Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Happy Birthday, Baby Boy

Usually as the Holidays approach I feel a deep sense of longing. I miss my boys extra during the time of year we draw our loved ones close around us and celebrate the Savior's birth. It is usually harder the first Christmas after losing a baby. This year I was particularly scared of December 6th happening right in the Holiday season. Birthdays cause us to remember, and ponder, and well, we all know how short Jonah's story is.

Since I knew it was coming I took a proactive approach. I hung the stockings with care and trimmed the tree in NOVEMBER (a first for me) so when the 'bah-humbug' hit, at least the house could lend some cheer. So with everything in place, I braced myself and waited...

But to my astonishment as December 6th drew closer, I found my excitement mounting. The familiar JOY of JONAH filled up that longing and overflowed into something magical. And today may indeed be my best day yet.

For scriptures this morning we talked about Lehi's vision of the Tree of Life. We discussed what the fruit was and how we partake of it. And how Lehi's first response was not to hog all the precious fruit for himself, but to SHARE IT.

I made my family green smiley face bouncy ball necklaces. I challenged them to: 1. Find the Joy. 2. Share it. 3. Find and make a guess of how many green smiley faces there are throughout the house. 4. Make a guess of how many bouncy balls there are.

I'll have to write the highlights of the day later. But I must say its shaping up to be a day of Joy.

Thank you Jonah, Happy Birthday. I'll love you forever.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Angel Watch Memorial

Angel Watch is an organization that reaches out and supports families who are given a prenatal lethal diagnosis. We didn't have their support with Jacob. We did with Josiah and Jonah and it was a completely different experience.

They held a Memorial for the many families they have served over the years. We gathered at the Pioneer Infant Cemetery at 'This is the Place' Heritage Park in Salt Lake City.

There was beautiful music written and sung by Angel Watch fathers, accompanied by an Angel Watch mother on the violin. It was perfect. We were all invited to say our baby's name and birthday. A simple request, but as I listened to each family and then named my three Angels I struggled. They each represent so much love, so much loss. It seemed like too many.

And then because grief can be turned into something beautiful, we planted 300 daffodil bulbs along the fence to the cemetery.

I have plans to return when the daffodils are in full bloom.

Primary Children's Hospital is just a few miles up the street from the park. It has the same beautiful view of the valley. This is the view I came to love as I left the hospital in all seasons. I loved leaving the building and having the summer heat hit me-even in the middle of the night-and seeing the whole valley lit up with lights. I loved leaving the building in the middle of a blizzard and seeing only the white blanket of snow covering everything. No matter how stressful the day had been, every time I left the hospital and saw the valley sprawled out before me, I was reminded how God is over all. It was a constant for me. It was comforting.

And now, from the cemetery, it was another reminder that life goes on. The valley is still thriving and growing oblivious to the heartache of a few gathered on the hill. Oblivious to the triumph of a few gathered on the hill. Until you have had to live it, no one can understand the journey to recovering from the loss of a child.

I don't readily admit this, but it almost broke me when we lost Jacob seven and a half years ago. I had to fight the bitterness for a long time. It was tempting to stay bitter forever. I was completely unaware of my kids' grieving because I was so wrapped up in my own. Then one day I saw my bitterness come out and bite my younger brother in a conversation we had-and I realized it just wouldn't do. My kid brother deserved better than that-my kids deserved better than that. So for my children I began the long trip out of the darkness and back into the light. As painful as it was to start that journey because I was still angry and bitter and wasn't ready to let it all go, I learned that it is also the only way for the pain to be lifted. Each step towards the Savior eased my suffering and softened the anger and hurt. It took many hours on my knees. I had to let go of my pride. But once I did, I became free. Free is a good place to be. He picked up all my broken pieces and put me back together in a much better and stronger way.

People have asked how we can continue to have children. Once you have had to give a child back to God, what is there left to fear? If He can heal me from that, I can trust Him in all things.

"Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me... my cup runneth over." Psalms 23:4

As I remember, I do sometimes choose to remember the pain. I allow myself to feel it, deep all the way down to my soul. To pretend that pain doesn't exist would be unhuman (not sure its a word, should be). My boys are gone. I won't see them again all my life. All I have is pictures on the wall and memories that fade. But I refuse to wallow. As I remember the pain, I remember the healing, all the way to my soul, which gives way to the joy, and I am left with an extra large portion of gratitude for the Savior. My cup truly runneth over.

For all of us remembering today, whether it be 9/11 or some other real personal tragedy in our lives, may our hearts be turned to the Savior and be healed.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Belated Pioneer Day

Rob and I had the unique and often coveted experience of going on Trek to Martin's Cove with our Ward youth as Ma and Pa. Our youth are quite remarkable. We learned many important and applicable lessons while walking and walking, but I learned lesson that was life-changing for me.

In the past, whenever the topic of the handcart pioneers came up, I would shudder as I momentarily live getting caught in the storms with inadequate provisions. I hate the cold. I hate being cold. I get cold in 87 degree weather. I have simply resigned myself to the fact that if I was a pioneer in those late handcart companies, I would have sat down and froze. My loved ones would've had to bury me.

And then, on the Trek, I finally understood what these pioneers were doing.

These pioneers were converts with burning testimonies from distand lands who wanted to gather with the other Saints. Many of them did not have the means to do so. When the handcart was suggested, these pioneers saw it as 'their way'. They got on a ship and came to America. They set out with faith in God and 17 lbs of possessions stacked in their handcarts. Things got rough. They starved. Their fingers and toes froze. They buried their babies and their husbands. They kept walking.

I walked through Martin's Cove where they sought refuge. I could feel their sacrifice and their faith. And it hit me. I would have walked with them. I would've faught to reach Salt Lake. I have a burning testimony of Jesus Christ and I, too, hope for a better day. I have had to watch 3 of my children suffer death. I have buried my three precious baby boys. In that better day, my sons will be resurrected and whole, and because of the covenants I have made in the Temple, I will still be their mother. I would gladly give my fingers and toes for the blessings of Eternity.

On this Pioneer Day, my "heart is turned to my fathers". I am grateful for my Pioneer Heritage and my ancestor Cyrus H. Wheelock who was one of the first rescuers to set out for the handcart companies stranded in the storms. I honor him. I am also humbled as I remember my own personal rescuers who have come to my and my family's aid when we have been stranded in the storms of life. My greatest desire is to live my life in such a way that I can in some way give back-help the Lord reach those in my path who are stranded and in need.

"You don't have to push a handcart,

Or leave your family dear.

Or walk a thousand miles or more

To be a Pioneer!"

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Because Life Goes Marching On...

Sydney lost her first tooth! The Tooth Fairy brought her 101 pennies and a love note. What's not to love about the most beautiful and talented 6 year old ever sporting her 'window' to the world??

Sydney and I had a great talk a few weeks ago. There is a beautiful picture that hangs in her room that reminds her of Jonah. For several nights when I tucked her in she would look at the picture and miss Jonah and cry. One night, we talked about how Jesus knows that it hurts when someone we love dies. But He doesn't want us to hurt and He already paid the price to make us feel better. If we pray and ask Heavenly Father to heal our hearts through Jesus' Atonement, she would feel better. She decided it was worth a shot and so we prayed together. Afterward, I told her that remembering Jonah didn't have to hurt, and it could make us happy instead. We still talk about Jonah, but she hasn't cried about missing him since. The Atonement even covers a 6 year old missing her brother.

To me, that is the beauty of the Atonement: That remembering doesnt' have to hurt. No matter the cause of the suffering, when we use the Atonement in our lives, remembering doesn't have to hurt.

In other news, Jaya and cousin Hyrum got the whole watermelon to themselves. After slurping juice and watermelon all over the place, Jaya stripped down because she hates being sticky.

