Ahh, happy birthday to me. It’s been a good day; a complicated day filled with tears and laughter and love. I’ve been spoiled by my friends with phone calls and treats pouring in all day. I’m glad I’ve made it clear that I like chocolate!
I went to President Hinckley’s funeral this morning. It was one of the most reverent occasions I’ve ever attended. The family and apostles filed in right before the funeral began and the sight of President Hinckley’s empty chair was heart wrenching.
The three prophets before President Hinckley suffered from fragile health so I grew up seeing the empty chair of the prophet in General Conference and other gatherings. But President Hinckley was always there, always smiling, cracking a joke and waving his cane.
The funeral was perfect. We laughed and cried and reflected on a life so nobly lived. I like to cry at a funeral. Yes, we do have the assurance of a future reunion but I like to cry for the pain right now.
For me the most sorrowful moment was at the end of the services when they wheeled out the casket. As it came to the corner of the podium the pallbearers paused. It was the spot where President Hinckley always paused and waved goodbye. With one movement we raised our hands and waved goodbye. I could hear everyone around me sobbing but couldn’t see through my own tears.
As I walked out of the Conference Center I passed the temple and saw a darling couple getting their wedding photos taken. Another family bustled in with Mom carrying the long white dress. Life goes on. Love goes on.
The happiest event of the day is the birth of my dear friend’s daughter– baby Grace. All of us, but especially Mary and I, have been anxiously awaiting Grace’s arrival. Ashli and Sarah have graciously promised to share baby Grace and we have counted down the days to her birth. For Ashli’s sake I wanted her to come two weeks ago, but I am so, so pleased to share a birthday with this sweet baby girl. She can count on some really fabulous birthday presents from me in the future. 😉
After a very difficult natural delivery, beautiful Grace was born at 4:30 p.m., 8 lbs. 14 oz. and 19″ long. My arms ache to hold her.
We come and we go. It’s the circle of life. And I intend to enjoy life’s beauties and complexities more this year than ever before.