Thursday, May 18, 2006

An End Draws Near

I watched my son, his blonde hair blowing in the Las Vegas wind. He stood outside the home of his maternal grandparents , briefly pausing from pushing a toddler's walker. At two and a half, he didn't need the walker but thoroughly enjoyed running up and down the front sidewalk with it.

Full of joy, he was unaware that his grandfather lay inside near death.

And why should he know? His life is so innocent and hopeful.

I looked at him and wondered what the scene might be like when it is his turn to face death. I wondered but dared not imagine. My mind couldn't linger long on the thought. It is too horrible to face; too painful for a parent who only sees the brightest future. Death is too grim for me to contemplate for my own offspring even though I believe in the glorious eternity beyond. My thoughts returned to the weakened figure inside the house. A sharp pain stung my heart and I fought to choke back the surge of emotion.

Perhaps I lack sufficient faith. I have a spiritual witness of the reality of the atonement of Jesus Christ. That gives me an intellectual comfort when those I love face their passage from mortality. But there is still much pain associated with death in mortality in spite of the eternal truths I know in my mind.

Today a part of my pain is to consider that this little tow-head will not remember his grandfather. To miss an opportunity to know a man as great as Michael Dale Tobler is a sad thing indeed. Another part of the pain is to watch a mother watch her son dying of lung cancer--the same disease that took her husband. How she must chafe and wonder at the cruel irony that two stalwart Mormon men contract lung cancer having never touched a cigarette.

But the greatest pain in my heart is for a wife who must face the prospect of the remainder of her mortal probation without her helpmeet.

May God grant the peace that passeth all understanding and give us faith to overcome our sorrow.


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