The simple joys of the end of summer. Its good to be two.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Jonah and the Whale

I don't believe I've ever shared why I named Jonah after the Prophet from the well-loved Biblical story of Jonah and the Whale. Here goes:

So Jonah was a prophet of God. God gave him a very difficult assignment to visit the people of Ninevah and preach repentance to them. This wasn't something he was super excited about. In fact, he tried to run away and hide. He got on a boat, a great storm arose, the people threw him overboard at his suggestion (he would rather DIE than go to Ninevah!) and he was swallowed by a whale where he remained for three days-where I am certain he had some sore repentance and some super-strengthening sessions with the Lord. When he was ready, the whale spit him out on land. The Lord didn't change his task: He still had to march to Ninevah and preach repentance. But he did it. The people listened, repented were spared from the wrath of God.

Jonah and the whale teaches us lots of good things. Perhaps my favorite lesson is that with the Lord's help, we can successfully do the unthinkable.

When we found out at our 20-week ultrasound that our baby would be sick, I won't lie, I was extremely disappointed, overwhelmed, and mortified. I did not want my baby to be sick. In fact, all I wanted to do was climb in bed and pull the covers up over my head and hide forever-or at least 3 days-where I could wallow undisturbed. I whined and cried to Heavenly Father about how I didn't want my baby to be sick and how tired I was of death. I am not a fan of death.

In the middle of all my whining I realized it just wouldn't do. Wallowing shortly loses its appeal. I dried my tears and I repented. I asked for the strength I needed to care for my other kids and my new baby and that I'd find the joy and see the miracles. Well, Heavenly Father heard my prayer. He did not change my task: My baby would still be sick and die. But He changed me.

When it came time to name our baby, Jonah just felt right. Holding Jonah, I sometimes wondered if he had any of those similar feelings of disappointment before he came to Earth at what his body would be and the short time he would be allotted. I don't know that, but I do know he accepted his call. Agency is God's gift to His children and I don't imagine Jonah being forced into this body. I see him rejoicing at the opportunity to come to Earth and receive his body and be with his family.

Jonah Dare teaches us lots of good things. Perhaps my favorite is that with the Lord's help, we can successfully do the unthinkable.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mariah's Poem for Jonah

Today for Mother's Day Mariah gave me this gift:

Jonah Dare White
I am a newborn brother growing with each new day,
I wonder when I hit the sun light ray,
I hear the oohs and ahhs from everyone around me,
I see my loving wonderful family,
I want you to know that I’m Okay.

I am a newborn brother growing with each new day,
I pretend like I’m driving a national BMW racecar,
I feel like I’m the ping pong star,
I touch the love from my Father in Heaven,
I worry that I have little time with my siblings count seven,
I cry because I want to stay,
I am a new born brother growing with each new day.

I understand my Father’s plan,
I say you can always hold my hand,
I dream of the day I will see Him face to face,
I try to find the joy in my journey and it’s not easy in my case,
I hope you’re coming days won’t be gray as yesterday,
I am a newborn brother growing with each new day.

This was a special treat for me. Mariah has a way of expressing herself through poetry that I find absolutely beautiful. She had a poetry unit at school and had to write several for assignments and ever since I have been asking her to write one for Jonah. I love when hidden talents are found through the public education system of all things:)

Thank you, Mariah. Keep writing!

A Poem for Jonah

My friend Karyn wrote this for us after Jonah's funeral. I love it.


Thank you, Heavenly Father, for giving us our boy.
We miss him, oh so dearly, but he filled our lives with joy.

Ten weeks was not nearly long enough for us to get our fill,
But we trust in your eternal plan and have faith to do thy will.

Our Maori warrior is finally, now, standing firm and tall.
With Jonah fighting on our side, we know we cannot fail.

Please tell him now we love him, from his family tried and true.
Thank you for your gift to us, you lost a son once, too.

Thank you, Karyn.
I love it when my boys' influence is felt outside our family circle. It reminds me that even though their lives were short, they touched many.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Choosing Today

What would you do if you knew you had very little time with one you loved?

I have mentioned Rob's fateful prayer about Jonah having 'other work to do', and I just want to add little something about that. When Rob said that prayer, I could feel that Jonah's time was very short. It may sound strange, but I could feel the next life pushing on him, waiting for him, expecting him. At the same time, I felt peace because it wasn't time yet.

