Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A brother, prepared to use his priesthood

I have had a sincere inner struggle lately. On one hand, I feel something inside willing me to write about my feelings regarding Laila and her death. On the other, I hear this verse repeated over and over in my head: But Mary kept all these things, and apondered them in her heart. (Luke 2:19)

I am struggling to know which thought is the correct thought. There are things I don't want to share. I have been directed to other blogs of women that have lost their children and I can't read them anymore. Their words are too personal. There is so much sorrow, and some hope, and it feels almost awkward to read--like I'm being allowed to watch something I shouldn't be a part of. And there are some things people shouldn't be a part of because they are too personal and too sacred. I have written most of those things in my journal. But I still struggle to know what is too personal for this blog.

Part of me wants to keep the day of Laila's passing to myself--shelter it almost--because she's my baby and the pain and the horror of that day are too great to share. But there is an amount of peace and hope that was felt as well.

And I have a testimony and I feel sometimes like I should share it even when I don't want to.

Today, I am having that inner struggle. I have something to say but to say it I have to share things that are personal to me in a way that I don't want to share. So, it's here. I've written it. And I might take it back. Because I don't want anyone to hear or imagine or misunderstand or brush it aside or stop reading because it's too much.


It was all a blur. Mike ran past into the family room, cradling Laila in his arms. I somehow got myself off the floor and collected all the kids--my boys and my nieces. They, obviously, were worried and tried to follow Mike in the other room. I recognized what was happening and didn't want them to go in and see Laila or Mike doing CPR, so I snapped my fingers and sternly said, "Kneel. Now." They obeyed. Through my tears I asked the Lord to bring her back even though I knew He would not. Then we sent the kids to the front yard where my neighbors were all outside, enjoying the weather. My sister-in-law called 911. I went into the family room where I saw the following scene:

Mike, calmly giving CPR, his breaths rhythmic, my sweet Laila laying on her blanket, and my brother Jess, with his hands on her head, softly using his priesthood to administer to my baby. I was not close enough to hear what he said (perhaps he too knew that the Lord would not bring Laila back to life) but he prayed none the less. In my tears I saw two men that I love very much, trying to save my daughter.

I have six brothers, all worthy to hold the priesthood, and any of them would have done the same. I am sealed to my brother and through that sealing, bonded to him eternally. But now, after experiencing something so personal and watching him administer to my daughter, I feel even more bonded to him. I will forever be grateful for his worthiness that allowed him to give her a blessing at that critical moment.

I watched this video this morning and I heard these words:

Now, my young friends of both the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood, not every prayer is answered so immediately, and not every priesthood declaration can command the renewal or the sustaining of life. Sometimes the will of God is otherwise. But young men, you will learn, if you have not already, that in frightening, even perilous moments, your faith and your priesthood will demand the very best of you and the best you can call down from heaven. You Aaronic Priesthood boys will not use your priesthood in exactly the same way an ordained elder uses the Melchizedek, but all priesthood bearers must be instruments in the hand of God, and to be so, you must, as Joshua said, “sanctify yourselves.” You must be ready and worthy to act.

My prayer, Mike's CPR, and Jess' blessing were not enough to save Laila because that was not in God's plan for her or my family. Regardless of the outcome, those prayers mean something to me. It means that they come naturally. It means that my brother didn't have to question his ability to use the power of God. It means that he had prepared himself so he was "ready and worthy to act." It means that my boys knew the most important thing at that moment, besides the obvious physical attempt to save her with CPR, was to hear their mother pray for their sister's life.

I for one, am thankful for the priesthood and thankful that the men in my life are worthy of that priesthood.


Mommo said...

Adrianne, This is beautiful. It causes me to think about myself and my Faith. Thank you for sharing your strength and insights and causing me to consider more carefully the truths of the gospel. You are touching so many by sharing your thoughts and feelings. You are truly blessed to be a light and example to those around you. I love you.

Marcy said...

I think that you know things in this stage of your life that you couldn't have learned if you weren't in the middle of grief and intense emotions. That's why I'm glad you're sharing certain things. The things you write touch us. And later on, I believe, your own words will touch you as you read them later on. You might say--as I have--"Did I write that? I'm glad I wrote that. I understood that clearly in that moment."

I don't know if I'm conveying what I want to convey.

Jess and Jen said...

Adrianne, it was clear from the blessing and the words that didn't come out that Laila's time on earth was past. It was all a very surreal experience.

It's interesting that until that trip, I hadn't carried an oil vial on my keychain for years because I can't seem to be able to find one that doesn't leak. I got a new one just before we drove out to Colorado and ended up using it.

Like your last post said, you have a good husband and he's a good rock to be grounded to. -Jess

Rachael said...

Thank you so much for sharing this Adrianne. Thank you for opening up, it must be hard. But you are an inspiration, and one of the most beautiful mother's I've ever known.

I love that you've kept her room the same and kept memories of her all around. It is wonderful.

I'm not sure why, but I've always understood that any of my children could be taken home at any moment because really, they are not mine. Although I serve a temporal role, and one of the most important roles, they are first and foremost children of Heavenly Father. I feel blessed every moment I get with them. And am ready and looking forward to the day when I can return home.
She is safe. She is doing great things, she will not have to face many not so good things in this world.
I'm so grateful for this knowledge!
And my admiration and gratitude for you continue to grow. You are a great example of strength and grace.
Thank you my dear friend for all you are! You inspire many.

Frances said...

Adrianne, that is a beautiful, heart wrenching story. Thank you for writing it. What a wonderful inspiration and reminder for us to remain worthy and ready to ask for help and if it came, to be able to return home to our Heavenly Father.

chelsey said...

I find myself wanting Geoff to read this post, especially since he is a deacon. Perhaps it will help him understand a little better that his priesthood is so vital in so many different ways.

I too appreciate priesthood holders that are willing, worthy, and able to exercise their authority upon a moments notice. Sometimes it makes all the difference. I always buy Brent those keychain oil vials just for that purpose. (Jess, did you find one that doesn't leak? Brent's always leak too!) Love you all!

The Duke said...

For some reason, when I went back to visit you a month after the funeral, I slipped a small container of oil in my bag and took it with me. I can't give the blessing, of course, but I thought I should have some nearby if anything happened on my trip. I've never done that in my life. It gave me a lot of comfort.
This post is beautiful and should reinforce the fact that it isn't just men that need to be worthy - women should be those of faith to support and believe and be just as worthy as the men in their lives.
Thank you for sharing your tender thoughts.
I love you. And I love Mike, too.

Marcy said...

When my dad has given me blessings in the past, he often uses the phrase, "according to your faith, my faith and Mom's." Your mom's words reminded me of that. The faith of the mothers on behalf of their children are a force for good in using the Priesthood.

Jed and Kera said...

This is the most beautiful post. I sobbed as I thought of your wonderful brothers and the priesthood the hold. I wish so much that Jed and I had that in our families. I'm glad they were there that day to be a help in every way possible.