I started asking the older kids what their plans were for New Year's Eve. because now I am not really in charge of their entire lives. Go figure. Halea and her friends hadn't made a plan, Hayden hadn't either, but I had a feeling it wasn't going to be with us. I told Halea that she could invite her friends to come over to our house. I love her friends and I thought it would be a great distraction for me. She sent the text and voila, a party was started.
We made a list and went shopping. Heidi, Halea and I walked into Costco and you'll never guess who was there. Yep, Hilary Weeks. Unbelievable. I couldn't muster the nerve to go and say anything to her, I was afraid that I would cry. I have been composing a letter to her for the past 4 or so weeks but I haven't written it quite yet. It was just a funny little gift to start the new year off. At least that's what I think. She doesn't even know that she made a dream come true, that's the hilarious part. We were able to carry on even after the excitement and got everything on our list and went home and got busy.
Heidi also invited a few friends over. I was grateful to all of the parents that shared their kids with us, because it really was a good distraction for me. I think that everyone had a good time. Hilary made it to midnight and well past. Poor little thing, she is going to be a real treat today.
I was able to hold it together all night, until I went inside. I went to my room and had a little cry. Then I brushed myself off and pulled it back together. That seems to be how I have to grieve right now. I have to still function for my family, even though I feel like I need to just be sitting in my PJ's eating chocolate crying. I won't let this overwhelming grief consume me that way. I know that is what the adversary would have me do. I choose to try and be happy and to function because I know that is what I am supposed to do and that is what Tatum and Trevin would want. So I do. It's not always easy, and I don't always do it very well, but I try.
2013: has been surreal. I can't believe all of the things that have transpired so very quickly. I felt like I was crawling to the end, wishing to get out without one more hard thing happening, and yet wanting it to never end.
I am so very grateful for the beautiful months in 2013 that we were able to have with Tates. Bonus months, given as a gift from her and our Heavenly Father, I am sure.
Grateful for the amazing beautiful lessons that we have learned in such a tender way, never to be forgotten.
I am amazed at all of the growth in our family. We know things that are forever.
Humbled by the bazillion acts of service that have been performed for us. We can never begin to repay.
Grateful for perspective, and the great plan of happiness and the Atonement of our Savior that makes it all possible.
2013: has been a year of growth, and despite the difficulties, I am so very grateful to have lived it.
My hope for 2014 is to carry on Tatum's legacy that she has left us of :
Service, pure love, courage, strength in difficult times, a concrete knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ, humility, submission, kindness, a love for our Heavenly Father, acceptance of His will, a desire to grow spiritually, acknowledgement of His hand in our lives, we can do hard things, slowing life down and choosing the better part, and perspective beyond this life.
One of my favorite songs that Hilary Weeks sings is "I Will". She talks about being strong and brave and choosing His way even when it's hard and others don't, because it is who we are meant to be. It has become my anthem for the past seven months. (Seven months, it's hard to even say that.) I know that this past year has been, in part, meant to change my heart and help me to become the person that my Heavenly Father knows that I can be. He sees the potential in me, that no one else does. It hurts like crazy, but growth hurts when you truly open yourself up and allow it. That is my goal, to allow these experiences to strengthen me and to change my heart for good.
A few other things that we did leading up to the end of this year:
We finished a puzzle.
We went and saw Frozen. There is a quiet part in the movie when one of the sisters freezes into a statue. The other sister comes and hugs her. The theater was super quiet. I was really afraid that Hilary was going to blurt out that the sister was dead, and follow it up with, " like my sister Tatum". You just never know what she is thinking and she has no filter. Luckily she didn't. There is a lot of music in the show. When we got home she was twirling around and singing everything that she was saying. She sang "My sister Tatum died and then I went to school" Huh? She doesn't even go to school. She keeps packing her backpack and acting like she is going to school and talking about it constantly. I am not real excited for that idea. I am going to have to brush off my crafting, ABC, 123 and singing skills and trick her into thinking that she is in school. Great! It's going to be an interesting 2014.