My Dear Children, 1995
When I was a little girl, I needed to be in the hospital several times for several days at a time following surgeries. While there, the nurses were my caretakers, and as much as they could be, my friends. I admired them very much, and for a long time I told everyone that I wanted to be a nurse when I grew up.
While I was in school, I had many wonderful teachers, many of whom became my mentors. I still look up to these teachers, and remember their examples, even though most of them have already passed along to the next life. I have sometimes thought that I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up.
While I was in college, I learned about business and food science and nutrition and people. I had exposure to many brilliant and talented and faithful teachers and mentors and examples. I felt drawn to doing something important with my life, something where I could teach and help others to live better and happier and healthier lives, perhaps in a third world country.
I have been blessed with a very beautiful, talented, loving, and faithful mother, who a little over a year ago passed along to the next life. She was a musician and a teacher. She taught me that I am a daughter of a Heavenly Father, who loves me and wants the best for me. She read to me, sang to me, fed and clothed me, and helped to provide me with every opportunity that she could , so I could learn and become the best that I could be. I have always, always wanted to be Mom.
I was also blessed with two beautiful, talented, loving and faithful grandmothers. One nursed her husband through the great flu epidemic. The other was a teacher and bravely sent her young husband off to war. They grew up in times without electricity and running water and learned very young the importance of hard work. They each helped to teach, nurture, care for, and love me. I cannot remember a time in my life when I have not wanted to be a mother and a grandmother.
I have been blessed with a dear husband and helpmate, and six wonderful, talented and faithful children, and have recently entered the world of being a grandmother. Yes, the years of being Mom have sometimes been challenging and have sometimes brought tears. There have been nights with sick of fussy babies and little or no sleep, There have been mountains of laundry and countless meals prepared and dishes to be washed. There have been scattered toys and messes of all kinds, There have been late nights of helping to finish homework projects and early mornings of helping to deliver newspapers and driving kids to seminary or music practices. There has been paint on the rug and there have been mud pies in the freezer. There have been tantrums and holes punched in walls and fighting and quarrels. There has been illness and heartache and pain and anguish, both for me and for them.
Have there been good times? Most definitely. Sitting with a beautiful, sweet sleeping child in your arms. Seeing their joy splashing in the tub or the pool. Listening to their pure trusting faith as they pray. Reading countless stories and tucking them into bed with a hug and a kiss. Watching them recognize that letters make words and words make the stories they love to hear and can now read for themselves. Seeing them discover the wonderful world of numbers and math and all of its infinite uses. Hearing them play their first tune on the piano or the violin or give their first talk in church. Attending their many concerts and sporting and dance events and art exhibits and busting your buttons. Seeing them learn to cook and create their own delicious treats and even meals. Hearing wonderful reports from teachers. Watching them get so excited over planting their own garden and washing the dishes and helping with chores. Seeing them get their first job, their driver's license, graduate, serve the Lord, enter the temple, and serve their fellow men. Seeing them find someone to love, and the joy they have in becoming parents themselves.
Is it worth it? It most definitely is. I now have more than thirty years of being a mother under my belt, and I can most definitely say it is worth it. I have almost two years experience being a grandmother and look forward to many years of grandmothering ahead. Now all of our children are grown and have left the nest to seek their own fortunes and built nests of their own. I continue to marvel at the wonderful people they have become, and feel so very blessed that they one day long ago they each agreed to come to our family and let me become Mom.
And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness. But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.
King Benjamin, Mosiah 4:14, 15