The Family

The Family
For Christmas 2010

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

More Complaining, Part 4

 The battles that you fight within yourself are often times some of the worst.  And I was having quite a knock-down, drag-out one within myself.

I was having an incredibly intense struggle trying to make sense of everything that was going on.  Fighting both the sadness and heartache that was resulting from feeling that either God wasn't listening to my prayers or that I wasn't being earnest or fervent enough as I prayed as well as the anger from their lack of being answered.

Some days I felt that I was being overcome by despair.  Other days I felt like I was getting a handle on my anger.  And then it happened.

At church services one Sunday, we were all informed that our congregation's leader had been hit by a car while he was out riding his bicycle one evening during the week and was unable to attend services that day.  Thankfully, he was OK.  Apparently he was injured quite badly, but the way it was brought to our attention, it seemed like nothing more than a few scrapes, scratches, and bruises and a lot of soreness.  And despite the animosity I felt towards him, I was glad he was OK.  We would never wish anything bad to come upon him, despite the lack of support we felt.

The following Sunday, he was able to return to church and recounted a little of his accident to the congregation.  When he got to the part about how wonderful it was to have such great men that help him at church show up at the hospital to check on him and offer him support and comfort and a blessing, I honestly almost lost it right there in church.  The anger that I had been battling for so many weeks and months finally consumed me.  I felt like a volcano at the point of eruption.

I again thought of all the time Nathan had spent in the hospital and how none of them had ever come to see him.  How we had never had such support and comfort.  How we had asked him so many months before, when Nathan was going to have the very dangerous and scary procedure to fix the hole in his heart, to come up to the hospital to help give Nathan a blessing.  And how he was too busy.  And then when Nathan came, literally, within a few millimeters of dying that day.  And he still didn't bother to take the time to come to the hospital.

And I thought of the other times Nathan had come so close to dying.  And still nothing.  All the time we had spent at the hospital.  All the surgeries.  All the time traveling between home and the hospital.  All the fears.  All the worries.  All the.....everything.  And at the same time all the nothing.  No hospital visits.  No visits to our home.  No calls to stop by his office for a chat.  Only an occasional brief handshake and a 20-second "How's Nathan doing?" in passing as he was being mobbed by other members of the congregation as they paid their tithes and offerings.

And yet for some reason, up to this point I was still willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.  I still believed, or at least I wanted to believe, that he would at some point do SOMETHING!  But now those hopes were gone.  Now I expected nothing from him.  Now I didn't even want to look at him.  Didn't even want to go near him. 

And as for my internal battle, Anger had just taken a commanding lead.


  1. Thomas, maybe I should have waited until the end of your complaining to respond, or maybe I shouldn't have responded at all as you mentioned this is YOUR story and I can respect that. I would like to address to two questions you asked.

    Number #1 Are you less, more, or equally disappointed that we felt the way we felt?

    I do not blame you for feeling the way you felt. To be perfectly honest I'm sure I would have shared many of your same feelings. BUT I think that you are either forgetful or not being completely honest when you say that there was a "complete" lack of support for you and your family. In my original comment to you I validated your hurt and frusrtation and I still do. I completely understand where your feelings are coming from. BUT I do not think that you were completely fair. Again this is your story you don't have to be fair, but while you are being so honest I feel you should also be accurate. Give credit where credit is due. You were not so desperately abandoned as you claim. I think for you to be offended that people who truly and deeply cared for you would ask you in the halls at church how Nathan was doing is ridiculous. Many times I was one of those people who would go out of my way to ask and show that I cared...because I did. I truly wanted to know how Nathan and you and Bekah were doing. I never imagined that asking in the hall way between classes would fuel your fire. I have no doubt that if people didn't stop and ask that you would also be offended by that. Sometimes you are damned if you do and damned if you don't. I think inevidably we were all damned no matter what.

    A persons perception is not always reality. Reality requires two sides. I can see your side, but I do not think it is a true representation of reality. There are two sides to every story. This is YOUR story tell it the way you want. However, I think it is you that is missing "the bigger picture".

  2. Question #2-It is more, less, or equally disappointing the people who should have known have to find out things in a public forum?

    The feelings on your blog are not news to anyone that "should have known". You aren't enlightening any of the "should have known's" if that was your point. I still can't exactly figure out what your point really is. Okay, let me back up...I'm not aware of who reads this blog. Thankfully I doubt that know one else but me will run across Our Life, but I am only a wife of one of "those who should have known" and it was not news to me. So I highly doubt it would come as news to them.

