Each day is filled with calendar events written in pencil, ink, and on my heart.
I prefer to have control over my life and my calendar... yes, that is an understatement. Fine. But in the last few months too many events have occurred that I do not care to record. Oh, I know I should put them on paper, on the calendar by the phone -- the record of my life. But for right now, I am just trying to reclaim focus.
Thank goodness for the balance of positive events for the negative events. Thank goodness for a husband who is strong and steady.
In February, just a 10 days before we left for our second trip to China in 10 months, my mother died. Leave it to her to die at a very inconvenient time for me. So off to the town of my childhood to organize a memorial for my siblings and her only remaining brother. What an emotion filled 5 days, jam-packed, duty filled, but actually wonderful. Seeing my brother and sisters without the negativity my mother always interjected was so refreshing. We all felt relieved, not sad. We are liberated from her hateful, destructive ways. So we celebrated! That was such a necessary step for each of us. We bonded closer through this freedom.
On the day I was flying back to repack for China, our eldest son called to say their second child was about to be born, potentially 2 months early. I quickly changed flights and flew to welcome a new life, "little" Isaac. At 9 lbs 8 oz, 23 in -- he clearly was not "early." Healthy. What a blessing to celebrate.
Three days later we are off to Beijing, HungChou, ShangHai for 12 days. A great trip with a very interesting set of friends.
We are home for 4 days when Paul announces his resignation from the Bank. This caused a media frenzy. A very difficult decision that merits a book of banking industry analysis, but will probably only get this cursory blog mention.
10 days after our return, at the end of March, our middle son, Jacob, is sealed for time and all eternity in the temple to his love, Christina. We host a dinner for 50 at our home, her family mostly. Jane and Martel, Tasha, Rachel, and Isaac were able to join us.
Tasha and the kids plan to stay for an extra 2 wks. On Gen'l Conf Sunday Matthew flies in to bless Isaac. It was a wonderful day together with Tasha's family, Matthew's friends and their families. Then 2 days later Mark calls and tells us Ruth has pnuemonia and we need to get up there asap.
What a considerable gift our time with Ruth was for us. Her final three weeks and Paul was free to dedicate his days and nights to her as she had done for him for more than 50 years. We sometimes question the timing of things in our lives with questions such as: What If; If Only; etc. He did not have those questions. He had verification that his choice to leave his banking employment when he did was part of a great plan. He was able to be with his mother. There was no conflict between work responsibilities and the mother he adored.
Ruth died in late April. Her funeral was wonderful. Paul and Jane gave insightful talks. Matthew and Jacob were able to find flights that fit their school and work schedule demands. Issues surrounding Ruth's earthly belongings persist, but all of us are grateful she is relieved of this earthly existence.
We drove home to spend only one night in our own bed before getting back in the car and driving to Christina's family's reception for them.
Tasha, Rachel, and Isaac were saints to stay in here during all of this. But then the time came for them to return to their real lives... Matthew was about to graduate at the top of his MBA program and they needed to be together to celebrate his marvelous success.
One hour after they left and the house was still and silent I had a little "come apart." So much had happened in so few days. And it wasn't over yet.
Our own reception still needed to be planned and executed. It had been put on the back burner for 2 months and in 2 wks it was going to happen. My YaYas came to the rescue: we taste tested foods, made our choices, papered columns, capitals, and bases, set up decorations, cut fruit, served food, and took down decorations. The event was wonderful thanks to them.
And for the last 2 days I have done laundry, put away reception decor, and looked at my calendar.
My neice, Lindsay, is about to fly in a new exciting direction and we are thrilled to be a part of her enthusiastic journey. My mother's brother and his wife are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in mid June so we hope to travel back to celebrate with them. Matthew and Tasha may move that same week as their career decision may impact their location. Daniel will be home in mid July from his 2 yr mission and will go back to Provo for school in mid August.
So why the litany of events and calendar review?
I believe I can start writing things in ink, again. I love my life. I love the people who are in it with me and those who have shaped me into the person I am today. Perhaps I should put Ruth's death and funeral date on the calendar, her influence has made my life happier and whole. She needs to be written in ink.