Last week I decided that I can't do this trip right now. There are a number of reasons - teaching Seminary, work picking up, grandkids who've asked me not to go, but mostly it's only 8 weeks after my surgery. I don't recover well from surgery, and my doctors have all prepared me that this one might be a little tougher than normal. Don't doctors normally tell you how you'll fly through and not to worry? Well, I am very grateful for doctors who tell me the truth and they both have warned me that this one will take a while to recover from. If I'm not supposed to drive for 4-6 weeks, I'm a little concerned about driving every day for four months only 8 weeks afterward.
As I prayed about what to do and thought about it, I kept saying, "But I WANT to!" Just like any spoiled child who hates being told "No," I still wanted it my way. But finally, when I had to make a decision about what to do about teaching Seminary next year, I just decided that I'd need to put off the trip for a while. Then every time that I said aloud, "I'm not going on the trip right now," the Spirit just confirmed to me that it was the right decision. My heart got warmer and started pounding harder, which is my affirmation signal that I've done the right thing. I love being able to have that confirmation available to me!
I'm not scared about the surgery, but it has been running through my mind many times that I need to be 'ready.' I feel very strongly that God has told me that everything will be fine, no matter what the outcome happens to be. So, I've been going along with that and feeling comfortable about whatever happens.
As I've prayed and thought about life in this past month, I realized that there were certain things that I wanted to do and to eat(!) before surgery, just in case it was the last time. I'm a planner, what can I say? So, here are some of the things that I got to do that were on my list of things that I really wanted to do:
- I went to my grandson Tommy's school play and got to see him recite his portion of the play perfectly and to sing some really cute songs about bugs.
- I got to spend time on Easter with all of my family - all four sons, three daughters-in-law, and four of the five grandkids. I'd spoken with Finn the week before, so I've been able to send love to all of them.
- I had some really good conversations with all three daughters-in-law, my mom and my siblings.
- Bob held my hand and put his arm around me at the movies and when we went to the Temple, without my initiating it! (You have no idea what a big deal this is!)
- We've prepared good food many times, had the missionaries over for dinner and got to visit friends for other meals.
- We went to a wedding, visited the temple, went window shopping, all fun things.
- I helped two first time home-buyers buy their first homes which is really wonderful. I also was able to help a seller through a really tough time when a pipe burst in their house while we were under contract.
- I attended some awesome classes and got excited about working on my business to become even better.
- I've been able to teach my terrific Seminary students each day and as an added extra blessing, over the past couple of weeks, I've had the privilege of hearing almost every student pray for me in opening or closing prayer. That's an amazing gift.
- I had a complaint on my business and a friend's baby died in a choking accident, so I felt some difficult feelings, too. But I think life is about feeling all of the emotions, not just happy ones.
- I enjoyed the wonder of Spring finally coming; daffodils, tulips and crocus pushing through the ground, blossoms popping out on the trees, lambs and little calves in the fields around our home.
- I got to be a speaker in a Relief Society meeting. (That's the women's group in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)
- I got to sing in the Frederick Stake Choir for the Easter program and enjoyed learning three more portions of Handel's Messiah.
- I was able to serve others in many ways.
- I received some wonderful compliments from friends, one that especially affirmed one of my core beliefs about the type of person I want to be.
- I got to be a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a Visiting Teacher, a Seminary Teacher, a speaker, someone who helps someone in need. All things that I love doing.
- I got to walk a labyrinth.
- I ate felafel, lobster, a good steak, aebelskiver, See's candy caramels and many more things that I love.
- I got to go to the movies a couple of times - once with Bob, once with Tommy.
- Tom and Nick and I played board games together and laughed together a lot.
- I got to play with Maddison's hair for a little while until she went to play again. Plus I got to see her without her two front teeth.
- I was creative and felt really good about finishing three quilt tops and I'm nearly finished with two others.
- I was able to watch all four sessions of General Conference for our Church and feel spiritually fed.
- I've listened to good music, read a couple of books, done a bunch of crossword and other puzzles.
- I got a manicure and pedicure!
- I've worked, I've played, I've loved others and felt much love from others to me. I've read and studied, learned new things, met new people and been entertained. I've felt happy and sad and grieved with others. I've felt proud and disappointed. I've felt gratitude and felt blessed over and over again.
So now, as I go to have surgery on Tuesday, I don't plan on dying (and my doctors all think everything should be fine), but I feel at peace with whatever happens. I've done so many things that I've wanted to do. I'm a little sad about not taking the trip starting in June, but I know it will happen eventually. Just not right now.
I bought a book at Barnes and Noble the other day called "The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die" by John Izzo, Ph.D. The secrets he includes in the chapter headings are:
- Be True to Yourself
- Leave No Regrets
- Become Love
- Live the Moment
- Give More Than You Take
I haven't read the book yet, but I think I've done pretty well on all five of those topics. I have no regrets and I have been blessed to feel completely overwhelmed with love - both FROM friends and family and FOR them, too.
I do hope that I will be able to come and visit all of you soon. God bless you.