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Thursday, March 20, 2014

March 20, 2014 - Happy (17th) Birthday Natalee!!!



I was surprised to find out it had been almost 2 years since I visited my daughters blog..  I almost feel like I'm coming home; (weird) to a place where I can accept hurt and happiness at the same time.  They are both such a strong part of my life.  In my previous posting I mention how I hate March. This is my first year that I am doing fine.  Not void from heartaches but there is a calmness.  Grateful.
I have wanted to share 'the Natalee story'.  I have reserved it for a time when her friends were a little older to get a sense of what I wanted to share. This is a private and sacred experience for us.So I have some reservation of putting it on her blog.
July 1994, I had an experience that I thought at the time was odd.  While in prayer, all the sudden I had a vivid image of me holding an adorable child.  I thought how cute and small the child was, but thought nothing more of it. In the following months I had some events that caused me to question why I had experienced this.  Kent & I decided that we needed to ask God about it.  So for us we decided to go to the Portland LDS Temple.  This is a sacred structure where we, can go to seek answers, find peace, find inspiration.While I was praying in the Temple I was told that I was going to have a child. (what! NO! I was 41 at the time.) And this child would come on the Lords time.  =  Some of you  might be wondering what I mean when I used the word told. If we pray oft and are seeking direction God speaks to us by the Holy Spirit, He can make impressions in the mind.  It is like a voice without the sound but you hear it in your mind. The scriptures term it 'a still small voice' I was told three things (or qualities) that she would have. I would like to share two of them. 1) she would have great influence by the way she speaks and her voice would be heard.  Those who know Natalee knew she was particular how she would word things , and she always used her words for the good.  2) That she would change the hearts of many people for the better, sadly much of this came because of her cancer and her passing, (but I believe she is still doing that)
At the age of 44,just short of 3 years, I gave birth to Natalee, on March 20, 1997 - 8 lb. 9 oz.  In my vision the child was petite, Natalee was not a small baby.  At 6 months I told Kent this was not the child I saw.  At 9 months her features changed a lot and one day as I was looking at her it struck me that she was that little child I saw.
I have always wondered why God  wanted me to know about her before she was born, and some important things about her.  You see I believe it was for me, to help endure her getting sick and not making it. After Natalee died I still believed in God but I questioned His system.  Was he a God that really cared, does he listen to us individually when we pray, What about the power of Faith.  Why does it work with some the others not. Why take a child of 13 years when there are people in nursing homes waiting to pass on?? It's Crazy!!  Mind you, time has supplied me with the answers and I have a depth and clarity. One word of thought, we give glory to God when things are going great, but we turn away from him when things arent going our way.  How sad and how shallow. There is a negative power on this earth and he seems to be invisible but Satan has more influence regarding disease, sicknesses, war, and hate.  We cant blame it all on God. Though he has divine powers to send in a flood, or send a meteorite he will not.  He is also bound to laws.
Well after Natalee's death, I read the scriptures even more, I kept praying.  Even though I felt empty I didnt give up, I kept on reading and praying.  This is the most important process we need to do. I'm glad I didn't quit!!
One thing that still stirred in my heart is God knew my Natalee before she was born.  It was a testimony to me that she existed before she came to this earth life,and that God knew her and loved her. He wanted me to know about her before she was born.so that when I was so down I still remembered that God shared with me something so sacred and special and that this earth life had a purpose. .  Mormons terms this our pre-mortal existence.  We believe we dwelt with our Heavenly Father before our birth.  We learned, developed talents, grew spiritually, experienced relationships.  Some of us progressed  more that others.  Which can be an  indicator why some are born naturally gifted.  Our soul is immortal,(eternal) Plato speaking to Socrates said " knowledge is simply recollection, if true, also necessarily implies a previous time in which we have learned that which we now recollect.  But this would be impossible unless our soul had been in some place before existing in the form of man; here then is another proof of the soul's immortality."
Willam Wadsworth a religious leader in the early 1800's penned these words

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter, nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!

