I'll start with my husband. Andrew has fought hard... for this country, his education and for our family. I am a very lucky woman. In the midst of Zoe's last week with us, Andrew was knee deep in an accelerated Physics class, the last and final course to complete in order to get his degree and begin working for Intel. He decided to take an incomplete for the class, so he could spend as much time with Zoe and family as possible. That was not an easy decision as his job with Intel was contingent upon the completion of this course. Respectfully, Intel committed to holding his position until he finished his degree. In the two weeks following her passing, Andrew sacrificed and finished the class all on his own. On Friday, September 21st, he took the Physics final and waited 10 long hours to finally receive word from his teacher that he had not only passed the final, but got a B in the class. Intel is lucky to be getting such a dedicated and hard working individual on their team. I am so excited for my husband to be doing something he enjoys and to not have the stresses of school anymore. Yes, I married a stud.
Our getaway to Great Wolf Lodge could not have come at a better time. I have been so confused with all the changes in our life now, that having some exclusive family time was just what I needed. Well at least, that's what I thought I needed. I didn't realize that being away would be difficult. I was uncomfortable having fun and making memories without Zoe. It was like we were missing someone. I wanted to share my joy with Zoe and have our family together.
It has been four weeks since she died and I am now starting to realize that life is going to go on, but only if I let it. Life will be filled with laughter and special moments... if I let it. I don't have to let go of Zoe because she is ours for eternity, but I do eventually have to let go of the fear of going on without her. I can still be sad and and embrace my grief, but I have to have faith that the Plan of Happiness is real and true. I will see my baby again. My family will be whole again.
I was able to attend the Temple with my handsome hubby for the first time in far too long today. The peace I felt was a familiar comfort. I felt so close to Zoe when I was there and knew it was where we were supposed to be.
Another tender mercy was attending the General Relief Society Meeting this evening. I was touched by Sister Burton's words as she shared her own heartache of losing her 17 year old daughter. I was also moved when President Eyring explained the trials of his daughter and the recent premature birth of her baby girl, weighing only 1 pound. He shared how their ward members came together, just as ours did for us, to serve and support them in every possible way. I felt a great deal of compassion for this woman and was relieved to hear that the baby was doing well. I soaked up that moment of relief, feeling proud of myself for feeling joy for that mother and baby. Like myself, she had a baby with many complications and odds against her. But her daughter survived. I am so grateful that I am able to hear this story, without asking why her baby gets to live and mine doesn't. It is not about why, but rather having the faith to be at peace with His will. Zoe's time was short... but with so much purpose. She inspires me to be a better wife, mother and child of God. She teaches us about faith and the pure love of Christ. She teaches us sacrifice and selflessness. She was willing to come to this earth and endure pain and suffering, so that we could learn from her example. I will always be better because of her and these experiences.
These past few weeks have been one very long exhale. I feel as though we are beginning to breathe again. We take each day at a time... some good, some bad. I don't know what our future holds but I am truly blessed for the strength and desire to find out.