“My Grandchildren’s New Mother,” Ensign, Aug. 1997, 65
In January 1982, my daughter Margaret was called to her heavenly home after a courageous battle with cancer. But before she left, she taught us many truths as she and her husband prepared their children, ages 3 to 11, for the transition ahead.
Margy was blessed during her final days of illness to remain at home, surrounded by her loved ones. During this time, she and her husband, Bill, called their children, one by one, to her bedside and explained tenderly that their Heavenly Father didn’t want their mommy to suffer any longer, and that he had a special place for her with him. Margy expressed her love for each of them separately; then, as they gathered around her bed as a family, she again assured them of their “forever family.” She told them that she would be busy and happy until their family could be together again. She also assured them that their daddy would find another mommy who would love and care for them as she had.
A few mornings later, after kissing the children as they went to school and delivering the two youngest to Grandma’s home, Bill lay down at his wife’s side. They visited for a few minutes; then Margy was quietly and sweetly relieved of her suffering.
Not many months later, Bill did find another companion and a wonderful mother to these children. Nelle cares for them now with love and devotion. I spent a few days with their family while Bill and Nelle took a much-needed vacation.
Early in the morning, alarm clocks sounded in two of the children’s bedrooms; the older ones dressed, then woke the little ones. Ten-year-old Brenner was at the piano practicing at 6:30, while the other children checked the large chart on the kitchen wall to see what their assignments for the week were. Vonae, age 12, helped the little ones dress; Bill Jr., the oldest at 14, set the table, and Jason, age 8, emptied each of the wastebaskets from their rooms into a large plastic bag. At seven o’clock Bill Jr. called each of the children to the kitchen table, and we were soon seated in our places, our scriptures in front of us. Bill Jr. then called on 6-year-old Amy to say their morning prayers after they had read, in turn, the scriptures. I helped Amy; Nathan, the 4-year-old, preferred to be a silent participant that morning. This devotional lasted approximately 15 minutes. Breakfast was then served amid much laughter and happiness, starting the day with the warmth of the gospel wrapped around these children because of the teachings of their parents.
Renewed by the joyful activities of the morning, I went to my knees to thank Heavenly Father for the restored gospel—and for my grandchildren’s new mother, a blessing that has helped this family to continue fashioning a bit of heaven within their own home.