I truly believe that this earth life is short compared to the eternities.  I also believe that families can be eternal and I will be with Natalee again.  Hope is what helps us see beyond the horizon.
Natalee, happy Birthday.  My heart aches so much for you on this day.  Oh how I wish I could wrap my arms around you a give you a big hug. darn it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

http://vimeo.com/43514988            My daughter-in-law Lindsay, uploaded the slide show that was at Natalee's funeral. Its 27 minutes long, fair warning.  Since I  just viewed it , I have been emotionally spent, heart is without words to express.  My heart still aches every day for my sweet Natalee.  I miss her immensely so on her 2 year marks ( June 7 ), since sweet Natalee left this earth life, I will let the slide show express our love for her.  Natalee I so love you.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

TIME

I found that writing in the blog was therapy for me, so why haven't I written sooner. I haven't even gone on this blog since I last posted in July. Partly because not going into the world that is emotionally trying is easier to avoid than to travel through. So avoiding is the easy way out. I have noticed that I must be going through what they call the 'denial stage'. Actually how can it be a denial when in all reality I know Natalee is not here with us. But I have come to believe it is a numbness. In some ways I think our body and mind can only take so much, then it kicks into a numb mode and just doesn't absorb all the emotions. Part of me feels guilty (because my 1st year was all consuming, and that was my norm) I am not feeling the same way, then part of me feels OK (because I really do need the break) The positive side is; I can think more logical, and hear and feel. OK, you might ask why did I put the word hear; I needed God to talk to my heart and mind. That is how he communicates to us. If we only use our mind, we could analyze it too much and then disregard or talk ourselves out of it. We call that intellectualizing the problem. Using our heart only is dangerous, because our emotions can get us carried away into imaginations or negative thoughts that can be all consuming. Both are dangerous alone but together it brings us in harmony. I think the numbness helps me breathe, to think, to listen. For me it is my time to learn the whys, and remember the lessons I learned on Natalee's journey to go home. One thing for sure, not all my whys will be answered in this life time, but oh will the picture be clear when I see it all.
My first year after Natalee ended her life here, I really could not feel God with me. It bothered me to no end. While she was sick and on treatments, I (our whole family) felt carried and buoyed up, (by the healing powers in the Holy Spirit) then it was gone. Speaking only for myself on this I felt alone, abandoned, lost, and in anguish. Now I understand that my emotions got in the way, and that I wasn't abandoned, I just boxed up my heart where I could not feel, see, or hear. Anguish is the salt to the wound.
Time is the salve to our heart, if we allow it to be applied. (This also applies w/ repentance and forgiveness which also destroys our heart)
Since I can see clearer now, I have no doubt that Natalee is really, really happy. That is peace for me. She is growing and learning more than we can imagine. She is living in more of an Utopia state, without the confinement of our carnal body, that carries with it our temptations, habits, cravings that can bind us down. She is free from that and free from the pains she had with her cancer. She is a lucky little angel.
One of my Whys, was; why did she have to suffer? I remember asking God that question while she was sick. In my mind and heart He said: "So she will never forget" You can't forget pain, it keeps you grounded. In other words, remembering her pain, will able her to have compassion for others that might be struggling; patience to carry them through, and the right words to help. Our Stake President at the time gave Natalee a profound blessing, Pres. Harris said; "because of your experience here, you will be able to touch people that no one else can." I believe she is. Natalee always had a way of connecting with people. Can you imagine some of the children that have died, confused, lost, unloved, and from sickness, she has a better insight because of her experiences here? She is doing amazing things still.
Oh I miss you Sweet Natalee.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

