I have been to far too many funerals in my short 22 years of life. And this month has been my busiest month for funerals. I've had five funerals. Three were for people that I didn't know too well, but two of them hit very close to my heart.
My parents have had many friends over the years all over the world in their travels with my dad's career; and one of his very best friends passed away just after Christmas. Gordan Daley was such a wonderful man who brought so much life to everything. And he fought a hard fight for his life, but he was finally called home. He was also a Chief in the Air Force just like my amazing father, and my daddy was asked to speak at his funeral about the meaning of being a Chief. It was such a good talk; and I know that my mother, brother, sister and I were all in tears listening to him speak. One of the things that we took from another speaker was the fact that a group of them had a tradition to go to the local Sonic weekly and get a drink and spend some time with one another. My sister Stormy and I really liked that idea and we started our own tradition to go to Garcia's every Tuesday and get drinks and an appetizer. We have really enjoyed it because it's getting us to know each other better and spend some good time with one another. We even have our own waitress and we are her regulars now! She is awesome!! At last weeks outing, Alyn came with us and she got a drink in one of those fancy glasses, and I had mentioned how I wanted my Dr. Pepper in a fancy glass; now I didn't mention this to Natalie (our server), I had just mentioned it cause I thought that it would be cool. Well, Natalie had heard me and the next time she came out she brought me my Dr. Pepper in their biggest glass! it was huge!
The next funeral that hit me hard was one that came completely unexpected. I got a text from my old high school best friend saying that his nephew had passed away. So I called him and found out that his nephew had committed suicide; and my heart just sank. Dylan was only 12 years old and he was in 7th grade at Syracuse Jr. High. This was hard for me not only because I have known Dylan since he was 4, but it hit hard for me because my own nephew is his same age going to the same school. With a heavy heart, I went to his viewing and gave my condolences to the family that I had spent so much time with and had come to love like they were my own family. And then I went to the funeral the next day. No one knew of the hurt that was in him, no one knew of the sorrow that he had. His death was completely unexpected. His family was completely taken by surprise by it, and they are having such a hard time.
I don't even know if anyone really reads my blog, but it makes me so sad that there are so many who feel like death is their only option. Coming from my complete depressive state, I understand that that option is there. I felt for a long time that everyone around me would be much better off without me, and I sometimes would pray that I just wouldn't wake up. But I knew that there is so much more to life than the sadness that I felt right then. I saw my family and friends who loved me and knew that I couldn't do anything to jeopardize myself because of them. I remember in jr. high and high school, it seemed like that was all that mattered, and that the things that happened then were everything. But they are not. Life goes on after high school, who you dated or didn't date doesn't matter. What part you got in a musical doesn't matter, who you were friends with or wasn't friends with won't matter. Because you will find people who will love you no matter what. I remember thinking that my life would be much different after high school. I thought that I was going to marry someone completely different than who I actually ended up with, but I needed those experiences in high school to be better prepared. God has a plan for each of us, and there is no saying what will happen. We must have faith in him and know that his plan really is the Plan of Happiness. We may go through trials and struggles, but we always have to remember that what we go through is teaching moments. We must be humbled to become better.
I love that story of the footprints in the sand, and Christ promised that he would always be there, and in the end the person looks back and sees that there were only one set of footprints during their hardest struggles and they question why and remind Christ that He promised he would be with them forever. I always cry when the last part of this story is read and Christ tells them that when there was only one set of footprints is when He was carrying them. We were not sent to this life to fail, we were sent to this life so that we could be tested. I love that I have my knowledge of Heavenly Fathers love for us. We will see our loved ones again, family is the most important unit in the Gospel, because Heavenly Father wouldn't want us to be without our family, because He doesn't want to be without us. We are His Children, and He loves us and He wants us to succeed and be the absolute best person that we can be.