    As for my husband, I am not embarrassed to admit that he is one of those you are accusing. I find no fault in his actions or lack of as you put it. I know he is an honest, good man, who served diligently in a thankless calling. I won't even attempt to defend him further because there is no need.

    As for the Bishop, he was man of God, but he was also human...NOT PERFECT! I have never thought that you have had NO reason to be offended. But if all of the ward members that ever got offended by the Bishop posted it on a blog for the WORLD to read then there wouldn't be many non-bloggers left in the ward. The point is we DON"T. Because it's not right. Because we've been counceled for good reasons not to. Because it's dangerous. That is why I'm concerned for yoursake and your reader's who now have only one side of a very two sided story.

    I would not wish your experience with Nathan on anyone. Seeing your child suffer is torture beyond words. But you should know that your family was not the only people suffering at that time. The Bishop was dealing with problems just as big and even worse. Things that you wouldn't wish on anyone, you would have even been grateful for your own trial as hard as it was. You have a limited perpective, because you have limited knowledge. If you could see "the bigger picture" you would not be so quick to judge. I'll state one more time that I do not think things were handled the BEST way they possibly could have been. But I do know enough to give them more credit than you have done. My opinion (although, I know it wasn't asked for) still stands... what you are doing is dangerous and wrong. So, much for missionary work. Yikes, to whoever reads this with only the info you provide.

    I know this story isn't over. I hope some where there is a happy ending for the three of you.

  3. Sorry, one last thing. If you are going to compare experiences then compare apples to apples not apples to bananas. You did a great job of minimizing the Bishop's accident and injuries. If you think you told an accurrate version then you are sadly missing some facts. His injuries were actually quite severe. He spent a week in a hospital 5 minutes away. Did you seriously think that he wouldn't or shouldn't recieve visitors or a blessing? How can you possibly be offended by an experience that couldn't possibly have had any other outcome? Was it that he got something that you didn't? Again you are comparing apples to apples. Nathan was not in a hospital down the street. (Not saying that Salt Lake is too far to travel) Also, Nathan could have been adversely affected by germs and visitors. I always assumed he was in the PICU that didn't allow visitors. When our daugher spent time in the PICU after she was born we had no visitors. It was a lonely timefor me but I was grateful that people kept their distance. Germs could have killed her. Visitors were not allowed although I know they would have made an acception for clergyman. Still I knew that people's hearts were with us even if I never physically saw them at the hospital. I remember Ken asking me early on when Nathan was first born if we should go up and visit. As a mother who has been there I told him no. I didn't think that was best. I feared for Nathan and thought our efforts would be fruitless anyway. So, I guess you can blame this whole thing on me. I was a mother with good intentions that got it wrong. I know you are angry, but I hope you are not so blinded that you don't remember or acknowledge the many prayers, fasting and heart felt concern shown on your behalf.

  4. Thomas and Bekah,

    I sincerely admire you for having the courage to express your thoughts and feelings on your blog. I follow your blog regularly and have read the recent 'comments' that have been left. I have rarely commented during the last several months because I’m at a loss for words over the trial you endured. First, I want you to know that we love you and care for you very much. We are so grateful for your friendship and Nathan's life. We're grateful for the blessing and joy his life has brought to all who have had the opportunity to know him. My heart aches as I think of the horrible things he endured while he was so young, and the anguish that you went through as you watched him struggle. I imagine that you have a better understanding of how Heavenly Father must have felt as he watched his Son struggle in Gethsemane than perhaps anyone I know. I will never forget the emotion I felt during this trial for you. I was especially touched during Nathan’s more extreme surgeries and specifically when we would see him in the hospital so helpless. That said, I know of the struggle that you experienced during such a dark and trying time.

  5. As I’ve read through the previously left comments, I’m frustrated with a lot of what has been said, but in favor of focusing on the point of this post, I’ll refrain from commenting further.

    I apologize for the despair that you must have felt in such a time of need and wish that there were more that I had done to improve your situation and lift your burden.
    I respect the description of your emotions that you posted in regards to what you felt during this time in your life. Your trial is a wonderful example of perseverance and faith and has reminded me that the light is often darkest before the dawn. Please continue to share your story as you have. We were given emotions to experience all of life; good or bad, and it has been helpful to know that I’m not the only person out there that has had some of the feelings you’ve so accurately expressed. Your example is a wonderful tool of how to stay faithful and endure to the end. Thanks again. You guys are great!