Like I said in my last post, our camp was just up American Fork canyon. It was only about a 15 or 20 minute drive from our house (depending on who was driving:)) I had only been to the camp during the winter, once with some friends of ours for the kids to go sledding a few years ago and then again this past March I think to go to a meeting. When we arrived at the camp on Tuesday I was so pleased. It was absolutely beautiful.
When we got to camp we had a meeting we had to go to and then we got camp set up. Even I helped set up tents. Luckily the girls are good helpers and didn't need to depend on me so much:) This is me pounding in some stakes! And our tent did stay up all three days:)
I was shocked. As I thumbed through the pages I saw that the Young Women and other leaders had all written a note about how Tatum had touched them and scripture that had helped them. My friend Lisa had put it together. She had taken a picture of all of the girls that sang at Tatum's funeral and they were holding a huge picture of Tatum. Then she had each of them write their note and had it hard bound into a book!
Of course my first thing was to thank her so much, what a treasure! Then I asked if she still had that beautiful huge picture. She did and she said that I could have it. Yay.
It was so nice to have this book at camp. When I had a few minutes I would read what was written and it allowed me to think of Tatum and what she had accomplished in her short life. I didn't finish reading the book until last night. I can't believe how sweet everyone is. It is really touching. Lisa had a few of the past Young Women leaders that I worked with write too. I am sure this was a huge task to get done. I have so little energy to do anything right now that I can't even imagine the work that went into getting it ready. What great friends I have been blessed with. They have truly carried me through this heart breaking time. When Tatum was sick it was hard because I knew that this time was coming. But when she was still alive it seemed like such an abstract time to me that I could talk about when she would die and not have all of the emotions that are here now. And I could still hug her and kiss her and have her in our home, so it was so different knowing than it is doing. Having all of these sweet memories of her are precious. My friends have been so great about talking about Tatum and saying her name and allowing me to talk about her. I know that those opportunities will fade and so I am enjoying it while I can. There will just be less opportunities to talk about her and I know that. I feel like we are always cheerful when we talk about her, but I know that eventually it will be more awkward. I have loved the jewelry that people have given me because people who see them will comment or ask questions about them. A few of the necklaces have their names and so people will say their names and that is always refreshing.
The rest of camp was so great. I was so grateful to get to be up there the whole time. I missed Lance and the kids back home. I can't remember being away from them for that long. It was so good to see them when I got home. It was nice to be able to concentrate on the Young Women and just be with them. We have the most amazing young ladies that live in our neighborhood. We are so lucky. I only had a few times when I was teary and my heart hurt. It was nice to be busy and out of my environment a little bit. It was really nice to be there with Halea and Heidi. They are growing up to be such great people. I know that this past few months has been so hard on them, but to watch them you would never know it. Their faith is so strong. They have such deep testimonies at such a young age. I know that Tatum came to strengthen that in them. How could I ask for anything better than that. If I have to experience such a heart break, that reward will make it OK. If all of our kids, in the end, can say that they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they know the Savior lives and that they know the gospel is true and that their Heavenly Father loves them, and they go on to live great lives because of their experiences then I would say that this trial is worth it. I would never have chosen to have two of my sweet children die, but maybe they chose to make that sacrifice for all of us. Hopefully we will live lives that will make them proud.
Here is Halea being her funny silly self. Experimenting with the volume that she can hold in her mouth! Love this girl.
Coming home yesterday was a little hard. It was the four week mark since we had Tatum in our home. It was hard and good to come home and be around all of her "stuff" again that are reminders of her. It is a double edged sword. It is comforting to have those things, and I wouldn't want to not have them. It just reminds me how much I miss her. Last night was just hard. I was really missing my little Tater bug. When I was up at camp I designated myself as the photographer and I kept having to go through and delete pictures off of my camera to free up space on my memory card. At first it was just hospital pictures but then I was having to decide which Tatum pictures I could delete from my card. I have all of the pictures on our computer so it's not like I was deleting them forever. I didn't realize how many pictures I had saved on my memory card still. They made me smile every time I got to look through them, and some of the ladies would look with me as I flipped through them. They made us smile and laugh. As I looked through some of the pictures it was so sad to me to realize how quickly she declined. It seemed like she was smiling and happy and within a few days she was gone. I just can't stop thinking of how we could have had more time with her if I had done something different. I know that would not have made the outcome different, but every memory with her is so priceless, it just would have been nice to have more time. I just am missing her so much. I am still so zapped of energy from the grief that I feel like I am not enjoying the time I have with my other kids. That is something I thought a lot about while at camp. It is my goal to enjoy the time I have with them now. Our lives have changed in this past month so that we can do a lot of things that we couldn't before. There is reason behind that. I am going to work on keeping the lessons that I have learned from our time with Tatum and Trevin in the forefront of my mind and moving forward and enjoying the present time that I have been given with our other kids.