Most importantly, we found out on Saturday that Matt passed the Bar exam. I can’t begin to express what a hallelujah moment that was for us. I was dreading gearing up for single parenting again if he didn’t pass, and I did. not. want to. I mean, it’s been a looong road. Here’s what our boys looked like when we started the law school journey.
Then, once we’d moved, started school, and Matt was in his first semester of law school taking finals, Natalie was born.
Natalie’s been taking medications for a long time. Prescriptions are part of our daily routine. She hates medicine, and every day it’s a bit of a battle. She actually has a sinus infection this week, so there are even more prescriptions. She cries and doesn’t want to take her medicine because she’s too cold or feels yucky, and I try to tell her that’s why she needs the medicine. It will help her fever and help her feel better. She still hates it. Today I pulled the medicines out of the cupboard and I saw her sneak from the room out of the corner of my eye. I called her again and again. No answer. Finally I found her in the office hiding behind the couch. I thought how funny it is that she tries to hide from what’s going to help her get better. That made me think of this quote from general conference and realize that we’re all as silly as Natalie in some ways.
“Sometimes we want to have growth without challenges and to develop strength without any struggle. But growth cannot come by taking the easy way. . . . We must be careful that we don’t resent the very things that help us put on the divine nature.” –Elder Paul V. Johnson
I can’t really explain this, but lately I’ve had an increased sensitivity to the elderly. Maybe it’s because Matt’s grandma stayed with us for a little over a month while her husband was in the hospital. I don’t know, but I’ve just noticed them more around me, and my heart has been drawn out to them. I imagine that they have great wisdom from life’s experiences and probably many family members and happy memories. But I wonder how much they struggle with loneliness or sickness, mourn the loss of spouse or loved ones, as well as the loss of their own strength, health and maybe independence. Yesterday as I left the pharmacy, I saw a man who used to be my Stake president 18 years ago at BYU. He set me apart for my mission. One time he called me up out of the audience to bear my testimony at Stake Conference. He also taught a mission prep class that I attended. I greeted him, introduced myself and said hello, but as I got back into my van, I had a surge of those memories and I felt a wave of emotion and gratitude. I wished I’d told him he was an important part of a really developmental stage of my life and my testimony. I saw him as an 80 year old man now, much thinner and more frail, carrying away a prescription that was probably for him or maybe his ailing wife, and I thought, “maybe he doesn’t know what a great life he has lived and shared.” I went home and looked him up on whitepages.com and found an address for him. So I wrote him a letter, and it felt so great, and I hope it will somehow give him a little bit of joy. Anyway, I’m not telling that story because I want you to think that I did some great thing; I just had a strong feeling and the thought that I should share it, so I did. But maybe you know someone older whose day could be brightened by a note, a phone call or a visit. Your kids can help too. I don’t really know my point, but it’s just been on my mind lately.
I have a cousin who suffers from chronic migraines. Matt asked about her the other night at the dinner table, so then my children were curious about her. We explained that she’s had a really bad headache for literally years. Grant was shocked and cried out, “Why?!! Are her kids really annoying?” I thought that was so funny. I told her about it and we had a good laugh. She assured me that if that were the real problem, they would have been gone long ago. 🙂 It also reveals a lot about what Grant understands about their behavior and my well-being. Smart little whipper-snapper.