Sunday, August 15, 2010

52 Blessings--The Plan of Happiness

Abe and Grace

While Abe was deployed to Iraq he asked Grace to read lots of stories to Clara, so often in the evenings Grace, Ande, and I would sit on the couch and read a story to her. Grace liked to read The Little Engine that Could to Clara. It’s the story of a little train that never gives up. Ande’s favorite book to read to Clara was Heggedy Peg, the story of a mother who loves her children and would do anything to help them. I liked to read Fanny’s Dream to her, the story of a young girl who has a dream, but her life turns out differently than what she had hoped. Clara liked stories. Ande would poke Grace’s stomach and say, “Wake up Clara. It’s time to read” and Clara would respond with a kick.

I would like tell you a story. A true story. A story in which Clara, and Abe, and Grace, and every one of us in this room have a part. The story starts long, long, long ago in a place far away from here. We were living as spirits with our Father and Mother in Heaven and our Heavenly family. Our Father in Heaven wanted the very best for his children. Our Heavenly Parents love us very much and our Heavenly Father wanted each one of his children to have all that He has, so He called us all together in a large family council to tell us of His plan. Heavenly Father told us that in order to be truly happy, we needed to gain a body and then with that body learn to keep His commandments. We needed to be able to make choices. He told us about coming to Earth to get that body and be tested whether or not we would choose to keep His commandments.

Heavenly Father then said He needed someone to come to Earth to “mark the path and lead the way.” He needed someone who could unlock the gate of death so that we could all return to our heavenly home. Jesus Christ, our oldest brother, stepped forward and volunteered. He said, “Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.” (Moses 4:1) He offered to come to Earth and show us how to live. He would show us how important it was to love each other, to love God, to be baptized to show our Heavenly Father that we were willing to keep covenants with Him, and other things we would need to know. Jesus promised to be the perfect example of living on Earth far away from our Heavenly Home. He also promised that He would unlock the gate of death, so that we could all come through it and return to our Father and Mother in Heaven.

Satan also stepped forward and said, “. . . here am I, send me. I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.” (Moses 4:1)

Heavenly Father chose the Savior to fulfill His plan and then He let all of us choose whether or not we wanted to follow his plan. A third of our family chose to follow Satan instead of our Heavenly Father. After a great battle, Heavenly Father cast out Satan and his followers. They weren’t allowed the opportunity to come to Earth to gain a body.

We were excited to come to Earth and get our bodies, in fact we shouted for joy. (Job 38:7) Some of us would come to live in hard times; some would come to live in hard places; some of us would live on Earth a long time; some of us would only live 50 minutes, but because we could see the whole plan, we didn’t care. We were just so glad we got to come to Earth, live and experience mortality, and have an opportunity to make choices.

And that is the part of the story where we are today, when it was Clara’s turn to be on Earth.

Seven months ago Abe and Grace called. Knowing that Grace would live in Washington during Abe’s deployment to Iraq, Abe asked if they could have furniture delivered to our home. Knowing that we only had an air mattress in Grace’s room, I asked what kind of furniture and he said, “A crib and a baby dresser.” And that was the very first part we knew in Clara’s story.

A week later, after Grace’s ultrasound, I asked Grace how the baby was and she said, “It looks like a little grain of rice right now.” The next week I asked Abe how their little grain of rice was doing and he said, “Oh, it’s not a grain of rice anymore, it’s the size of a blueberry now.” Week by week, little Clara grew and grew and grew. Before we knew it she was the size of a shrimp and then a lime. Each week Ty called Grace to find out the size of the baby and then he nicknamed her as she grew. The week she was the size of a green pepper he named her Belle.

One day Grace went to the doctor to find out what the baby would be, a boy or girl. Everyone guessed and guessed, but Grace wouldn’t tell until she had a chance to talk to Abe on the phone. And then . . . and then, they decided they would keep it their own special secret for a few more hours. Finally, Abe called. Grace answered and then handed us the phone, telling us Abe wanted to be the one to tell us the news. Grace began texting and calling her family while Abe told us that their baby was a girl.

