Thursday, October 11, 2012

One Last Thing...

I went to Nick's funeral today. It was tough. Tougher than I thought it would be.

Which made me realize one very important thing: I was more affected by his passing than I let myself think. Which, actually, is kind of what I did with Nick from the get-go. I talked myself down about how I felt about him at every step:
"No, I don't have a crush on the guy, I just admire his good character."
"No, I don't care that he never called back, I just wanted to know his answer to my question."
"No, I'm not dating the guy, we just like to go out to dinner together almost every night, and he pays."
"No, I'm not in love with the guy, I just have a really big crush on him."
"No, I'm not upset that he met someone else, I just don't like that he cancelled our plans."
"No, I'm not sad he's getting married, I'm just sad I didn't hear about it from him."

I was only fooling myself.

I think I did this because I was trying to protect myself from getting hurt. Which also explains why I never really flirted with him either.  I was always worried about "ruining the relationship." Which is to say, I was sure he didn't feel the same way, and I didn't want to lose him completely when he found out how I felt.  How naive I was! First of all, to think that a little thing like a crush would ruin our friendship; secondly, that I thought he didn't like me back - even just a little; and thirdly, that I thought he didn't already know how I felt.

The thing that hit me like a brick-in-the-head today at the funeral was how many regrets I have when it comes to Nick. Especially when it comes to never having told him how I felt. I know that nothing really would have come of it, because he was meant to be with the love of his life, Christy. But maybe I could have had some kind of closure with him by telling him and then finding out that he didn't feel the same way. Instead, I went away from that relationship feeling like I would never know if it would have worked out, or even how it would have felt to date him for real. I also regret - more than not telling him how I felt - not going to his wedding reception. He sent me an invite to it. He even called to make sure I knew he wanted me to come. And I still didn't go. Partly because I am anti-social and never go to wedding receptions if I can help it, and partly because it hurt me too much to think of watching him happy and in love with someone else. How selfish of me! He asked me to go, he thought of me as his friend, and I turned my back and effectually said, "No, I'm not your friend. I don't care about your happiness."


But you know, after all of that talk, I have to say that today was exactly what I needed to finally let go. I finally got the closure I never allowed myself 5 years ago. That's the beauty of funerals. That's why we have them: to give us the chance to take one last look at our loved ones and say goodbye. I'm so grateful for this. I'm so grateful I had the chance to see my friend for one last time, to see his beautiful family...

...and to say goodbye.

High's and Low's

Last week I wrote about my friend's passing. I've been thinking about him this week, and his family. I've been struck on more than one occasion at the tragedy that has befallen them and I have grieved with them. I've had many thoughts about Nick and how good he was. I don't like to go into too much detail about him since his death has been in the news and so much has already been said, so I'll just leave it at that. 

Death is a very spiritual thing. We don't realize how much so until we experience for ourselves the loss of a loved one. Suddenly the purpose of this life becomes so clear, and we have the chance to look with eternal eyes to see what lays ahead of us in the next life. Death reminds us that this is life is so temporary. We are, none of us, here to stay. We all have to go home to our Father in Heaven, and some of us much sooner than others. I know this about death; I learned at an early age that death can be more uplifting than it is tragic, as long as we look at it with eternal eyes. I'm grateful for this knowledge. It has given me an assurance of my divine nature and the divine nature of all of us. It has given me peace and comfort, and at my darkest moments I am able to draw upon the strength of that knowledge.  I only pray that Nick's family will be blessed to remember often this truth, so that they may draw from the strength it brings as they adjust to this most sudden separation. 

And so for me, General Conference couldn't have come at a better time. I needed the spiritual uplift that I always feel during General Conference. I needed to have that reminder of the eternal, of what this life is all about. I needed to remember that Nick will be ok, and so will his family, because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

I've been listening to a lot of past conference talks lately (I keep it playing in my car so I can listen every time I drive anywhere), so when I had the chance to listen to 8 hours of Conference, I was on cloud nine!  I had so many insights into my own spiritual progression and what I need to be doing differently to improve myself.  I felt the Spirit bear a powerful witness to me of the divinity of the Savior and His Atonement.  I felt a strong witness of the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and of the prophets. I came out of that conference a better person than when I came in, and I know that is because it is true. I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the Lord's church here on the earth.  I know that Joseph Smith was called of God to restore the priesthood keys in these latter days. I know that I am a daughter of God with a divine heritage and birthright. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God and the Lord's mouthpiece. I know that he is divinely called to lead our church at this time. I know that the Gospel is true! 

I don't bear my testimony enough, this I know. And I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've borne my testimony on my blog, and that is a sad fact. I should be shouting my testimony on the rooftops! Not hiding it from everyone so that they are constantly wondering if I only go to church for the free snacks. 

I'm going to have to finish this post tomorrow (and I'll fix it then, because this is the roughest rough draft I've ever published), because it is way past my bed time. :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Warm Fuzzies

Seeing pictures of my family like these gives me warm fuzzies.

 My sister Sherry makes the best grandma


There's just too much man in this picture for me to process.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Looking Through Some Old Photos

Well, not "old" per se, just not new.

June 2011.
Lots of great things happened in June that I documented with my camera. It's times like these that I'm grateful for my camera-journal. I forgot half of this stuff even happened, let alone that they all happened in June!

  • Family portraits of the Ploeger Family (not pictured below)
  • Girls Camp (not pictured below)
  • Company golf tournament (not pictured below)
  • Katie and Eric's wedding (not really pictured below...just shots of the temple)
  • 1-year birthday party at Rock Canyon park (for June, I think)
  • A visit from the Vic & Mona fam (shots on the Heber Creeper)
  • Haskin family campout (this technically happened in July, since it was for the 4th of July, but it's in my June pictures folder, so I'm keeping it on the list)

Salt Lake Temple

Salt Lake Temple...AT NIGHT

That's Jeff and Dan making it a team effort to roll down the hill. And if you want to see some seriously sweet hill-rolling daring, check out Jeff as he takes a head-first leap down the hill, Princess-Bride style!

I call this: Waiting For A Train That Will Never Come
But mainly that's because they were waiting for the "men" to finish buying the tickets, and because the train was on the other side of the station, so technically, it never would get to where they were.

Playing an intricate game of dirt bingo. The rules are top secret, so I'll only say that it involves shovels, two toy cars, and a banana. And I've already said too much.

This is a still from Look Who's Talking 3.
And if you believed that, wait till you see my still of Home Alone 5.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Friend, Remembered

It's late, so I'll be brief.

My friend, Nick, was killed yesterday. I haven't spoken to him in years (he got married 5 years ago, and shortly afterwards moved to Arizona to do border patrol there), so it hasn't hit me as hard as it would have if we still hung out. But still...

What has affected me the most is the thought of his wife and two little girls. His youngest isn't even two years old. She'll grow up never knowing her dad, and that breaks my heart.

Nick was such a great guy, and even though I was never around him when he was a father, I have no doubt that he made an excellent one. He served a mission, honored his priesthood, and married in the temple. I'm sure his wife and girls will be reunited with him one day, and I pray for them that they will be comforted and strengthened during this most difficult of trials. I also pray for his parents and siblings. And if you're reading this, maybe send your own supportive thoughts and prayers their way because they will need it.