A few days later, I was holding Jonah working at the computer and I had an overwhelming sense of urgency. His time was coming. I thought to myself, "I need to hurry and get all the things done I want to with him before he goes!" And so I starting taking mental inventory of all the things I wanted for Jonah: 1. Name and a blessing-Done. 2. Pictures with the family-Done. 3. Jonah to know he is loved-Done. 4. Memories for our other kids-Done.

As I went through my list I realized that everything I felt was important was already accomplished. I asked myself, "If he dies tomorrow, would I do anything different than I am doing right now?" And surprisingly, the answer was no. So then I was able to relax and just enjoy holding my baby. Perhaps breathing in the details a little deeper. Stroking his hair. Kissing his soft skin. Holding him close. Knowing that his time was coming, and being at peace about it.

If you knew you would die tomorrow, would you do anything different than you are right now? Most of us won't die tomorrow, but when we lay down tonight, today will be gone. Today dies. We don't get it back. How precious is one day? It is as precious as we make it.

So today I will smile more, laugh more, hug my kids extra. I choose today. It could be the best day yet...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Getting 'Purse'-onal

We recently had a Relief Society activity themed, "Getting 'Purse'-onal". We talked about how every woman has a different purse and we can't effectively love and help our sisters if we don't know what she's carrying in her purse. Metaphoric for you don't really know a person till you walk a mile in their shoes. Our dear speaker had us all crying with laughter as she reminded us all not to shave our 'stache. And her message was powerful. Everyone is carrying something heavy in her purse so we need to love first and judge never. I started thinking about my own purses.

A while before Jonah was born, I bought myself a cute smallish green purse. Instead of giving myself a ridiculous hair cut like I always do at the end of pregnancy, I splurged on a purse of all things. Something, anything, to draw attention AWAY from my roundness. Like a purse or a haircut could possibly help! Anyway, It certainly wasn't flashy, but it did the job with more style than I am used to. I am a very functional kind of gal.:)

Then, a few weeks before Jonah was born, I went to 'Time Out For Women' with a dear friend and her family. I loved it. Plus, they gave us a bag. It was bright red with white flowers on it. Darling. It became my purse/Jonah's bag. It was LARGE and durable. It carried formula, an oxygen monitor, a feeding pump, a book, diapers, wipes, and on and on. After Jonah passed away, my wallet and phone got lost in that big bag. So I had to retire it.

A week or so after Jonah's funeral a dear friend brought a cute and functional bag/purse full of items to pamper a mom plus a roll of smiley face stickers. :) It is cream with bright pink (a personal fav) handles and bottom. It is my purse for now. It is a little big for what I need, in fact its empty most of the time, but I love carrying around a personal reminder of the love of a friend-that represents so many friends- that continue to help me carry my purse that's a little too empty now. I can't go back to my cute green purse yet-maybe ever. Is that silly? I am just not the same person.

On a 'purse'-onal note, I am extremely grateful for friends. If I started listing the love and kindnesses shown it would take all day and I would inevitably leave some treasure untold. But my burden is light. Many hands make light work. What a blessing to be a woman. What a blessing to have friends.

So I ask you... What's in your purse and can I give you a hand?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

This day was supposed to be about Jaya... but ended up being about Jonah. This day, I remembered what real treasure is, and that part of mine is missing. This day, the rainbow ended at our house: My tears, plus sunshine from the love of a friend. This day, when I said my prayers, I thanked the Lord for you. Thanks, Ylfe... you have no idea:)

Jonah's Day

Nanna and Kiri came with me to dress Jonah. It is a special, sacred time. I was grateful to have their love and support. It is what women do. We show up for the hard times, that become special and sacred. Finally... a picture of Nanna and Jonah.
My sister arranged Jonah's table with all the gifts people brought for Jonah. Such love and sacrifice for a life so short, but so beautiful.
As we arrived at the cemetery Tai Nui and Uncle Teancum placed Jonah in his spot.

