Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My Entire World

It had been a day of small accomplishments and smaller grievances, and we were both ready to sleep. Brad was already in bed when the call came at 11:09 pm. He answered.

I listened, and I could tell by the tone of the short conversation that something was wrong.  As he hung up the phone and tossed aside the comforter, he said, "C just died.  I'm headed down there." C is a member of our ward,* and he had been in the hospital for a few days with double pneumonia and congestive heart failure.

Brad quickly donned his bishop* clothes--a white shirt and tie--as he told me a little about C and his wife, S.  "They have a hard life, but they really loved each other, and they're pretty much all the other has in the entire world.  This will be hard for her.  See you in the morning."  After a quick kiss, he disappeared into the darkness.

I sat there for a few minutes, stunned at the quick change in his plans for the night.  I watched his headlights as they first bathed my room in light and turned down the street, then I got up to turn off our lights.  That's when I heard the familiar sounds of Evie crying and shuffling around in her room.
Nightmares and their accompanying disorientation are frequent in Evie's dreams, so I quickly hurried down the hallway to tuck her back into bed.  Unlike most of her wakings, she had wet the bed.  New panties, new jammies, and a few soothing words weren't enough.  Pushing aside two Barbies, six books, and miscellaneous blankets and toys, I climbed into bed with her, wrapped my arm around her growing body, and placed one hand in hers while the other stroked her short blond hair.  She snuggled close, and as a blond pixie nestled into the pillow then quickly stilled, my thoughts turned to my entire world.

Details from my day flashed through my mind.

Freshly laundered silky blankets and basketball practice
Idina Menzel on repeat during homework and garbage cans taken to the curb
Mediocre turkey soup for dinner without a single complaint
Reading glasses carefully propped on the end of his nose as we review plans together
A blog entry from Rexburg and a phone call from Provo
Texts from my mom and my sister with funny pictures and memories
S'mores over a kitchen burner with football on TV
My shrinking family gathered around the coffee table for prayer

I began a heartfelt prayer, begging that S would find comfort through her loss, hoping that she can find a new place in her upended world.

I concluded my prayer with unending, sincere gratitude that it was not my turn that night.  Gratitude that my little world was safe and healthy and sleeping. Then I asked for strength--strength for the future, when it surely will be my turn. My turn to make that late-night call.

The light woke me at 1:35 am.  Brad was home.

*Brad is currently serving as the bishop of our Church congregation, called a ward.  For information on bishops and their duties, click here.


  1. Oh, I'm so sorry. We had a death in our ward recently and it rocked the whole ward. I, too, was reminded of how many blessings I have in my life and how grateful I need to be for each and every day.

  2. Seeing a husband serve as a bishop gives a whole new dimension to your relationship, don't you think? I felt like I had glasses on that made me see Mark in a sweet and deeper way.

  3. Loved this post Jen! Made me think all day about that phrase...my entire world!

  4. Our moments are fleeting, aren't they. The challenge is enjoying the moments and the people in them while we ARE in them.

  5. perspective is beautiful thing.

  6. Loved this post. And I love all the good bishops out there for their selflessness.