"The difficulties which come to us present us with the real test of our ability to endure. A fundamental question remains to be answered by each of us: Shall I falter, or shall I finish? Some do falter as they find themselves unable to rise above their challenges. To finish involves enduring to the very end of life itself."
—Thomas S. Monson
They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I was not so sure about that in the beginning but as time goes on I am realizing that I am a whole lot stronger than I use to be. Days just keep going by and life keeps moving on. I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. A good thing, because that just means I am one day or one month or one year closer to seeing Nick again. Bad because it is a day, month, year that I didn't get to see him. The holidays are coming up and I am so grateful that I have Hannah here to just spoil and love on. I can focus one hundred percent on her. If I didn't have her I would probably just wallow in my grief through the holidays. October is coming up and it is a hard month for me. Last October just feels like yesterday. Last October was the last full month I got to spend with my husband. Nick and I always went to the pumpkin patch in Syracuse, we always carved pumpkins, and he was always so good at it. I remember being just newly pregnant with Hannah last October, and we joked that we had another little pumpkin on the way. Hannah is getting so big! She is almost 6 months and looks just like her Daddy. She is the happiest baby I have ever seen, probably because Nick has something to do with that.
I want to share something that I learned a few months ago. When it comes to prayer I realized that I was making a huge mistake. It started when Nick died. Like I said I talk to Nick on a daily basis. As time went on I realized I was talking to Nick more than I was talking to my Heavenly Father, and before I knew I was asking Nick for blessings, I was asking Nick to bless Hannah and I was thanking Nick for all that he has given me. This went on for some time, when all of a sudden a small simple thought popped into my head and it said "What about me?" This thought had come from our Heavenly Father. I then realized that I was asking and thanking the wrong person. I was praying to Nick and not to our Heavenly Father. Yes Nick has giving me everything, but let's remember who created all of this. Let's remember who gave me Nick in the first place. I immediately felt guilt and I immediately missed my Heavenly Father. I had not realized that I had not thanked Him in a long time, because I was too busy thanking Nick. I wondered if anyone else had this problem. I thought that I cannot be the only one who does this. I was praying to the wrong person. I neglected to thank my Heavenly Father. These little things that I realize every day is a learning process. There is no one that can prepare you for all the mistakes I will make along the way.
I have been thinking a lot about a wagon wheel in general lately and what it actually means. Personally a wagon wheel is symbol of mine and Nick's relationship and marriage. When I see one, or think of it, I think of Nick. I got to thinking of what a wagon wheel means outside of that and why we chose a wagon wheel to be the "thing" in our marriage. When I think of a wagon wheel, I think of a wagon. I think of Pioneers. I think of the load that a wagon wheel carries across the country. I think of the miles they went and the tremendous amount of strength it took for those wheels to just keep turning until they reached their final destination. I think of the oxen that pulled those wheels along even when the wheels got stuck in the mud. The oxen did everything they could to pull the wheels out of the mud or snow, because the load they were carrying was just too much to handle at times. Without the oxen, those wheels are almost impossible to turn. The wagon wheel is Nick and I. We carry these huge loads of blessings and trials. The ox is our Savior. He pulls us along and when we get stuck in the mud he does everything he can to get us out. Sometimes a wagon wheel breaks and it needs to be repaired, but that is ok! As long as we carry that precious cargo to our final destination then nothing else matters. I think about this analogy in my head every day, how we are these wagon wheels and we are carrying such heavy loads. We carry them through happy and blissful times and we carry them through stormy and hectic times. Without the ox, our Savior, we cannot get very far. This is why Nick and I chose a wagon wheel, and didn't even know it, we just liked the song! Little did we know what it would mean one day.
I was walking around Hobby Lobby one way and saw this wagon wheel, of course I had to get it. Now it sits above my stairs and I see it every day and what it means. It is reminder of the blessings and trials I carry with me every day. How I must keep going further and let my Savior pull me out of the mud when my load is just too heavy on my own. Each wheel has spindles, each of those spindles, represent something that keeps me together and gives me support. My family, the gospel, prayer, the power of the priesthood ect... I can go on and on with analogies pertaining to a wheel, specifically a wagon wheel but this is something that is personal and it spiritually uplifts me every day. Thinking about the little things Nick and I did, singing at the top of our lungs to "Wagon Wheel" and what it really means to us now.
Through the trials of life and when we get stuck in the mud, let the Savior pull us out. Our Heavenly Father was once a wagon wheel too, and has felt what it is like to carry such heavy burdens. Someday we can all be like an Ox pulling others out of the mud or maybe we are even somebody's spindle that gives them strength as they turn through life.