After Rob dedicated the grave, he decided to put Jonah down. He taught us how to take a handful of dirt and say our last good-byes to Jonah as we toss the dirt in. We put our lovely leis in, too. He called the tractor over and everyone helped secure Jonah in his final resting place where he will await the great and glorious day of the Resurrection.
Jonah is laid to rest with his brothers. It is finished.

Because we can only handle so much seriousness.....

After we opened the grave and put Jonah down, my sweet 3 year old niece was running through the crowd to her daddy and saw the hole too late. She took a tumble right down in! Her uncle pulled her out, minus one shoe that got wedged between Jonah and the dirt. He pulled that out too. Does anyone else find that humorous? I appreciate Jaelle's comic relief. Thanks, sweetheart!

And... ever wonder what happens the night before a funeral? After a Family night filled with Opa's faith and music all around, the girls had a fashion show. All outfits donated by Tonja.:)

Do you see the smiles? They are real. Its ok to smile, to celebrate a life with those that are still here.

Thank you, everyone, for filling our home with noise and chaos and love and faith.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Now... WHAT?

I am a fan of 'finished'. There is so much POWER in 'finished'. I associate it with accomplished, victorious, achieved, done. I especially love 'finished' when it applies to a house hold project, but my favorite 'finished' has to do with finish lines. I love races, and I love finish lines. One of the greatest thrills of my life was crossing the finish line of the marathon I ran.

Jonah has finished, in a way he is done. It's a little painful. But as the rest of us run, walk, or hobble forward on our course, Jonah continues to bless our lives.

We are doing well. Our kids are well. We are not actively grieving. We are all involved in healthy activities and make time to spend with other people-to connect with people we love and who love us. It has been good.

We do, however, have rough moments. For instance, Jaya turned two a week ago and I could not bring myself to celebrate-I just avoided it. I woke up today and realized she isn't the one who died, and she needs a birthday cake and a present! And in planning a family party for tonight that coincides nicely with BYU's "Sweet Sixteen" appearance and Jimmer's run for the "Elite Eight", I have much to do to keep my mind occupied with the here and now. See how that works? What a blessing it is to have little people who depend on me to continue moving in a normal, predictable pattern.

I dream of Jonah. I see him wake up from death. I feel him in my arms. I wake up happy. Even though he is gone, I keep learning from him as I reflect on his life. And I keep hearing his voice in my mind. It says, "Dear Mom..."

I have a need to share what I hear him say because I am afraid I will lose it if I don't. I look forward to sharing that soon...:)

Until then, Go JIMMER!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Dare: -verb

Dare: –verb
1. to have the necessary courage or boldness for something; be bold enough: You wouldn't dare!
2. to have the boldness to try; venture; hazard.
3. to meet defiantly; face courageously.
4. to challenge or provoke (a person) into a demonstration of courage; defy: to dare a man to fight.
5. to have the necessary courage or boldness.

Jonah's middle name comes from Robert Dare Wilson, my grandfather. It is a family name and arguably the coolest name ever.

My grampa was a great man. He came from humble circumstances. He rose above his situation and promised himself he would change patterns of behavior he had seen in his childhood. His intentional choices changed the destiny of his numerous posterity. He lived a courageous life and overcame many hardships, and some he had to endure until the end of his life. I owe a great deal to this man. We thought it appropriate to name Jonah after him.

Jonah faced many hardships and challenges, and I believe he did it with courage and boldness. He wasn't a complainer; in spite of his limitations he did more than we thought possible, more than we hoped. He had the boldness to try; venture; hazard. HE DARED.

The next time you are faced with a challenge, DARE. The next time God blesses you with an opportunity, DARE. The next time the odds are stacked against you, DARE. The next time you are called upon to stand for right, DARE.

I love the Primary song, 'Dare to do Right'.

Dare to do right! Dare to be true!
You have a work that no other can do
Do it so bravely, so kindly, so well,
Angels will hasten the story to tell.

Dare to do right, Dare to be true,
Other men's failures will never save you
Stand by your conscience, your honor, your faith;
Stand like a hero and battle till death.

Dare, dare, dare to do right;
Dare, dare, dare to be true,
Dare to be true, Dare to be true.

