My children and I cannot begin to express our thanks to everyone who has been so kind to us this past year, and especially the last month. Generous love and kind words have warmed my heart and helped me to know that "It's gonna be okay." In time, I will try to thank everyone personally as things settle down but for now, please know how grateful I am to you. Tony's service was beautiful and the Spirit was very strong. I'm sure Tony was very pleased and wants you to know how much he loves you each individually, just as I do!
Many people have asked how our kiddies are handling the past 10 days. I'm amazed how much Heavenly Father sends His love to comfort them. They each have moments where they break down and sob in my arms but are still able to remain happy, loving kids. They even put on a dance performance last night and exclaimed, "I'm sure Dad loves watching this!" He did.
Losing Tony right before Christmas has its challenge that we will have our first holiday, and our favorite holiday, without his physical presence. But I am also so thankful for the season, that my kids are excited and feel the Christmas spirit even with grief in our lives. We have much to look forward to and I am grateful that Tony was able to Christmas shop with me (thank you, Amazon!) before he passed.
This song by the Piano Guys is very fitting for how I feel. Hope you enjoy watching! Also, I've attached the words I shared at Tony's funeral for those who wanted to read them.
I love you all!
There may be many of you today who are wondering why I chose to speak, I sit here myself asking why as well. Before Tony’s passing, he mentioned that he would love to have me speak at his service if he was to leave this world, and that he wanted me to talk on eternal life, and continue to share his testimony along with mine. In order to keep my best composure, I have decided to write these things out in hopes that the Spirit has guided me in best relaying what our Father in Heaven needs us to hear, and what Tony and I have learned through our trials and experiences.
The great Plan of Happiness truly is as its name proclaims: a perfect plan for us to obtain true happiness, or as I refer to as joy. Our spirits, begotten of our Heavenly parents, needed to come to mortality to receive a physical body, a family, and experiences for us to strengthen our desires for good. After passing through these things, we have the opportunity to obtain eternal life with our Creator and our Savior. There is no greater happiness or joy than in our relationship with them, for this truly is the Plan of Happiness. God knows the best and only way to give us a fullness of joy and He has provided a way for us to obtain that. As we read in Proverbs 3:5-6 we need to, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.”
All of us here today are still being tried and tested but it is not in vain, it is God’s perfect way! Only He knows what we must undergo in order to become as He is, and this plan is unique and individualized for every single child He has. Holding onto our faith, which stems from the trust we have in Him, I promise that we can all become perfected, even so that we can dwell with our Father again. Because God sent His Son to atone for our sins and to break the bonds of physical death, we can rely on Jesus Christ to help us every step of the way.
I know this to be true because of the experiences I have had with Tony, and for the experiences I have already had this past week. With such difficult circumstances we faced, and will continue to face, there is only one way the Lord has provided a way to feel peace; that is through trusting Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Lay your burdens at their feet and live to the best you can; I promise you will see the daily miracles in your life that will begin to change your heart and fill your soul with lasting peace and happiness. God did not intend for this mortal journey to be only filled with torment and sorrows, His intent is for us to experience these things so that we can turn to Him to find and know with a surety that He loves us and will provide a way. Our Savior can heal all wounds, even the wound of my heart missing my Tony. Mosiah 14:4 reads “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows…” Tony knows this to be true and so do I, without a doubt in my mind.
Because of our Savior, He not only heals our hearts and helps us find solace for our grief and worries, but He has also made it possible for us to be together again. “…God hath given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son” (as we find in John 5:11). One day, Tony’s spirit and his body will be reunited, perfected and free of any disease! He will run to our children and throw them in the air with both his arms, something he was unable to do in this life for the past eight years. And the joy does not stop there. Hand in hand, we will kneel at our Savior’s feet and thank Him for eternity, for giving us the beautiful gift of eternal life with Him and with those whom we love so dearly.
I thank my Elder Brother for helping bear the burden of the sorrows I have in this life. He has lifted my chin up so that I can look heavenward and recognize all the miracles around me. He gives me the strength to look toward a new day and to press onward, with an increased faith in Heavenly Father. I know He will direct me in this life exactly as I need, so that I can reunited with Tony, never again to be separated. The Atonement has and will continue to strengthen and heal us, and will miraculously break the bonds of death for us all. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us, and if we turn to them, they will always be there every step we take in our journey back to them.