Friday, September 25, 2009

Smile & Be Happy

Today marks 16 years since Sarah died. When I got back to my parent's house from running errands, I pulled into the driveway & had a flashback of sitting in Sarah's room with my best friends, Caitlin & Dani, & seeing their mom's, Kathy & Bev, hugging & crying in the driveway.  I was so scared - I didn't know what was going on, & never could have guessed how horrible the news would be. 

None of my family was home when Glen MacDonald pulled me aside to tell me that there had been a car accident & that my sister was dead. I remember running down the hall to my room yelling 'No' over & over, throwing myself on the bed & just sobbing.  Caitlin followed me & sat there stroking strands of my hair to comfort me - she may have been saying "It's okay," or perhaps she was just silent, all I know is that I was crying & praying. I know there were others there too - I think Kathy was holding me in her arms & Dani may have been stroking my hair too.  It's difficult to remember exactly what happened, but the things I remember vividly are the feelings of disbelief, unimaginable pain, & the desperate yearning for life to go back to the way it was supposed to be.

Now, years later, I am still sad & confused.  I'm sad because I miss a friend & sister who I honestly feel like I don't know. I wonder what our relationship would be like and if we'd have children the same age. I'm sad for the forgotten memories of my time with her & also for the memories we won't be able to continue making in this life.

Although Sarah dying has been such a difficult experience in my life, my faith in eternal families, temple work, the Atonement, & the Plan of Salvation is so strong. I know that she lives on - I remember when I was young, someone asked me where Sarah was, & I responded that she was in Paradise.  It sounds so hokey now, but it's the truth. She is my gaurdian angel - I know this because I've felt her near me, not often, but at times when I most needed her. I like to think of her looking after my unborn children for me, those that are waiting to be born & possibly the one I lost in my miscarriage (or was that child even enough of a child to now be waiting for me with my sister?)

Caitlin commented in a recent post of mine: "The faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude." ~ elder joseph b. worthlin

This brings me so much comfort & peace.  Through the atonement of Christ, we will be reunited with those we love.  "Know ye that ye must [. . .] believe in Jesus Christ, that he is the Son of God, and that he was slain by the Jews, and by the power of the Father he hath risen again, whereby he hath gained the victory over the grave; and also in him is the sting of death swallowed up." ~ Mormon 7:5  I know I will see my sister again.  Life does not end when we are buried in the earth.  It continues on because of Christ's love & sacrifice for us - God's purposes continue on, even when we feel as though the earth has come to an end. This brings me so much hope.  I love my sister. I love my Savior. Life is short, so we must live it fully.  Life is unpredictable & can change in the blink of an eye, so don't live with regrets.  Be faithful to the commandments of God, pray continually, don't give in to your fears, be happy - not just happy, but full of joy.

I remember things that Sarah taught me - dance with all your heart, love others & be kind to them always, don't skip to the end of the book to find out how it ends, laugh at yourself, don't worry about what others think of you, always do what's right, trust in the Savior, & lastly - smile & be happy - & I am.


Top row: Rich, Susan, Sarah
Bottom row: me, Steven, Brad


Sarah

5 comments:

  1. That was so beautiful liz. it gave me the chills & brought tears to my eyes. i love how honest you are & how you are willing to share your deep emotions with others. you are amazing. i have never seen a picture of your sister before, she is so beautiful (just like you). it is moments and feeling like this that make me so grateful to have the gospel & make me wonder how others can even live without it. love you.

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  2. You made me cry. I do remember some things about that day. I remember I didn't know what was really going on, but all I know was that you were crying and you turned white like a ghost. Lately, for some reason I have been thinking about how we use to clean the house and Sarah would turn it into a game by putting the timer on and we had so many minutes to clean the kitchen before the "bomb"/"timer" went off. I remember that we had to run to the laundry room before it went off. I don't know why that sticks out in my mind. I love you and miss you and thanks for sharring. It reminds me of how grateful I am for this gospel and how I need to live my life to the fulless.

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  3. So not far for you making me cry like that. Friday I was thinking that same thing that it had been 16 years since she had passed. I remember that day too. Its interesting the things that stay with you as you grow up. The things you learn from life altering events such as these.

    Love you. <3

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  4. My face is completely wet. I remember all of that very vividly...but had forgotten the cleaning time bomb dani talked about until now! These memories are so precious to me. it really hit me at the end of the post when you said some of the things that sarah taught you...those are all things that you have taught me. I think Sarah is probably with you more than you know. love you. keep writing, you are so good at it.

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  5. That was beautiful, Liz. (I am not sure if you remember me, you were just a little toddler back in STL when I knew your family...Brad was a year younger and Susan a year older than myself.) I knew Sarah. She was in my brother's grade at Mason Ridge. He would always say what a nice girl she was, friendly and not judging others. She's a sweetheart and just wanted to let you know that I have not forgotten her or her smile either. I, too, am grateful for the gospel and to see my loved ones again.

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