Jennifer About

4 Years

Jennifer About

Yesterday marks the four year anniversary of Brad’s death. I have felt this day creeping up. It stresses me out. I don’t really despise or hate this day. Some people may find that interesting. The only reason for that is because I feel that Brad is closer on May 1st. (and that’s saying something, because I feel that he is with us pretty much always) The past 3 May 1st’s have shown me that miracles happen on this day. Like, maybe he is granted permission to be a little more…tangible… on that day because of the meaning it holds for us.  Because of the pain involved with it.  May 1 2008 was my worst nightmare come true. But the May 1st’s since have been different.  It is a tender mercy day now.

I still wouldn’t say I really like this day though. I can feel it creeping up all of April. It’s almost subconscious. I am usually more stressed and emotional and conflicted about it.  It marks another year without Brad. And that always makes me sad.

This year was extra interesting in the events leading up to this day.  About a week and a half ago the diamond fell out of my wedding ring. This ring incident deserves a post of it’s own; but I will just say this for now:  Brad had designed the ring and had it made for me, he surprised me with it and it is safe to say that it is my most prized possession. (if you don’t count photos)  I was devastated to find the diamond missing.

A few days later $3400 worth of fraudulent charges showed up on my debit card. Mainly just a pain in the butt and a time suck. I know it will be worked out; but it’s still stressful.  (still waiting for that refund)

April 30 I decided to get some much needed work done in the yard. We were out there all day. I watered the newly planted flowers and the girls kept wanting to turn on the hose after I was done. I asked them to please not mess with the water.  We came in about 8 p.m. and got dinner and I went downstairs to get some supplies so they could make something to take to the cemetery the next day. On the way into the craft room I found myself standing in a hall full of soggy waterlogged carpet.  I could hear water running. Addie had turned on the hose outside hours ago. The hose has a sprayer on the end  – so I guess that combined with a cracked pipe makes a soggy, flooded toy room, closet and storage room.

And I kindof freaked for a minute. I yelled for Ty to help and my mom was here. We got the water turned off and hauled all the soggy toys out.  I got mad at Addie for turning the water on, and at Sophie for going in the closet where all my teaching stuff is that she knows she needs permission to touch. (about 50 soaked books on the floor were the result of her visit)  I Trashed a bunch of my best books  and then I sat down to cry. I remember saying aloud – Are you freaking kidding me? One more thing? and TODAY of all days! I had planned to go to the temple tomorrow and I just wanted a nice peaceful day to go to the cemetery and be with my girls. Now I was going to get to deal with this crap instead.

I sat there and cried for a while. My sweet little Sophie timidly came up to me. She said with a shaky little voice, “Mom, it’s going to be ok. Do you know why? Because I just said a prayer.” and then she started to cry a little.

And she melted my heart.

I pulled my little girls close and hugged them. We talked about how it is important to obey, but that it would be ok. That it was just stuff. And stuff can be replaced or we can just go without it. That’s it’s not really a big deal. People are always more important than stuff.  I said my own little prayer for help to calm down and know what to do and started to get to work.

Within a few hours this thing I thought was such a big deal really was ok. Between my parents and my awesome brother in law (who takes care of basically two lawns and two homes and is always there to help with whatever) and good neighbors who brought fans – it was ok.

On my way to the store to rent a carpet cleaner (really good at getting water out of carpet by the way) I was thinking – At first I had been so pissed that this had happened on this day.Because it was one more crappy thing that had happened in the last week or so and I was at my limit.  Because it was going to ruin my plans for tomorrow. – But I realized on that quiet drive when I had time to think –  What better day to be reminded that when something goes wrong how blessed I am to have people that drop everything and rush over to help. I have amazing family and friends and neighbors. What better day to be reminded that I am not doing all this alone.  And what better day to remember what really is important.  And that it’s not stuff.

I vividly remember in the weeks following Brad’s death thinking, all this crap we spend our time on everyday is meaningless. And we worry about it, and try to get more of it. Stuff. stuff we spend our time on and our money on. None of it matters at all. None of it is important.  In the moment when something that really IS important happens – everything you thought was such a big deal just immediately falls away. And the things that really matter are crystal clear.  For me those things we my family, and my knowledge of the plan and where Brad was and that there is more than just this life. My knowledge of my Savior, Jesus Christ and that because of Him, I would be with my sweet husband again.  And covenants that I was so grateful to have made. I have thought many times since how lost and hopeless life would be now for me if I didn’t have that knowledge.

Thanks to my wonderful support system I got to keep my plans for May first. I got to have a date with my husband at the temple. I got to stand in the room where we were sealed and know that he is still there with me through all of this. I know he is RIGHT HERE with us. He still influences us and helps us and we feel his love lifting us and carrying us every day. And I know he feels our love as well. And that makes me so happy.

I got to be with my family and do everything I wanted to do on this day. I got to read kind notes from family and friends showing that they love and remember Brad. I got to hear his voice on a hud tape posted by a student pilot he flew with. (tears of Joy accompanied that) 🙂 It was a day where tender mercies abounded. And it was the best May 1st I have had yet. And I appreciated all of it a little more.  And I think sometimes that right there; appreciating it – is the point.

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