Sunday, October 26, 2008
I thought it would be helpful for our family to know and understand just how carefully the Lord work is completed. We feel that Jack's "accident" was actually anything but. I type with the utmost reverence to the events that led to our Jackie returning home to our loving Heavenly Father. (NOTE: This is a rather LONG post, but I'm doing for the benefit of our family Journal so as to not forget.)
Tender Mercy #1
About 2 weeks before Jack's passing Coby and I attended an endowment session with Lance and Marianne at the Mount Timpanogos Temple. After the session we all entered the Celestrial Room to ponder and reflect. It was during this time and Coby poured his heart out to our Heavenly Father. He thanked him for our boys and said that he loved them both so much that he now understood just how hard it must have been to give up his Son. The Lord answered back and told Coby, "To everything there is a season." Coby told me of this answer he had been given and we were both a bit puzzled as to what the answer had meant. But we didn't think much of it and went about our normal lives. If you know this scripture, it goes on to say, "A time to be born and a time to die." The Lord was preparing us in His own way.
Tender Mercy #2
That morning I had the privledge of taking both our boys on a walk. During the walk I noticed that Jack was getting tired. I peeked my head into the stroller and tickled Jack's neck. He looked up at me with his beautiful blue eyes and I saw him differently for one little moment. I looked into his eyes and thought, "Wow, he is so beautiful. I love this boy, I truly love this little boy. I can't believe that he's mine. Oh, I just love him." And he looked back at me and I think our souls spoke that morning. He recipricated exactly what I said to him. And I felt just how much he loved me too. It was such an incredible feeling and I am so thankful that I had the chance to feel it.
Tender Mercy #3
On the day of the accident, my dad came over for lunch. We ate panninis together and Jack showed off his newly learned "tricks" like saying "more" in sign language, giving him a high five, waving goodbye, etc. I remember feeling so proud because he could understand instruction and did it so well. I knew that he was so smart.
Background leading up to more tender mercies.
After my dad left, I started cleaning up. There were only 4 little plates in the sink. I started washing the plates when the phone rang. Jack and Corbin were outside on the deck and I could hear them both playing. My friend Jen called me and asked me a question about her Relief Society Lesson. We talked about the lesson breifly and then I noticed that it was unusually quiet. I scanned the livingroom for Jack because I couldn't see him on the deck from the kitchen. I then asked Corbin where Jack was and he told me that Jack was in the "hole". The hole he was referring to was a dirt hole under the deck that Jasmine our dog liked to dig in as well as the boys. I looked there and Jack wasn't there. So, while I was on the phone with Jen, I looked around the corner to the little pond in our backyard and didn't see him there. The pond was small enough that Jack could fully stand up and have the water go to the bottom of his ribs. It was only a couple feet long. At any rate, I didn't see him in it. I looked. I really looked, he wasn't there. Jen remembers me saying, "Nope, he's not in the pond, thank goodness." It was at that point that I began running through the backyard checking all the window wells. Jen let me go at that point and told me to call her when I found Jack. I ran back in the house running into every room yelling his name. I then ran out of the house to the corner and then on my way back sprinted to the backyard as it was only then that I realized that the pond was the only place he could possibly be. It was there that I found him. I grabbed him and ran him over to our neighbors, the Secor's house and they worked dilegently on him until the paramedics got there.
Tender Mercy #4
After things had settled down a bit after the funeral. Jen felt prompted to tell me of an answer she had received from the Lord. She recalled that she called to me ask me a question about her lesson. In all the time she has ever taught, she'd always studied her lessons at night. She liked it to be quiet so that she could feel the spirit as she prepared. With twins this isn't always easy, so until that day she had never studied her lesson during the day. She said that she felt promted to study her lesson right then. Because both her boys were taking their nap, she decided to act on this promting. As she read the title, "The black sheep." She then felt promted to call me because of an earlier discussion we had previously had regarding this topic. I answered her question and then noticed that it was "quiet". I didn't feel nervous or any sort of panic. I didn't start getting nervous until I realized that the only place he could be was the one place I dreaded most. What I'm saying is that I never got any sort of promting. No warning that Jack was in any sort of trouble. Corbin didn't notice, Jasmine didn't notice, Coby didn't get a prompting either. And by the time I found him it was too late. As if I wasn't supposed to see him until it WAS too late. Jen later told me with a truly humble heart that she felt prompted that she was sent to be a distraction to me that afternoon. It broke both of our hearts as we realized the answer she had been given. I know that if she had known that that was the purpose for her call, she would have never made it in the first place. She told me that she went back and checked her phone records and found that we were only on a phone just a few minutes.
