Monday, November 12, 2018

My cup runneth over

Today was the primary children's sacrament meeting presentation so we packed a fistful of Kleenex and headed to church. Auntie Emily was still here so she came with us and my mom and Auntie Josie showed up as well, so our bench didn't feel any less squishy than it would ordinarily be. But, oh, every last thing seemed to bring me to the brink of tears.

I started sniffling when they announced Karen's passing over the pulpit but I didn't really start crying until the middle of the opening hymn (yes, I lasted all the way until the opening hymn) and my mom started bawling right beside me.

We sang Teach Me to Walk in the Light and who knew it was such a tear jerker!?

Come, little child, and together we'll learn
Of his commandments, that we may return
Home to his presence, to live in his sight—
Always, always to walk in the light.

Both my mom and I were crying by the time we reached the third line.

I guess that's what the Plan of Salvation—the Plan of Happiness—is all about: preparing to return home to live with Heavenly Father. I wish saying goodbye wasn't so difficult to do, but it just is—even though we know there is "help and happiness ahead," and even though we've been flooded with tender mercies. It's still just hard.

But we can do hard things.

The sacrament hymn was Reverently and Meekly Now, which was also hard for me to sing. At one point I looked over at Emily, wondering how she was getting through the meeting. She wasn't crying...but she also wasn't singing. That's probably how she got through it.

"Sweat in agony of pain" made me think about what hard work death is. It's hard for the dying and it's hard for the living. Karen was sweating, though she shouldn't have been in pain (thanks to modern medicine). I think it's wonderful that the atonement covers both physical and spiritual wounds though.

At the throne I intercede;
For thee ever do I plead.
I have loved thee as thy friend,
With a love that cannot end.

Poetry is so perfectly poignant. I guess that's the point of it.

In the middle of this song I leaned forward to beg some Cheerios from a friend in the row in front of ours. Their little girl and Alexander are pretty good friends and they were having fun chatting with each other until she got a snack. And then Alexander flipped out and needed a snack.

I pulled out his little snack cup and inside was one toy firetruck and three Cheerios.

That was not going to cut it (and I had completely forgotten to fill it (ordinarily I don't even do snacks during sacrament meeting but...I'm not a very consistent parent right now)).

This sweet friend said, "Oh, absolutely!" and took our cup and filled it.

And that was just too much, too, so I cried again.

Our cups have been filled over and over again this week.

Anyway, the children, all three, did wonderfully in the primary program. They said their lines bravely and sang their songs well and it was a beautiful meeting.


  1. The children did amazingly well. And I had not thought of the symbolism of your friend filling your cup. Beautiful.

  2. When my mom died my zones leader came over. We all sang hymns together for about an hour and half. We were lucky there was four of us because normally one of was able to continue to sing while the other three cried. I don't think there has ever been a time where I paid more attention to the words of hymns than that day. They took on a lot more meaning that day.

    I remember really struggling with part of the forth verse of "Come, Come, Ye Saints":

    "And should we die before our journey's through,
    Happy day! All is well!
    We then are free from toil and sorrow, too;
    With the just we shall dwell!"

    That hour and half of my life was probably one of the sweetest moments in many ways.

    1. I am loving all the stories you've been sharing about your mom and how you've coped with her death, so please keep sharing!

    2. Beautiful experience, James. I agree, hymns are so touching at tender times. Sometimes too tender to be able to sing.

  3. Today for singing time I was debating singing with the kids “I’m trying to be like Jesus” but I knew I would cry. I think I’ll forever think of Karen during that song just like I always think of my mom during “Heavenly Father Loves Me”.

    Referring to your previous post, I can imagine your friend trying to be kind and filling up your cup more and wondering how it would be received and then witnessing you crying and thinking “doh!! I offended her by filling it up too much!” Lol. But really it is sweet and a good similarity to the phrase the cup runner over