We’re in charge of our pain and our emotions and we can turn them both into something strong, and something better
As I look back on my childhood, it was wonderful happy but as others may relate as they search their childhood, I also find all kinds of pain. For me everyone was extremely busy; it was just the end of the depression so everybody was working. My mother’s belief was that you raised children with wholesome neglect. Mother was a professor at BYU and father ran a farm, so they were always extremely busy. This left me very lonely as a child.
I think that is why the early years of our marriage was so difficult because of the loneliness I dealt with in my childhood. We had our two little boys when we moved to California. And that’s where I lived the greatest pain of my life. I was away from my family and I had never felt so alone. I rarely saw my husband since he worked two jobs and 13 hour days every single everyday. He was trying to adjust to the new life. He laid brick at night to make ends meet. We were barely getting by and I was alone. Life became even more difficult when he stopped going to church with me that was so deeply apart of my life . Each day was a uphill battle and voices saying “you two will never make it.” I couldn’t bare the thought that our little family would never be ours because we weren’t sealed in the temple. Every single Sunday my folks would call me just to cheer me up and prepare me for another week. They had my back because they knew that Keith didn’t. He was also somewhere else. Things started to turn around when Keith was accepted in the Masters program at Oregon State. After Keith finished the program we moved the family to Orem, Utah. That is when Keith finally accepted the gospel into his life.
He saw that our family was falling apart. We weren’t a strong team anymore. We realized something major had to change. The pain was true and it was there. Each week I would take the young women to the temple to perform baptisms for the dead and I was not allowed in because I didn’t have a recommend. Back then, if the husband did not have a temple recommend, the wife could not either. And it broke my heart. Each week my heart was shattered.
Keith saw what my pain and knew he had to do something about it. So he did. He quit smoking cold turkey, cleaned up his act, and built an incredibly strong testimony with me. Now, I can’t imagine walking through life with anyone else but my Keith.
You have to work very hard to make that bond. It doesn’t just happen over night. But at the end of the day, family is everything. My family is my everything.