I was able to sit down and watch more of Conference than I thought I would... aside from taking care of Becca during choir numbers. When taking care of her once took longer than I hoped, I heard Elder Holland's voice coming from the TV downstairs and, with a few seconds of delay, coming from the radio in the living room. I hurried and finished and scooped her up and practically ran downstairs. I had to move things off of the chair with my foot and then we plopped down together to listen.
Elder Holland described things he can only know by being there and by seeing things through the lens Heavenly Father provides him so that he can have compassion for others. He spoke, with tears in his voice, the words so many of us suffering with depression long to hear someone say. "I've been there. It's real and horrible. You can get through it. The Lord loves You."
Somewhere in the middle of his talk he spoke to the caregivers. The first time I heard that, sitting in the chair with Becca cuddled up to me, I heard him talking to me as her caregiver. When I've re-read the talk, he was probably still talking to the caregivers of people with depression. What I needed to hear, I heard. Being Becca's caretaker is not only hard physically. I needed to hear the love and encouragement he expressed so eloquently. It was about this time in the talk when the tears running down my face became audible sobs. My 11 year old daughter turned around and looked at me and said later that I made her feel awkward because she didn't know what to say. Neither did I! It isn't often that someone expresses thoughts and feelings you so desperately need to be acknowleged and understood from a pulpit for millions of listeners to hear.
At the close of his talk, he expressed the ideal outcome that all of us hopes for. He talked of the glorious resurrection into perfect bodies with perfect minds. I saw myself standing next to glorious Becca. Both of us free from the restraints of physical and mental disabilities. I can't even begin to describe how much hope that gave me.
It can be dificult not to "wish our lives away" or to waste away in front of the mirror of Erised, but I think looking forward to not suffering can help put things in perspective. This life is but a short moment. Any mother will tell you that as she watches her children grow up in the blink of an eye. In the midst of a mental battle with being happy with oneself and giving in to the weight that threatens to pull us down to the depths, it is hopeful to look forward to a time when the battle is not so great... when it is not so hard... when our mortal bodies are not the enemy anymore.
Elder Holland's talk was the one I prayed for before Conference. I wasn't expecting to be so entirely understood, encouraged and uplifted. I hoped for a nugget to cling to and was given an entire mountain of strength. I'm experienced enough to know that I will forget this feeling some days. The battle with depression is not so quickly won. But I now have yet another tool in my belt to help me fight. And with Elder Holland on my side, I have a really, really good chance!!