Monday, September 08, 2014

Gratitude for Jared

Thank you, dear reader(s), for all of the kind words and uplifting thoughts about September! (Both here and on Facebook.) I really appreciated the reminders as to why September and I might be friends again. If anything, I realized, it makes me take the time to stop and think about those I love who have left mortality. Even if it's hard, it's good to remember them in a more formal way, you know?

Today marks three years since Jared died. 

I wanted to write something about suicide and how much it hurts, how blasted awful it is to the people who are left behind to answer unanswerable questions, how being suicidal in my own life has been a result of my mental illness --but instead, I want to do something else. Jared was always a really positive guy, and he was always looking out for everyone. He was kind, thoughtful, grateful, and optimistic (which can make his death and the cause of it hurt even more, but I'm trying not to dwell on it). Because of this, I've decided to write down the things that I am really grateful for today. I want to focus on the positive, and so I shall!

This is for you, Jared.

From the moment I woke up this morning, I was immersed in blessings and beauty. I was awakened by an alarm on my nice phone that does amazing things. I woke my six incredible children so we could read scriptures together. My worthy and wonderful husband led our family scripture study and I was reminded as we read that we have the scriptures. We have the words of Christ in our hands! We then prayed together and my capable children were off to get ready for school.

We have food in the house. Plenty of food. We have clothing to wear, clean and new. Shoes, book bags, public education and school buses.

I turned on Classical music. I could hear renditions of Chopin, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Shostakovich, Haydn, Handel, Rachmaninoff, Mozart, Schumann, and Tchaikovsky --all from a small device through my television speakers.

I used a machine to wash our clothing and read the Ensign while I ate breakfast. I drank pregnancy herbal tea and chatted with my youngest son. I put dishes in the sink to be washed and fed the cat. I kissed my husband as he left for work, and felt grateful that because of his hard work, I can stay home with the children.

I also started thinking about the other things I have that have made me so grateful, like the experiences I had in church yesterday, the conversations with my oldest daughter, the hugs I got this morning from my 10 year old son, for medical care and loyal, caring friends.

I have the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life --a testimony of truth and faith that sustains me in my darkest times. I have a body that has given me everything I have ever wanted --a family! I have an education, a home, memories of traveling to all parts of the worlds, everything I could ever dream of, everything I take for granted on a daily basis! I have it all. And I realize that it could be taken in a second. Storms and disease, accidents and agency, they all have the capacity to take from me what I hold dear. But even then, dear reader, I will still have my agency. I will still have God. The lessons we learn from Job are important.

I am blissfully grateful.

I'm grateful I knew Jared. We didn't get to see him all that often (1-2 times a year), but he never let that change the fact that I was his "sister from another mister" and he was my "brother from another mother." I'm glad he was (and is) a part of our family. I'll never forget the positive impact he had on my life, or the lives of my older children.

Small, very bittersweet memory: Hiking with him, Brandon, and Tamra to the place where Roo had ended her own life (his niece --another tragic event). We watered the flowers that had been planted in her memory. We were solemn, but also laughed. It was a grueling hike, but beautiful! We had taken the baby (#5) and I remembering falling and hurting myself badly (my leg). Jared had remained behind to make sure I was taken care of while Brandon and Tamra went on ahead with the baby (hiking back down). He was always genuinely concerned for other people.

Take the time to be grateful today, dear reader. Jared loved good music, good vegetarian food, beautiful sunsets, and family/friends --will you be grateful for those things with me, too?

"Be excellent to each other." 
~Jared Parker Preston Ray Jones

[National Suicide Prevention Hotline: In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255


cheryl cardall said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss. He sounds like he is an amazing person.

cheryl cardall said...
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