Sunday, 17 November 2013

Creating a new normal

It's been a while since my last post. I've been so consumed with everything going on around me. With kids, kindergarten drop offs, chores and times I don't get a chance to sit down and catch my breath. It's been full on! The trials and tribulations haven't stopped just because I'm going through my biggest one. But I know Heavenly Father and my Saviour are with me every step of the way.

These past few weeks have been quite challenging but I'm slowly learning how to juggle things on my own with the kids. My daughters are such awesome helpers and they are so loving and protective of their brothers.

We have had a few major milestones celebrated recently. (The first ones celebrated without Dani)

First one was Ashlyn's 5th birthday.
Dani and I decided last year that we would make Ashlyn's Birthday extra special! We always have had ice cream, cake and a few presents at home. But we wanted to do something big for her. We had been planning her birthday party for over a year now and we had accumulated bits and pieces to make her day special. My mum had even sent over the kids outfits from New Zealand to match the "Luau" theme we had chosen.
Being in Sydney at the time of Ashlyn's birthday (30th July) we planned to get together with family in Sydney on Sunday 4th August to celebrate her birthday, Loclyn's 1st birthday (3rd August) and a blessing of a niece before heading back to Melbourne. We planned to have Ashlyn's big birthday party mid August. But it never happened... Dani passed away the evening of Loclyn's birthday.
Coming back to Melbourne I was consumed with funeral plans, bills and having a baby. But Ashlyn didn't forget! She kept reminding me of the birthday party that Mummy and Daddy had planned. We even had a half done banner for her birthday that Dani had started. With the help of AWESOME friends and family we were able to get everything done and celebrated Ashlyn's birthday "Luau Style" as planned. Thank you everyone that helped to make it happen! She loved it!

Second milestone was Zealyn's blessing.
That week had been stressful but I noticed when I woke up that Sunday, I felt light, refreshed and really happy.
Was Dani there with me that morning? I like to think so...
Getting ready for church was fuss free and we were extra early! (A very RARE scene in my house). My little Zealyn looked so handsome.
Dani's brother in law Andy whom Dani loved so much gave the blessing. We had close family and friends in the Circle. The spirit was felt so strongly. I know Dani was there witnessing and participating in his son's blessing.
Oh, how I wish Dani was here... It was hard not seeing Dani in the circle.
As soon as Zealyn was handed back to me, I couldn't hold back my tears.
I felt so over whelmed. Although Dani wasn't there, I felt surrounded by LOVE. Love from friends and family. And love from my Heavenly Father telling me it's gonna be okay.

This year was our daughter Caitlyn's first year to participate in the Primary Presentation program. Both her and Ashlyn did so well!

I don't think anyone gets over the passing of a loved one, I think we can only continue day by day to do our best to get through it!
Well that's what I'm trying to do. Some days go by so quickly and I feel so excited that I will soon see my darling Husband again! But other days drag on and it feels like it's taking forever! Everything just seems too hard in those moments and that's when I miss Dani the most.
On a day when I had felt it all to hard to bare another minute without my husband. I began to question why Heavenly Father chose me to go through this. (I don't doubt that Heavenly Father knew what he was doing when he gave me the trial, but I doubted myself and if I really had the strength, courage and faith to get through the challenge put before me.)
 I came across a passage in Brad Wilcox book (The Continuous Conversion 82), that helped me through that tough day - "If the end goal is just to be clean, start again, be healed, and go home, then why did we choose mortality, knowing full well we would get dirty, fail often, be broken, and lose our way? Clearly there had to be something more that drove us to enroll in the earthly school than getting to go home when the bell rings. We came because we had faith that through the Atonement each lesson we learned could make us better, stronger, and wiser."
What would be the point if it was that easy just to come to earth, and be granted an automatic pass into the celestial kingdom? We need to learn, we need to grow; spiritually, mentally and emotionally. I am grateful for the opportunity I have to continue to be on this earth to grow stronger, wiser and more faithful, so that when I meet my husband again, I will be a better woman than I was before he left me.

