Monday, October 6, 2008

October 6th -- I always remember

6 October 1999

I walked off a plane wearing a grey skirt (the same grey skirt I wore yesterday), a blue jacket (which still hangs in my closet), & a missionary tag. I hadn't been home in 18 months. It had been a hard 18 months -- the hardest of my life. But earlier that day, when I had been in my mission president's office in Salt Lake City, I had been told in a blessing "not to regret" any of it.

When I walked off that plane in St. Louis, I saw my parents waiting for me at the gate & I was struck by how old they looked. It had been a hard 18 months for them, too. Dad had had emergency heart surgery about two weeks before mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I'd spoken with them & told them I was coming home. Mom told me that I wasn't -- they needed the blessings that come from having a missionary in the family.

So, I stayed. And they met me at an airport gate 10 months later.

I remember my mission (something I think about every day, even though I don't talk about it much) extra intensely on 6 October. I have a habit of emailing my favorite mission president (I had three) on this day. I haven't written him yet.

But today I bought plane tickets for St. Louis. My dad is dying. Nobody will be allowed to meet Cami, Rose, & me at the gate when we arrive on Wednesday evening. And I'm not sure what I'll think when I see Dad. I know that one of the steps that families are encouraged to take when a family member is in hospice care is to say, "I forgive you." I praying that I'll be able to say those words & mean them not for that moment, but for my lifetime.

Because we're a forever family. One of the first things I taught people as a missionary is that families can be sealed together forever. It's only through Jesus Christ that this can happen. But it can. And so, I have something else to think of on October 6, 2009. . .that I love my dad forever.

8 comments:

Tricia said...

Beautifully moving post Starr. I'll be thinking of you. Safe journey...

Amy Donner said...

Wow, Starr...I'll be praying for you...I had no idea your dad was so sick. Safe travels, and please keep us posted. Love to you...

celine said...

Being an ocean apart will teach you so many things about living and dying and why both are so essential to this world. Travel safe, clear your mind and bring your scriptures.

Love Lorri said...

Starr, so beautifully written! I am sorry that your father is so sick, it is very difficult to loose a loved one! Saying I forgive you IS the easiest part, meaning it forever is the Hardest! Just cuz you say it doesnt mean the temptaions to be angry, upset, to dwell on it, you know all the same stuff. I am getting better in my little situationn, I know you will be amazing! Love ya Starr, safe travels!

Starr said...

Thank you, Tricia, Amy, Celine, and Lorri. Knowing of your love & support mean so much. . . .

joycie said...

Starr, I am so sorry for all you are going through, I wish I could be there with you and help you. But know that my prayers are with you, my love is with you and my thoughts are always with you.
I know what it is to loose a parent and I know what it is to have to forgive them. With prayer and faith it can happen.
"For with God nothing shall be impossible" Luke 1:37
I love you my friend.

Mandy Orozco said...

What a difficult time for you. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Marie said...

Starr, I am so sorry. I hope and pray that you are able to make peace with your dad and anything that may be bothering you. Families are forever and you are so blessed to have yours with you. Being the only member in my whole family, I don't have mine and I wish every day that I did. I live in hope and faith. Safe journies.