As this Easter has approached I have been caught up very much in the whole meaning and how very much it means to us this year.
One year ago the day after tomorrow (the day after Easter) Carissa Marie Pearce passed away. A tremendous amount has happened in our family in the past year. About a week and a half before Carissa died, Lydia gave birth to beautiful little Zoe, and placed her for adoption with a wonderful family. Then Carissa died. Two weeks later my Dad got seriously ill while we were visiting in Texas for Dallas and Lynda's wedding and we thought we were going to lose him. One month after Carissa passed away Maxine Law Pearce, Tony's mom, passed away.
While we were all still reeling in shock and pain from everything else, a month later as I sat contemplating everything that had been going on, I thought to myself, "Wow! It's been a whole month and nothing terrible has happened! The next day Dan and Andrea Rae announced they were getting divorced. This was so unexpected and we were already so vulnerable that it set us back on our heals. We were heartbroken that they were going through such difficulties in the midst of everything else.
As the year went on, it seemed that we were beset by calamity on every side. Our company was struggling with ongoing lawsuits, and it seemed that they would never end.
We did have very happy times though. We added two beautiful little grand daughters to the family when Eric and Leanne had their first baby, and Tomi and Dan had their third. Nick and Crystal got married after having dated off and on for about 3 years. Then to our surprise and delight, Dan met, fell in love with and married a delightful young woman named Carrie whom we all adore. She brought with her another beautiful grand daughter, Taya into our family circle.
It has been an amazing year.
I have thought and thought and thought about Carissa and what it meant to have her in our lives and what it means now that she is gone. I have to admit I have had a tendency to shove it to the back when the feelings start to well up and tears are close to the surface. I have had some amazing days in the temple where I felt very comforted and blessed and even had what I call "My Carissa Day". It has all felt very surreal. I think when I think about the reality of her not being here, it's still hard for me to believe and really comprehend.
I have gone up to the cemetery many times to put fun little holiday things on her site (there is no stone yet) and it's really sad to think of her body being there. It really brings a finality to it all. She won't be coming through the door. She won't be going to the store with me anymore to fight over who gets to push the cart. She won't be there to drink the rest of my mostly full drink that I always brought home to her. She won't be with Tony and I when we go to the movies. She won't be with us to do all the things that she loved to do. It's hard to think about.
Today we had the Family Easter Egg Hunt. The pictures from last years Easter Egg Hunt show Carissa as excited as ever pulling her little oxygen tank around with her as she gathered up the Easter Goodies. She was as a little child. She never stopped believing. She loved Easter. She loved sharing what she had in her basket. She loved all the holidays. Today was a bit hard. I missed the magic that she brought to the Easter festivities.
Today I so very much miss our beautiful Carissa. Today I rely on my faith in the Atonement. My faith in the Plan of Salvation. My faith in my lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His mission here on earth. My faith that we will be reunited with Carissa again. Any other thought than that would be just too much to bear.
I am also filled with thankfulness. I am so thankful that Heavenly Father lent this choice daughter to fill our home with unconditional love. He sent us our own personal teacher to teach us all how to treat each other, how to choose to act even if it was contrary to how we felt. He gave her to us for a 22 short years to help us through some really tough times. Every one of us felt like she had been sent here especially to help us as individuals.
She taught me personally what it truly means to love unconditionally. I use those lessons over and over. She was a living example of true, Christ like love. How thankful I am for that.
I am thankful for this time of year to reflect on Christ's mission here on earth. I am thankful that through the atonement, all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. I am thankful that some day I will hear Carissa's delighted laugh again and feel her arms around me giving me a squeeze that takes my breath away. I will feel her hand slip into mine as we walk together. I will get to watch as she administers to others with so much love and compassion. I will get to watch as she plays with the children whom she loved so much. I will get to listen as she bears special testimony of the gospel, Jesus and her Heavenly Father whom she had a sure knowledge of their love for her. I will get to continue to learn at this great daughter of God's feet. I will get to be with my Carissa again.
Easter is a time of hope.
Pecan Caramel 1 Pound Block by oldtimecaramels
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