All Happiness and All Grief

It has been so hard to actually come here and write. My emotions have been up and down for about two weeks now. I have had some really great and wonderful things happen… And I’ve had some really terrible, tragic things happen. Not to me, but to people I care about and love greatly, and it has broken my heart.

I’m so happy to announce the end of such a successful winter guard season. My guard won first place at their last regular competition, then competed at state championships where again, they won first place in their division. It wasn’t our best performance, but it was enough. The girls worked so hard this season. My staff and I wanted this win not just for them, but for us. I felt like I really had something to prove as I am not part of the “in crowd” of guard coaches. I run my program differently than most people do. I never marched drum corps. In fact, I was never a member of a winter guard!! This whole activity is new to me, and I wanted to come out and make a statement. I think I did. I’m disappointed a bit in some of our local judges. I felt like there were a couple who took an instant dislike to our show and no matter what we did, it wasn’t going to be good enough for them. Their scores did hurt us in the end. However, the majority of the judges seemed to really love us. I am very excited for marching band in the fall and next year’s winter guard. I hope we only get stronger. (And I hope next year our state doesn’t “cheap out” and actually brings in some judges who haven’t seen us at every local competition all season. Who aren’t invested in particular programs because they are on staff at those schools. Who aren’t part of “the club”, as I call it.)

My pregnancy is moving along just fine. It’s definitely harder than my others, but knowing this is my last pregnancy also makes me want to try to enjoy it for what it is. I may be tired and sore all the time (seriously, I’m in SO MUCH pain!!), but there is nothing in the world like feeling that little being inside me and knowing I’m making a human. I can’t wait to meet our little guy!! I honestly can’t believe I’m about to have another baby… another boy! Wow! I’m going to be a mom of FOUR boys! It’s just… trippy. Can’t really think of a better word. It’s amazing and scary and wonderful and frightening. Okay, so none of that is any different from any other pregnancy. 🙂

While I was at winter guard championships, I got a devastating phone call. A close friend’s son passed away. When I got the call, there were no details yet. We have a group of women who are pretty tight, and they didn’t want me to come home, get online, and suddenly see everything posted all over Facebook. No one wanted to send me into an early labor. I appreciated that. So I got a call from one of the other women. What made it worse was knowing that this little boy’s father was killed just one year earlier. I was devastated for my friend and for her young daughter. How could so much tragedy come to just one family?? When I got home, I found out this little 2 year old boy was being a normal child… a tragic accident that could happen to anyone. My friend has asked for privacy, so I won’t go into details. Just know that kids are kids and sometimes, no matter what you do, things happen. I’m still completely broken hearted over this. My friend is amazing and has said she doesn’t blame God or anything. She knows tragedy and fate has had a heavy hand in her life. She is fighting to stay strong for her daughter, who needs all the prayers and support we can give one so young. My friend doesn’t seem to question, but I sure do. All I could ask for days was “WHY?!”

And then, not even a week later, Julia posted the news about her daughter, Liz. Again, another child being a child. A freak and tragic accident. We could all only pray, as Liz was in the PICU. Then, exactly one week after the loss of one friend’s son, Julia and Paul lost Liz. I called my mom to let her know (she knew Paul from when he and I were classmates at Ricks, and my mom grew to know and love Julia through her blog). My mom said, “Oh, after everything they’ve gone through with their son’s health, it just doesn’t seem fair…” I interrupted her. “How is ANY of this EVER fair?” I am devastated and I am angry. I now know two families in the space of one week who have lost children. Doesn’t matter what the circumstances were. It’s just plain NOT FAIR.

I am so touched, however, by the unselfish generosity that Paul and Julia have bestowed on four strangers. With their 12 year old daughter’s death, two people will receive sight, one young man will walk, and a baby has received a new heart valve. Could there be anything more beautiful?

Most of you who read my blog know Paul and Julia, or you know my other friend. You all know the emotions I am feeling. We are all devastated.

I can’t help but feel a bit guilty. I’m trying not to, but I still do. How can I find such happiness in my own life when there has been so much despair for these two families? And right now, I AM finding happiness.

