In August, we attended a family reunion (my side) in Hesperus, CO. We had a great time participating in our "Family Olympics" with all 7 of my siblings and their families (Scroll down to see picture). I think the final tally was 29 adults and 28 children, with only one nephew missing--he is serving a mission in Las Vegas, NV. While there, we also were able to hold a small ceremony to dedicate the remains of my mom, Carolyn Young Larsen, who passed away in January. We were also happy to welcome my dad's new companion Norma, to the family!
I look back on the experience of coming together with my family with many strong emotions. I am very grateful for the men and women that my siblings have become. Looking at them, it is easy to see that my mother's legacy lives on in each of her children. What a powerful force for good she left behind! I am confident that her influence will continue for generations. I have personally resolved to emulate her optimistic nature, her love for others, and her joy of living.
As I was about to leave my boys' room tonight, the thought occurred to me that I should stick around and create one of those lasting moments--just like the ones that are etched in my mind of my own mother wrapping her arms around me and listening to my worries and fears. I hate to admit it, but sometimes I ignore that thought because of the many tasks that await me around the house. The question comes to mind, however, "How many times did my mother hold me before the experience became a permanent part of my memory that almost seems tangible?" When it comes to my children, I'll try to err on the side of more frequent occurences. I want them to never doubt the love that I have for them. Just as I never doubted the love my mother had for me.
I love the recent article in the August Ensign by President Thomas S. Monson. One of my favorite quotes states:
How fragile life, how certain death. We do not know when we will be required to leave this mortal existence. And so I ask, "What are we doing with today?" If we live only for tomorrow, we'll eventually have a lot of empty yesterdays. Have we been guilty of declaring, "I've been thinking about making some course corrections in my life. I plan to take the first step--tomorrow"? With such thinking, tomorrow is forever. Such tomorrows rarely come unless we do something about them today.
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