Monday, February 28, 2011

Friends

About 12 years ago I was a primary teacher in the Plano 3rd Ward. If I remember correctly the children in the class were about 11 years old. What I do remember is one of the boys whose name was Edgar. He always impressed me with his bright countenance and constant smile and every time I think of him a smile comes to my face.

A few years ago, shortly after Krista's diagnosis I ran into him at church. He was in his late teens at the time but could only walk with the assistance of crutches. He had been diagnosed with the same cancer as Krista was but it was closer to his brain stem and had already affected his motor functions. Despite this he still had that ever present smile on his face.

Krista and I kept in touch with him and his mother Liliana over the next few years. We would find comfort in each other knowing we all shared the same trial. A couple of years ago we ran into them at the Dallas temple. Krista and I had just finished an endowment session and were walking to our car. Edgar and his mother were about to leave the temple themselves. Edgar was in a wheel chair now and had lost almost all control of his body. Yet he was beaming with joy. Not only was he able to receive his own endowments but he had just done his father's temple work so that they could be together in the eternities. It seemed as if his trial didn't matter anymore. He had the blessing of the temple for himself and his family and whatever happened next was fine, he knew he was ready. That was the last time we saw him.

Edgar passed away on September 22, 2009. He was a good friend and we were saddened that his life was shorter than expected. But we were happy for him to finish this trial and return back to his Father in Heaven and his earthly father that had passed on before him. I can just imagine how joyous that reunion must have been.

After Krista's memorial services, when we just arrived at the cemetery to dedicate her grave, Liniana pulled me aside and whispered to me that her son, Edgar, was buried in the same cemetery, just yards from where Krista was to be buried. I was filled with joy to know this. Krista's body was laid to rest just yards from our friend who had passed away just a little over a year earlier. They were friend in this life and I'm sure that friendship continues even now.

Yesterday, in Sunday School, we were studying Christ's Sermon on the Mount. As we were reading the Beatitudes I was asked to share with the class how the Gospel has comforted me while mourning the loss of my wife and best friend. I shared the experiences, the help and comfort that I was blessed with. When I finished others in the class shared their thoughts and experiences of comfort during times of mourning. As I listened I looked around the room and noticed so many in that room who blessed me and my family with comfort during the last couple of months. As I was gratefully pondering this my eyes fell upon Sister Win Marsh, a wonderful friend and truly an angel. She and her husband had lost several of their children and knew what it meant to mourn. Shortly after Krista's death Win sought me out to talk to me, to share with me their experiences with the loss of a loved one and to let me know what to expect and what was perfectly normal at a time like this. She also happened to be the Relief Society Compassionate Service Leader or as Krista would call it "Captain of the Angels". What a blessing she was in this capacity at this time. She knew what I was going through, what I was feeling and what help I would need without even asking. Many times she would recommend areas of service for my family that I hadn't thought of. She was a great blessing for us when we needed her.

For the last few weeks, while driving in the car, I've been listening to President Thomas S. Monson's biography "To The Rescue". Chapter 26 of his book is titled "There Are No Coincidences". It talks about how people are put in the path of other people's lives for a reason. It not just haphazard or coincidental that certain people have been a part of our lives. I know many people that have been a blessing to me and my family. I'm thankful that I live where I do, that I'm in the ward I'm in, that Jacob and Emma go to the school they go to and that I've been blessed by so many good people. I know they have been put there by the Lord's hand to help us in our time of need. I hope and pray that some day I may return the favor to Him and be of help and comfort to others when the Lord has need of me.

We all have the ability to help, comfort and uplift our fellow men. We each have unique abilities and talents that can bless the lives of others. We need to be ready to seek out those in need so that we may "succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees" D&C 81:5. If we diligently seek out those in need and listen to the promptings of the Spirit we can be instruments in the Lord's hands to bring comfort to those that stand in need of comfort and further His work here upon the earth.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jared, you already return HIS favor every single day, by setting examples of clean Christian living, bible study and prayer to your children and all those people who cross your path at any given time.

You ARE giving back, every single day. You are a walking billboard of faith and compassion. What a great world we would live in if there were more men like Brother Jared walking the earth!

Dawn

rod.r said...

Hi Jared

I have read this blog from time to time over the past two years, and was saddened to read of Krista's passing.

I first came across the blog in March 2009 when my own wife, at just 39, was diagnosed with a GBM.

Jo passed away on 23rd January 2011 after only 23 months, and I am left with our two boys who are 10 and 7.
I'm glad you have continued on her good work here and I realise a lot of what you are now experiencing, I too am going through as well.

I am not from a religious backround and do not practice any particular faith, but Jo's passing has given me a kind of faith that she still exists on some spiritual level.

Keep up the good work.

best regards,

rod, [ from new zealand ]

mommymuse said...

thank you for this post. I needed it. And thanks for continuing Krista's blog. I find it very comforting.

Claudin said...

Hi Jared - my father passed away for GBM in 2008 after a 10 month battle. I am so sorry to learn of your loss as well. My twin sister and I recently started a blog about a charity event we are organizing in his memory and to raise awareness of this horrible type of cancer. In comming across your and Krista's blog, I have related to much of your stories and experience. Thank you for sharing your stories with us

ICSI Mexico said...

Friends are treasure :)