Tender Mercy #5
On that same day that Jen told me of her impression of being the distraction, our sweet neighbor Tiana Secor and their family brought us dinner along with a letter. The letter was so great and an answer to our prayers. She said that she kept feeling as though she needed to share with me some of the miracles that I may not have noticed on that most dreadful day. Her husband has a different schedule and that Tuesday was the first day that he was home. Infact, he had only arrived home 1/2 hour before we ran to their door. None of my other neighbors were home. There was NO where I could have gone. I know how to do CPR, but was in such a state of shock that I couldn't do it. Thank goodness they were home. While the outcome was not what we so wanted, if they weren't there there wouldn't have even been a chance that Jack would have survived even for a few more hours.
Tender Mercy #6
Tiana and her husband had ordered a piece of furniture from R.C. Willey that was to be delivered on, Tuesday, September 23rd between the time frame of 1 - 3pm. I ran over there at 1:30pm. The ironic thing was that R.C. Willey didn't even have the piece of furniture they had ordered in the first place and so the delivery was uneccessary. But because no one from the company called to let them know, they stayed home and waited for a delivery that would never come.
Tender Mercy # 7
While paramedics were working with all their might, our truly wonderful and amazing bishop just happened to be walking past Tiana's backyard fence. He noticed what was going on and immediately came to our aid. He hasn't been our bishop for very long but I have never had a more caring, sensitive bishop. He rallied our whole ward and united us all. A ward that we were struggeling to fit into. He called us multiple times daily. He offered countless prayers, and so many kind and wonderful services. He cried with us and we know that we were where we were supposed to be. Earlier that day, my sweet Camille and I had just talked about just how wonderful he was and he much we loved how kind and sweet he is. I never knew just how much we had said to each other regarding our sweet bishop would soon come to fruition. We just love him and know that he was and is such an answer to our prayers.
Tender Mercy #8
While in the hospital. Coby, Jim (coby's dad) and my dad administered to him by the power of the holy melchizedek preisthood that they held and gave Jack a truly beautiful blessing that he would be "okay". It was at that point that Jim and Coby felt impressed that Jack was being given a choice. A choice to return to a broken body or a choice to better help us on the other side. Coby told me that as he ministered to Jack that he couldn't utter the words, "You will recover from this." I knew then, that it was only a matter of time before we would be forced to say goodbye to our precious baby boy.
Tender Mercy # 9
Coby's old Stake President is the nephew of Elder Richard G. Scott, an apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Upon hearing our sad news, told his uncle, who then requested to meet with us. We had the opportunity to meet a truly humble servant of the Lord...an apostle even. He had also lost a son very suddenly and could relate with our pain. He asked me how I was and I told him of the incredible guilt that I felt for being there and not watching Jack closely enough. He told me that those feelings of guilt were NOT of our Heavenly Father, but were of Satan. He said that Satan knew just how down we were and would not think twice to hit us with his best shot with reminders of guilt, and the what if's and if only's. He said that we should not ask those questions but should change them to "What" questions. "What can we learn from this?" He told us that the Lord would reveal all answers in His time. He told us that we had to recognize who the feelings of guilt were coming from and then pray to have them removed. I did, and I can honestly say that I no longer feel that horrible guilt because I now know that they are NOT from the Lord. He told us that with little children there are NEVER accidents. He said that children that are blessed with disease or taken before the age of accountability had proven themselves honorably, and so noble that He had to guarantee their safe return Home with Him. To save them from a world where they could be saved by Satan's influence on every front. He told us that Jack was securing our family's spot in the Heavens above. He was very sweet and told us that he had a vested interest in our family and that we should never hesitate to call upon him if we ever needed him. He then gave me a truly amazing blessing. Coby annointed my head, and then Elder Scott then ministered such a blessing as I have never felt before. He started by saying something to the effect that by the power of the apostlic power he held and by the power of the holy melchizedek priesthood, that it would surge through my veins and vital organs. He blessed us with understanding and told us that it was by NO accident that Jack was taken home when he was. He blessed us with children and so many more things that I can't remember now. It was so amazing. I wished that we could have recorded it so as to listen to it whenever we needed. Then he gave Coby another amazing blessing. What a blessing it was to meet with such a wonderful man. He even told us that he hoped that he would live in such a way that he'd be able to be with his sweet wife and son who had passed on. If that's not the definition of humble....
