After Ever went down to sleep tonight I crawled in bed with my mom and dad. It's one of those things I really miss about having my parents across the country, just the lounging and the talking.
I asked my mom to tell me about her little brother Jeffery. Jeffery was born with some complications and had Down's Syndrome. He lived for five months and passed away of pneumonia one night in his sleep. Of course I had heard this story before, but not since I had grown a mother's heart. Some of the details were so incredibly heart-breaking I can't even write them down now as I formulate this post. My heavens, I cried like I was five on my parent's bed.
"We knew Jeffery was in a better place, and that we would see him again when he was healthy," my mother told me as I lay there wiping my wet face.
Then I had to go back upstairs and check to see Ever's little chest rising and falling.
Today we went to a baptism for two people, Linda and Shawn. While I've been out here running around the city, enjoy the vacation I've dreamed of, my dad has been working. His job is to preside over 180 or so missionaries, oversee their physical and spiritual needs so they can go out and teach those who want to be baptized. Like Linda and Shawn.
They were glowing today. Linda had light pouring out of her and Shawn declared, "Jesus saved me!"
It was Linda's son Chris who initially told her about the church. He sent the missionaries over to teach her and his little brother. After the baptism was over the family cried and embraced each other. I will never forget it.
Yesterday my mom and I saw Bill Viola's Visitation at the St. Louis Art Museum. Visitation is video art, on a long plasma screen. There are two female figures in a gray fuzzy picture who are cautiously walking towards something. As the women get closer into view, you see them cross a veil of water and appear in High Definition and color. The crossing of the veil is so vivid and gorgeous it pulled at something eternal inside of me.
After they cross, one woman starts to cry in horror as the other one looks on peacefully.
And then they go back. Black-and-white figures walking away.
After we watched we decided to go see the contemporary art collection. We saw a few paintings--Gauguin inspired no doubt--and my mom turned to me and said, "Let's go see Visitation again."
So we did. Then we left the museum because we were pretty sure we saw what we were meant to see. The piece was so moving it would've been hard to interpret anything else. Later as my mom tried to explain it to my dad she cried.
When I go home on Monday I will have so many indelible memories of this trip, but these three might be the strongest of them all.