25 April 2010

The Gift of Today

For the last couple of weeks I have really been reflecting on the gift of each day. Two Monday's ago a family I know lost their 17-year-old son suddenly and tragically as a victim in a violent crime and since that day I have found myself much more pensive and thoughtful about each day that we are given and how we use that gift.

This young man, Eric, made an obvious impact on so many lives. As news that he was in critical condition after being shot by burglers in his home reached the community, friends and family began to flock together seeking ways to comfort and be there for one another.

When it became obvious that Eric would not recover from this incident, and as his family made the decision to give life to others by donating his organs, the circle of supporters grew even larger and a memorial was organized for and attended by hundreds of youth from church and school who felt the impact of this tragedy.

Then, when Eric's life on this earth was no more, visitation and funeral services brought hundreds and hundreds of people who in some way had felt the impact of this one life.

The funeral was a powerful experience. Despite the intensely overwhelming sadness of losing such an amazing young man, the Lord's Spirit was even more intense and love and hope wound their way into the hearts of everyone there.

The eulogy delivered by his older brother was beautiful, the scriptures shared by his sister who was also at the house during the shooting were powerful, the excerpts of letters written by family members about Eric and read by his oldest sister were joyful, and the message of Christ's love and the power of His Atonement for each of us that was shared by his bishop (and my dad) brought hope to all.

Eric's swim coach also took part in the funeral service and shared the quote, "you can count the seeds in an apple, but you can't count the apples that will come from one seed in that apple."

And so, I have been reflecting. There is no way to tell the impact that each of us can have on any given day. We all interact with countless numbers of individuals, in a variety of experiences and situations. Some people we know, some we don't. Some situations are positive and happy experiences, while others are trials from which we must grow.

The question I ask myself as I think about the obvious impact that this one young man had at the age of 17 on such a diverse range of people from varying age groups, ethnicities, races, and religions is this:

What am I doing today to make a difference?

And with this question in my mind and in my heart, I hope that I will continue to be more aware of "the gift of today."

02 April 2010

Spring is all about new life!

I love Spring!

Winter is coming to an end, warmer days are enjoyable, the sun stays out longer, people are outdoors and wave or smile (or both) when they see you, blades of green grass start to appear, the birds are chirping, flowers bloom,windows are open, there is a smell of lemony freshness that comes with hurculean efforts of cleaning the house, the world just feels happy. Of course, I also love that I still have Spring Break (see previous posts) - a benefit you get when you stay in school ALL your life!

Spring just brings a new sense of life to the world.

This is also the time of year when we celebrate Easter and remember the resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ, who gave all of us a new life by conquering death for each of us. What a gift! One for which I am truly grateful.

This spring is extra special with a new little life, my nephew Hudson, joining my family.

(7 lbs 6 oz & 20 inches long with LOTS of hair and a killer grip!)

My seester and I had the awesome opportunity to actually be in the delivery room when The Little Guy was born. It was incredible! I couldn't help it, I cried when he was born. How could I not! And by cry I mean big tears swelling up in my eyes... a huge lump in the throat that I couldn't swallow... I was overwhelmed! Then HE cried and I just joined in!

My sis-in-law was a ROCK STAR... surriously!

It was amazing to see my brother in the role of husband, coach, supporter, and new dad. I can't believe that this guy is MY "baby" brother!

Not only did I get to be there when The Little Guy was born, but his Big Sis stayed with us through the weekend and had Brian and I laughing a lot!

The Madster always makes you feel like you are important ("Helwooo!"as she runs at you full speed to hug you), she's helpful ("Come on, Kirsten. Kirsten, come on!" with her hand out to help you get up so you can play or dance), she's thoughtful ("Want some?" as she offers you the string cheese where she has taken a bite from the middle), she's concerned about others ("You happy?"), and she's loving ("I WUV YOU!" full voice with a big squeeze around the neck).

I think Mike and D are doing a great job raising Maddy and I know that she will help them teach these lessons to "Baby Hudson".

She will be a GREAT big sister!

I know because I'm the expert on being the Big Sis!!!

Welcome to our family, Baby Hudson!

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