Friday, July 30, 2010

Loving and Leaving

My best friend is moving.

I searched for a way to gently untie the knots that keep my heart attached to having her close, but they were too strong. Yet, as I've dealt with the pain of having those torn apart, I have found comfort in the stable, strong knots that keep my heart attached to her.

She handed me a gift in the airport drop-off zone on Tuesday, wrapped in a pretty, brown, knitted bag. "You can open this once you get on the plane..." she said. It was our final goodbye before she leaves...while I'm vacationing in Yellowstone, enjoying the Alder family reunion, she will pack her life into a moving van and drive south on the 85 to Atlanta.

An hour later, I stuffed my bags into the overhead compartments, and got the kids interested in drawing pictures of airplanes and houses. "I'm making this one for Katie," McKenzie said. I glanced over just as she finished writing,

To Kadie,
From McKenzie

"That's great, Kenz. We'll have to mail it to her when we get home and find out her new address." The plane started backing away from the terminal and I pulled out the little brown, knitted bag. I read her beautiful card through my tears and carefully opened up the package.

Perfect. In so many ways.

Katie has a passion for learning. . . it's something that I've admired in her countless times . . . and it was that passion that inspired me to take a photography class. The same time I took my class, she took a pottery class; just because. I have always loved Katie's desire to learn new things; and now I have a token of it.

She also has a layer of simplicity that has been refreshing and calming to me over the years. If she doesn't need it, she doesn't own it. So when I saw that just the first initials of our first names were etched in the clay, I felt as if I was holding just a little bit of that simplicity.

The airplane picked up speed and began to shake with the anticipation of lifting into the air. In a moment the shaking turned to a smooth ascent, and I looked out the window as the city I know sank below me. I'm aware that when I return there will be a hole in my life where Katie and Eric's musings used to be, but as I watched my city disappear I felt peace. I felt happy and grateful that I've spent the last five years with these people, and that I love them enough to hurt when they leave.

Good luck in Atlanta, guys. We'll see you soon.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Teach me of the Temple

I find myself staring at this picture sometimes. I actually find it interesting that I love it so much. It's cute, but not that cute...I can see at least four things I would change if I had it to take it over again. Even so, whenever I scan through my pictures, my eyes stop at this one and linger for a bit.

McKenzie is a joy to be around. She is bright, funny, responsible, helpful and inquisitive. I can almost see her mind turning in this picture...thinking about all I've taught her concerning the temple's powerful role in my life. Because of our personal circumstances, her understanding of eternal families and the sealing powers of the temple is developed way above average for a six-year-old. I think she understands, as well as she can, that it is only because of the powers of the temple that we will be able to be together as a family - a whole family - forever.

That's why I love this picture so much. It captures a bit of my testimony, a bit of my heart, a bit of love. It captures the passing of my testimony onto the next generation. It captures one moment in this life, and opens up my feelings for what, and who, awaits us in the next.

I love taking my kids to the temple.
It reminds me of just how beautiful they really are.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Just so you know...

...we are alive. We've just been . . . adjusting.

Have you ever gotten onto a bus and realized that you weren't exactly sure where it was taking you? (That happened to me once. Turns out I had boarded the wrong bus...) It's an uncomfortable feeling as you watch from the window when your bus flies past the turn you were sure it would take. A little confusion... a little panic... a little pretending to know what you're doing when you deboard the bus and accept your new, unexpected destination.

The transition into Brian's second year of ophthalmology residency has felt a little like that. We entered the year with bright hopes as the whispers of better schedules and lighter call nights filled our ears. But, alas, the poor man is being worked to death and because of it, I'm being worked to death, too. Turns out all the promises of better schedules and call nights aren't holding up their end of the deal... sheesh.

But, like I said, we're adjusting.

And now that the public school system has kidnapped my little girl again - which leaves a terribly painful hole in my heart - the days are a bit calmer. So over the next couple of days, I'll sit down and tell you a little about the fun things that have been going on this month.

In the meantime, here are a few fun summer pictures of the kids. And a spider.

Did any of you notice the awesome symbolism in the first picture?
How the bus is actually taking a turn that leads him
away from getting to the doctor?
I was pretty proud of myself for that one!