Friday, September 28, 2007

Tammy's Reunion

Today is a somber day at my house. My sister-in-law, Tammy, succumbed to cancer last night. It was certainly not the outcome that we'd hoped and prayed for, but there is comfort knowing that she is no longer in pain and is now free of suffering.

As I've contemplated her passing, I've thought much of the Plan of Salvation. Though we cannot recall our time in the pre-existence, I imagine we had relationships very similar to the ones we enjoy in mortality. I would even guess that we nurtured relationships with our own mortal families. As we looked forward to our turn to obtain a physical tabernacle, I would think we also felt a bit sad at the thought of leaving people behind in the pre-existence. We probably knew that mortality is a step in our eternal progression and that we'd have wonderful opportunities for great joy and peace as we traversed through our mortal lives. We were probably also told that if we made the right choices we would be reunited with our loved ones from the pre-existence here in mortality. I'm sure, for a time, we missed those whose turn at mortality came before ours, but found comfort knowing we'd have the opportunity to see them again.

And so it is now. We live here in mortality, building and maintaining relationships, trying to make the choices that will unite us for eternity. Some must leave mortality sooner than others. Some, it may seem, leave before their work is done or before we think they should leave. It's hard to say goodbye. We do not have the memories of the pre-existence and must rely on faith. We must believe that there really is a plan, that Heavenly Father is in control, and that, if we live worthy, we will be reunited with our loved ones.

Just as we experience the incredible joy at the birth of a child, I'm sure those who've passed through the veil before us, experience a similar joy when we leave mortality and enter into paradise. Though we are sad and will miss Tammy, I can't help but imagine the reunion that's going on right now. Her father, grandparents, and others are circled about her, embracing her, loving her, and welcoming her home. They have probably all been anticipating her arrival, anxious to see her. What a reunion, indeed.

And isn't that the essence of the whole plan? To be reunited with those we love.

Tammy will always be part of our family and we will always love her and remember her with great affection. She has left a legacy of faith and courage. She has taught me so many things. I'm am so thankful I had the opportunity to know and love her.

Someday, we will all see her again.


Stephanie Humphreys said...

I am so sorry for your loss. It is so wonderful to have the gospel and I can't imagine going through the trying times without it.

Dancin Queen said...

What a beautiful post about such a sad time. You have great perspective. That was a beautiful tribute.

Davis Bigelow said...

Thanks for the heartfelt post, Rebecca. I'm not at all sure that anything is left to be added by my words, but I'll try. The first two comments really seem to sum up my feelings of compassion and empathy. The loss of a loved one is so hard, even when you know the event is looming.
In my own life, which is all I really know about, my father was sick from before my birth. I was raised with the fear that he would leave us at any time, and he nearly did quite often. In spite of his widely vacillating state of health, he lived to be 69 years old.
I well remember the morning he passed on. It was very early and the sun just rising. The landscape was picture perfect, and I drove a few seconds out of town to set up my tripod and camera. I needed a peace-giving purpose to help me cope. As unbidden tears gently rolled, I immortalized that glorious sunrise on film. I thought I had been prepared for that day, but I was not. Somehow, in my moment of loss, as prepared as I thought I was, a fresh, deep wound had found me anyway. I felt so alone, yet so comforted. With my father gone, I had advanced, unwittingly, to the front line of our family. As an only son, I was now the oldest man in the family. My son and I were the only ones left to carry our family name forward, and my son had major health problems. I wondered if my son would be the final heir of my line. As I stood there, composing pictures and crying, the words of an old folksong danced through my mind. "The leader of the band is tired, and now he's growing old. But his blood runs thought my instrument, and his heart is in my soul. My life has been a poor attempt to imitate the man. I'm just a living legacy of the leader of the band."
My Dad has been gone now for well over a decade, but I continue to miss him. I feel sadness, but also joy. His Spirit World reunion, as he passed thought the veil, would have been a glorious one too. No doubt, he is presently doing his part to assist the forward movement of the Plan of Salvation. I expect that Tammy will join the cause with joy, and that at some future day, a glorious reunion awaits us all.

G. Parker said...

My heart is with you at this difficult time. It is so hard on those of us left behind to deal with mortality until we can join them. Take care.

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

I'm sorry to hear of Tammy's passing. You and your family will remain in my prayers.

Thank you for your thoughts on the plan of salvation. Very insightful.

Tristi Pinkston said...

Love and prayers heading your way, Rebecca. And I know Tammy was greeted home as lovingly as you describe.

Shellie said...

Sometimes it seems like people leave before they are done here, but it just means that the Lord is expecting us to all jump in and do what we can do to fill in where our loved ones left off. They are working on the same team on the other side. Your family will be in our prayers.

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

Rebecca - I'm sorry stop and post about this, but I am certain you'll want to know:

I dropped back by to remind:

There are 23 days left and counting, ladies . . . if you have the most wonderful husband in the world, you need to nominated him!

I know there are other wonderful husbands out there. Until midnight November 30, 2007 I will be taking nominations via this email address The six finalists will be posted, please send a picture with the nomination, on December 1, 2007 when voting will commence and the winner will be chosen by you. Sadly, because it would just be skewed, my husband cannot win although I think he'd be a shoe in. On December 15, 2007 the winner will be announced.

We have some great husbands already nominated, but I know there are more out there. So start nominating! Tell me about your husband and why you think he is the Best Husband in the World! That would be world . . . ladies, no geographic boundaries.

I hope things are getting better at your house and that the peace and comfort only the Lord can provide is pouring out upon you.

Rebecca Talley said...

Thank you, everyone, for your kind words.

The service was so spiritual and so emotional. We will miss Tammy very much, but we are all thankful she is no longer suffering.

iZING said...

I have been through the loss of loved ones. It is difficult but it also is also fundamental to our eternal progression. God bless you for sharing the feelings of your heart.