I thought of something the other day and Desmama's post from today reminded me of it again. I've often heard people who have been in severe accidents or live through terrible illnesses say things like, "I didn't realize my whole life could change so quickly." Most days you go along and everything is wonderful and fine and even the "bad" stuff can mostly be laughed about . . . . and then things happen that aren't funny and never will be. Like my cousins who were kidnapped for a few hours by a crazy ex-con. Like the fact that three of my cousins have lost babies. Like those terrible things that must be in your lives too; the things we brush under the carpet and spend much time trying to heal from and forget though they change us in ways that imprint forever.
Still, there are a lot of almost-terrible moments that we are somehow, miraculously saved from. I had one last week with my Pyrex. I can't tell you how often I've got one of the kids in the kitchen while I'm cooking. The older two are often helping, the baby is often in his bouncy seat on the floor. I was wearing long sleeves and probably just tall enough to avoid the worst of the glass. Not one of my little munchkins would have been so lucky. Whatever Providence had them all safely away from the scene of the accident at that particular moment was a great blessing for which I am so grateful.
I had one of these almost moments many years ago. I watched my children play on the sidewalk and gutter in the front of our house the other day and I remembered:
I was about five and playing with my friend on the front lawn. This part of the memory is so vivid that I remember what the doll blankets looked like that we had with us. My 18 month old sister was playing with us in the front yard. While the doll blankets and my friend are vivid, the rest is a bit of a blur--traumatic memory and all of that. AJ (my sister) walked into the road. A friend of a teenager who lived up the street came screaming around the corner. I remember hearing the brakes screech.
Somebody must have run for my mother, or maybe I did. My next memory is of a whole lot of people hovered around AJ laying there by our mailbox.
She had a bruised temple. That's it. I don't remember anybody ever scolding me, though I was probably supposed to be keeping her close to me.
I don't know why this almost-awful memory has invaded my brain this week. What a difference a few inches or old brakes or one mile an hour faster would have made to my family! It is guilt that my mother and I would never have been able to erase. Instead, coupled with other things that happened with AJ as a young child, we now just laugh about how accident prone she was.
I once left home in search of my brother who had gone to a park. Mom thought we were together. I was picked up by a random lady who thought I was lost because I was on a tricycle and beginning to look upset. Somehow, though I was only three, I was able to tell the kind woman where I lived. Plantboy was left at home when he was just 18 months. Their large family would not fit in one car and it was in the days before car seats. Each parent went a different direction assuming the other had him. He got out of the house and was wandering down the street when a concerned neighbor took him into her house.
I've been reading a book this week that has many elements I don't agree with necessarily because it is full of all kinds of made up doctrine, and is a little warlike, but there are parts that are so thoroughly touching I have been unable to get it out of my head. I cried like a fountain at his description of Heavenly Mother and Her heartbreak over the decision to cast out a third of her children. The author's characterization of Lucifer is spot on and frightening. I've wondered how much we knew of earthly missions before we came here. I've thrilled as I've looked into the eyes of my children and wondered at the valiancy of their spirits. Why has my own life been presereved and my way so easy? What promises did I make my Parents before I came here?
On a lighter note, there is much about parenting that IS funny. The Lord does protect us from so much and each day we have is a chance to rejoice in all that is good. I've had a couple of different people forward this video clip to me. If you haven't seen it, and if you are a mom or have ever had a mom, this is one of the most clever things I've come across in a long time.
And wasn't conference great?