It's that time of year again. The 19th seems to sneak up so quickly every year. This year, though, I haven't been sad at all. I have just been so ... grateful. I simply cannot believe how immeasureably blessed I am. How much Heavenly Father loves me. How much He has given me. My cup, truly, runneth over.
I miss my wonderful, beautiful, grumpy, brilliant, bossy, thoughtful, kind, strong little sister. I miss her showing me her art projects. I miss finding little notes from her telling me she looked up to me. I miss her commanding me to do something. I miss making breakfast in bed for her. I miss dressing up the little kids and doing their hair with her. I miss her correcting my speech. I miss sleeping in the same room. I miss surprising my mom by cleaning the house from top to bottom. I miss our late night talks. I miss girls camp with her. I miss the time I had to spend with her.
I am so thankful to have so many things to miss about her.I am thankful that she would show me her art projects and write me little notes. I am thankful she would have me do things for her and that she would sleep in late enough for me to make her breakfast in bed. I am thankful that she would help me get the kids ready. I'm not so thankful for the speech correcting. But I am so thankful that we shared a room, cleaned the house, had late night talks. I am so thankful for our growth at girls camp. I am just so thankful for the time Heavenly Father gave me to spend with her. Those short 15 years have blessed me eternally. They give me so much hope. So much joy.
Anna's funeral was one of the largest I have ever seen. People flew in from all over the western United States. Half of my high school and practically the whole staff of the elementary school was there. The middle school choir sat in the seats on the stand, as well as most of her classmates in the congregation. This girl brought so much joy to so many people. It brings me so much happiness to know that so many people cared about her, and about us.
Naturally, my mom spoke. She is an incredible speaker. Actually, she is an incredible person. I never once saw my mother get angry over the fact that her daughter was gone. Her heart was broken, of course. But she turned to the Savior instead of against Him. She turned her grief to Him so that He might comfort her. She wrote this poem and read it during her talk. And it continues to bring me joy.
Tonight I sit with you.
You seem so tired.
Your poor body exhausted in pain.
Soon my little one,
as you have asked, your pain will end.
But did you know how deeply mine would begin?
I hold your hand, and I remember…
So much joy, so much joy, so much joy!
Do you recall when you came to earth, such a short time ago.
My poor body then exhausted from pain,
In your sweet quiet way you looked into my soul,
and we rested with
so much joy, so much joy, so much joy.
Do you remember the night your sister was born?
Of course, you only two, could not remember details.
But you awoke and came to my side to comfort,
“Don’t cry mamma, our baby is here.
Look see our baby is here.”
Again, so much joy, so much joy, so much joy.
Your sweet deep gravely little voice,
The only child I intimately knew, to pitch a song in alto –
“Jesus said love everyone…”
Smart as a whip, memorizing your favorite stories
telling them with relish and embellishment.
So much joy in those memories, so much joy!
Sweet thoughts and memories run together, mesh and blend
Mom, I have a friend… This is the greatest day… an ‘A’ on a test
I love my Heavenly Father… I need a new dress… I have a job!
My brothers are so cool… I’m going crazy!
Will you help me with this?… What can I do?
We cleaned the closet!... That fireside was awesome
Spencer is my hero… I want to work at Primary Children’s
So much joy in you, so much joy, so much joy.
And now tonight, again, as you are leaving
you have given me a great and awesome gift…
“Mom, your job with me is done.
There is so much joy, so much joy, so much joy.”
Malia Hale, March 2000