Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dear Kristen,

{I know it is kind of weird that I am typing you this letter on my blog instead of as an email, but there is a really good reason. It is because someday when my children go back and read my writings, I want them to know what a true friend is so that they may search for them, cherish them, and also be one for someone else.}

Spending the day with you on Saturday was truly a gift. As I was with you, I remembered what I love so much about you. I know that you are not much of a camper, but surely from your boys and all your time as a cub master you learned that one of the most important rules of camping is that you always leave your campsite better than you found it. I have decided that this is your motto, because Kristin, you always leave people better than you find them. It is just who you are. You have a gift for loving people and I always feel so strong and ready to take on the world after I am with you.

I have so many wonderful memories of my time in Asheville, but as you know, I also have some difficult ones. But, in those difficult times, there was a reoccurring theme. You were always there. You have been by my side, as my visiting teacher, my secretary, my role model, my teacher, my sister, and my friend. I have poured my heart and soul out to you on many occasions, but some of the ones that stand out to me above all others, were the ones after I lost Clairisa. You were the first one, besides my family, that came into my home after I got back from the hospital. I didn't want to see anybody because I just didn't know what to say and I didn't want to hear what anyone else had to say either. But I knew that with you, it wouldn't matter, and of course, it didn't. Because the moment you came into my bedroom you sat by my side, embraced me in your arms, and just cried with me. As we sat and cried together, you said, without any words, exactly what I needed to hear. You taught me what Alma meant at the Waters of Mormon when he said that we should "mourn with those that mourn".

I also vividly recall the afternoon that we spent shoveling and digging up the earth to plant the tulips you had bought me, and then the many prayers that I know you prayed that they would rise in the spring because of what it would mean to me. I also remember many times in the church parking lot after our presidency meeting, standing outside and talking for hours about all of the challenges we were facing and giving hope and comfort to one another (as if you had nothing else better to do). And then of course I couldn't forget one of my last days in Asheville. As I was finishing up with all of the cleaning, there you were once again showing up in a moment when I needed a friend. You had brought lunch for us to eat together. Then as we ate, we laughed and cried on that upstairs playroom floor as we reminisced and remembered the good times we had shared.

On our way out from Asheville, you were the last person that I stopped to say goodbye to. And as I gave you those beautiful pink tulips, I wish I could have put into words all of the things that you had given me. Things that I will take with me in my heart for the rest of my life. Thank you for being such a wonderful friend. Thank you for loving my children. Thank you for always taking flowers to Clairisa's grave...you will never know how much that means to me. Elder Holland's words hit very close to home for me when he said the following...

"...When we speak of those who are instruments in the hand of God, we are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with—here, now, every day. Some of them reside in our own neighborhoods. Some of them gave birth to us, and in my case, one of them consented to marry me. Indeed heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind."

As I sat beside you at Women's Conference on Saturday and sang the second verse of "As Sisters in Zion", I thought it very appropriate. For surely, the Lord knew that in my life you would have the errand of an angel.

Love Always,


Lew said...

Such a sweet letter. I LOVE Kristen, too! She is such an amazing person and just radiates Christlike love.
I am so sad I missed you!!!

Destinee said...

Very sweet. And Kristen is such an amazing person. When we moved into our home- out of the ward boundaries, she dropped by one afternoon with banana bread. Then she came in and mopped my kitchen floor. Even back behind the fridge!
I was so excited to get your text that you'd be at the conference and so disappointed when I had to leave before you arrived!
We must make our paths cross again soon!
From the example you set every day, your daughters will know how to be a great friend!

Carrie said...

Kristen is the best! I wish I had been sitting there with you too. Miss you!

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