Tonight God gave me a sweet gift.
One month ago, my mom died. She was young, and had no terminal illness. The accident that claimed her life came as a complete shock to our family. And yet, I feel an amazing sense of peace.
My mom had absolute confidence that God is real and trusted that because of Jesus Christ, she would someday be resurrected. In my childhood, my mom and dad planted the seed of my faith and nurtured it, but as I matured, I had to come to know for myself whether what my parents had always taught me was true. Through many experiences over the years, I have come to know for myself that God lives and that He is our father. He loves each of us with a depth of love we cannot comprehend. He sent us to earth to learn, to serve others, and to become more like Him. When we have finished our work on earth, he will take us home to enjoy whatever level of light and joy we are willing to embrace.
Sometimes painful, even tragic, things happen to us, and He allows those experiences to come into our lives because He knows that they will make us stronger and better, that they will give us compassion and understanding and greater desire to relieve the pain of others. He knows that in the times of our greatest suffering, we can draw near to Him and receive the greatest measure of His peace. He weeps for our sorrows and sent His Son to relieve our suffering.
I know with certainty that I will see my mom again, and I am eager for that day. I also know that God is giving me precious gifts to sweeten this hard time.
One of those gifts came tonight. Early in the evening, my husband and I went on a date together and explored a small town near our home. In one of the shops, one could buy a bottle and mix essential oils to create a unique scent that could be worn as perfume. As I was getting ready for bed, I thought about going back to mix a scent for myself sometime. I remembered that Mom had seemed interested in mixing a personalized scent for herself when one of my sisters told us about having mixed her own, and let us smell it. As I thought about that exchange, I remembered that it had occurred during my last face-to-face conversation with my mom before her death, when she and my family visited my new home.
I teared up as I realized that Heavenly Father had answered a little prayer that mattered only to me. A few days ago, I pictured Mom and my sister and me sitting on the floor in my younger daughter’s bedroom talking, and I could not remember what we had talked about. I felt so sad not to remember my last conversation with Mom, and thought a little half-prayer that I would remember. Tonight, in a quiet, simple way, Heavenly Father reminded me. It was a beautiful gift.