09 November 2018

Rosh Hashana Inspiration -- Sep. 10-16, 2018

My second week brought me spiritual experiences every day that I served in the temple––which is what you might expect, of course. 

What you might find surprising is that one of my most memorable spiritual experiences that week occurred not in the temple, but in the small Orthodox synagogue of a congregation located on the second floor of a commercial building, above a furniture store. 

08 November 2018

Settling into my new life in NYC--Sep. 1-9, 2018

My first few days in New York City brought me a whirlwind of activity here in my new surroundings. I felt incredibly happy and grateful every minute for the amazing, totally unexpected opportunity to serve full-time in the Manhattan Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

I had many spiritual experiences that reaffirmed the feeling that many blessings await me as I give my whole heart to this mission.

04 November 2018

How I Came to Embark on an Exciting New Adventure

After David passed away in 2014, I had no plans to serve a full-time mission for my church. Since I had served a proselyting mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a young woman in France, and then had served full-time with my husband, David, for ten years––first when he was President of the Dominican Republic Santo Domingo West Mission for three years, and then while he served in Area Presidencies as a General Authority Seventy for seven years––I felt that my place henceforth was to serve my family and local ward members, not serve another mission.

However, a few months ago, after serving several years as an ordinance worker in the Seattle Temple in the summer, and the Dallas Temple the rest of the year, for some reason I began to think about the desirability of serving a temple mission for a year sometime in the future, perhaps in the spring of 2019.

16 May 2018

The Envelope

It started with an envelope.

Yesterday, after we had played several board games, my Kindergartner granddaughter Paige was looking through the various kinds of paper in my craft box, intending to draw or write something during her after-school visit with me. She found a greeting card envelope, selected a piece of yellow card stock, and told me she wanted to make a card for “Grampa.”  

Grampa, aka my late husband, passed away when Paige was not yet three years old. I doubt she can really remember him, but on my kitchen counter are two digital photo frames that scroll through family photos including many of him, some even with her as a baby or toddler. When Paige is eating her after-school snack, she looks at those photos, and often either names some of the people in them, or asks me who they are. Some are of my parents and grandparents, and I have on occasion mentioned that they, like Grampa, have died, and are happily living in Heaven now. Whether seeing photos of Grampa keeps real memories of him fresh in her mind, or that she just continues to love her idea of him, I know not.

12 July 2017

Staying in the Lane

As I was driving to the Seattle temple by myself for the first time after my arrival in Washington last month, I began to feel very sad that David, my late husband, was not beside me. I felt I had made great progress in the last few months in usually remembering him happily, but at this moment, thinking about how, long ago, he had carefully given me the driving directions I was now carefully following brought tears to my eyes.

Suddenly, my mood completely changed. My mind was flooded with joy as that memory from a decade ago came forcefully into focus. I recalled David’s voice repeating to me the important advice I needed to follow if I was to arrive at the temple on time, “Stay in the lane, Rosalie!” It now struck me in a new way that I knew could help me deal with the waves of sorrow that still threaten to engulf me from time to time.

07 December 2016

An Answered Cri de Coeur

The anguished cries of my three-year-old grandson, combined with a statement by Dostoyevsky and hymn lyrics by Isaac Watts, prompted me to ponder how we can discover and attain our deepest desires. 

While visiting the family of our youngest son some years ago, the adults in our group were startled one evening by the sudden, impassioned crying of our three-and-a-half-year-old grandson, David. He was apparently having a nightmare. Our daughter-in-law attempted to calm him with soft words and rocking, but he continued to cry out and talk nonsense which related to what he was dreaming.

She carried him downstairs to join the rest of us, and mentioned that this sort of thing had happened before. Once David was fully awake, she assured us, he would calm down. For a couple of minutes he continued to wail and display deep distress, despite his mother’s efforts to awaken and reassure him.

26 July 2016

No Looking Back

A little over nine years ago, my oldest son and I exchanged good-bye waves and smiled at each other as he backed out of our driveway for the last time. My husband and I had sold our house, and were moving out of state to live nearer our grandchildren.

As he drove off, my son’s head was held high, and he didn’t look back.

He had recently been laid off from his job; but he was now excited about beginning a new career as a writer. Despite the known difficulties of breaking into the ranks of literary professionals, his success in getting several stories published during the last few years spurred him to consider the loss of his increasingly joyless job as an opportunity to jump wholeheartedly into that other field. With concerted effort, determination and a bit of luck, he was hopeful that he would soon be able to make his living doing what he truly loved to do.

As I watched his car disappear around a bend, the tears began to flow, and my mind went back to another farewell experience that had occurred when he was nineteen: