This past week has been a hard one. Well, in some ways the past month. It seems like illness has followed us around for the past month. We'd get one person feeling better for a couple of days only to have someone else get sick. I got a sinus/ear infection and bronchitis. The kids all got colds. Then the kids each got high fevers and felt awful. It is miserable to be sick, but I think I'd definitely prefer to all be sick at once and get it done rather than thinking were done and then a few days later having it start all over again.
Then this past week, Chester escaped and was taken to the pound. (Don't worry, we rescued him.) The same day, Alfredo's grandma died. He was very close to her and hasn't seen her in a long time, and he wasn't able to make it to see her before she passed. The next day, because I was so distracted worrying about Alfredo, Chester, and my own grandparents, I got a speeding ticket. My grandparents are suffering from age related dementia and things are not going well. My dad has been caring for them, and yesterday they were placed in a home. I think it is for the best. But it is sad to see two people whom I love dearly lose their physical and mental abilities. I think it will be a blessing for them to pass and yet I don't know when that will happen. It seems so sad to be locked inside a body that no longer works properly, unable to care for yourself, and unable to remember most of your life or those you love.
Anyway, it was a rough week and I was worried about family, money, etc. Most of the problems weren't problems I could solve and I was just feeling pretty discouraged. But sometimes when problems strike, what you need is a little perspective. On Friday, Alfredo called me in to watch the news of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. We have watched quite a bit about it in the past few days. And while I still have some problems, it sure put things in perspective. So many people lost their lives. Thousands of others lost everything...their homes, their cars, and everything they owned. There is the nuclear threat. And they face months (*hopefully not years?) of rebuilding. And well, that puts things back in perspective. Compared to so many others, my problems are relatively small. We will be fine. We still have so many blessings.
Sunday was Stake Conference. I always go, but I admit that this weekend I just didn't want to. But I was taught that when you don't feel like doing the right thing it is the most important time for you to do the right thing. And a wise young woman's leader of mine would always say that she felt her most discouraged and worried right before a blessing would come into her life. That hasn't always been the case for me, but there have certainly been times when that has been true. So I went. And President Isaacs spoke about seeing the Savior and hearing his voice. He shared all that he has learned as he has cared for and sat with his dying mother. He taught/reminded us that our Savior wants to succor us and that literally as we turn to Him, he runs to us to help us. Others bore testimony of times that they have seen the Savior and heard his voice as they served or as others served them. (I"m reminded of a favorite song from my youth.. "Have you received His image in your countenance? Does the light of Christ shine in your eyes? Will He know you when He comes again because you will be like him? When He sees you will the father know his child?" by Janice Kapp Perry) My heart was lifted and I was able to remember times that I have felt loved by others and through them, felt the love of my Savior. I was able to be reminded of ways that my prayers have been answered. Times when I've heard the voice of the Lord. And this meeting also brought added perspective. Life on Earth really is a short time and while it can be difficult, we will not be here for long. We are on our way home. We need to live so that we can go home, but we are not alone on this journey and we can receive the help we need so that we can go home. I'm grateful for the gospel and the peace it brings. I'm so glad that I do not have to endure the trials of life without a knowledge of its purpose or without knowing that I have help along the way.