Sunday, April 1, 2012
INSPIRATION? I HOPE SO . . .
A week or so ago I woke up in the middle of the night with the dream I had been having VERY vividly etched in my mind. I had been at the funeral of a family friend, and after the eulogy and usual talk about the plan of salvation, they did something a little different, and opened it up for family and friends to come up and share a favorite memory of the man. I can still remember SO vividly sitting there, wanting with all my heart to get up and share what this man had done for me and my family, and I simply could not. I have a very high water level, and I KNEW I wouldn't be able to share what I wanted to without crying, and I hate, hate, HATE crying in front of people.
So there I sat, like a bump on a log, filled with the yearning to share how much this man and his years and years of service as a faithful Scoutmaster, and a bishop and a favorite gospel doctrine teacher, as well as a good and trusted family friend had strengthened and encouraged and inspired me and my family over the past few decades . . . and yet I could NOT make myself stand and walk up to the microphone.
I was so stirred up by the dream that I got up and did a load of laundry and cleaned my kitchen because I knew I wouldn't be able to go back to sleep right away, and when I told my husband about the dream the next morning, he suggested that maybe I should write the man a note, and tell him all the things I hadn't been able to say at his funeral. (LOL . . . did that even make sense?)
He HAS had a rough year, medically, but as far as I know he is recovering well from all the procedures and operations he has endured, but my husband's words sunk down deep in my soul and I knew it was a good idea . . . So I gave it some thought over the next few days, wanting it to be perfect, and to adequately express what was in my heart, and then life got busy, as it always does, and I put that thought on a back burner, and did nothing about it.
Watching conference for the past two days, as I was squirming from some of the talks, inspired and lifted and touched by others, the thought about sending him a note expressing my gratitude resurfaced . . . and it did so in the midst of me resolving to try even harder to be kind and in tune with those around me, to do more to lift and encourage and strengthen the people with whom I come into contact, and to be better about helping to bear the burdens of mortality of friends and family and extended family and neighbors and even strangers . . .
Yeah . . . at that point, the realization that I had never gotten around to writing the note popped into my head . . .
So after conference was over, our youngest son's birthday dinner was served (and put away and cleaned up from) and our company went home, I sat down and after a quick prayer, I just wrote what was in my heart . . .
I wrote about what a good man he was, and how much his faithful service had touched and enriched and inspired the lives of my family members . . . shared some of the memories that my boys had of him as their Scoutmaster and what they had learned from him on all those hikes and campouts and lessons in church and around the campfire . . . how grateful we were for the respect and admiration and friendship our sons had for and with him, and how instrumental he was in helping several of them serve full time missions . . . how inspired we had been by his gospel doctrine lessons . . . How his knowledge and love and understanding of gospel principles and the Savior had helped strengthen and deepen our resolve to live the gospel and serve faithfully . . . That his lessons were never about showing off his extensive knowledge of the scriptures, but designed to make them come alive and make it all seem more real and even better, more DO-ABLE . . . and how the years he led our ward as a bishop, we had been continuously uplifted and inspired and motivated to serve faithfully and stretch in new ways. I wanted to make SURE that he realized how often the Lord had worked through his efforts to bless our lives -- collectively and individually -- AND that he knew how much and how deeply he was loved and appreciated.
It wasn't perfect, by any means . . . I think it is rather awkward and inadequate . . . but at least I finally wrote it . . . I even walked across the street and mailed it, to make sure that I didn't forget it again . . .
Maybe it will seem weird to him when it arrives out of the blue . . . but I want him to know NOW what a difference his life and efforts and example and friendship has made for us . . . for ME . . .
I don't expect him to die any time soon . . . but I really DO want him to know what his friendship has meant to us . . .