Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Hearts of the Children Turn to their Fathers

Dreams are funny things. They twist a bit of reality with a bit of inspiration into a crazy impossible story that once in a while teaches a lesson. Lately my dreams have been rather vivid. Last night was no exception.
Right now I am at my daughter Sabrina's piano lesson with Grandma Waite. She is currently learning to play Keep the Commandments. There is the reality. Now let me tell you about my dream.
I was going to my piano lesson. I arrived at an older home and my mother in law was there. She looked exactly as she does now. There was another woman with her. They were obviously family. They looked as though they could be sisters. In fact this other woman looked very much like my mother in law's sister Aunt Josephine. But the likeness was not exact and the woman in my dreams was about my own age and had longer hair.

Aunt Jo, Grandma Jo, and Kathleen (my mother in law)

My lesson was not with my mother in law. It was with the other woman. I had forgotten my music. Actually, I hadn't even practiced. I was totally unprepared for this lesson. I searched for Sabrina's book so I could play something for her. Not finding it, I told her that maybe I could play Keep the Commandments. She handed me an old blue hymnal. I said the only song I knew was not in that book. She told me we would have the lesson anyway and she would teach me one of the songs out of that book.

There was no piano in her house. There was only an organ that I could see. We used the organ to do the lesson. Just before the dream ended, I walked through the old house and found my mother in law and this other woman sitting together on a piano bench playing a duet on an instrament that was both an organ and a piano. One played the piano and the other organ. It didn't seem like the music should go together for some reason, but it did. Together they played the most beautiful piece of music.

Then I woke up. I woke up and realized the house we were in was very similar to the house in which my mother in law grew up. The living room where we had the piano lesson was the same even down to the wall paper. I believe the woman in my dream was my mother in law's mother, Grandma Josephine Christensen.

I only had a chance to meet Grandma Jo a couple of times. She had a very straight forward personality. I liked her. You never had to wonder where you stood with her.

I have thought of Grandma Jo many many times in the last two months. Grandma Jo's older sister died when she was very young. And Grandma Jo also lost an infant son. I remember the last time I visited with her before her death, she told me about losing her infant son. She had twins boys. One was healthy. The other never got to come home from the hospital. She told me in tears how hard this was for her. She said when she came home with the one healthy twin how mad she would get when people would say, "Well at least you have the one healthy one. That must be a great comfort to you."

"No," she told me. "It was no comfort. It didn't make the loss any easier." She was still upset saying this so many many years later.

I remember thinking at the time, "Geez, you would think you would count your blessings for the healthy children you did have." I did not understand. Back then, I did not understand. Now I do. Now I do.

I am grateful to be sealed to this incredible woman through the binding ties of eternal marriage. I feel her strength and empathy often. Though I only got to meet and talk with her a handful of times, I feel a great kinship to and love for Grandma Jo. I am glad she is there to teach me, an unprepared student, how to play this unexpected piano on this stage of my life.


Heather B.... said...

I loved the article with the piano analogy. I never thought of it quite like that. I have heard of the giant elephant in the room, but I think that the piano on stage is much better. I really enjoy reading your blog and commented to Nikki(our sister-in-law) that I read your blog everyday. She said in jest that this is called a blogger stalker. Don't be freaked, I am sure I am like so many others that you have inspired. You are a such a gifted writer. I have also sent your blog address to everyone that I know, and have found that many of my friends are reading you too! Thank you for inspiring me to be a better mother, friend and servant of our Heavenly Father.

Andrea said...

I loved what Grandma Jo said about it not making her loss any easier. I've had so many people tell me "at least you still have your other children". Yes, and I'm so grateful for that but it doesn't take away the sorrow and longing to have my Wyatt back in my life. It doesn't make it any easier. Thanks for this post.

Heidi said...

How interesting that you'd dream about a piano after writing about that article.

Also, I love people who straight forward. I love knowing where I stand with them.

And I think I understand about other children not making up for the one you've lost. I don't know if I would have before my miscarriage, but now I do.

Rachel said...

After my dad passed away from cancer when I was twelve and my mom was only forty, she received a blessing from our Stake President. He told her that there were many beyond the veil, both those who had come before and those who had yet to come, who were looking after her and her children. It was such a comfort to her, and a comfort to me as well. I always believed in the eternal sealing power, but I never realized how close our ancestors really were and how they continued to look out for us. I'm sure many of your loved ones, past and future, are near by at this time. Over the years I have felt close to my grandmother and great grandmother though both have passed away. I feel like they are near and cheering me on. What a sweet dream and a sweet interpretation of it. I'm sure your Grandma Jo is watching over you at this time. Though she's on the other side with Camille, I'm sure she can still remember the pain she felt in mortality when she lost a child of her own. She loves you and your family and is offering her strength from the other side. At the time of my dad's passing I had a teacher quote this to me, though I don't know who said it, "The most powerful prayers are those offered on our behalf from beyond the veil."

