Last night I was awake in the middle of the night again. This time, I was laying there, thinking about my girls. All of them, some of them, one of them, where this one is, what this one needs, the amazing things this one does, the big trip this weekend, etc.
I love my girls.
So when I finally fell asleep, I dreamed that I was with them, of course. We were having fun on an activity in St. George and then in my dream the Bishop called me tell me I was being released. So actually, it was a nightmare.
I have been Young Women's President for about two and a half years. And really, it has been one of the happiest times of my whole life. Serving with these girls has truly been a tender mercy for me. I love them. I admire them. They strengthen me every day. The problem is, I never, never want to be released. Honestly, the very thought just fills me with horror. So I try not to think about it, even though eventually I recognize that day must come. But I hope -- I pray -- not for a long time. As long as I can help these girls, I want to do it. I just love them. Like I have had thirty extra beautiful, smart, challenging, spiritual, wonderful, funny daughters since I was twenty-five. And I want to keep them forever!
Maybe that's selfish. Could be. But it's still the truth.
A couple of weekends ago one of my first laurels, Danielle, got married to the man of her dreams in the St. George temple. I have loved Danielle from the moment I met her, she is one of those people that is just universally loved. But I really love her. A few months after I was called, Danielle's Mom, Lorraine, was diagnosed with terminal cancer and died a few short months later. It was an honor to be close to Danielle during that time. It was an honor to watch her bear up under that impossible burden. Many of the experiences I had at that particular time are sacred to me. I felt a rope tie itself from my heart to Danielle's, and I think it will be there forever. Her Mom was a unique person, a woman I am blessed to have known for a short time and who's grace and dignity have imprinted themselves on my soul. I think about her often, and I hope I get to see her again one day. If I do, I will tell her what an amazing job she did with her beautiful, red-headed daughters.
I was rather emotional on the day Danielle was married. My heart was tender thinking about that girl who served at her Mother's bedside and soaked in the hours of conversation they shared during that special time. My heart was tender as I thought about the terrible loss and agony she has felt since then. And my heart was tender as I thought about how happy she is now -- and how happy I am for her -- how thrilled she is to start a family that will be all her own.
When I went to her reception that night and she threw her arms around me, I felt like I would burst from the great love I have for her and the great pride I feel that she has gotten herself to this wonderful moment in her life. It was a pleasure to meet her husband, Aaron, who has a tender connection to my husband. It was a pleasure to see her so beautiful and so glowing, and share a few special words with her. Then we hugged again and I walked away to visit with her little sister. I ached a little, that happy kind of ache.
I got to be there to watch their first dance as husband and wife. My eyes filled with tears. It truly felt like that was my daughter out there. I couldn't have been happier if she was my own.
Another moment that I will always take with me.
I love my girls.
They give me so much hope.