Friday, April 29, 2011

The Greatest Gift

This Easter was quite different than any we've ever had, but so special at the same time.  I've had so many thoughts running through my head on where to begin with this one, and even whether or not to post this one because it is so dear to my heart.  And it really is just for me, and just for my boys.  But here it goes. 

In the Friend Magazine for the month of April there is a week long activity they titled Easter Week.  You start eight days before Easter and study with the kids through the Scriptures and pictures every day, of what happened the week before Jesus Christ's Crucifixion and Resurrection.  This activity and the events that took place during this week within our own family had a great impact on us.  I am so grateful for my Savior.  I know He lives. 

The Monday before Easter, our family was on our way to Cottonwood when we hit a dog going 55mph.  We had no warning, it happened so quick, he just bolted out from behind some brush.  He was a big dog; a lab, and we knew he had a family even though he had no tags.   The sad part was, he was still alive after the hit, and John had to help him die because he was so broken.  After it was all said and done,  the boys had so many questions, and they were so concerned and worried.  I always worry about Race during these kinds of things because he has a hard time with death, I think more than normal.  He internalizes and worries.

Though the incident was not a great moment, what followed was.  It was one of those moments where the boys clung to every word John was saying as we talked about death and resurrection and the gift of life.  It was powerful, and they listened like they'd never heard all this before.  It just so happened that we were on our way for Family Home Evening to look at the Art Exhibit, Reflections of Christ, that is on tour and came to Cottonwood for the week.  Race and Witt loved it.  There was a reverence about them that doesn't come as often as I'd like.  There was no, "Don't touch that", "stay with me", "get off that".  There were questions, calmness, quiet observation.  I loved it.  And that night Witt prayed that Jesus and Duke would take care of the poor dog that died. 

The same week the boys were able to take their chick's home from school.  Their classes had incubated some eggs and the kids were able to track their progress and watch them hatch.  One of the chicks had splayed legs.  It couldn't walk; it needed help to get to it's food and water.  The boys chose that one, along with another one who walked just fine to take home.  I'll be honest, I didn't want to take that one home.  I told Race and Witt that chick probably wouldn't live long; that he'd have a hard life.  But Race insisted.  "I'll keep him happy Mom.  We'll take care of him."   Of course I couldn't say no...

So we took "Lightning" home (it's what Witt named him/ her, not sure how to tell gender in chicks that young).  Out of fear of Lighning dying on us, I went and got two more chicks to keep "Sam" (Race named her/him) company if Lightning didn't make it.  You know what they say about chickens needing company.  Yes, John is just thrilled about the idea of having chickens (and I say this with complete sarcasm) especially since we found out our property isn't zoned for them.  Ha!  This is going to be fun. 

Anyway, the boys took care of Lighning; she really looked like she was coming around.  We gave her TONS of love and  helped her work her legs, and she eventually brought one leg back around so only one was splayed.  She was able to scoot around to get her food and water, and we really thought she was going to make it.  But the day after Easter, Race walked in to feed the chicks and found her dead.  The crazy thing was, the boys came to me and Race said, "It's OK Mommy, his body doesn't hurt anymore."  Then Witt added, "Ya, his spirit is with Jesus while he waits to get resurrected."

I'm so proud of my boys.  They never stop teaching me.   I'm so grateful for my Savior and the Atonement and this Easter of 2011 that I will never forget.  I know that He lives, and I'm so grateful for this great gift of life He has given me.

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