A moment when I achieved absolute happiness was...
One of the most wonderful philosophies of my religion is the concept of eternal familes, which is a sure knowledge that families are forever and can be together well beyond this life.
The first step towards this (besides baptism and such) is to be married for time and all eternity. This takes place within the walls of holy temples.
Unfortunately as life and choice go, Ralexwin and I made the decision to not start our marriage off this way. We were married in a church and the Bishop who performed the ceremony pronounced us husband and wife 'till death do us part.'
It was a bitter sweet moment for many members of my family. Knowing what I was missing out on.
Ralexwin and I at that time were not prepared spiritually for the further commitments of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We were young and unsure of our own faith and beliefs and therefore chose to put them aside.
Life went on.
We went to church as often as we could but were fairly casual about it.
Then Vicbowin was born and Sept. 11th happened and our blissful little marriage came to a screeching halt. Responsibility replaced ignorant bliss.
It was obvious Ralexwin would be going to Iraq at some point. It was obvious that I would be teaching children what they should value. It was obvious that we needed to reevaluate our casual regard for religion.
So Ralexwin and I began working on our spirituality and on September 21, 2002 we were able to 'seal' our family together. We were able to make our family a forever family.
(It is worth noting, for posterity sake that I was massively pregnant with Albowin and that my grandmother's funeral was also that day--three states away.)
Happiness was when Ralexwin and I, both dressed in pure white, smiled lovingly at each other as we renewed our marital vows. This time with the words 'for time and all eternity.'
Absolute happiness was when our beautiful one year old girl was placed in my arms. She was in white as well, it was a dress of lace and ribbon (not unlike a blessing dress) and her nearly black hair accentuated by the white shot up in all directions. She had been crying (for whatever reason... she was one) and great big tears dripped from her chocolate brown eyes.
Ralexwin and I held her together between us and were given the promise that she and all of our children would be with us forever.
I will never forget that moment. If all my memories are taken from me and I am left a shell of the person I am today, I will still have those bright brown eyes held closely in my heart. She was the most beautiful image I have ever seen.
Since those days I have had my struggles. I haven't always been as 'strong' as I should be, I haven't always been as serious about faith as I should be.
Sometimes Vicbowin and I have the grandest fights. We scream at each other and I threaten to lock her in her room for all time (not unlike Rapunzel). She informs me that when she writes the story of her life she's going to say how mean I am.
But at night when she is asleep (book clasped in her hands) I stroke her hair and kiss her cheeks and sometimes cry about being a bad mom and I remember, always I remember that warm Arizona day when she looked up at me and I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I would never lose her.