I had a really emotional day and I really feel like I need to blog about it in order to process it. The backstory behind the day could fill a few volumes, so I’ll try to summarize as best as I can.
My mom was raised LDS, but became inactive at the age of 19. She married my dad, a wonderful man who was raised as a Seventh-Day Adventist, who was also estranged from his church. My Mom had me and my two siblings blessed and baptized in the LDS church with no protest from my Dad. When I was well into Young Women’s, my Mom started going to church again after 26 years of inactivity. However, she never took out her endowments. I took out my endowments about four years ago and at that time my Mom expressed interests in taking out her endowments and asked me to be her escort. Unfortunately, she died before she was ever able to do this. On her death bed she asked me to take out her endowments for her.
Last November the hubs’ Grandma called me and said that while she was doing family history work (aka genealogy) she came across my mothers name on the unendowed member’s list. She asked me if I wanted her to put a family hold on her name. At that time I asked my Dad if it would be okay if I took out her endowments. He said he would be fine with it because that is what she wanted. I also asked my sister, who has left the church, and she also had no problem with it. This left my brother to ask. At one point we were the only active members of the LDS church in our immediate family, but for personal reason he was no longer active. I asked him if he wanted me to wait to take out her endowments until he could be there. He told me to just get it done. After praying about it, I felt like I needed to wait. Usually this isn’t an answer you get when praying about doing your family’s work, but I’m glad I listened. A month later my brother started dating his wonderful fiancee.
A few months after that they announced their engagement. When my future-sister-in-law emailed me to tell me they were getting married in the temple and that she would be taking out her endowments the week before, I knew in an instant that I was supposed to take out my Mom’s endowments at the same time. She graciously said that was okay and that it would be a special way to include our mother into their wedding celebrations.
Today was that day. It was amazing. I’ve never done an endowment by proxy for someone I know, let alone the woman who gave birth to me, raised me, and loved me beyond comprehension. It was so spiritual. I literally felt my mother’s spirit beside me. I have never felt so happy and at peace. The hubs said every time he saw me in the temple, I radiated with joy. I felt the eternal nature of families wrap around me. I’m writing this several hours later and my heart is still full and at peace.
Unfortunately, on the way down to the temple I called my sister (she was kind enough to babysit the kids) and she told me that my cousin Sara’s husband, Pete, was killed in a motorcycle accident the day before. This is absolutely heartbreaking. He was a big teddy bear of a guy who adored their almost 2 year old daughter. He and my cousin are/were soul mates. My heart just breaks for them. I really messed up this morning when I didn’t put on some waterproof mascara. Feeling the weight of his loss added to the emotionality for me while doing ordinance work for my mother.
The one thing I’ve learned in the last two years is don’t wait to tell someone you love just how much you love them and what they mean to you. You never know when cancer, a heart attack, an accident, or old age, will take them away from you. If your faith tells you that you will see them again, this can be comforting, but the interim time in between their death and your heavenly reunion is long and painful. You don’t ever want to regret the time you didn’t spend with them, the times you could have told them how much you love them and didn’t, the times you were too busy to pick up the phone. You don’t get those moments back once their gone. I will never regret the last moments I spent with my Mom while she was alive. I laid in bed next to her, held her hand, and sang to her. That precious moment will live in my memory forever.
God be with you Mom and Pete, ’till we meet again at Jesus’ feet.