Friday, April 3, 2009

The Day After

March 20, 2009

I remember watching the clock in my bedroom the day after Sage passed away. As I saw the numbers change to 8:27am I couldn't believe that it had been 24 hours since Crystal had called me to say they had found Sage in his crib. 24 hours without his hugs, laughter, giggles and kissing those chunky little cheeks. I can't explain it but somehow "time" had changed. Things were moving faster and things that had seemed so important the day before had suddenly become "Stuff and Nonsense".
My perspective and how I viewed things had forever changed. We had been unemployed since July and that was no longer the crisis I once thought it was. Somehow we managed to get by, with blessings from the Lord, our needs were taken care of. Did we take the time to thank him for our blessings along the way? Did we let all the "little" things keep us from recognizing how rich we truly were? As I thought about the many prayers of thanks that our family had offered up to the Father over the years I new the answer to that question was "yes". Yes we had taken the time to thank the Father for our blessings. I was comforted in knowing that Crystal and Spencer had family prayer and scripture study with their children every night. What a blessing to know that they would not have to bare the burden of guilt because they had not taken the time to thank the Father for their blessings. All of us took comfort in the fact that we had been and were still grateful for our blessings.
Crystal and Spencer had spent the night with us. There wasn't much sleeping going on mostly tears and talking. We had an appointment with the mortuary that morning. Such a strange thing to watch your daughter plan her sons funeral. It's supposed to be the other way around. No parent ever wants to answer the question, "What size of casket do you need?" "Do you want the casket vaulted?"
Crystal and Spencer had recently returned home from vacationing in San Diego and had loved all of the brightly colored flowers. Sage had loved the flowers and they had laid him on the grass in front of them so take his picture. When the time came to pick out the flowers for Sage's casket they new exactly what they wanted.
After arrangements were made at the mortuary we went to the cemetery. Sage was going to be buried with his Uncle Kenny. Kenny(Spencer's younger brother) died in a car accident when he was 20 years old. It was such a comfort to know Sage and Kenny would rest together.
When we left the cemetery Crystal wanted to go to the Church book store to purchase a picture of Christ with a child. Amanda called about that time and surprised us by saying she was already at the book store and wanted to buy Crystal a painting. We met Amanda at Deseret Books and quickly found the perfect painting. Amanda's in-laws in Utah had all donated money to Crystal and Spencer and they wanted to get something to honor Sage's memory. With the money the Griggs Family sent and help from Amanda and John they were able to buy this beautiful painting.
We went back to Crystal and Spencer's home where family and friends were expected to arrive. I can not explain how strongly the Spirit could be felt in their home. It was as if we were surrounded by Angels. Spencer, Great Uncle Mike and Great Grandpa Pat went outside and finished planting Sage's tree. Great Grandpa thought it was nice that we had chosen a Chinese Elm because that was the tree his parents had planted in the front yard of his childhood home in Flagstaff, AZ.
They planted the tree near the kids play set so one day they could play in the shade of Sage's tree. Crystal and Spencer serve as the Ward Missionaries in Morning Side Ward. Two of the missionaries stopped by with the Bishop's son, who is preparing to serve a mission, to comfort and visit with them. I had to take a photo of their scriptures on the counter. Something about seeing those scriptures touched my heart.
Crystal had the DVD, "Reflections of Christ" playing. The missionaries were later reported to say that they had come to comfort Crystal and Spencer and instead walked away feeling comforted. We all enjoyed watching the video it's so beautiful and a wonderful testament to the life and teachings of Christ.
Today was also Spencer's 32nd birthday. We were so busy with everything else and hadn't planned anything for him. But my sweet 15 year old daughter, RaLee, made a cake then called her big brother and had him take her birthday shopping. She then called all of the family and planned a surprised birthday party for Spencer. It was so sweet to see all the little children around daddy and Uncle Spencer. Spencer later said that this party meant so much to him being surounded by all the little children.
I was so touched to see Crystal's brothers, Royal and DJ, comforting, serving and being so compassionate with their big sister.
Love from a Grandfather
Amanda and John had a bush in their yard for two years that had never bloomed. The morning Sage passed away they noticed the bush had Finally grown the chute that would soon bloom. It made them feel like Sage was reminding them that life continues on, that he is still with us and that we would all be together again.
I am so thankful for the Gospel and for the promise of eternity. How empty and lost we would feel at this time without the assurance that Jesus lives and that we are an eternal family. The blossom on this bush testifies that the gentle hand of God can be seen in all things...that life continues...and that all things will be renewed at the resurrection...testifying of his goodness and tender mercies.

5 comments:

Amanda said...

Amen.

Michelle said...

i'm not a Mormon, but i am a Christian. there are fundamental differences, but really, there is a lot that's the same - we both believe in an all-powerful God and the saving grace of Jesus Christ. and looking at these pictures, reading this entry, i realized that a lot of the difference we think we have are human-made... this could be an entry describing a scene of grief & hope in my own home. and reading this, i was comforted. i was reminded of what's important. and i will continue to pray to the same God you pray to.

- michelle

chloe's clan said...

What a wonderful testimony to read the night before conference. I love being reminded in small ways and in big ways that the Lord is there and knows us and loves us and does have such tender mercies for us. You are lucky to have such a large and supportive family. My husband and I are the only memebers of the church in our families except for my older sister. It makes things a little lonely at times but my testimony grows everyday and I strive on. Just as you do and I am grateful to you for helping to build upon my testimony. Thank you so much!
With love and prayers,
Chloe

Belle's Blog said...

Just a beautiful post! Praying for all of you daily. Love In Christ! Stacy

Geertje said...

I know the sweet and comforting songs of our hymn book. You chose 2 of them as Sage's songs.

I also love songs and poems from other sources if I can share their idea. I found a beautiful song here: http://www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com/

It can be listened to only until Wednesday. Perhaps you would like to visit this blog.

Quote from the lyrics:
"But when anything that’s shattered
Is laid before the Lord
Just watch and see
It will not be
Unredeemed"

We are in the Easter Season again. And I wish that this knowledge of salvation (and temple covenants) will give you some comfort.

Love,
Geertje