Thursday, February 18, 2010

One Year Later

Hey. It's Reed.

It seems impossible, but today is the first anniversary of Carmen's death. We have been through a lot this past year. We have spent quite a bit of time thinking about all the things we have lost. We have at times been overwhelmed with grief. Some days it has been hard to find the motivation to get things done or to engage with others. We have been mourning, and we don't see an end to mourning any time soon.

But it is time for a change now. It's time to shift the emphasis from the negative to the positive. From what we don't have, to what we do have. Life is too good to spend all of it looking backward. We will choose to look forward. Here is some of what we have to look forward to:

(1) Our family is forever. Dorothy is a wonderful woman. This year we will celebrate 15 years of marriage. We have 5 beautiful children. We will see Carmen again, and when we do, the time we will have had to wait will seem so short in retrospect. In the meantime, we have 4 great boys to raise. This year Scott will start high school, James will turn 12 and receive the priesthood, Vincent will turn 8 and be baptized, and Timothy (6!) is what we call "a big boy."

(2) So many of our relationships with friends and family are much richer than they would otherwise have been. We have shared hugs and tears with so many, which is a significant upgrade from handshakes and smiles. We have been welded together through tender experiences that we will never forget. There is no other way that any of this could have come about, than the way in which it did.

(3) We have a greater sense of what really matters: loving and serving other people. And we feel the responsibility to live up to that greater sense. We just became officially licensed as foster parents (not just "pet parents") for the county. We still waste plenty of time with stupid stuff but we are trying to improve and life will be better for it.

(4) Springtime basically means two things: renewal and baseball.

(5) Life is an adventure. It is possible to not stress over every little thing that happens, but to walk through everything that gets thrown at us and to enjoy each moment.

God knows what He is doing. He loves us. He would not have asked Carmen to suffer for even one moment, if it were not for her good. I know this may sound strange, but it is true. Every bit of pain and suffering (which He is intimately familiar with) will add to Carmen's everlasting joy. Not one iota of it will be wasted. God will wipe all tears from our eyes.

So yes, we will continue to mourn, but we will not despair. Happy new year.

Love, The Galbraiths


Mona Solari said...

Reed & Dorothy ~ thank you SO much for today's post, your words are just what I needed to get through this day; you even managed to make me chuckle through my tears with #4(baseball. . . funny man :). Thank you for being such wonderful and amazing people and enriching my life. Carmen will always be in my heart and thoughts.

mhanberg said...

Reed you and Dorothy could sure write an inpirational book with your thoughts and experiences! We do think about Carmen and know we always will. Thank you for the strength you all have.

Bridget Homer said...

We thought about Carmen all day yesterday and Payton celebrated Carmen's life by wearing her Carmen tshirt to share with all of her friends at Awana's. We love and miss her deeply, and are so amazed and inspired by your strength, grace and faith in God! We love you!

Karen said...

Reed & Dorothy,
Thank you for sharing Carmen with all of us! Carmen has touched so many lives!:) We will always love her and miss her. I am so glad that we know our Heavenly Father has a much bigger plan for us. Thank goodness we get to take all of our experiences with us. You are right you do have 4 wonderful boys that are growing up so fast. Your family is in my thoughts often. Take care and enjoy life! Your family is so strong!

anadeane galbraith said...

I loved reading your comments, Reed. It seems easier to hear your thoughts when I read them. I have been thinking of Carmen a great deal lately and found sweet society in your comments. I'm glad for these experiences, in spite of the pain that has accompanied them. God has been good to us in spite of all. Love, Mom

hililyhilo said...

Thank you for yet another beautiful post. I never knew Carmen, but I still think of her. May God bless you and your family.

Jensen Family said...

Our family misses you guys so much. I wish we could be part of the sharing. We have been blessed by your service to us and we are so grateful for your example of what really does matter. I think of Carmen a lot. We are grateful to have known her and you.

Tiffany said...

Hello Galbraith Family,

My daughter Kisa was in Carmens class and she has been growing her hair out for the last year just so that she could donate it to locks of love. She is very excited to cut it today in front of the 5th grade class. She said she is doing it in memory of Carmen. I thought you guys might enjoy hearing this. :) This is a sign of the amazing influence your daughter has had on my daughter.