Aiden and Dallin and Parker are my three sons. They drive me crazy, but they fill me with happiness. I’ve been reading “Holes” to them before bed each night, and it’s been so fun! They have all looked forward to this mother/son time and when it doesn’t happen because I am gone for the evening or it just wasn’t a good day and every one is getting into bed an hour late, they are disappointed. They cry and they beg. I’m disappointed, too. It’s a lot of fun to experience things with them. I went on a field trip today just to be with Dallin. I had to miss out on one with him recently because they could only take a small amount of chaperones and I was so sad! I have never missed a field trip with Aiden or Dallin. Today was hard (it was the Zoo… lots of walking, hot weather, etc…), but it was still SO FUN. I am signed up to go with Aiden’s class to the science center in a couple of weeks. I get to volunteer in Aiden’s classroom each week and it’s just fun to sit and grade papers and watch the class go. I love that they want me there and Aiden is really upset if something comes up and I can’t come to his class. I love spending all this time with Parker just before he goes to Kindergarten. It’s a good thing we have this baby coming because otherwise I would be SO lonely when he goes to school next year! He’s my little buddy. We read together and go to the park and run errands and he is always asking me the most interesting questions, like “When Arizona was the Wild West, what did the first people do to find food?” and “Do we still have birthdays after we come back from Heaven?” We sing along together to the radio (seriously, you should hear this kid sing Adele. SO cute!!) and read books together and race up the stairs (he always wins). These boys fill me up with happiness.

And then there’s Ches. Our 14th anniversary is coming up in a few short weeks, and I can’t believe how much I am still in love with this guy. Sometimes I can still look at him and my heart skips a beat. When he’s not near me, I’m sad. It’s true. He’s about to go on a trip with his band and orchestra, and more than anything else, I’m sad to not have him in bed, snoring the night away. I love just sitting next to him on the couch. I love him teasing me the way he does (mostly). He’s funniest guy I know. He’s just plain fun. He makes me want to be better. Always and forever, I want to be a better person just because I can be… for him. We are so happy together. I love it.

Where am I going with this? I dont’ know. I have so many insane pregnancy hormones and emotions going on!! It’s hard to jump between the happy and the sad. And I just had to spit it out there for all of you to read.

5 responses to “All Happiness and All Grief

  1. You aren’t alone in how you feel. One of the things I’ve been feeling guilty about is that on Friday, I had a total “girly” day with my girls. We spent all day together, getting pedicures, shopping, playing games, etc. And it was a wonderful day! I’m so glad we spent that time together. But I feel guilty because as I was getting to do that, Julia was in the hospital with her sweet girl, preparing to say goodbye. But then, because of her situation, I appreciated my own more. Which makes me so grateful that I did take that time to spend with my kids… but still makes me feel a little guilty. Mixed feelings, for sure.

    However, then I realize that she wouldn’t want us to feel guilty. And if it were me, I would not want others to feel guilty either. I would want them to hug their kids a little tighter and treasure their moments with their family a little more.

    My heart still breaks for them (and though I don’t know the other family you mentioned, I am so sad for their loss, too) and they have been in my prayers every morning and every night. But I trust God and His love for all of His children, and I know that they do too. Knowing that they have such strong faith and hope in their eternal family brings me comfort, as I know it brings them comfort too.

    Congratulations on your successes and happiness! 🙂

  2. Hey Sariah – congrats on your successes and your happiness – I’m glad you are finding so much happiness, and please don’t feel guilty. We appreciate all your (and all our other friends’ too) love and support. A friend of my mom’s commented on life being unfair at the passing of our daughter, this is what my mom said, and I found it SO comforting:

    ” We are indeed saddened by Elizabeth’s accident and death. It was a real shock, and we mourn her absence. But Heavenly Father has a purpose for all things. Life isn’t about being fair or unfair. It is a series of challenges designed to help each of us to learn the things we need to know and develop the strength we need to prepare us for the next stage of our eternal existence. Each of us is different, and our challenges and tests are different. Elizabeth was a very sweet, good spirit, and finished what she needed to learn here on earth in a short time. I’m sure she was ready for the next step in her eternal progression or Heavenly Father wouldn’t have taken her. The Lord loves all of us, and if we will submit to His will, follow the council of our prophets, and faithfully perform our tasks here, we will return to Him, fit for exaltation.”

    I truly feel this way too. It’s hard, so very hard, but the knowledge of where she is and that we’ll see her again does make things bearable. Besides I am surrounded by amazing friends whose support and prayers lift me up. I truly have felt the arms of the Savior around me as we’ve gone through this. Love you, friend 🙂

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