Enjoying life is so dependent on perspective. The other day I was talking to my husband while driving. I asked him if he thought of himself as an optimist, a realist, or a pessimist. I already knew what I thought he was but I was curious to see what he thought he was. My sweet husband said decidedly that he is an optimist. I burst out laughing. Then I saw that he was serious.
You see my husband, bless his heart, is not by nature an optimist. He is more of a realist with a bit of pessimism thrown in there. So I was stunned to hear him so confidently proclaim himself an optimist. When he heard me laughing he explained that he could be whatever he wanted to be and that he was choosing to be an optimist ... right now ... from now on. He has the goal to be an optimist. I think it is a noble goal.
He conceded that previous to that moment in time he had been a realist and a pessimist. I then asked him what he thought I was. He said I was an optimist and realist. I agreed with him. As such I wished him success on his new vow to be an optimist but realistically I think it is going to be more of a process than a decision.
I think my realistic optimism has been a great asset to me in finding joy and hope again after losing Camille. Perhaps a more pessimistic view would have me expecting loss all around me and seeing my loss in every day and every joyful moment. But those are not the lenses I choose to view my life.
This weekend we had a joy filled 3 days. Jonathan's youngest brother Stephen got married to his lovely new bride Diana in the temple Saturday. We had a big rehearsal dinner on Friday night and the reception on Saturday night. It was such a wonderful event with so much family all around to enjoy. This morning all the Waites (minus Stephen and Diana who are honeymooning) gathered to bless Aaron and Carolyn's twin baby girls Aspen and Emory Waite. They are two months old now.
I was getting paper and pens together to take notes during the blessing and Jonathan was at the piano to play an opening hymn. Noble was ... exploring. It was so nice to have so many family members around to watch him. I watched as he went from one cousin, aunt, or uncle to another. I could see the love that each of them had for him. My husband was playing "Families Can Be Together Forever" on the piano and we were all singing along.
"I have a family here on earth. They are so good to me. I want to share my life with them through all eternity. Families can be together forever, through Heavenly Father's plan. I always want to be with my own family. And the Lord has shown me how I can. The Lord has shown me how I can. While I am in my early years. I'll prepare most carefully. So I can marry in God's temple for eternity. Families can be together forever ..."
I had to stop singing. In that moment I felt how incredibly lucky I am ... or blessed rather ... to be sealed to all these wonderful people. I love ALL my in-laws. How many people can honestly say that? Well I can. I love them and I know they all love me and they love my children and they all are with me in my tender feelings of love for Camille.
The week before Camille died we spent a weekend up at Aspen Grove with all the Waite family. Camille spent lots of time with all her cousins. I am so glad that all of them got a chance to know her a bit in this life. She LOVED people. She was most happy when she was in public interacting with people. Noble is just the opposite. He only likes people he knows really well. But Camille would go to anyone and was happy to meet new people.
I feel blessed beyond measure by my own temple marriage. And I am so incredibly lucky that my siblings have married such incredible people and that all of Jon's eight siblings and all their spouses are also such wonderful people.
Maybe the key to become an optimist is to spend some time each day counting blessings. This weekend there were lots to count for me.