The birth of our fifth grandchild punctuated some other tender memories as her birth fell on the fifth anniversary of her mother's kidney transplant. We've hit some painful milestones in our family--each of them seemed too huge to bear, too overwhelming to survive at the moment. But as we all know, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, and after the storm comes the rainbow. Avery is a wondrous rainbow.
The stones that tripped us up in our earlier years were nothing compared to the asteroid-sized troubles we faced as we and our children have gotten older, perhaps because we've grown beyond the point where we even noticed the small ones with any more than a passing scowl. Nearly each of our children has experienced a life-altering event, but Amanda's transplant loomed life-threatening, and we got through this one solely on prayer, priesthood power, the strength of temple blessings and the courage and love of others.
That period seems like another life now. Because of strict obedience to her physicians' counsel, and complete faith in the Lord, Amanda is healthier than ever, and the rewards of enduring well have been the fulfillment of her most precious dreams.
She had a blast in college, (we jokingly recall a conversation where I impressed upon her that "college was not a sleepover with books. . .")but her dream was always clear--she wanted a husband to love and a family.
She and Nick found their way to one another mere weeks before the dreadful diagnosis of end stage renal failure. She had been feeling more tired than usual that last semester of college, but what college senior doesn't? As soon as Nick heard the news, he planned his proposal, and the two were wed two months later while Amanda was healthy enough to enjoy her wedding day. She recovered beautifully, and after following every direction with exactness, she is healthy and happy. Now they have a lovely little family, and the most important dreams have come true.
So storms will come, and then, if we are anchored solidly on good principles with the faith to obey and hold on, eventually, we will see our rainbows. They may not follow the exact outcome we prayed and longed for, but we will receive knowledge that can only he learned in the crucible of faith; and peace and understanding will come. These hard-won rainbows are especially magnificent, perhaps because of what we endured to see them.
So here are a few photos of this little family enjoying a season of bliss. I hope it gives us all strength to hang on through our own moments when we feel like we're sitting in the bulls eye of the dartboard with fiery darts descending upon us.
I hope today is filled with peace for you and those you love.