It's been a long time since anything has been posted here and I've had mom on my mind the past several days. I was asked to prepare a talk for church on the pioneers yesterday and immediately thought of a letter from mom that I have treasured since her death. I came across it after she had died and have always felt that it was meant more for me now, than when it was written. It seems so fitting--much like several other letters that have been posted. It was written to me to be read on my experience with pioneer trek (a mini reinactment of what the pioneers experienced--handcarts, clothing, food etc...) that I went on when I was 14. I will always treasure the words that she wrote to me here.
July 8, 1997 Dear Katie,
Today was blistering hot and dry, and I am wondering how you'll be when you get this letter. The weather can be brutal. I know you are strong, but you are still my daughter. I will always be concerned for your comfort and safety. I am praying for you.
Katie, I am so grateful for you, for your sweet presence in our home, your gentle and diligent ways. I am sorry for the times I doubt your generosity with your friends. With me, you are helpful and kind. That is your nature, and I am sure it will go wherever you go as long as you live. Although this trek experience is physically difficult, it is similar to some of the social difficulties you have already faced and will continue to face. You have placed your hand on the cart (so to speak) when you took upon yourself the name of Jesus Christ and pledged to “mourn with those who mourn and bear one another’s burdens that they may be light.” This is the baptismal covenant. Once we pledge to be his daughters, we must never take our hands from the cart. The work we pledge to do is the work of loving and pulling our share of the load wherever we are. It is His work, because He loves all. We are his hands on earth.
I wish I were a more perfect example. If I were, maybe your brothers would all understand my love and their full worth.
I am grateful, Katie, for your faithfulness to right and good, and for your courageous choices and willingness to accept some of the harder choices we have forced upon you. I hope you know that my deepest desire is your happiness--your lasting, deep and all encompassing happiness. I want you to know all the joys that I have known and even more. So far, you are well on the way.
I feel blessed to have given you birth. I know through the Holy Ghost and repeated sacred assurances that you were sent to us as a special blessing. I knew before you were born that the Lord was giving me two more of what I had lost. I just didn't realize it would be daughters! How blessed we are. You have been both comfort and joy to me. I love your company--have never felt the need to "escape" as some mothers do. I look forward to the time when both of us will meet the ancestors we have done temple work for. I am sure we will love them as I love you. I know families are forever.
See you soon, Sweetheart.