30 October 2011

Time Out–for MOM!

I did it. I talked to my husband, who is amazingly supportive, and explained to him that I really needed to get away for a couple of days. I assured him that I wasn’t running away, from him, the kids, or my problems.

During a conversation I had with a friend over the weekend I was reminded about the peace and personal revelation that can come by attending the temple. Since the Boise Temple was just closed for remodeling, the nearest temple was Twin Falls, 2 hours away. The trip was doable in one day, but I felt like I needed more time than that, so after more discussion with Brad, making arrangements for the kids, I rented a car and packed to head out of town.

I got my friend to drop me off at the car rental agency, and when she came to pick me up, she commented that she hadn’t seen me looking so chipper in a long time. It was true, just making the decision to take care of myself, to reboot my life, had already begun to have a positive effect on me.

glenn-beck-seven-wondersMy Grandma loves Glenn Beck. She listens to and watchs him all the time, and pre-orders all his books. She has been trying to get me to listen to his book The Seven Wonders, she accidently ordered the audio version, for several months, so I took it with me to listen to in the car.

By the time I had gotten to Twin Falls I knew I had to buy the book. I love listening to books, but some books you just have to write in, underline, highlight, and write your feelings in, and this is one of them. Here are a couple of my favorite quotes -

Everything happens for a reason.” (pg 13),

”They weren’t coincidences at all, they were bread crumbs” (pg 59)

“By sharing your truth with others, you are empowered.” (pg 41)

I had mentioned on facebook the day before that I wanted to go to the temple, but didn’t want to drive a 12 passenger van all by myself. My best friend for life commented she would join me at the Temple if I let her know when I was coming, since she lived nearby. Right before I left Boise, I facebooked a message to her to let her know I was on my way. When I called her about 20 minutes out of Twin she was already home from work and making arrangements to spend the whole evening with me.

I checked into my hotel, my friend invited me to stay at her house, but I really wanted to be alone most of the time that I was in town.I didn’t want to feel like I had to be social. I wanted to freedom to cry or sleep or type and cry some more. My friend understood.

She came and took me out to dinner at a nice, quiet, Chinese place. We were able to sit and talk for hours. The food was good, but I have no clue what I ate, or the name of the restaurant. I do remember the conversation that we had. We talked about Holly, about her life and her death, about the kind nurse that I had, about planning a funeral, about grief and pain. We talked about being kids together, about our families, about the many trials we had been through, but mostly she listened and I talked. I told her of my pain and sorrow, of my feelings of anger, and guilt, of the injustices that I felt I had been dealt, of the difficulties I was facing in forgiving, and forgetting, in letting the pain go, of feeling comfortable at church.

It was so nice to have a compassionate person to talk to, someone who knew me, maybe even better than I know myself. Someone that knew my family, and their history, and how far we had come. A friend who didn’t judge me for my feelings, or my emotions, or my anger, who excepted me pain and emotions, and loved me even more because of them.

When we finally called it a night, it felt like such a huge burden had been lifted off my shoulders. I could begin to heal . . .

“studies prove that someone listening in a compassionate way to another human being’s life store can actually alter that person’s brain chemistry in a healing way.” (Seven Wonders pg 168)

I was so amazing – I had listened to in the car on my way down, and knew that I intellectually that it must be true, and that I needed someone to talk to – I had tried reaching out to several people, but they weren’t able to feel the need I had for a compassionate ear, and in fact I had come away from those instances more hurt and full of pain than before.

“I was “ready to vanquish the demons, [I] had been fleeing”, but first I needed to face them. (SW,112) and I was able to do that by talking about them with my friend. Now that someone had taken the time and energy to listen to me compassionately I was sufficiently healed enough to begin to take the next step.

The next day I attended the temple. I was able to feel the spirit and find some peace and comfort in the plan of salvation, in knowing that Heavenly Father knows and loves me, and is watching over me. I was able to begin to release more of the pain and anger I had towards those who had hurt me, and to forgive them. Keith Ablow describes it like this “Never be afraid to feel for someone else, no matter how unfeeling they have been to you. When you do, you stand with what is good and decent and miraculous. You stand with God.” (Seven Wonders, pg 167) I was able to forgive them, but the pain was still there, although greatly reduced.

I spent the rest of the day alone, mostly in my hotel room. I read more of The Seven Wonders, I took a much needed nap, and then I addressed envelopes. I had decided to mail with funeral programs to friends and family members, to write notes of forgiveness, or love or encouragement to others as an important step in my healing process. I included in most of my cards the address of my blog. I didn’t count, but I probably had about 40 envelopes addresses. I worked long into the night on the cards, so long that it was 1am before I even noticed. I still had many cards to go . . . but I was on the right path.

The next morning I met my friend for breakfast. We spoke again for another 2 hours. Honestly, we hadn’t spoken in over a year, and that is the way our friendship goes, even if it is a year or 2 between conversations, it is like we just talked yesterday. Except for once. As I was reading the chapter on Friendship I thought a lot about my friend, and I remembered the time when I wasn’t there for her. I realized that I needed to ask for her forgiveness. We had a wonderful talk and cemented our friendship even deeper. I will always treasure her friendship, because we have truly bonded, and will be eternal friends.

These few days away – by myself – in the presence of a true friend – in the temple – were exactly what I needed. I was again able to center myself, to have faith, and courage, have the strength to go on. Listening to and reading The Seven Wonders was an important part  of this transformation and helped to give me insight into what was to come next . . .

The next few weeks and months were truly a whirlwind . . .  and I’ve thought back to this TIME OUT often as reassurance that I was on the right path. At this time I’m unable to say more in such a public forum, but I am continually grateful that I had this opportunity to prepare me for what lay ahead.


I began writing this post while still in Twin Falls, but in the whirlwind of life that has happened since then, and the fact that I’ve given my copy of the Seven Wonders away twice, I was never able to finish. I am so glad I finally got it done, because I felt like I needed to post this – before moving on to any other posts. I miss posting, and I am glad to be back.

1 comment:

Simplymom said...

I'm so glad that, at least on some level, you are feeling better. You have seemed lighter and happier as the semester has went on, but its often too busy to have a real conversation at TEACH. I know for me, a break every once in awhile makes such a huge difference. I need that chance to refill and refocus. After Jason passed away my mom kept the boys so Stephen and I could get away for a few days. It's amazing how much better I felt after that time alone away from it all. I'm glad you took that time alone and are feeling at least a little better. I don't know how someone gets through something like the death of a child without the gospel. It's hard WITH the gospel!