19 March 2010
Journal Entry from the Past 17 Aug 2002
I have noticed recently on a website that I belong to that many have written of losing loved ones in their lives and how it has affected them and those around them. I just wanted to take the time to put my thoughts to pen and see if I can share with you some of my knowledge of the eternal rhelm. I don't have all the answers. All the answers have not yet been revealed to us. It is not time. But, when He feels the time is right, we will know. We just need to have patience. A blessing from God? I know so.
I recently attended a memorial service to honor the life of my friend Dale Fisher. It was a beautiful service filled with memories, music and testimonies of the life he lived here on the earth and the life he is now living on the other side of the ever-so-thin veil in the Spirit World. His life now is one that is pain free, worry free and filled with eternal bliss. He still has to work. Sorry, no rest there either. But, it is a different kind of work. It is doing the work of our Father in Heaven and teaching those who have never had the opportunity to learn about our Savior, Jesus Christ, while they were here on the earth.
We all need to learn of Him and decide what path we wish to take and realize that all the decisions we make have eternal consequences. A blessing from God? I know so. I read here of people who are hurting and have lost all faith and belief that there is a God. I hear stories of the trials and tribulations that many experience and in doing so, are looking for answers. "Who am I?", "Where did I come from?", "Where am I going after this life?" Many of us search for our identity and that journey can take us in various directions and to a variety of answers. Some are awesome while other bring sorrow.
If you are reading this, and wondering these things, just know the following statements to be true. A blessing from God? I know so. You are a child of God. He loves you. He created you in his image. He will NEVER give up on you. He wants you to succeed in this life. He has such wonderful plans in mind just for you as an individual and your family as an eternal unit. Life will not always be easy. Some will seem to struggle more so than others. But, we are each one accountable for ourselves and our actions.
As parents, we are responsible to teach and train up our children in the lessons of right and wrong. If we error, there is a way to correct the error. The Savior died for our sins. We don't need to carry them with us forever like rocks upon our shoulders. We only need to repent and work to do not let these errors happen again. There is a way out. Why did He make that possible? It goes back to the first two sentences, "You are a child of God. He loves you." A blessing from God? I know so.
I want to share with you a series of very special experiences that strengthened my testimony of these things I have written. These experiences are special to me and I love to share them with anyone who wants to know answers or needs to hear of my testimony. When I look at the whole story, I see how the Lord prepared my family and I to get through this and go on. A blessing from God? I know so.
My son Michael was killed in a car accident early Saturday morning, May 31, 1997 at the age of 24. He lived 300 miles away from me in Burlington, IA with his father. On the Friday night prior to this, I had driven and stayed overnight at my brother's in Ft. Madison, IA, which is 20 minutes away from Burlington. My youngest daughter, a friend's daughter and I were on our way to the dedication of the St. Louis Missouri LDS Temple. We were going to make it a long weekend, which would include a trip to Six Flags. Michael didn't know I was there and I called his father to let him know we were in town and that I would like to see Michael before we left for St. Louis. He informed me that Michael was out with his friends, but that he would leave him a note and he wrote down my brother's unlisted number, which he otherwise did not have. I was only 20 minutes away, not six hours. A blessing from God? I know so.
Early the next morning, I was talking to my friend Ceci on the phone and we were interrupted by the operator who said that she had an emergency phone call from Mike F. and would we please give up our line so he could call through? I of course thought it was my son, a Jr. not his father the Sr. His father then called and told me I needed to get to Burlington quickly, as Michael had been in a car accident. He didn't tell me any more other than to come to his brother's house and not the hospital.
My brother drove me there and while traveling made the statement, "You know, in situations like this, we need to understand that the worse may have happened." From the moment I got into his vehicle, I began praying for answers. Through the Gift of the Holy Ghost, I then received the personal revelation, and replied to him, "either he is already gone or we will have to make the decision to "pull the plug". I knew he was gone. But I knew that he was just fine where he was. A blessing from God? I know so.
When we got to his dad's brother's, we were met by his dad, his uncle and wife and their pastor. It was then they gave us the news. After tears and explanations as to what happened, I immediately went to the kitchen table and sat down with pen and paper to put together a funeral service and make arrangements. I only got through this in the calmest possible way possible, by the "Comforter" enveloping my body in the compassion and love of our Father in Heaven. A blessing from God? I know so.
One of the first things that came up was life insurance to pay for a funeral. Did Michael have any? He had just changed jobs two weeks before this happened and new coverage would not have started yet. Who to call on Saturday? So, I called his present employer to tell them of his loss and to ask them. No, he had none with them. So, I got to thinking about Motorola where he had worked before. Would someone be there on Saturday? So, I called and got ahold of a supervisor of the day shift that was indeed working. He said he would get ahold of the Human Resource person and have her call me. So, a little while later, she called. She had made a special trip into the office to check the records. Yes, he was covered. Matter of fact, his life insurance expired that day, May 31. A blessing from God? I know so.
Because it was an accident, it would pay at double indemnity (value) and Michael had made his dad and I equal beneficiaries. Our son literally got his parents on the path to better financial stability. We were able to pay for his funeral expenses and we both were able to pay off bills and put a down payment on a house. A blessing from God? I know so.
At the funeral, the soloist was singing a hymn called, "Families Can Be Together Forever". When he was singing the second verse, chorus, I literally heard my son singing at my right shoulder,
"Families can be together forever,
through Heavenly Father's plan.
I always want to be with my own family
and the Lord has showed me how I can.
The Lord has showed me how I can."
I looked at my friend at my right to see if she heard as well, but she was just listening to the soloist. This was a special gift for a mother who was in mourning. After the service, I spoke to the man who had sung and shared with him that I had heard Michael singing with him. He smiled and said, "I felt him there with me." A blessing from God? I know so.
Michael was not perfect. That night he died, he had been drinking and playing basketball with his friends. He hadn't been to church since he was a teenager and decided to rebel with mom as to getting up on Sunday morning. But, whenever he called me he always closed with, "I love you!" Whenever we saw one another, he always enveloped my 5'6" "motherly" frame with his 6'3" lanky frame with what I have fondly called, "Michael's Hug". A blessing from God? I know so.
In our religion, we have sacred ordinances that a person needs to accomplish on their journey to "higher and better things". Some of these ordinances can only be accomplished in the temple. If a person does not do them while they are living, they can be done by "proxy" or in their behalf by another member of the same gender a year after they have died. The person who has passed on, still makes the decision to accept this work or not.
I had Michael's temple work done a year after he died and as I waited for his affirmation to come somehow, someway to know he had accepted this work, I went up to his "proxy" to hug him and thank him for doing this for Michael. When he hugged me back, it was "Michael's Hug"; not the hug of a stranger. Michael had indeed repented and come back to the fold. A blessing from God? I know so.
Many times in my life, I have been blessed with various situations that have made me stand back and take notice. I have been in situations I thought there was no way out of and done things that I later regretted doing. But, through all of this, once I found out about the "pure love of Christ", I began to see that I could come out of it and I could smile and laugh again. It was then that I came to the knowledge and understanding, that if I do my part and live worthy, that I would indeed be blessed with the eternities with my family. A blessing from God? I know so.