This Valentine's Day was amazing. Not because my husband and I got to sneak away from our kids, we didn't. Not because we got to exchange expensive and extravagant gifts, we didn't. Not because we got any romantic, we didn't. We spent the bulk of this weekend driving! We drove the eight hours it takes to Colorado. We left at 5pm on Friday and arrived at our hotel at 2am Saturday morning. The forecast predicted our entire route covered in snow! It wasn't! The only issues we had were outside of Cheyenne when the roads became covered in fog, flurries and black ice. It was scary, but we made it safely.
The next morning, we woke up at 8am and were able to go to the Denver, CO LDS temple. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We believe in doing work (baptisms, sealings and other work) for the dead. My father died in 2005 before he could be baptized. He was on his way and suddenly died of a heart attack. My stepmother, needless to say, was devastated. She continued on the way towards being sealed (married for all time and eternity) to my father. The day finally came and with my father's birthday today, it was the greatest timing for her. The excitement and joy of being able to live, not only with our Savior and our Heavenly Father again, but to live for - literally, ever, with the one you love is priceless. So, we came to support her and enjoy the greatest gift we have been given on this earth. The ceremony was wonderful. There was so much love and spirit in the room. I know my father was there. He wouldn't miss it for the world.
I was able to see family, again, too. Family I always wish I belonged to and in a way, always have. It took this trip, unfortunately, to help me realize, I really do belong. I really do have a family in them. And to know that my father loves me, really loves me. What a great realization after so many years of wondering why, who and how ...
The rest of the trip was great! We were able to stay at mom's house the rest of Saturday and Sunday. We left Sunday evening at 5pm again and made it home at 1am again. It was the best drive home. Again, the forecast predicted snow storms and yet, we had clear and I mean CLEAR skies! We saw more stars than I can ever remember. I even got to see the constellation Scorpio (I think). I have never seen any other than Orion's belt - and I don't know where the rest of him is, and the little and big dipper. Those last two are the easiest to spot!
Anyway, I am so grateful for my faith, my Saviors sacrifice, Joseph Smith's willingness to do the work needed on this earth to establish the Church of Jesus Christ, again on this earth. I'm so grateful for the knowledge I have of this life, the before and the after. I'm so grateful for the love and blessings we receive from such a great God, a loving and kind, just God. I'm so grateful for the atonement and the opportunity I have to be clean to go before God to be judged. I am so grateful for my mom and dad's opportunity to live eternally together in happiness and love, surrounded by those who love them, too. I'm so grateful for mom and who she is and what she brought to my father. I am so grateful to be part of their family. I think THIS is what He ment by JOY!