The next day the doctor’s office called Grace and said they needed to discuss the results of the ultrasound. Grace immediately sensed that there was something dreadfully wrong with Clara. Grace asked Calvin to give her a blessing before she went to the doctor and in that blessing, our Father in Heaven told Grace that He was very much aware of the situation and that no matter what happened everything would be okay. The doctor explained there were severe problems with Clara’s development and sent Grace to Spokane for further testing. The next day when the ultrasound technician began to take pictures of little Clara, the first picture we saw was of Clara with her thumb up. The technician, not knowing of the blessing that Grace had received the day before, said “Look! She’s saying, ‘Thumbs up, mom.” We all felt as if Clara were letting us know that everything was going to be okay.

The ultrasound and doctors confirmed Grace’s suspicions that something was very wrong with Clara. Clara had a diaphragmatic hernia which meant that all of the organs that should have been in her abdomen had moved up into her chest and moved her heart over to the right side. With her stomach, intestine, and liver in the chest cavity there was no longer enough space for Clara’s lungs to develop. The doctor’s also discovered that there was some connective tissue missing in Clara’s brain that would make it hard for some parts of her brain to communicate with other parts of her brain. These problems would make it very, very difficult for Clara to live for very long if at all.

One of the blessings of having Clara with so many physical problems was the doctors wanted Grace to have an ultrasound every month so they could see how she was. Every few weeks, Grace would lie on the bed for an hour and a half while the technician filmed Clara. One of the benefits of so many filmings was getting to observe Clara. Sometimes I think the Lord gives you a little extra blessing when He knows you won’t have a little baby live very long by letting you get to know their personality while they are inside of you. At least that was the case with Clara. Because we got to watch her move and react for so many hours, we learned a lot about her. For example, she liked playing with her ear and once when the technician said something about her moving her hand so he could take a picture she covered her face and shook her head no. One time Calvin, Grace, and I watched Clara as she pushed her little bottom up into the air like a little stinkbug. Up and down, up and down, she moved her bottom. After seeing it several times we began to laugh. The longer we laughed the more Clara pushed up and down. Calvin, Grace, and I looked at each other. There was no doubt in any of our minds that Clara was very much aware that we were in the room and was showing us her very first “family night” part. While she was pushing up and down it moved her forward until her head was stuck in the folds of Grace. Clara couldn’t go forward, so she started flutter kicking until she was free. Again we laughed. And Clara continued to move around for us. Because Grace could breathe for Clara and take care of all of her physical needs, Clara was free to just be Clara without any struggling. It was a great blessing to see her in that blissful and happy state many times.

After Grace first received the news about Clara’s dim prognosis she sobbed and sobbed. First she put her head in my lap and cried and then she leaned against Calvin’s chest and cried as he held her. She called Abe and he added his tears to hers. They had so many hopes and dreams for their little girl and their little family. They were far, far apart and had to grieve separately. However, two days after the doctor told Grace of Clara’s condition, Grace quietly announced to the family, “I’m going to be happy. Clara does not need a mother who is sad or depressed. Clara needs a happy place if she is going to grow. I will give her that happy place to grow.” And she did. Grace was happy and positive; following the example that the Savior set when he came to Earth.

Because Abe and Grace knew their time might be very short with Clara, they didn’t waste any of it. Grace often put headphones on her stomach so that Abe could talk to Clara, and each day over the computer, they had their family prayers together. Grace has a beautiful voice, but quit singing once she left high school. Abe asked Grace to start singing to Clara and so Grace asked Shauna Roylance to help her sing again. While singing to Clara one day Grace sang “I Wonder When He Comes Again.” That song came to be known as Clara’s song. Shauna and her girls will sing it for you soon and you too will see why it’s perfect for Clara, and for all of us. It reminds us of what is ahead in our story.

One day Cali asked Grace if Clara let her sleep at night or if she kept her awake. Grace said, “No. She’s quiet. She knows I need my sleep and so she plays quietly with her hands or plays with her ear until it’s morning.” Grace would lie in bed quietly each morning until she could feel Clara move before they started their day together. One day Grace said, “Clara and I are going shopping today.” And they did at their favorite store: Target. Another time Grace said, “I think we should take Clara swimming today” and so off we went to Becky Earl’s swimming pool. Grace enjoyed every day with Clara and then she would report to Abe on what they had done with their day. Once Grace scolded Clara as we sat down to eat. She said, “No Clara. Today we have to eat real food. We can’t always just eat sugar.” A couple of weeks ago Grace told Abe, “Clara’s tired of being naked. She wants to be born so she can wear jewelry. She just feels so blah right now.” Sure enough. Clara was tired of being naked because she was born soon after.

