Monday was a beautiful day. The sun was shining and it was warm.
The house was in its usual condition for a Monday morning. There was plenty of laundry and lots of straightening to do. In addition to the household chores there were three or four errands to be run. Because of their importance, the errands would be first on my list. First, that is, after breakfast was over, the three older children were off to school, the three little ones dressed, and a load of laundry put in.
The day seemed to be lining up the same way for my husband, Mike. It was already nine o’clock and he was still home.
“I’m going over to the ward to take care of a couple of things I didn’t get to yesterday,” called Mike as he went out the front door.
Even though we both felt the need to accomplish a lot, we didn’t feel rushed as we often do. In fact, I was just fiddling around in the kitchen, taking my time and enjoying little Matthew there in his high chair.
“Matthew,” I thought to myself, “why aren’t you standing on the table or on your tray?” Normally, when Matthew was no longer content to sit in his high chair he would squeeze out and climb onto his tray or onto the table. And then he’d giggle, as if he just couldn’t wait for me to notice his clever trick.
Today he seemed quiet. He was content just to sit in his chair. He looked so sweet and angelic—such a dear little smile on his face.
“Matthew,” I said, as I leaned over to him and gently bumped his forehead with mine, “I love you.” I looked at him and wondered, “Do you know what I’m saying, Matthew? Do you know how much Mommy loves you?”
He had such a peaceful look in his eyes, as though he knew just exactly what I was saying. He knew! And I felt then that he also knew something more—something that I didn’t know.
He looked as though he wanted to tell me something, but because he was only seventeen months old he couldn’t express the thoughts that were behind the look in his eyes.
Quickly I touched my forehead to his again and said, “I love you,” and then lifted him down from his chair.
Mike was back from the church and had started carrying the boxes of pears for canning in from the van. Stephen (four years) and Danny (three years) were such big helpers, trying to lift each box of pears, while Daddy pretended they were actually lightening the load. Matthew was playing in the family room and I was finally getting to that first load of laundry.
The last box of pears was in and Mike was on his way to do one more thing for the Lord before going to work. He saw little Matthew toddling around the patio and ran his fingers through his hair as if to say, “I love you, Matthew.”
Then Mike walked across the backyard and climbed into the car. Quickly he checked to see that his papers were on the front seat and carefully began to back down the driveway.
Matthew was no longer on the patio, but had gone unnoticed across the lawn onto the driveway and was behind the car.
We were horror-stricken when it happened, but as soon as Mike laid his hands on little Matthew’s head and blessed him that he would live until his mission on earth was complete, a strong assurance came over us. We knew that all would be well. During the next 4 1/2 hours we were brought to know that Matthew indeed had a mission to fulfill. The question was where? Where was he needed?
The Lord’s will was made known to us with the passing of our son’s spirit through the veil that afternoon. The Lord needed him there and we knew that Matthew just couldn’t wait until he was nineteen to go on a mission.
That night Sheri (nine years) was helping Danny get ready for bed. Danny looked up at her and said, “Matthew died today, didn’t he?”
“Yes,” answered Sheri. Little Danny, with simple faith, looked at her again and said, “But that isn’t dangerous, is it?”
Tears welled up within as I realized the great meaning in such simple words. Thanks to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ it wasn’t at all dangerous for Matthew.
How the Lord has blessed us! He has lifted us; he has given us strength to bear our burden! He has given us the Comforter, a gift that is so very real, to bear witness to us that the Lord lives, that he loves us, that he is with us and is mindful of us.
I know that the Lord lives, and I know that Matthew knows he lives. My pain and loneliness are eased as I remember the great love our Father had for his Son and I realize the great love the Savior had for me to give his life that I might hold Matthew in my arms again, that I might kiss his little feet after he pulls off each little stocking, and that I might hear him crow like a rooster (one of his favorite animals). What a glorious day it will be when we are resurrected together as an eternal family.
I hope it will be on a Monday, for Monday was a beautiful day; the sun was shining and it was warm.