Today is love-day. I would not have anticipated that I would be too much of a lovey person when I was younger. I was never very touchy-feely and I really appreciate my personal space. Mike has always been much more affectionate. I began to have an inkling that he was the one for me when he held my hand for the first time and I didn't even notice for a good while. It just felt totally and completely natural and right. I didn't make me all nervous and it didn't make me feel uncomfortable. It was just that he was supposed to be holding my hand--like he had held my hand for an eternity beforehand.
Will is also very affectionate. He loves to snuggle up close and rest his head on me. There was a time where I used to be uncomfortable with my kids being so snugly and right in my personal space. But they have broken down those walls pretty quickly. These kids of mine have opened my heart to love in a way that I didn't know was a part of me.
This week I decided to give them small little Valentine's all through the week. Nothing big, just small little reminders that I loved them. And the cutest thing happened. They returned those little love notes by drawing pictures, putting treats in the "love notes" mailbox outside their door for us, tied hearts to our doorknob, wrote love notes on our mirror, etc. What I love about displays of love is that it is a cycle that is almost always returned with more love.
This week has been a difficult week for me. Our friend's daughter passed away in a horrible accident. The memories from Laila's death have come flooding back to me. The reminders of the pain I felt are fresh. I walk around the house or drive around town and think, "Right now, they are having to do this" and then I just start crying. And besides all of that, even the best intentioned people do dumb things in times of tragedy and I have felt a lot of anger for my friends, and also for myself and the hurts I hold in my heart from when people said or did things to us.
Tonight is the viewing and Mike and I are going. I am dreading it. But I've been thinking about tonight and our plans following the viewing. After, we are going to have a special family dinner and just spend the evening being together with the boys. And I guess ultimately, that is how I want this day to end. With all the sadness of the week, thinking about my friends and thinking about Laila I am grateful to end the day exactly where I want to be--with my boys and daughter, and my husband, who love me. I'm grateful to be reminded of love and that my love for my family will just continue on for eternity.
Today I am thinking about how God loved us and that he watched his son die for the rest of us. I'm thinking about how Jesus felt all those deep feelings I have about Laila dying and how he felt them for the Cox family too and all the other sorrows we feel when tragedy strikes. He did it out of complete love. Some people have complained about the viewing being tonight on Valentine's Day. I can't think of a more appropriate day for it. Definitely tonight is a somber night and will always carry reminders of sadness for the Cox family. But also, hopefully, tonight, on the day we celebrate love, they can feel the sweet and overwhelming love our Heavenly Father has for them. I am positive they will feel their daughter wrap her arms around them in an embrace of love. Those days following Laila's death, I felt both hellish despair but also more love from my Heavenly Father than at any other time in my life. And I hope today the Cox family can also feel that love.
So today my thoughts are centered on Laila and how much I miss and love her. My hope is to shower love on my husband and boys and Piperleigh. I am sending prayers of gratitude to my Heavenly Father and my Savior for their love.