Grace and Abe spent many days praying and fasting that they would understand what the Lord’s will concerning Clara was. They wanted to help her fulfill her mission here on Earth and to live as long as the Lord wanted her here. They needed to know whether or not they should let Clara pass quietly from this Earth or ask doctors to offer massive intervention. Each time they received the assurance that they would know what to do when the time came. And each received their own witness of the Lord’s plan for Clara.

Ammon said, “Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.” (Alma 26) That is how Grace and Abe feel about their experience with Clara. They feel the desire to rejoice in his goodness and in his miracles and in his promises, because there were so many.

Many miracles attended Abe, Grace, and Clara the night she was born. Doctors had wanted Grace to deliver in a larger facility, but Grace went into labor too quickly to be transported and so Clara was born here in Moses Lake. It turned out to be a very big blessing. The hospital was quiet and peaceful and her nurses, Tiffany Valdez and Laska King, were so attentive and kind and understanding. There was a sacred reverence in the room as little Clara was born and struggled to take a breath. Just two days before Clara was born doctors in Seattle had reported to Grace that essentially there was no lung tissue developed. But when the doctor and nurses gave Clara to Grace to hold, Clara took a slow breath and then another. Grace cried, “She’s alive!” and Calvin quickly and quietly put his hands upon her little head and gave her a name and a blessing. Loving her as the Savior asked us to love one another and to care for one another, Grace whispered to Clara as she struggled to breathe regularly, “It’s okay Clara. You can go now. You don’t have to stay and suffer. Don’t stay for me, you can go back home.” Soon Grace was on the phone with Abe telling him all about their little baby girl and Clara began to breathe more regularly. Grace put the phone to Clara’s ear so that Abe could talk to her. And Clara continued to breathe. Soon Ande had Skype connected and Abe could see the pictures of Clara and Grace while he talked to them. Minute after minute Clara kept breathing. Her little heart, pushed clear over and up under the right clavicle continued to beat. Clara grasped Grace’s finger at the very first and held it as Grace talked to her and we gathered around Clara to kiss her feet, fingers, and head. After thirty minutes I said, “Grace, sing her her song” and as Grace began to sing Clara’s little eyes fluttered in recognition. And still she kept breathing.

After fifty minutes, her heart beat and breathing began to slow down. Grace again whispered to her, “Go Clara. You did what you needed to do. Everything is okay. You can go now.” Abe and Grace watched as Clara quietly slipped away. For the next several hours we marveled at the miracle we had just been a part of. Not only was it the miracle of life, not only was it the miracle of Clara breathing with very little developed lung tissue, but it was the miracle of death and the miracle of angels in attendance to minister to the needs of the living as well as the passing. It was a sacred event. Grace was able to hold little Clara’s body through the night. She only slept for ten minutes and that was with little Clara nestled safely under Grace’s chin. I asked Grace if she wanted to sleep and she said, “I can sleep forever, but I only get to hold my baby tonight.”

In the quiet of the night, Grace reflected upon the moment Clara was born. She had witnessed herself that the clock turned 7:01 when she was born. The Spirit quietly reminded her that 7/01 is also hers and Abe’s anniversary — the day they had made their family a forever family through the power of the Holy Priesthood in the House of the Lord. Grace understood that the Lord was reassuring her that Clara would be hers and Abe’s for eternity and 7:01 would always remind them of that. Alma tells us, “. . . God knoweth all the times which are appointed unto man.” (Alma 40:10) Another little miracle that God knows us and loves us.

While Grace was delivering Clara, Abe was miles away making the sacrifice to protect mine and yours and Grace’s and Clara’s freedom. But just as the Savior comforted Grace while she carried and gave birth to little Clara, so the Savior comforted Abe far away in Iraq where he was unable to see Clara grow within Grace or hold her as she took her first and last breath. The Lord blessed him with a sacred reassurance that there was purpose in the way the events had transpired. Truly Abe and Grace can say, “Who can glory too much in the Lord?” for they have been so blessed and recognize the peace that passeth all understanding that they have been given.

And you, the friends and family of Clara, Abe, and Grace have truly mourned with them while they mourn and comforted them while in need of comfort. Your travels, calls, thoughts, e-mails, flowers, food, attention, prayers, homes opened and offered, errands run, booties and blankets crocheted, gifts given and made, dresses bought, a selfless and kind funeral attendant . . . you are all a part of the miracle of the Savior tending to the little Abe Payne family needs through the hands of his servants. Thank you for being a very real part of Clara’s story here on Earth.

