Monday, November 24, 2008

A Day to Celebrate

Years before my first son Brock left on his mission I prayed I would find a good friend through one of his companion's mothers. I actually prayed for this, because I felt if I could bond with one of the moms who had a son on the same mission, we would both be able to cope better with the challenge of having a son gone for 2 years.

First of all, the blessings of having sons on missions far outweighed any challenges. I also discovered that the challenges were actually lessened when he was on his mission. But I didn't know all this back then.

So Brock left on his mission in January of 1996. After getting through the first 5 days of shock that my first born was actually gone, and I would not see him for 2 whole years...I then started looking for the answer to that prayer. Each companion Brock would have I would ask for his mom's email address, or her home address....not everyone had email in 1996. I wrote to them all. It just did not somehow click right with any of them.

Then 10 months after Brock was gone, his dad died. That was yesterday's story. A few months after Bill's death, I received a very nice email back from the mom of Brock's current companion at the time. Her name, Peggy. We did click and have been writing daily since that day. To be totally accurate, we may have taken a week or so before we were actually writing daily. That was 11 1/2 years ago.

Interestingly, I thought I was praying for a friend to help me through Brock's mission. But what Heavenly Father knew I needed more was a very special friend to help me cope with the unexpected loss of my husband. Peggy was always there for me. Our correspondences back and forth were quite therapeutic for me, allowing me to talk about whatever I needed to talk about. Talk is the wonder drug for grief.

Peggy flew out here to visit me a few times. It was like we had known one another all of our lives.

You can't really see it in this picture, but we had coincidentally bought the same pair of pants.
One particular visit we decided we were determined to drive up to Oakland and attend the temple. Our Fresno temple did not exist at the time. So we drove up to Dublin, stayed the night there in a hotel. Got up early the next morning and got back on the freeway to head to the temple. I decided I did not want to drive...can't remember I pulled off to the side of the road, which was an extremely busy fast paced freeway.

This was not a good decision.

So as cars whirled past us we changed seats. When Peggy attempted to start up the car again it was dead. Nothing. This made no sense, and this was NOT a good place to be with a stalled car. Neither one of us had a cell phone. We both had dresses and heels on, and this was not the place anyway to go walking. We said a prayer. Then she attempted to start the car up again. NOTHING. NOW, what do we do? We had prayed, and without a cell phone, what options did we have left? We sat there in silence for a few minutes. I knew our prayer would be answered but I was curious as to how. Can't remember how long we waited...5...10 minutes?

As we were sitting there I could see a large truck pull up behind us. What could that possibly be about? So this large man comes up to our window. We roll it down just a little bit to be cautious. He asks if we are stuck. I said, yes, and I think I asked him to call Triple A. He said he WAS Triple A. Huh? But no one called him. I looked back at his truck. Sure enough, he was Triple A. He said he was coming down the freeway the other way and saw us parked along the freeway, so he turned around to see if he could help.

We popped the hood and he had it diagnosed in a short time. He did something temporarily to get us by. He said as long as we did not turn off the ignition it would keep running. Sure enough we made it to the temple. We had a wonderful session there, and as predicted, the car would not start up when we wanted to head home. So we called Triple A from the temple and they came out again. They were able to once again fix our car so it would work as long as we did not turn off the ignition. It was a trick a few hours later putting gas in our car with the engine running, but that's what we did.

A picture of us that day in front of the temple.

The power of prayer is amazing. Often times we have to learn patience when our prayers are not answered as quickly as we would like. My experience has been, when we have not the time to wait, we are rescued in a very timely way.

Today is my friend Peggy's birthday! I wish I could be there in Utah to share it with her.
Why is she my best friend?...
She is LOYAL. I can count on her like I could count on my own mother.
She speaks up and tells me what she thinks, which to me, is priceless in a friend.
She does not like contention and will do just about anything to avoid it.
She is a great example of devotion to family. She is a most wonderful, loving mother to 4 and grandmother to 10, soon to be 11. (all of them born after we met)
She is very committed to the gospel and its teachings. She has a strong unshakable testimony that Heavenly Father lives, and that we will someday be back in His presence.
She is fun. She can get me laughing almost as much as Dennis can.

Thank you Peggy for being my friend the past almost 12 years.
Have a most wonderful and Happy Birthday!


grandmapeg said... very blessed I have been all of these years for your love and friendship! I will never forget that temple trip and the power of prayer and the knowledge that Heavenly Father does answer our prayers. Thank you for all of the very nice things you've said about me. It's me that thanks Heavenly Father every day for your friendship and your strong example and testimony! You are an awesome friend!

Lisa said...

I love how the threads in your life are weaved together. You are a little like me in some ways. The assumption part in finding a friend in Brock's companion's moms. I've done some assuming like that and it never really went well for me, but I learned. I'm glad. But on yesterday's post. I was most struck by Brock's presence. I can't explain it but his presence touched me.

Dad and Susan said...

Jill, you are very blessed to have so many wonderful friends. I'm sure they stem from your having been a good friend to others your entire life. It seems to me you have always been focused on service and caring for others. You reap what you sow. Love, Dad and Susan

Kathy said...

You could almost pass for sisters.
Sometimes God brings someone along and there's just no denying it, you kindred spirits. Kathy

Dennis said...

Much thanks for Peggy. After all, without her, I may not have gotten your phone number, in spite of being referred to as a "BIG BABY" (a term of endearment to me). We both love Peggy very much. She's a great friend.


"Oh, just give the BIG BABY your phone number."

grandmapeg said...

I just wanted to comment on some of the above comments. Definitely Jill reaps what she sows because she is has many wonderful friends who feel the same way as I do. Also, to Kathy..we did have a comment or two, on my first trip out to Jill's, about how we looked like we could be sisters and definitely we feel like we are kindred spirits. To Dennis..also lovingly known as the BIG BABY...I am so happy for Jill that you two found each other. You have been such a great blessing to her and the boys.

Rebecca said...

How fun! I really liked this post. This is so fun that you can have such a good friend. And I was amazed to see this picture, you two look like you could be sisters!

Richard said...

I thought I was your best friend. This is almost too much to bear. Yesterday I learn that Grandmapeg is not Peggy Kennington and today you tell me she is your best friend! We're going to Sacramento to see Hailey tomorrow so I will get over it soon enough.

Jill said...

Richard, Take lots of pictures of Hailey, and a video would be nice too. I really miss her!