Sometime last year, I had a few unfilled moments and after reading my friend and first Ricks roomie Nancy's blog, I clicked on some of her friends' blogs just for fun. :) I had a few grins and went about not really thinking about it. A couple of weeks later, Nancy put a plea out on her blog for a sister of a friend who had been in a plane crash. I went back to a blog I had chanced upon and a very strong connection formed for me and a lot of other people to this beautiful family. CJane's sister NieNie and her husband had been in a plane crash in Arizona. I have a hard time describing how much their story has touched me. I always think about leaving comments and I never do because I never know what to say. That's what this post is for me... just working through it and attempting to say what's in my heart.
The biggest chord that this touches in me is that of a mom not being able to take care of her children. This is a fear of mine. My family is so unique with all that Becca brings and I get in this place where I think that I am the only one that can do it. It's what keeps me from hiring babysitters and what makes me apologize over and over and over if I leave them with family overnight. Most of this stems from how high maintenance I know they all can be. Becca is 9 and has to be changed often if you want the surface underneath her to stay dry... and she isn't able to tell you what she needs, you just have to know... and her feeding tube can make you feel squeamish and... and... and... My death or incapacitation (not being able to take care of them) are great fears of mine. Sisters and family stepped in to watch over and nurture NieNie's children while she healed. I know that people would do that for me, but I know I would apologize if they had to. Over and over. Its being difficult is not something I shy away from and I embrace it and love it even! But the thought of someone else having to shoulder that burden is hard for me to think about. Am I selfish? Why am I not able to lean on others, but would gladly take upon me any burden of theirs? If any of my nieces and nephews got to come live with me, we would have so much fun! And I'm sure there would be stressful times, but honestly, there is so much love in my heart for them, it would be far more blessing than trial. Why can't I afford others that feeling?
Another reason NieNie's story touches me so much is the healing process she is going through. I have tried to imagine waking up in a hospital bed and being told all that was needed to be told and then having such a painful process to go through. Physical pain of healing skin and surgeries and physical therapy. Spiritual pain of watching others do for my family things I cannot yet do. I get this super-human feeling when it comes to how strong I think I am. I am tough because I have to be and I do what needs to be done regardless of what I'm thinking or feeling or doing at the moment. How would it be if that were taken away from me in a very tangible way? How could I relinquish my duties?
When I was young, there was a woman in my ward who was diagnosed with cancer. She was a very controlling person and was very adamant that this would not happen to her... she would not let it. Her husband would not marry anyone else and this just would. not. happen. Well, it did very slowly take her life away. I have reflected on this often to mean that Heavenly Father is in charge. The trials that He sends us are for reasons that He alone knows sometimes. I don't want to be someone who is ungrateful enough not to learn from my trials and mistakes. But it is so hard to let go of that control. I want to learn how before I am forced to. I think that, in its very core, is why I love to read and cry along with NieNie and CJane. I want to learn how to be humble and grateful. I love basking in her strength and the strength that emanates from their whole family taking care of each other. I want to celebrate being able to pick up a toddler and walk around the house because I do that and it IS very significant. I want to have more meaning in a whispered phrase because it IS significant that I get to do that.
My life seems more significant when I invest my heart in their story. Thank you NieNie for the tears and the lessons I learn from you. I am so glad that you get to be there for your family. I am so happy that you have such a wonderful bond with your husband and that it wasn't taken away, only strengthened. Thank you for sharing all of your moments, great and small, with the rest of us because it means a lot to me. And even though you don't know me, that IS very significant!