Clara is now a few pages ahead of us in the story. She has in the words of Alma, “. . . (been) taken home to that God who gave her life.” She is in that “. . . space between death and the resurrection of the body” and in a state of happiness and peace. (Alma 40:11, 21) There she does not struggle for breath, nor does her brain struggle to communicate with her body. She is happy and there she will wait for Abe and Grace and the rest of her loved ones until the Lord comes again and her body and her spirit are reunited eternally. Then it will be as Joseph Smith taught, “. . . an infant child laid away in death (will) come up in the resurrection as a child and (pointing to a mother whose child had passed away) you will have the joy, the pleasure, and satisfaction of nurturing this child, after its resurrection, until it reaches the full stature of its spirit.” And what a joy it will be to raise Clara, for she is a celestial spirit. Joseph Smith also revealed that “. . . all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven.” (D&C 137:10)

Abe and Grace will have the privilege of raising Clara. I know this. They know this. I also know that until that day when sometimes there arms ache and their hearts are homesick and lonely for their little girl that the Savior will give them strength and comfort, happiness and courage. The Savior understands what it is like to hurt and to be sad. Way back at the beginning of our story, the Savior promised that he would “(come) forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.” (Alma 7:11-12) I know this is true. I know the Savior will succor us according to our infirmities, our hurts, our needs. Just as He will protect and nurture Clara while Abe and Grace are away, He will protect and nurture Abe and Grace while Clara is away. And then, when we are all reunited . . . that’s when the story gets to the really good part.

I’d like to close with Grace and Abe’s testimonies. They wrote these a couple of months ago when they realized the challenge that faced all three of them:

First Grace’s:

Abe and I know that Clara will always and forever be our little girl. We are so thankful that through the Atonement of Christ our broken hearts will be healed and that through the Resurrection, Clara will receive a perfect body and we will get to hold her in our arms again. We are so thankful to have been married in the temple where we are sealed to Clara for all eternity. She is our special little girl and we wouldn't trade her for anything. Even though this has been hard, Abe and I know that we will learn so much from this, and we feel so honored Heavenly Father would send such a special little girl into our lives. We feel so blessed and wouldn't trade her for anything. I hope that I get to carry her full term so that I can be close to her as long as I can. I ask for your prayers that this will happen. I love this little baby so much and I want to help her keep fighting.

This is so hard, but like I said I feel so honored to be Clara Ann's mother. I know I will be with her again and "everything will be okay!"

Now Abe’s:

I was crushed when I heard the news about Clara Ann. It broke my heart to know that she won't be the perfect little girl we had hoped for. I cry every time I think that Grace and I aren't going to get to hold our little girl more than a day or two. I'm never going to see Grace rock and sing her to sleep. It hurts so much to know that she's never going to grow up and play with dolls. She's never going to go to school. She's never going to play any sports. She's never going to go on a date. She's never going to do hair and makeup with her mom. It kills me to think of all the things my little girl is never going to get to do. I hate that Grace and I don't get to plan for things like clothes to buy, toys to buy, how to paint her room, taking her outside to play...instead we have to plan on where to bury our baby, what kind of casket to get, what type of headstone. This was not at all what we had hoped and dreamed for. Last night I broke down and bawled for 15 minutes when I thought of everything we couldn't do with Clara and all the things we were going to have to do instead. These past few days have been the worst days of my life.

However, I have learned a lot in the past few days. I've learned that babies definitely receive a spirit before they are four months old. There is no doubt in my mind that Clara has received her spirit. By seeing her pictures and hearing Grace talk about what she does during the ultrasounds, I've learned that she definitely has a personality...she's got a lot of attitude just like her mom. . . (Clara) never should have lived this long, but she has refused to give up. She's a fighter and she's stubborn just like her mom. I never knew I could feel so much love for someone I've never seen.