Tender Mercy #10
Later that same evening, we had the opportunity to meet with our Stake President, President Boyce. What a truly remarkable man he is. He took the time to meet with us and shared with us a truly wonderful experience he had in the temple. He told us that he specifically prayed for our family and spoke of Jack. He said that the Lord answered and told him that "Jack was doing just great." It was so inspired for him to tell us that and I appreciated it so much. Our dog, Jasmine fell absolutely in LOVE with him. He pet her so sweetly and she started making this sort of "purring". Before he left he said a prayer with us and Jasmine crawled up to him and made him start petting her again. He later came over with his darling wife with a big thing of treats for Jasmine. What a sweetie!
Tender Mercy #11
Before we came home, the day before Jack's funeral. Friends and family united and surprised us with with a memorial tree for Jack. They got rid of the pond. Planted a beautiful flowering tree
with perinial flowers and shrubbery. There is NO trace that a pond was ever there. We thank all involved for that wonderful gift. I had such anxiety of returning home and seeing the pond that took my baby's life. It is so wonderful.
Tender Mercy #12
People from everywhere seemed come out from all parts of the world to offer us comfort. A large donation was given to us by the sweet ward members and a memorial fund was set up at our Credit Union. So many generous people sent cards, flowers, donations, gifts, words of comfort, a listening ear, meals for almost 2 weeks, treats, books, different blog sites, the list goes on and on. Friends flew in from all over. My sister Amber, my uncle Bob, Aunt Linda, Both sets of grandparants, my mom's sisters, our friends from MI, ID, and Logan and my Ryan from MI dropped everything they were doing to be there for us in our time of need. Our families on both sides put their feelings aside and did everything they could to help us. Laundry was done, dinner was made, the house was cleaned. Our best friends took many of the last pictures we have of Jack and enlarged them, framed them and drove them down to us from Logan. I am so thankful that she was able to capture such tender moments of our little Jack. We will always treasure them. Our ward family was truly amazing. So many wonderful people served us so kindly that we are sure that we will never be able to give you what you have given to us. The friendships that have been created are now permanent and we truly feel like we belong. I'd love to personally thank every single person that gave of their time, energy and efforts so selflessly. Many were anonymous and I pray that they will get the reward they deserve by our loving Heavenly Father. Mothers who had lost their own little ones took time to call me and console ME during their darkest hours. Pictures of Jack and our family were printed, enlarged and framed. Two gorgeous albums were completely scrapbooked with pictures of Jack during his entire life. Certain others dropped by daily, sometimes more than that to show that they were thinking of us and show us that they loved us. You know who you are and please know that it lifted our spirits more than you will ever know. Certain friends and family stepped up in such a way as I have never seen. I feel so close to each and every one of you. Thank you, thank your from the bottom of our hearts. You will never really know just how much we love and appreciate you. I'd love to name drop because I feel that it is so deserving of what you all have done, but in an effort as to NOT forget anyone I will not.
I know that there are countless other tender mercies that I have failed to mention. I know that the Lord loves us, that he cares for each of us individually. That He knows us individually. I know that He knows the Plan much better than I could ever hope to. I feel peace knowing that while Jack's time was short he is with a loving Heavenly Father and is watching over us. I feel his presence and know that Jack is a truly special son of God. I feel privlaged to have had him as my son despite the length of time. He is still my son and I KNOW that I will see him again. I KNOW that I will have the opportunity to raise him if I'll only prove worthy. I am grateful for this knowledge. I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Atonement has an entirely new meaning in my life and how I view things. How selfless our Saviour is to suffer so that we could return to Home again. I am grateful that the Lord didn't step in and remove that bitter cup, despite how difficult it must have been. How hard it must have been for Him to watch His only begotten Son suffer. And yet loved us so much that he was willing to sacrifice that which was most precious for the better good. I love my Father in Heaven and his Son, Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation and that we are sealed together as an eternal family. I am grateful for such a wonderful husband who could have easily blamed me for not paying attention that awful day, but chose the higher road. Chose to love me and trust me that it wasn't my fault. I am grateful for good friends and family that love me unconditionally. I feel such gratitude despite our current circumstances. And I know that if we endure this trial well, that we will be exalted from on high. I know that the Lord answers our prayers. I am reminded of what He told the Prophet Joseph Smith when he suffered with his companions in the smothering darkness of Liberty Jail: “My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; “And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.” In the words of Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the 12, "The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude." I am grateful to know of these truths. I love this gospel, am grateful for it, for my family, friends, my Saviour and my Heavenly Father.