I have a friend who is a great inspiration to me--such a great example of faith.
I met her more than twenty years ago, while we were both attending college in Hawaii. We became good friends and as I learned more about her life and the struggles she had gone through, I began to see a glimpse into the wonderful person that she is. I was amazed at what a great attitude she had and wondered how a person goes through such heartache and comes out smiling.
We both went on to get married and have families. She married an Air-force officer and lived all over the world, having great adventures. At last they were stationed in Las Vegas, happy to be close to both of their families in California. They were so excited to get to spend Thanksgiving with her husband’s family. It was during this happy trip that yet another tragedy occurred in the life of my friend. Her sweet little boy, who was just 18 months old at the time, somehow managed to slip away. He fell into a pond that was on the property, and by the time they found him, it was too late. Their precious little boy was gone. A parent’s worst nightmare--the thing you think you could never survive--had happened.
Since they were in the military and didn’t know where they would be stationed next, they decided to have the funeral and bury their baby there in California so his grave would be near family. I simply cannot imagine how they ever managed to pack up and drive away, making that drive home to Nevada without their little boy.
I visited with her when they returned and was so amazed at how peaceful she seemed to be. I know that had I been in her situation that would not have been the case. I did not know how she could take the death of her baby so calmly. She explained to me that Heavenly Father had been by her side, and had blessed her with such a spiritual experience that it would make her seem ungrateful for that blessing if she were to act any differently.
She received a personal witness that her little boy was safe in the arms of a loving Heavenly Father. She knew without a doubt that she would one day be reunited with him. I watched her explain this to her other children, and saw them accept without question. They missed him terribly, but because of the faith of their mother, they were able to look forward to seeing him again. She is such an example to me and to everyone around her. She inspires me to not get discouraged, to know that we have a Father in Heaven who never leaves our side. She shows me that we can bear heavy burdens and still feel blessed.
My contribution to the wonderful magic quilt is a piece of fabric that I recently got in Hawaii--because that is the place that this wonderful friend of mine came into my life.