Sunday, April 5, 2015

Family Reslience



Beautiful Mess


Last Thursday morning I received this group text message from my Mom:

"Grandma blacked out and fell yesterday while walking to Michelle's house. She knocked out some teeth and broke her jaw in 3 places. Dad and I went with grandpa this morning to take her to the surgeon. She had two plates put in and her jaw is wired shut. It will stay wired for 6 to 8 weeks. The surgery went well this morning and she is in good spirits. She is home resting now. She still wants to have the Easter egg hunt and barbecue tomorrow. Dad and I will be helping grandpa so that can happen. Just wanted you all to know so you can send your love and prayers her way. She will be happy to see everyone tomorrow!"

My grandma is absolutely amazing. I'm not really worried about her, other than I don't really know if her Arthritis will affect her healing process. I hope that she will make a full recovery. Seriously my grandma is so awesome though. Yesterday when the extended family visited her for the easter barbecue and egg hunt she was her normal perky self. She spoke really clearly without moving her face. I didn't know that was possible!

I'm grateful for my grandparents. Technically my grandpa is my last biologically related grandparent alive, but my grandma has been with him since I was a young girl and she just adopted every one of us as her own. Oh I wonder if I can share a picture of them! I specifically avoid uploading pictures, especially family pictures, but I wonder if I could get everyone's permission. My grandparents had us take a picture of them on their couch with all the new babies minus one--a baby on each leg and two in the middle, four boys and two girls. Oh it was adorable! And though my grandma can't open her mouth much she can still smile!

I would love to be just like my grandma some day. She is such an admirable woman! She has so much joy in life--in loving and taking care of my grandpa and the rest of the family. And she has suffered a fair amount of sorrow for the loss of loved ones as well which, I suppose, only makes her that much more amazing for her willingness to keep her heart open. She and my grandpa. That's the mark of a true mom and dad, a true grandparent I believe. True families love no matter what. No matter what. Come sun or rain, come joy and pain, the door is always open. True families aren't perfect, but true families can get over that. Because that's what family is. They are resilient. I came to expect that resiliency in people in general and was sorely disappointed when I ventured out on my own. There is only one place you can call family. And even when that fails you, God will not. He will never, can never forget those who seek Him earnestly. And Christ, well I don't really understand his sacrifice. I'm not going to pretend to. But yeah you never forget anyone you make sacrifices for, especially sacrifices of the heart and soul. The godhead as I understand it from scriptural doctrine and experience, is a perfect model of resilience. 

To be resilient surely does not mean to be perfect, at least not in the way we are accustomed to think of perfection. Surely you do not need to be perfect, ever, in order to be resilient. What a laugh. Else we'd all be in tough luck. Too deep for me that's for sure. It is such expectations that would cause the erosion of one's very desire for the continuation of an 'imperfect' relationship. But what is perfection, honestly? Honestly. I don't think it is anything like what we traditionally conceive it to be. 

Anyway, this all goes to express my appreciation for my grandparents' resiliency. For their love. For their life. For the life they share with me and the rest of my family. What a legacy, to be remembered for the love you had for, and shared with, your family--even if/when that love is expressed as sorrow and disappointment for one's losses within one's own family. What a legacy. To never give up. That's life. That's living. To never give up. 

I suppose I ought-a share something from conference, perhaps, though the talks aren't up yet. The Relief Society General Conference talks are up though, and I found the perfect story that relates perfectly with the topic thus far. In her talk, "The Family is of God", Sister Carole M. Stephens relates the story of "Sister Yazzie of the Chinle Arizona Stake" who, like my grandma, "doesn't limit her love and influence to her biological family. Sister Stephens had recently visited Sister Yazzie in her hogan (home, I am guessing?) and asked her about how many grandchildren she had after taking a glance at her wall and surrounding tables filled with framed photos of family and missionaries. To her surprise Sister Yazzie's daughter answered that "She doesn't know how many grandchildren she has. We don't count. All children call her Grandmother--she is Grandmother to everyone." 

My biological grandmother died a year before I was born, and you know, speaking on her behalf, if I were her I couldn't be more grateful to my grandmother who adopted all of us as her own. I really couldn't be more grateful. She has done what my biological grandmother would have done--I really believe that. And what mother, what mother would settle for anything less for her children and grandchildren? Or for her husband for that matter, and I'm being perfectly frank when I say that. How could anyone be so mean of heart to expect everyone to suffer endlessly on one's selfish behalf? I'd like to believe that my biological grandmother was not so selfish. I have good reason to believe the opposite, from what my mom shared about her. I love my grandma that adopted all of us, very much. I look forward to meeting my biological grandmother some day too. I know that she loves her children. I know it. And I know that my ancestors love their posterity as well. There are some things I just believe or have hope in but there are some things I know and I know this to be true. She is very much alive. Oh which is a scary thought considering if she's watching over me, which thinking about it now she is else I wouldn't know she's alive and well, oh gosh if she were susceptible to death in heaven she'd probably have died again just watching over me ... that would be sad. She is very much alive and well though, and she loves her children, all of her children, and my other ancestors too. Wow. We ought-a all just man up and be our best selves to each other and rise up to meet our responsibilities for that reason alone. Considering it's not just us, and it's never just us, considering those beyond the veil who earnestly desire our welfare. 

And this is why family is so awesome. And amazing. The words of a primary song come to mind "Where love is, there God is also." God is everywhere, because love is oh so abundant! In all its many forms. How lucky I am to know it.

That's all for tonight though. I hope you have a great week everyone, and take care!