Anonymous said...

A few years ago my brother-in-law passed away of pancreatic cancer. A few days before his death the family gathered around his hospital bed while he was given a final blessing. My oldest son was there - he was about 19 at the time, and not very active in the church. During the blessing my son broke into uncontrollable sobs. I tried to console him thinking he was overcome with grief. Following the blessing I escorted him out of the room and he fell into my arms. He whispered in my ear, "I have to tell you something. There are angels in there." I asked him how he knew that and he replied, "I can feel them."
His emotion did not come from grief but from the overwhelming presence of the spirit. We immediately shared his experience with my brother and sister-in-law so they would be comforted knowing that they were not alone.
I am so grateful that every once in awhile Heavenly Father allows the veil to become every so thin, so we are able to get a glimpse of the other side.

Darleen said...

That sounds like a great dream. You know Aunt Jo did teach piano and has an organ and piano in her house. And I believe my mom and her has in some time of their life played a duet together. It brings a smile to me to know that Heber (grandma's son) was the first to meet and see her once she died and crossed the veil. I'm sure he missed her very much as well as her.

raising4boys said...

I just found a link to your blog...and I really don't know what to say. Tears are falling. You are such an amazing daughter of God. May God give you the strenghth you need each and every day.

Thanks for your amazing words on motherhood. What an wonderful perspective of the plan and what is most important in life.

Praying for your family.

Anonymous said...

I thought as I read this post of some comments I made to a sweet Sister that had just lost her baby. It wasn't old enough to be considered "born" so they labeled it a miscarriage. Somehow that drove the knife a little deeper into her heart and even wounded her soul. She struggled and no one knew what to say to make the pain go away.
On a visit I told her to never let the pain go away. Learn to live with it, be successful, move forward, be strong - but don't let the pain go away. In the eternities that pain will be matched by joy and while I don't know how He makes all this struggle stuff up to us, He does. I don't know how He will heal, but He will and I don't know how you wrap your brain around an event like this, but He knows and can teach us.

Then I told her that maybe one of the reasons that she had to go through this was because one day, she would be the one offering comfort of KNOWING what it feels like. I love that G-ma Jo knew how you feel today and I love that now you get it, because one day a daughter, friend, neighbor, stranger my need you to hold there hand and say "I know" and this is how you keep going forward, building faith and seeking for peace, comfort and understanding.

Keep posting - you're changing lives and helping people live with their struggles rather than losing hope in a timeless plan of happiness.

Just me! said...

Touching! I love it when you share your inspirations and dreams. I know they are dear and special to you. But, to share them with us is so wonderful! Thank you!

Lori said...

WOW....God is so wonderful. I love when He sends our family to help us in a way that no one else would understand. Dreams are a beautiful thing especially when you REALLY understand them. It's obvious you do, & it's obvious Grandma Jo is trying to help you. Your understanding of her message must make her feel good too in knowing that she has helped you. We have to take every blessing we can get.

Holly said...

I read your blog daily. Simply put, I love it. I love the feeling it leaves within myself. You and your cute family are strong and such and example to me. Thank you for sharing your life experiences with those around you. You are leaving a mark on my world.

Holly Jorgensen

Mimi's Toes said...

Wow this dream was amazing. I really do believe that some dreams are meant to be and tell a story. I will really think before I speak to someone who has lost a child, either from a miscarriage or other means.

Griffee's said...

I read about your story on a friend's blog. All I can say to you is you are incredible! I can only hope to have half the strength you have for you girls, for my own 2 girls. My youngest is only 2 months and my other is 5, but I often lose my patience and your posts have somehow brought me back to reality. Not the 'reality' the world sees but God's reality for us and our family. THANK yOU, thank you, thank you!!

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across your blog, I believe I was lead to are so inspirational to me! As a mother of three little ones, who at many times of the day looses her patience with all of the diaper changes, temper tantrums and craziness of mothering, I say thank you! Reading your entries brings a peace to motherhood and what we are able to withstand with the Lord looking over us. I am so deeply sorry for the loss you have endured. Thank you to you, and your beautiful family for sharing with the rest of the world so that through your loss a great and meaningful message can be heard....enjoy each and every day and all the little things that come our way....Heather from CA

Marcie said...

you don't know me, but you have touched my life. Thank you for sharing your story, and allowing your testimony to be heard. Thank you for your inspiration. Many prayers for you and your family.