Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jay and Susan

A couple of weeks ago, Steve and I were able to attend the temple with a lot of our ward members. Some dear friends, who were baptized last year were in the temple for the first time. The temple is always a glorious place to be - but being there with loved ones is a celestial experience. Several of my friends who are my family here in Ohio were sitting on a sofa watching the group hug and greet one another. We questioned if this is what "heaven" would be like. We were filled with joy. Pure joy.

Several days later, while sitting in the New Orleans airport I received a phone call from Jenny Wood. She asked if I had heard about Jay. I had not. She let me know that our dear friend/neighbor had been diagnosed with colon cancer and that he was going to have surgery soon. Over the past week, we have been on a roller coaster. Good news. Bad news. Good Days. Tear-filled, feeling helpless days.

I know the calm and joy that we felt in the temple, strengthened us for the week we had ahead. The remembering of our covenants gives us hope in a time such as this.

Jay had surgery. You can read his story if you click on the button at the top of my blog. What you can't read there is why we love Jay and Susan. I could write 40 entries on why we love Jay and Susan. Maybe I will later - but this is a start:

On our first visit to Ohio to look for a house, Jay met us in the hallway of the church. He told us that he had found the perfect street and builder and encouraged us to move there. We laughed. But I remembered him and his advice. We ended up moving to Pickerington , about about a mile from Jay and Susan. Our first 4 years of living here, Jay and Susan were ward members that we interacted with through callings - teaching each other's children, and more or less admiring them from afar. Susan was Grace's nursery leader and we knew she was special. But our interaction was just on Sundays.

Fast forward a few years. 3 bedroom house. Tanner, child number 4 on the way. We were looking for a larger home. Jay's advice and encouragement from our first meeting came to mind as I drove past a home for sale on their street. We moved in. As the housing prices have tumbled and other good friends have moved away - I have questioned our decision to move here. But then a vision of Jay and Susan come to mind - and I know we made the right decision.

Susan and Jay have embraced my children as their own. My children have traditions at their home. Grace and Tanner arrive at their home. Susan pulls out a big bin of candy. Tanner pulls out a yellow Laughy Taffy. Susan reads the joke on the wrapper. Jay walks in. He grabs some candy, jokes with the children. Jay entertains Tanner by playing fuseball or playing air guitar to Eagles music. Grace tells Susan all about her day at school. Susan listens. Grace tells her one thing she learned that day. Tanner and Grace come home happy.

Come home happy. That is what we do when we are with Jay and Susan. It is kind of like being at the temple. We come home happy. We know we are loved.