I have been thinking the past couple of weeks what a theme for our family this year could be. I really felt like our theme for the year 2009 was "Come what may and love it" - Elder Wirthlin. In no means did we love the pain and grief we went through, but we love how strong we came out on the other end. Through the suffering of Preslie's death our relationship slowly grew stronger and stronger. Not only did Chris and I cleave unto each other, we cleaved unto Christ and the Lord. Together through our strength and faith, we were able to endure the pain this past year and bring a beautiful daughter into the world.
I thought that when Arista arrived all my pain would magically disappear. Boy was I wrong. I think more about Preslie now, then I did while I was pregnant with Arista. I am always thinking about what she would be doing now, and how she would be such a great older sister to Arista. I find my heart and arms still aching to hold her close to me, and to see her smiling face everyday. Arista has helped us tremendously bring back joy and peace back into our lives. I have come to realize that the hole in my heart will always be there, and that Preslie will always be missed and loved. I feel such a void in our lives without Preslie, but I am truly grateful for the opportunity to look into my daughter Arista's eyes and see a piece of her older sister. Preslie is close, I know she is. On the days where I miss her the most, I know that she is missing me too. The love I have for Preslie reaches further than death, it's eternal.
After much pondering I decided our family theme this year will be: "Stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight." This is a quote from our former Prophet Gordon B Hinkley. I chose this theme for a few reasons. Negativity, is something I have struggled with my entire life. The glass is always half empty, and the "I can't do anything right" motto rings into my head frequently. I can find a thorn on every rose, a hair in any food, and something wrong with each situation. After the death of Preslie and seeing that bad things do happen, my negativity escalated. I have been strengthened through Preslie's death, and have seen many positive outcomes. However, my day to day negativity is taking a toll on myself.
I have found that I am petrified of something bad happening to Arista, and I feel like I have to do all I can to keep her safe and alive. The fear of losing another child, and going through the pain is terrifying. I know that I cannot think this way, and that through Christ, the Lord, the scriptures, Chris, and faith I will be able to enjoy each day I have with her.
I recently watched the movie Pollyanna, and despite her circumstances of her parents dying and being paralyzed she found something to be glad about everyday. In every situation good or bad, she played the glad game. What a great thing to try and do! I am going to make it an effort to play the game and find something good or "glad" out of every situation. I know that changing the way you think is a slow process, but all I have is time.
Our family word for 2009 was "HOPE". Hope for the future, hope for Arista, hope for my Mom to be cancer free, and hope for many other things in our lives. We have come to have a strong testimony of hope, and the blessings that hope brings. I love that we are able to witness how hope impacts our lives. Faith and hope go hand in hand, so our faith was strengthened as well.
Our family word for 2010 is: FOCUS. Our family has a lot to focus on this next year. Chris finishes up his last semester of law school, and then it's on to the "real world". It's our goal to focus on...
1. Getting healthy
3. Church and school studies
4. Being more optimistic
5. Stregthening relationships
6. Stregthening our marriage
7. Finding a job
8. Becoming more Christ-like
The Martin family has some hefty goals for this year, but with keeping ourselves focused we can attain each and every one of them.