First of all, I wanted to thank everyone for coming. A simple thank you really doesn’t seem adequate for all of the kindness, the thoughts and prayers, and the love that has been shown to our family, so I hope that you feel it from my heart just how grateful I am and how much love I have for all of you!!!
There have been many things running through my mind the past few months, and as it came time to think about this talk, the list got longer and longer. So, I wanted to share just a few of the things that I have pondered as we have been going through this trial. As Cale died from a congenital heart defect, things of the heart have been at the front of my mind since we found out about it in March. I also have felt like my own heart was and is breaking for my baby. These things lead me to think about a broken heart and a contrite spirit – As I searched in the scriptures it says in second Nephi, “Christ’s sacrifice answers ends of law unto all who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit.” and also, “may the gates of hell be shut before me, because my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite.” I definitely feel like these are some blessings that I would like to have, but they are contingent upon my actions and attitude. It was interesting to me to realize that a broken heart – which basically means humility and a contrite spirit – which signifies a repentant soul refers to both the physical aspect and the spiritual aspect of our lives. Those two things, our bodies and our spirits both have to be in line with the will of the Lord, and if not, our offering to the Lord, or our lives, will not be accepted. I have come to feel a deeper love and understanding of the Lord’s sacrifice for all of us. I know that we all have to go through a tiny bit of our own Gethsemane, and as hard as it is, I am grateful to know that this trial has brought me closer to Christ.
The next thing that, honestly, I had to keep repeating to myself many many times, was a familiar scripture found in Proverbs 3:5-6. It says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding; in all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” Another scripture that I feel goes very well with this is found in Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” These words have really helped me come to the conclusion that life is really just hard, and sometimes – if not all the times – it doesn’t make sense, but if we trust in the Lord, and follow His ways, everything will work out the way it should.
There is a story that circulates support groups and blogs of families and patients with heart defects, the author is unknown. It tells of a beautiful day in Heaven when Jesus is rounding up his tiniest angels, to go live on earth, and be born. One of the sweetest angels says to Jesus “I don’t want to leave, I like it here, and I will miss you”. He reassures the scared little angel that everything will be okay, and that he is just going for a visit. He is still not swayed on this idea. So Jesus kneels down, and says, “How about if you leave half of your heart here with me and take the other half with you, will that be okay?” The angel smiles and says, “I guess that will work”. But the little angel is still a little scared. “Will I be okay with only half of my heart?” Jesus replies, “I have other angels there that will help out, and you will be fine.” Then Jesus gives the angel more details about his plan. He says “When you are born, your mommy will be scared, so you have to be strong, and when you feel weak just remember that I have the other half of your heart. And when it’s time to come back to heaven, I will make your heart whole again. Always remember that you are not broken, just torn between two loves.”
This story was finished by another mom who lost her baby to the same heart defect as Cale had. It went like this, I have changed it to read Cale’s name:
“When he returned to Heaven, amid tears of joy and hugs in reunion, Jesus asked, “How was your turn on Earth?” The little angel replied, “It was beautiful- so many arms of warmth and love to hold me, smiles through teary eyes to greet me.(I’d like to add, flashes of light and sticky fingers) A king couldn’t have asked for more!” Then tears appeared in Cale’s eyes. “My sweet angel, what is wrong?” Jesus asked and pulled him close. ” I think when I left, I broke their hearts,” he whispered.
“Quietly, Jesus reached in His pocket and pulled out the other half of Cale’s heart. Tied to it with fine silvery threads, were the pieces of hearts of all those the little angel had touched in his brief life. Even as he looked the chain grew and grew.
“My dear little one,” Jesus said, “You did not break their hearts. You brought a piece of them back with you. And one day, they, like you, will return to me for the other piece of their hearts.”
I know that Cale has pieces from many of your hearts, I would like to ask all of you that if there is something that you have learned, or an experience that you have had with Cale, please write it down and share it with me – I would LOVE to have those memories as well as my own.
I’m now going to give myself some advice that I have learned though this trial, so that I won’t forget, and if you want to follow it too, feel free.
1. Make each day count – never before in my life have I lived so day to day. It has been difficult for me to not be able to plan on anything. It was also so wonderful that we had so many days that Cale was still doing well that we could go and do things together as a family.
There is a quote that goes:
"The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present."
Yesterday is a canceled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; today is the only cash you have - so spend it wisely” Kay Lyons
Spend your time wisely!!!
2. You never know what people are going through – show more kindness and love to strangers and friends instead of judging them. Everyone is going through trials, they may not be big to everyone, but they are big to someone, and small acts of kindness mean a whole lot when you are feeling a burden. Don’t let it deter you if you don’t know what to do, just do something without being asked to do it.
3. Be a better parent – give your kids what they need and not what they want. The only way we will truly know what their needs are, is by being prayerful and diligent in doing God’s will concerning our children. Remember they are God’s children too. He knows their needs, ask Him and He will guide you as you are parenting. Our time is so short with them while they are small, love them, be patient with them and teach them what is right, so that they will love you and love the Savior.
Many people have wanted to know what they could do for our family during this time. It’s hard to know what to say, but as I have thought about everything that has happened, I would like to ask you all to do something that is the most important thing of all, and might be the most difficult, but if you can try, it would be the greatest gift of all. I want with all of my heart to be with all of my family again someday – I include friends and neighbors as family too – and that means that I want everyone to make and keep their covenants, do what is right, be faithful and diligent in having a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Trust in the Lord that His ways will become your ways, and that we may walk in His paths together. Please also, help me when I struggle, be there for Carl, and for Fisher, Ainsley, and Jovi – be a good example to them and love them. I know that this is the way the church is meant to operate, as we lift each other up, we bind families together forever, not just for this short precious time on Earth, but for all eternity!
I know that Heavenly Father loves each of us, and He knows us so personally that it amazes me. He is in charge of all things. I know that our Savior lives and loves us too. I know that His church has been restored in these latter days, and that the power of the priesthood is real and here to bless our lives. I know that we have a living prophet who leads this church in the way that our Father in Heaven wants it to be led. I know that temples are houses of the Lord, and that there is such a mighty and important work being done there. I know that the scriptures are there for our benefit to come closer to Christ. I have been so blessed with this knowledge, and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.