My son is a baseball fan (and a budding baseball pro, even though not yet five years old). He likes the movie, The Sandlot, which is about a bunch of kids who play sandlot baseball. As a mom, I bristle at some of the salty language that some of these kids use, and so my son and I talk about how some of those words would lead to a good soaping. Fortunately, there is only one word from the movie that really rubbed off on my son: "For - E V V V V V - ER!". It comes from a scene where the kids are talking about the junkyard dog who was put under restrictions "For - E V V V V V - ER!". They repeat that word over and over, sticking out their bottom lip as they emphasize the eternal consequence for this dog.
My husband, Prince Charming, helped me post a picture of our family in my blog profile. The picture happens to be one that was taken on September 3, 2005: exactly 79 days before I found out that I had a brain tumor. (It's kind of funny - I look at every picture from 2005 and wonder if some tiny little cancer cells had already begun their evil journey behind the smiling eyes.) Anyway, this picture was taken outside the Dallas Temple, the day we brought Emma there for the first time. Her adoption had been finalized, and we were able to have her sealed to our family. Four years earlier, we did the same thing with Jacob, but it was fun to have him there with us again to witness his sister's ceremony, at an age when he might have some memory of the experience. More than seventeen years earlier, my husband and I (who felt very much like a fairytale princess) were married and "sealed" in the Salt Lake Temple.
In the LDS faith, sealing is a special temple ceremony that binds family members together "for time and all eternity". It is done by special authority that is reminiscent of the moment recorded in the New Testament, where Peter is given authority that "whatsoever" he binds on earth "shall be bound in heaven." It is a comforting and reassuring blessing to know that our family relationships need not be confined to this brief mortal experience. It is fun to explain this to our son, who now proudly proclaims that his family is..."For - E V V V V V - ER!"
I think I mentioned in an earlier post about the "kissing hand" thing that my son and I did together, after reading a children's book called, The Kissing Hand. I gave him a kiss in the palm of his hand, and he did likewise to me. If we're ever apart, we can each put our "kissing hand" on our cheek to retrieve our kiss. It's a cute game that we play. ("Oh, Jacob, when you were at school today, I missed you. So I used my kissing hand to get a kiss from you!") Sometimes he will ask for a recharge of his kissing hand, so I kiss it again for him. But I always remind him that the kisses I put on his kissing hand will never wash away and never wear out, because I am his "For - E V V V V V - ER" Mommy, and he is my "For - E V V V V V -ER" Jake. So those are "For - E V V V V V - ER" kisses on our kissing hands. (But we can add more if we want, just because it's fun!)
My family. My parents and my brothers (and even their wives and kids). Grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and so on. My Prince Charming husband. (And even his parents and siblings.) My two beautiful children - our first miracles through adoption. As I reflect on the bounty of life's blessings, these beautiful family relationships are at the top of my gratitude list. These relationships motivate me more than anything to live as long as I can, just because I enjoy these associations so much. However, since we are eventually all subject to pass from this life (hopefully later rather than earlier), I cling to my understanding that this fairytale princess and her Prince Charming (and all the family realm) can still enjoy a "happily E V V V V V - ER after"...in the great "ever after".
Something I will be grateful for, (here it comes again, folks...) "For - E V V V V V - ER!"