Friday, May 6, 2016

How Did She Do It?

How did she do it?
Giving birth to her first three children in three years. The beginning of bringing eight children into this world. Having a breakdown after that third child came along.

How did she do it?
When she was seven months pregnant with her seventh child (me), getting the call that dad had been an explosion and had been badly burned on his hands and face. Helping him recover and make it through, giving birth not long after the accident and dealing with a newborn baby the whole while.

How did she do it?
Getting up before dawn every day to make sure dad had a good breakfast before he went to work and packing him a lunch in his black metal lunch box.

How did she do it?
Making bread from scratch every Saturday. And scrubbing a linoleum floor on her hands and knees. A floor that had holes in it, so that the house would be clean for the Sabbath day.

How did she do it?
Milking cows, weeding the gardens, snipping beans, pitting cherries, canning fruit and vegetables, making endless peanut butter and honey sandwiches for the many mouths of her children as well as their friends. Cooking dinners from scratch every night.

How did she do it?
Spend endless hours in hospitals and emergency rooms and waiting rooms as dad went through one medical procedure after another. (I think he had 15 major surgeries)

How did she do it?
Sleeping on our couch for years and years because it was too difficult physically for dad to share a bed and there weren't enough rooms for her to have her own.

How did she do it?
Watching her children make mistakes and choices that caused heartache and pain. Having one run away from home at 15. And have others spending time in jail and prison.

How did she do it?
Make every one of those eight children feel like they were the favorite and the most important. And letting them know that she loved them no matter where they were or what choices they made.

How did she do it? 
Mixing up sourdough pancakes for the amazing Fourth of July breakfasts. Cooking chili and packing a weeks worth of food for deer camp.

How did she do it? 
Bury her husband, a daughter and her mother within a few short years.

How did she do it? 
This question has been playing over and over in my mind as I have been faced with my own trials as a mother. Especially these last two years since she's been gone.

I haven't been able to ask her but I think I know how she did it.

Let me tell you.

She did it in white tennis shoes.
Those shoes took her on walks around the neighborhood and up to the pulpit in sacrament meeting to share her testimony.

She did it on her knees.
Often kneeling by the couch  that was her bed or the recliner in the front room. There were many times that I would come in to the living room to find her on her knees speaking to her Heavenly Father seeking guidance and direction.

She did it through searching the scriptures.
Oh how she loved the Book of Mormon! Her copies were well used and worn and marked lovingly with tear stained pages.

She did it through temple attendance.
Serving in the temple both as a temple worker and as a patron. She loved attending the temple. One of my fondest memories from childhood is watching my mom ironing her temple clothes and the reverence she showed while doing so.

But mostly she did it by relying on the Savior and His Atonement and by doing her best to follow in His footsteps, wearing those famous white tennis shoes.

She did it with an all encompassing  love.

Her love for everyone and everything came shining out of her face. Her eyes. Her smile.

She loved.

That is how she did it.

I am forever grateful for that love. I miss her every day but I still can feel her love. It sustains me and carries me forward on those difficult days when I ask "How can I do this?"

I can do it with love.

And so can you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love this so much. Thank you for sharing her with me this week <3