Jonah Dared. Do you?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Finding Joy

I shared this story at Jonah's funeral but I feel its worth repeating, with a few more details.

When we found out Jonah would be sick at our 20 week ultrasound, Rob and I tried to figure out what we would tell the kids. We decided we needed to focus on finding the joy and seeing the miracles of Jonah's life. This is what we have tried to do.

So pneumonia is a fight to the death for my baby. It is my darkest hour watching helplessly and waiting while my sweet one fights a battle I know he will lose. It is more than I can do. There is no joy in this, only despair. Death comes as a welcomed release for my baby, and for me, from the suffering. I've said it many times, but as horrible and lonely as death is, it is also beautiful and merciful. Every cold my kids bring home strikes fear in my heart as I wonder, "is this the one that will give Jonah pneumonia?" And so it happens.

The Sunday Rob got back from New Zealand I woke up with anxiety. Jonah needed a little oxygen the entire day and we had gotten to the point where I could just give it to him during his feeds. Anyway, when Rob got home that night he and Grampa gave Jonah a blessing. Monday morning I took him to the doctor and he said Jonah had a cold and I needed to watch him. I called him later that day because I was needing to turn up his oxygen a lot- and he told me to take Jonah to the suction clinic at the hospital to see if he would do better if his airway was suctioned out.

It was a Monday night and we had planned on having Family Night. We decided to take it on the road. All our kids came with. We played card games while we waited at the suction clinic-we were informed it would be a very long wait. Meanwhile, Jonah's oxygen tank that usually lasts an entire week-RAN OUT. He required so much oxygen that it only lasted 2 hours. He started turning blue very quickly. Rob and I gathered up Jonah and gear and sprinted for the emergency room to get more oxygen. By the time we burst through the door, found a room equipped with oxygen and a doctor to help Jonah's oxygen wasn't at 85-100 like its supposed to be, it was at 4.

But Jonah wasn't giving up that easily. He recovered with lots of oxygen. They took an xray of his lungs. They told us he had pneumonia so bad he probably wouldn't recover, even with hospitalization and antibiotics. So we decided to bring him home so he could be with us. We got antibiotics and lots of oxygen.

The previous week I took my kids to the dentist and one of them chose a green bouncy ball with a smiley face on it for their prize. So all week that darn bouncy ball kept bouncing around. I picked it up more times than I care to count and I swear I even threw it in the trash. Anyway this green bouncy ball was really driving me crazy! It kept reappearing at the most surprising times.

Tuesday morning we woke up and Jonah was worse. Rob stayed home from work to be with Jonah. I was sitting on the couch holding him and I asked Rob, knowing perfectly well there was nothing we could do, "What do we do now?" And from no where he whipped that green bouncy ball out of his pocket and flashed the smiley face my way and said, "We put on one of these!" Curses to the green bouncy ball! But I laughed out loud. Of course we do. We put on a smiley face.

Let me assure you that it was not a day of many smiles. It was a very rough day for Jonah. It was a very rough day for the rest of us. We understood that the inevitable was coming. We spent the day watching and waiting. Words aren't adequate to explain the stress. Enough about Tuesday.

Wednesday we got up to do the same. Hold Jonah, love Jonah, till the end. I was again holding him on the couch and there was something under my foot bugging me. I reached down and picked it up to examine it and wouldn't you know it: IT WAS THE BLASTED GREEN BOUNCY BALL WITH A SMILEY FACE ON IT!!! My first response was to chuck it across the room! But instead, I took it and put it in Jonah's hand the same way Rob had held it a day earlier, with the smiley face flashing my way. And seeing it there in Jonah's hand he seemed to say to me, "Mom. This is my last day. Enjoy it!" Somehow amidst his life-ending battle he seemed to be smiling on the inside. And it put a smile on my face.

