in the book of mormon, there is a chapter (mosiah 18) that discusses the commitments that we make when we are baptized into the Lord's church. one of the key components of that commitment, besides keeping the commandments, is extending yourself in charity and love to those around you, or being "willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort."
i thought i understood that. i really did. when people were hurting, i did my best to be there for them. i listen. i care. i give advice (oh probably too much, you know). i make efforts to serve in whatever capacity i can. i thought i understood what this meant.
but i think i'm only really just learning.
musicboy's gramma is dying. he's leaving today to go up to the seriously arctic north to meet his mom, who has been up there since the beginning of the year, with his dad and sister. he's going up to say goodbye.
straight up, that's scary to write. i don't like the word dying--not because i fear it, or because i don't understand it, or because i lack an understanding of what comes next. i don't like it because of what it means--not for her, who has struggled so much for so long but especially for the last few months, but for those she will leave behind.
her children, her grandchildren, her husband.
my new family.
when my Mimi died, i saw firsthand how hard it is. i experienced it, certainly differently than musicboy's family will because every experience is different, but i went through it. a grandma who was so important to me, like musicboy's has been to him. a grandma who was instrumental in my raising, like musicboy's was. a grandma who loved me like only grandmas can.
every day, i feel like i learn a little more about what love is. love is doing the dishes when you're annoyed that you have to. love is pushing past the fear that you'll fail to do something that the other one believes you can do and wants you to do. love is laughter and mariokart and silly but very fun poker games. love is thinking more about the other person than you do yourself.
love is also heartbreak--not because the other person has done anything, but because you love this person so much that he is an extension of yourself, and when he hurts, you hurt. not the helpless kind of hurt that frustrates because of helplessness. the kind of i will sit here and cry with you and understand how you feel because your heart is my heart kind of heartbreak.
i will mourn with you and i will comfort you when you need comfort kind of love.
it's easy to say, but surprising to me to feel the depth of it. when did that happen? when did my heart grow large enough to do this?
i haven't known musicboy's gramma long. she is a lovely, strong woman who raised another lovely, strong woman who raised the man that i love more than life. i mourn because they mourn. i mourn because i know what it's like. but mainly, i mourn because they hurt and because i love them.
so i do what i can. i cut his hair. i pack his bag. i make sure that he has the stupid travel sized ziploc bag he'll need on the plane and toll money for the roads. i make sure that he eats and that he has something to do during his long waits. i make sure that i hug him more and hold him tighter. i make sure that he knows that i'm here.
but other than that, i just mourn because he mourns.
and, somehow, i think that's a huge blessing. even in the heartbreak.
(keep my musicboy and his family in your prayers, if you don't mind. the pain of loss can be very difficult. we'll be fine, but blessings are good. the Lord will keep them all in the hollow of His hand, but good thoughts are always good to send.)