I've also found great peace and comfort in these past few days. It has been a comfort to know that Clara has the most amazing and loving mother in the entire world. Grace has done so much to care for and love her. I have felt a lot of peace from knowing that Grace loves Clara and still wants to do everything she can to make sure she has a good experience on Earth. It's also been a comfort to know that you all were there to support Grace and help her through this difficult time. I'm so glad that we decided to have her live in Moses Lake rather than stay in Colorado. I can't imagine these past few days if she had been alone through all of this. Heavenly Father has also done a lot to comfort me. Although I'm immeasurably saddened by this, I've felt peace throughout it. I know that Grace and I will have the opportunity to someday raise Clara. She'll have a perfect body and won't have any problems. I can't wait to see Grace be able to hold our little girl without all the heartache of letting her go. I know that the resurrection is real. Last night . . . I was pleading with Heavenly Father because I hurt so much. As I was talking to Him, I received the impression, "Now you get a small glimpse of what I went through with my Son." I'm grateful that I was able to get a small glimpse at what it was like and to gain a greater understanding of the pain it must have cause Him to have to leave His Son alone in the most trying time. I know that through the Atonement, Christ has made it possible for us to all be together again. I'm so grateful that he suffered so much pain and anguish to be able to comfort us and ease our pain. I'm grateful that Grace and I were sealed in the temple and that Clara will always be ours. I don't know how I'd make it through this if I thought she was gone forever. I've felt that when Clara goes, Grandpa Payne is going to be waiting there for her to be with her and take care of her. I've felt at peace throughout all this that everything is happening exactly as the Lord planned it. It was a comfort to know a smiling face was going to be waiting for her. I'm also excited to know that Clara was special enough before this life that she didn't need to prove anything here...she only needed to come and receive a body. I'm so grateful that we received Clara. I'm grateful that we received such a special girl. This has been a hard experience, but I wouldn't trade it and I wouldn't trade Clara for any other baby. I know that Heavenly Father loves us and is mindful of us.

Yes, the best of the story is still to come – the time when we are all reunited in our heavenly home with our Father and Mother in Heaven. But until then, we must take good care of this part of the story. We must develop it so that the end will be all we want it to be. We must live like Clara lived. As King Benjamin taught, “We must put of the natural man and become a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and become as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord sees fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.”

I am grateful Clara truly taught me more about this scripture. I am grateful to Abe and Grace for their example of this. I know the Savior lives. I know Clara lives. Truly, “Everything will be okay.”  What a blessing to know this.


Nikki said...

I am bawling and bawling right now. What a beautiful story. I read every word and felt all the emotion throughout. My prayers are with you all.

Michelle said...

what a beautifully written summary of the events of the last 7 months! You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

Derek-Jenny-Kaitlynd-Ethan-Dylan said...

Thank you for putting this down.

Thank you again for everything you did for us while we stayed in your neck of the woods.
I was completely amazed by the community that surrounds you. What an amazing ward family you have. You are so blessed.

Tiffany Fackrell said...

Even though this story didn't end the way that we all had really hoped it ended the way the Lord wanted and how it was suppose to. It was a beautiful story about a beautiful little girl born to an even more beautiful mother and father. Jane you have raised some VERY strong children who married an even stronger woman. Even though I don't know them that much my heart is SO full of love for them right now.

hennchix said...

Oh Jane! You can put into words so beautifully and eloquently what has transpired in the last months. Be sure to save this for Abe and Grace, they will need it later. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, and allowing me to peek into your righteous and testimony filled lives.

Lucy said...

what powerful testimonies. I know this to be true too and I am grateful to you, Grace, Abe and Clara Ann for helping me remember this wonderful truth.

Susan said...

It was even more beautiful when I listened to you say it. Much thoughts and prayers to you and your family...

Good to see Abe and Grace together today!

Puhlman said...

I am grateful for you strength and testimony. I am in awe of the family you raised. I pray I can do even half the job you did. I know that Clara was SO loved. I know that families are forever and what a blessing that is. What a hard trial to endure. I recently found this quote that I love so much....I hope you will love it as much.

"God's will is what we would choose if we knew all the facts."

my prayers are with Grace and Abe and your whole family at this time. I feel so blessed to know you Jane. You have a way of righteously changing and influencing so many.

Kelly said...

I read this before church, and it was all I could think about during the sacrament. You are so generous to share Clara's beautiful story with all of us. I am so struck by Abe and Grace's strength, testimony and complete selflessness. You have an amazing family, Jane.

Jill said...

This is just beautiful.

Mike and Lisa said...

What a lucky girl Clara is to be born into such a wonderful family to have for eternity. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Rachel said...

