Thursday, June 26, 2008

Happy 4th of July Lanee

When we visited DeLanee's grave today, I was thinking back about how hard it used to be to come here when it was so fresh. Picking out her headstone was such an excruciating process for me. I changed my mind a billion times before finally deciding on one. It wasn't until about a year and half later that the headstone was finally set and everytime I would go before that I felt so terrible that there wasn't a marker for her grave. When I saw it in the ground for the first time it was such a mixture of feelings. One was relief that we finally got it. Sometimes I wondered if she felt like we had forgotten her because it took so long. Some of the feelings you feel from grief are so weird. It was also another "finality" to that phase in our lives. Yes, it was already final, but seeing it there "set in stone" was like pouring salt in the wound.

Although I still long to hold her and wonder all the time what she would be like and feel all of those worldly selfish feelings of wanting her here with me rather than where she is, the raw and tender heartbreak has softened. Going to her grave is much different now. After 4 years, I now look forward to going and love making it look pretty. We celebrate the seasons with her and I find myself looking for things for her grave for my next visit. When I go now I think of the work she is doing on the other side which makes me so proud of who she is. I have a completely perfect little girl waiting on the other side for me to raise. How many mothers will be able to do that? I feel so blessed for this and so blessed for the gospel in my life that gives me the knowledge of eternal families.

The Fourth of July has always been my favorite holiday. Each year I look forward to celebrating the birth of our country and the freedom we enjoy as Americans. Today as I arranged these flowers on DeLanee's grave they symbolized to me how I was celebrating her birth and the freedom our Savior gave to us, through the atonement, making it possible for us to see our loved ones again!

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