In a flash of inspiration it came to me that even though there was so much Jonah would never get to do, today he would do as much as we could make possible. He would live a lifetime in a day. And so from behind the darkest cloud of despair crept a little ray of sunshine- and I dare say- joy. I dressed my little Moari Warrior. He dunked a basketball. He played tennis. He saved the game winning goal! He climbed a coconut tree and hung upside down. He jumped rope. He fished. He shot arrows. He kicked a soccer ball. He golfed and just like dad, threw his golf club. He supported his Red Devils as the cutest mascot ever. He dressed like a witch-he didn't really want to be a witch-aren't witches girls? He played baseball. He was a missionary. He lived a life time in a day.

We spent every moment playing with him. Everyone helped. Mom, Dad, Mariah, Tahlia, Tai Nui, Sydney, even Jaya wanted to be in the mix. Aunt Maren, Uncle Rick, cousins Ricky and Ezra and Grampa. We were all gathered around fussing over Jonah. I believe he loved it just as much as we did. And I could feel the JOY. Not despair. Not stress. JOY. Not peace. Not acceptance. JOY.

How is that possible? How is it possible that I can be living my darkest hour as my baby lives his and feel JOY? How can all that despair and stress be changed to JOY? How is that possible? Our friend Alma (from the Book of Mormon) had a similar experience and he explains it so much better than I can.

So Alma was a pretty bad guy, he did all kinds of the worst things and felt great about it until an angel appeared to him and told he to knock it off or he would be cast off forever. Alma finally understood what he was doing to himself and the many people who followed his ways. The guilt consumed him.

In Alma 36 starting in verse 12 he says, "...I was racked with eternal torment, for my soul was harrowed up to the greatest degree and racked with all my sins.... I was tormented with the pains of hell... and for 3 days and for 3 nights was I racked, even with the pains of a damned soul. And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world. Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death. And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more. And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!...There could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains...on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy."

Alma was racked with eternal torment for a much different reason than I was, but the pain is familiar. And so is the sweet JOY. It is possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He can take all pain regardless of the cause, and heal us because He has already paid the price. There is no earthly pain the Atonement can't compensate for, but we must have faith in Him.

I am grateful for my Jonah. I am grateful for Jonah's last day. I am grateful we could find the joy just in time, and that we remember his last day with fondness instead of stress. And for the rest of my life, every time I see a green bouncy ball with a smiley face, I will smile.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011


Jonah Dare White 12/06/10 -02/16/11
I am Jonah Dare. I lived 10 weeks and learned to be grateful for the kindness of others. I want to thank all of the cute girls who brought cookies and cupcakes, the beautiful ladies who crocheted and quilted snuggly blankets, the culinary skill of thoughtful Utah county moms, the boys in the hood for hosting BYU games, and ESPN for creating the new “Jimmer” segment (BTW my mom can beat you in PIG), the coaches and Bantam basketball league for last second game winning shots, the people at IHC for tolerable torture, the funny old man with a $100 bill, the many kissin’ cousins, aunties, and uncles, the hope from Hope Kids, my big sister for sharing her cereal and the basketball ladies for dislodging it, the OT’s from Kids Who Count who persuaded me to SMILE, the RS for EVERYTHING and the Hip Hop artists that make my mom “shake it” with me in her arms. Mostly, I thank Heavenly Father for my chance at life with a beautiful mom, a lucky father, 4 loving sisters, and 3 brothers who are my heroes (especially Tai Nui!). Funeral services will be Feb. 23, at 950 S. 1700 E., Springville at 11 am, viewing at 10 am.

Jaya and Jonah

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Jonah Triumphs

Our sweet Jonah passed away this evening. It has been amazing to have a little piece of heaven in our home for as long as we did.

We are feeling the love and prayers from so many of you-thank you so much.

Please pray for our children in their grieving. Thanks.

Lifetime in a Day

Today while we were borrowing sand from the jar of time, we decided to do things with Jonah we always wished he could in this lifetime-things he won't get to do. We hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoyed creating them. It started out as "What is our crazy mom doing?" And ended with lots of help and creativity from the kids, dad, and even extended family-Maren, Ricky, Rick, Grampa, and Ezra. Thanks everyone, for rolling with it and making a stressful time sweet.

Here's Jonah, living a lifetime in a day.