Clara has been on my mind all week and I can't wait to meet her. I love you all!! My prayers are with you.

Barb said...

I shared Clara's story with the Marriage and Family Sunday School class which Ken and I teach when you first posted Abe and Grace's testimonies. Their family has been prayed for in our ward, and I know that they have been buoyed up by many prayers these past months. Thank you for sharing your testimony.

Barb said...

We own a copy of The Little Engine That Could, but I have not ever heard of Ande's book nor yours. So they are on my hold list at the library and I look forward to reading them to my daughters.

Samantha said...

I was in charge of sharing time today, where I got to teach all of the little kids about the resurrection. I'm glad I read this post after church; I don't think I would've been able to keep myself together if I would've read this beforehand.

I'm so grateful that you shared your lives and this story so openly with all of us. I was really touched by the Spirit as I read it. Our God is a God of miracles, and your story only reaffirms that. I'm so grateful to Abe and Grace's example of pure love. It makes me want to be a better mother. I am so sorry for your loss and my heart is with your family.

Emma J said...

What a beautiful way to tell this. I am amazed at the courage of Grace. And grateful for the example of you all.

melanie said...

Your message is so powerful and watching you speak, I couldn't help but smile as your love for Clara, Grace, Abe and your whole family radiated through the chapel. You are so dear and so real. I love you.

Deanna/Mimi said...

Your story of Clara, Abe and Grace needs to be told to the world. My daughter Julie had several miscarriages and it finally got to the point that she needed support, to be able to read how others coped with the passing of a child. She found some things that helped her, but your story is the most beautiful, sacred and comforting that I have read. I appreciate you sharing it with all of us. I hope one day that you will considerate sharing it and making it available to more people. You had an angel in your midst..thou are highly favored of the Lord. I have learned much from you, from Grace and Abe and precious Clara. Thank you...thank you from the bottom of my heart.

deidra said...

What tender testimonies from your whole family, in the words written and in actions. I'm strengthened and uplifted by your sharing of this experience.

Amy said...

Of course I'm bawling, too. Thank you for sharing, Jane.

Katie said...

My heart hurts so much for Grace, Abe, and all of your family. I will be thinking of you, and you will all be in our prayers.

Leigh said...

This is so beautiful and sacred. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Rebecca said...

So I have a headache from trying to hold my emotions at bay. I wish I could've met you Grace when we were in Moses Lake last month. God couldn't have chosen a more loving, thoughtful, fun mother to send Clara to. Thank you for teaching me the value of life and love. May God speed your heartache and bless you with more than you can hold.

michelle said...

I'm sitting here, just crying and crying. So many tender mercies here - I just love that Clara was born at 7/01, that Calvin was able to give her a name and a blessing, that Abe was able to see her breathing and being so loved, that she recognized her song when Grace sang it, and that Grace was able to hold her all night long.

Where would any of us be without the plan of happiness?

Whidget said...

What a beautiful blog. Thanks, Aunt Jane.

Price Cream Parlor said...

This is beautiful Jane!
Thank you for sharing with us!
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your sweet family.
What a great example of love and tenderness Abe and Grace are.
I am truly moved by your words and the truth behind them. SO grateful for the plan of happiness.
Grateful for the Spirit of Peace when we need it.
So many tender mercies!

Leslie said...

I missed a bunch of your blog when I was away this summer in Utah and never realized all that had happened in your family. When I told a friend today that I was going to be at your sb retreat next month, she mentioned Clara's story to me and I was so shocked and sad to hear that. I just wanted you and Abe and Grace to know how sorry I am that her life was so brief on this earth, but was a special life it was. I was so touched by their experience and your testimonies and you have strengthened mine.hugs - Leslie

Noriko Anderson said...

i read this last night. Needing some comfort I remembered that Abe had experienced something similar to me and it was shocking that I could even remember the month, I was able to find this quickly! It was the comfort I needed. Abe and Grace are so amazing. Their testimonies, I can't even think of words to express how helpful they were to me last night. Although they did make me feel a little like a pansy because I haven't dealt as well with things. Anyway I just want you to let them know that although it's unfortunate that we have to experience such similar trials, I'm grateful to have such a great example to follow, something to give me hope, and boost to keep on. I've always felt like we meet people for a reason, and in this case I'm so grateful to have met your family! I have so many great memories of Abe and Cali, and they still continue to be great examples to me!