My Family

My Family

Friday, May 6, 2011

In the Arms of a Mother

Thought I'd share a post I did for the breast cancer blog earlier this week...

This weekend was a momentous one for our family. We were all together for what will probably be the last time - at least for about 4 1/2 years. My oldest son, Grant (23), came home from college to spend some time with us. We spent Saturday as a family - it was Michael's 21st birthday. We had a great time together. Family pictures were in order. Even though it snowed in the morning, we were able to go in the afternoon and spend time at the Utah State Hospital grounds - what is referred to as "Provo Castle" - for pictures. This is a really old, rock amphitheater - we got some great pictures (I hope - I have yet to see them). We laughed, and laughed, as we tried to be serious for the pictures. Grant took them - he has started a photography business - and I saw just how hard and time-consuming it is to set a picture up that you, yourself, have to be in. But, I'm grateful I could have him do that. The kids played around on the grounds - even going so far as to have races rolling down the hill. You'd think they were all under 5! We went to lunch - something that doesn't happen very often because of the cost. And, then, that night, Michael, Grant, Rick, and I went to see the movie, Atlas Shrugged - something we'd been waiting to do for awhile. We've all read the book, and couldn't wait to see the movie. Anyone who hadn't read the book (Alex and Matthew), had to stay home! ;-)

All in all, it was a wonderful day - a special kind of day that we don't often get to have. And won't, again, for a long time. You see, Grant is leaving the country for a summer job, and he won't be back until the end of August. Michael is leaving on August 3rd for an LDS mission - we won't see him again for 2 years. He'll leave before Grant comes home. And then, Alex (who is almost 17), will most likely leave for his mission before Michael returns home. He, also, will be gone for 2 years. By the time he returns home, we will probably have more members of the family. So, this really is probably the last time we will be a family - together - just the way we are right now. My heart is breaking just a little bit at the thought.

Late Saturday night, Rick gave Grant a priesthood blessing - a father's blessing (something we do in our church) for his protection and safety. And then Grant spent some time giving Michael advice about his mission. It was very tender. There was a lot of weeping.

If you would have driven past our house on Saturday night - just a little bit after 10:00 pm - you would have seen what looked like a football huddle out on the lawn, next to Grant's car. It was actually a huddle hug. We all grabbed each other, and hugged tight - arms wrapped around bodies. It felt, to me, like something was ending. Some precious, special time. I can't adequately describe it. Of course, I was the only one who felt like my body was cracking apart. With a house full of boys, there is usually some confusion at to why Mom is crying at any given point! But, I'm so grateful for that time - for the huddle hug. A mother needs to have her arms around her children sometimes. Ah... those beautiful, beautiful boys of mine!

As I've been reflecting on my feelings this weekend, I've tried to pinpoint why I had to have that time - just the six of us. Why was it so important to me? 2.5 years ago, when I was diagnosed with cancer, that's all I wanted - to gather my kids and husband around me, and not let them out of my sight. My son, Grant, was on a mission in Japan, and I could physically feel that hole in my life. I remember not being able to sleep at night, and roaming my house - looking in on my children and watching them sleep. If I could just touch each of them each day, that was enough to get me through whatever the day held. Why is that? Why is it that at every momentous time in our lives, having family near is so important? As important as food or water, or even air.

As you can probably tell, I'm having a hard time with this changing time in my life. I don't want my kids to grow up and leave. As a mother, just the thought rips my heart to shreds. But... life goes on, doesn't it? We grow, we survive, we thrive. We look forward - not backward - and continue to find joy in simple things. Things like putting our arms around our children, or feeling gratitude for a sweet neighbor who serves us, or even just waking up to another beautiful day here on this earth.

I hope all of you can find something that will give you joy - no matter what you have to face in the future.



Stephen and Debbie said...

I remember when I was the only child left at home and my mom would feel like there wasn't enough happening... then the whole crew would come over and she would once again thank the Heavens that they all lived in other places. :)
I can only imagine how you feel!

Donna said...

Iknow just how you feel, I don't want my children to grow up either...but they keep getting older...

Rebecca said...

I'm crying, too. My kids can't figure out why either--even though I've got girls. I had mine together for a week, sort of, and I'm not sure how many more of those there will be.

I'm proud of your boys and your family. I love you all very much.

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My Gorgeous Boys

My Gorgeous Boys