Friday, November 21, 2008

Does He Know

One of my greatest fears is that Branson doesn't know how much I love him. Most mothers get a life time to show their children how much they love them through physical acts, and tell them through verbal words everyday. I never got that chance.
However, I know that the love I feel for Branson is just as real and just as intense as it would be if he were still here with me today. So I've often wondered..."Does he know and feel of that love?"
This intense love for Branson started to develop the instant we discovered he would be joining our family. It continued to grow as we prepared for his arrival, felt the reality of his existence in fetal movements, and as we dreamed of all the things we would do with him. That love was magnified the instant we met our son and felt of his pure spirit. I have truly never felt a love so complete and all consuming.
I have spent many nights crying myself to sleep as I yearn to tell my little boy of that love. In every simple physical act, I find myself wanting Branson here to do those very things for him. One day I was loading a batch of laundry, and I found myself bent over the washer sobbing, not wanting to go on. I kept thinking how unfair it was that I was still having to do the monotonose little things without him here. It may sound trivial, but even laundry was something I pictured myself doing with Branson at my side. He should've been there at my hip, making things a little more difficult as I tried to pick up clothing with only one free arm. I shouldn't be able to do a whole days worth of laundry without having to stop for a feeding, or to change a diaper. I had even pictured myself having to put him on the dryer as it might be just the thing to lull him to sleep.
As I stood there, the weight of not knowing for sure if he knew of my love, was almost more than I could bear. I gathered myself up and began to walk towards the family room. As I did so I passed this picture in the hallway. I stopped and just stared at the beautiful depiction of the Savior holding my little boy. I leaned against the wall and just stood there for quite some time. As I did so, the spirit did some talking.
First, it said, "The Savior feels the same way". I came to the realization that this must be similar to how the Savior felt as we left his presence for our mortal experience. I'm sure he wondered then, and I know he often wonders now..."Do they know of my love for them?" I strongly felt that perhaps at that very instant the Savior was wondering the same thing about me. Does Natalie remember how much I love her? Even though she's doing some very hard things, does she feel it? In the hardest moments does she know it? I felt very impressed that the Savior and my Heavenly Father wanted me to know that their love for me is just as real and intense as the love I feel for my son.
I was then assured that Branson knows of my love for him. Although I've never spent time with the Savior during my mortal journey... I know he loves me, and in a similar fashion I know Branson feels of my love for him. I'm not sure how it works, but I know our spirits can remember that love from the time we spent together previously. I don't know how to explain it to others in a way to help people understand, but the day that we met our son, my spirit recognized his spirit. It was almost as if my spirit rejoiced in the long awaited reunion. Now, I just endure a form of "homesickness" to feel it again!
I pray that I might always remember the things I learned that day. I plead with Heavenly Father to let my son know of the love I feel for him, and how much I miss him. I like to think that once in a while he lets Branson listen in on those prayers!
I thank all my sweet brothers for giving us this picture that beautifully depicts where our little guy is until we meet again. Thanks guys...it means the world to us!

5 comments:

Loretta said...

Natalie ~ your writings are beautiful. I love that even in the midst of your pain you can find the words to give voice to what you feel. You have such insight. Although your trial is huge, so are the lessons that you are learning. Thank you for sharing those lessons.

Michelle said...

I remember feeling this too earlier on. I felt sad that he might not share the memories that we will have with our other children. A friend said that he will--he'll be right here with us and maybe even have inside jokes to share when we're together again!
I can't help but believe that Branson is very close to you. He heard your voice and felt your heartbeat for nine months. He sees now all the things you do to remember him.
I'm so glad you had that beautiful experience through the Spirit to know that he knows you love him and to remember how much the Savior loves you!
Thank you for sharing that beautiful experience. I wish I had written more of those moments. You're a wonderful example to me!

Gordon said...

Oh Dear Sweet Natalie,
It is hard enough to be so far away from you at this time in your life, but when you struggle to know if Branson knows of your love for him and you of his love for you my heart just broke. I just want to come to you and hold you and cry with you and reassure you that I know with all my heart and soul that in a very real and very intense way Branson knows of your love and he loves you with that same intensity. Perhaps you don't recognize it but the love that you have for each other is manifest with a sweetness of spirit in your blogs that is truly powerful and amazing to many who read them. I have marveled at your writings and now I understand....Branson is assisting you and is a very real part of all you do.... including your laundry and every other detail in your life. Through the years I have had the thought come to me many times that one of the things I ought to pray for is the ability to see and recognize with spiritual eyes the many blessings that my Heavenly Father sees fit to pour out upon me through open windows every day. In fact for family time last night we had Jaren and Keaton here with us and we tried to name as many blessings as we could, I wrote them down and we made it to 110. I am ashamed that we could not come up with ten times that many....I know that they are there....I just can't see them and don't recognize them. Perhaps "we" are to close to the forest to see the trees.
In another vein...we went to stake standards night with Ryan last night and I found my self wondering if Ryan and for that matter all of my children know how much I love them and more importantly do they know how much Heavenly Father loves them? I am sure they/we don't, for if we did it would make all the difference in the world. Some one who REALLY knows, knows who they really are and they have an air of confidence and stability that doesn't come in any other way, we could all use a little deeper understanding of how much our Father really loves us. I personally know that Heavenly Father loves with a purity and intenseness that we don't comprehend and I know I love each of you with a deep love that is hard for me to explain with just words....I know because when I make a feeble attempt to do so I always feel that something was missing....so in that area I feel I know what you are going threw, and I think that even though we try and we are here we some how don't get it all done....deeds or words in the english language just don't have the power to convey the true feelings of the heart. I long for the day when we will remember the language of Father Adam....then we will be much better at expressing and conveying the feelings of the heart. So....until that day comes, Natalie please know that I love you with a tenderness and intensity that those simple words cannot really convey and I long to be with you. I am looking forward to the time we will be together at Christmas...until then...ALWAYS remember that you are loved.
Love you,
Dad

Jed & Kimberly Anderson said...

Natalie, I know that I have said this before, you are amazing. The knowledge that you have is priceless. I know that through our hard times and trials the knowledge that we come away with is in the end is priceless. All I keep thinking of is the saying, "I never said that it would be easy, I only said that it would be worth it." I know that if we stay close to our Savior he will watch over us. I love you so much & can't wait to see you soon.
Kimberly

Devin said...

hey nat, you're welcome for that picture, and I'm glad that it was a catalyst for the spirit to speak to you. You have the Spirit with you, and you are so very special.

I wanna share a scripture that i read today, and i thought of you as i read it.
Revelation 7:14-17
These are they which came aout of great btribulation, and have cwashed their robes, and made them dwhite in the eblood of the fLamb.
15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his atemple: and he that bsitteth on the throne shall cdwell among them.
16 They shall hunger no more, neither athirst any more; neither shall the bsun light on them, nor any heat.
17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of awaters: and God shall wipe away all btears from their eyes.

I know that your tears are counted and that one day He will wipe them from your eyes.
God bless you my dear sister!!!