a light bulb went on’, her countenance changed and she said, “Your son was here.”  She and I didn’t know each other but she told me that Kaleb has talked about my family and she gave me a hug.  I appreciated that she understood the sacredness of what had just happened to me.  Later that night, I knelt and said my prayer.  I reviewed with Heavenly Father my experience at Kaleb’s ordination and I felt the confirmation that I was seeking.  Then, I just felt amazed that I’ve been so blessed.  I had held all of this quietly in my heart for the last seven hours, often smiling to myself as I thought, “he came.”  I wondered about telling Enos.  I understand why he and Cody didn’t have the same experience; they were in the circle and it would have disrupted the ordination.  There is no way you can feel the full presence of the spirit of someone you love and have longed for and not cry when he comes, especially when it is unexpected and you feel unprepared for so much emotion.  Enos came to bed and asked, “What did Kaleb’s grandma say to you?”  I told him, “she said, ‘your son was here’”.  Then I shared everything with him.  His response was, “You need to tell Kaleb.”  Yes, I expect I do.  I imagine Josh was there for Kaleb, even though it was me that gets to tell him about it.  I’ll probably give Kaleb another letter, like when I shared the dream where Josh communicated to me on a Mother’s day morning.  Yes, I think my dream is coming true.  I expected nothing less."

Oct. 23, 2011 "Kaleb came home with Enos after doing sacrament for the shut-ins and had dinner with us. He also stayed for home teachers. He's just been assigned to go out home teaching with Bro. Bryner."

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