I had a great morning. I took Kaden to his first ever story time at the public library. In reality, he is still too young to really love it, but it was a great way to get out of the house and do something kid-oriented for free. He did dance along while all the kids sang the welcome songs and paid close attention to the enthralling reading of Who Sunk the Boat. When craft time started we opted to audit the class, since Kaden was more interested in eating the paper plate that was supposed to become a jelly fish than actually making a jelly fish. We got to stop at the fish tank on the way out and wave to all of our fishy friends, so all in all it was a pretty successful trip.
Then, when I got to my car I saw I had a missed call and a text message. I instantly fell apart when I received the news that Eric Edge, a young man who is a member of our church, passed away unexpectedly. He was 22. Eric's sister is one of my good friends, and I have always liked Eric. When we first lived in Kinston during Chad's summer internship and I didn't know very many people, Eric was always so nice to me. He played softball with Chad that summer, and I believe he was getting ready to serve his mission at that time. Eric is the kind of person who always had a big smile on his face. He was so genuine and friendly. My heart ached for his family upon receiving this terrible news.
While Kaden napped, I planted the flowers we bought the night before and contemplated how fragile life really is. How everything can change in an instant, and we have to be so careful to appreciate every moment we have with the ones we love.
I received another text message while I was working in the yard. This one to inform me that my nephew, Tanner James, had arrived safely, and that my sister, Meredith, was doing well. It was so tender to think that while one beautiful life had drifted out of this world, another had drifted in to it.
Other hard news, one piece about the health of a woman I care about very deeply, and another piece very personal, was received during the day.
I cried a lot on Tuesday.
Even though I cried, my heart was full of gratitude. I am so thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am thankful that I know this life is not the end. I know families are forever, that the relationships we share here on Earth do not end with the grave. I am thankful for the reality of a loving Heavenly Father who hears and answers our prayers, who loves us unconditionally and wants what is best for us. I am thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, who through his sacrifice made it possible for us to return to our Heavenly Father some day. The last couple of days have been hard, and a little bit scary, but I have felt so much peace and comfort when I need it most. I know that when Heavenly Father closes a window, he opens a door.