13 months

Wow each month I wanted to write but just could not. From March on, each month has had something significant that seemed to knock me down and I felt I couldn't get enough oxygen to breathe. March was Natalees 14th birthday. It was pure agony knowing she is not here for her special occasion. When there is an event it tears my heart for weeks beforehand. My emotions for week would build up and then climax's on the day. Her birthday was the hardest thing for me. Nat's b'day is March 20, which is also the kick off of spring break; another heart breaker. I just wanted to stay inside so I could not hear, see or know that there were children out there having fun together. It still is crappy that my little girl is not longer able to hang out with her friends. The end of spring break, I finally went to see my parents in Eastern Oregon. ..The end of March is also my b'day; another emotional time. If I had my way I would get rid of that month forever!
April was a bitter-sweet time we went down to Utah for my sons graduation from BYU (masters in Accounting) That same weekend also was Easter, and my first granddaughter was blessed by her father. Being together with the whole family plus my sons in-laws was sweet, but once in a while the emotions got the better of me. It was like a roller coaster up and down.
May -Mothers day; hated it.
June 7th - one year since Natalee passed away. Some days it still is not real to me and some days it is so raw that I have a hard time breathing (literally).
You know the saying 'time heals all wounds'; not yet. The one year mark has improved, I can now take short glances of Natalee's pictures-I will still cry but its OK. Its still hard for me to see a school bus, but I now can drive by the schools. I avoided those buildings for over 6 months and if I even knew they were near I would cry hysterically. I stayed inside when I knew that kids were coming home from school. That is something I still have a hard time with.
The hardest thing for me is that I am now an empty Nester. Being thrown into that situation 5 years before my time is total injustice. When Janna left in January to go back to college. I felt lost, empty, and depressed and could not sleep and started having anxiety, (mind you all my children are far away). Now Nicole is home for the summer it is such a blessing to have her here. Britanee is graduating in one week from BYU-I. And I am so happy that she is has no money, because she has to come home and live with us till she can find a job and financially get on her feet. I know some of you may think that sounds crazy. But to me that is the greatest!
I laugh more, and even at times I can remember something funny about Natalee. For example yesterday I saw a person in a wheelchair. I started to cry, Natalee spent a lot of time in one and it hit me hard. Then I remembered how she loved to go to the grocery store with me. That was her way of getting out. ( The quirky thing with her is she loved the food channel and loved shopping for food but she had a hard time eating it.) Anyway the wheelchair, she loved chasing me with her wheelchair and we would laugh and laugh. It brought back wonderful memories of my funny little girl who knew how to laugh when the world around her was crumbling. I still am in wonder how she handled her crisis. My little hero.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Natalee is an Auntie

On February 18, 2011 Natalee became an aunt. In my heart I hope she was able to witness such a sacred event seeing her niece come into this life. Her name is ' Jayden Natalee Walton '. As Grandparents we are ecstatic. I can't help but believe that timing was in the planning, for if she was born soon after Natalee had passed away I know the pain I was going through would have robbed such a wonderful event.

Natalee is an auntie

Sunday, January 23, 2011

3 months ago

It's hard to believe that it has been three months since my last posting. I wish that I could fill you in, for there are things that needed to be shared. About two month ago, actually it was exactly five months (November 7) since Natalee had passed this life that I was hit with this insurmountable grief and I could not understand why I was going through more storms. Remember how I said that I felt I was off the boat and on solid ground? Well I discovered that this was only a temporary leave, and again I was forced to get on that stupid boat. (You have to understand, I don't like being on boats) so darn-it here we go again. My conclusion: I believe our mind can handle only so much when you lose a love one. So at first we went through shock and denial that helped buffer having too much grief all at once. So God gave us this brain that can monitor our grief a little at a time. I believe that at five months a window was opened and the reality hit stronger that my sweet Natalee is gone. With the emotions that I was going through, I just could not write.
I feel like I can finally breathe now that the holidays are behind us. Being our first Christmas without Nat was a very bitter-sweet experience, the sweet because all our children were home. The bitter I don't even need to explain. The best way to compare this about my friend who after giving birth to twins lost one at birth. I questioned her how she could deal with the two extreme contrasts. At moments she felt the joy of her living child and that would be erased feeling guilty because of her loss. When her sorrow was overcome with the loss of her child it was robbing her from enjoying the life that was still with her. I really related to that experience and find strong similarities. One special moment for me was when our family went to see "The Dawn Treader" it was an amazing experience for me. there were some lines in that movie that gave peace to my soul. Odd I cant remember the lines just the experience. So now I have to go back and take notes. Maybe I will share those thoughts later.
I was told that when a person looses a