After dropping Ledger off at my parent’s house, I drove off in a hurry, hoping to make it to at least one Doctor’s appointment on time. I pulled in with one minute to spare, and found my self struggling against the all too common Rexburg wind with a baby carrier in each hand. After squeezing through the front door, I collapsed in the first available chair and let a loud sigh of relief - I had made it. I hadn’t been waiting long, when a little old man walked by, and as he placed his hands on the door, he stopped and looked back at me to ask, “Two babies?” I laughed, and replied “Yep, two.” Before I knew it he was sitting next to me, bent over, and peering into the carriers.
Him: “Boys? Girls?”
Me: “Two boys.”
Him: “Hmmm, two boys…. How old?
Me: “10 weeks.”
The man got a sweet look in his eyes and said, “Years ago, we lost one not much older.”
I turned to look him in the eyes, and expressed my condolences, and said, “I’ve lost one too, 18 months old.”
Him: “You’ve lost one? How?”
Me: “She fell into a canal, and drowned. She was our only child at the time, and since then, we’ve had three boys.”
Him: “How long has it been?”
Me: “Three years.”
He nodded, and we sat there together in the waiting room, both of us letting our guard down, both softening.
Me: “Can I ask how you lost yours?”
Him: “SIDS. Never an explanation.”
Me: “I’m sorry, that’s so hard.”
Him: “Yes, yes it was.”
I began tending to the twins, when he asked, “Is your little girl buried around here?”
Me: “Yes, in Archer.”
Him: “Good. Good. I now find myself driving out to the cemetery quite often, and let me tell you, after all these years, it’s usually no longer painful, just sweet.”
We stared at each other for a moment, and while I was looking at him, I realized this sweet little old man was a tender mercy.
Me: “Just sweet?”
Him: “Yes, and after awhile you’ll find having an anchor in heaven will become a blessing. But we lost our baby on my Birthday, in October, remembering it each year makes for a hard day.” I saw the pain I know all too well return to his eyes.
I acknowledged how difficult that would be, and proceeded to explain how grateful we were the twins were born the day after Preslee’s Angelversary.
Him: “Yes, yes, I can imagine. In time, you will see that Heavenly Father didn’t have to take her, but there was a reason. You will see the good, and the blessings.”
He was in the middle of a sentence when a lady walked through the door and called, “Cannon and Cruiz.” When he realized those names belonged to the twins, he nervously jumped to his feet, and walked towards the door. As his hands reached the handle, he turned back to say, “Enjoy those two, it looks like the Lord certainly blessed you.”
I watched him walk out the door, and then looked down at my boys.
I couldn’t have agreed more.
Just like the words I’m holding on to from that sweet man, I’ll continue to grasp on to the scripture stated above. I know at this exact moment, my natural eyes don’t allow me to see or understand all the reasons for Preslee’s death, but I realize I do know a lot more than I did three years ago, which helps ease the pain.
With hard work, I pray my knowledge increases over the decades, and someday I’ll be the one telling a young mom who is at the beginning of her difficult journey, “It’s usually no longer painful, just sweet.”
And verse 4 is reassuring as it states “After much tribulation come the blessings.” I know that even though the pain is overwhelming, one day, I’ll be rewarded when I’m able to hold my own little anchor in heaven.
Love you Preslee.