I'm doing my best to create a new normal for my family. To do that, I have had to accept and ask for a lot more help than I am used to. It has been such a humbling experience. I know as humans, at times it's hard to accept help but we need to be mindful of the blessings that await those that are willing to help and that we with hold those blessings from that person if we don't accept their assistance. Let them in, let them help!
I am grateful to have such a wonderful family in the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I'm grateful to beautiful, benevolent Relief Society sisters who cooked meals for my family the last few months. It took a load off my shoulders, and was one less thing to worry about. I'm grateful to such remarkable young men and their leaders for taking time out of their long weekend to mow my (overgrown) lawn and to help maintain my gardens. I'm grateful for other priesthood in the ward for helping to fix things around the house. I'm grateful for Sisters not just in my ward, who have popped over unannounced to help in any way they could.

To everyone who has been there for us one way or another, Thank you all for your love and support! You know who you are! We love you.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Blessings in Disguise

I am proud and blessed to announce the birth of my second son Zealyn Sione Pikula Tuitupou. Born at 2:30am on 11/09/2013, weighing 9lbs 2oz. What a huge blessing he has been to me at this tough time.

(8days old)

My husband and I had discussed names for baby. My husband named all our other children and he had come up with the name Zealyn (Zealyn as in New Zealand - where my husband was born and where we both grew up but spelt with Lyn to match the rest of my children's names and mine.) You see my husband loved to be unique in anything he did. And that included our children's names. My husband loved me so much; he wanted all our children to have a part of me in each of their names. So the decision was made that all our children's names would end with lyn to take after my first name Terilyn.
As always choosing a name for your child takes time and a lot of thought and at times can be difficult. Our girls took two weeks after birth to name, our first son had two names we were tossing up and decided a day or two after his birth. But this baby was different. My husband had chosen a name months before he passed and was adamant that Zealyn was it. I was NOT fond of the name and remember telling my husband, "Yea, we'll see about that!" Now this name has so much more meaning and significance . It will be something special for my son to know that his father named him. Needless to say, the name has grown on me and I now LOVE it!

I often ponder why Heavenly Father chose to take my husband at such a delicate time; being 37weeks pregnant (and with 3 other children under the age of 6)
At times I think...
Could Daniel have been taken at the worst time ever??!
Why at that specific time?
How am I going to get through this pregnancy without my Eternal Companion?
How am I going to deliver this baby without my sweetheart by my side cheering me on? (When he's been there for the other 3)
Through a priesthood blessing, scripture study and prayer I have been able to sit back and see the bigger picture and ponder some different questions...
If I wasn't pregnant at the time my husband passed away, would I have made sure that I ate everyday?
Would I have had sufficient rest?(Especially during the time of the funeral)
If I didn't have my children to raise and take care of, would I have been as strong?
Would I have looked after myself as well as I did?
Although some may think my husband was taken at the worst time ever. I know without a doubt Heavenly Father knew what he was doing and He knew that if I was to get through this trial I would need these 4 beautiful Angels to keep me going; to give me strength, to give me purpose.
I get through each day because I have these 4 amazing children that need me. They are my heart and my soul. The reason why I strive for better.

What keeps me going... My Super Hero's.
(Clockwise from top: Loclyn, Ashlyn, Zealyn & Caitlyn)

Zealyn has been such a blessing to our family. My girls adore him so much. My son Loclyn's (1yr) face lights up every time he sees his brother. It's as if he knows exactly who Zealyn is and as if he has been expecting his arrival. It is so amazing watching my 4 children together. I know that they're going to be very close growing up.

The next step is Zealyn's blessing. One of many milestones we will have to face without Daniel... As I discussed the blessing details with my Sister In-law, the reality of my Husbands death hit me so hard. Yes, I knew that he was gone...but to say it aloud that he won't be the one to bless our Son just sets it in much deeper. At least every other day I can pretend that my husbands just gone away on holiday or something and we've just lost all forms of communication... Is that ignoring his death by doing that? Or is it just my way of coping? Either way, I can't ignore the fact that he's not here for this milestone and many more to come. The realisation of his death just sinks in more and more with these special events.

It pains me to know that my Priesthood holder is gone. But I look forward to raising two worthy Priesthood holders for the future.

To get through, I strive daily to "Look back in forgiveness, forward in hope, down in compassion and up with gratitude." - (Zig Ziglar) xoxox

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Daily learning

First of all, my heart overflows with gratitude for all the love and support from near and far in the last 24 hours alone. I have found so much strength and comfort in the words that I have read.

This week has been such a roller coaster. And it's not the end of the week yet!

My daughters Ashlyn (5) & Caitlyn (3) have so many questions...

Where is Dad?

When can we see him again?

Is he with Jesus Christ?

I am glad they are asking questions and I am able to talk to them about it. I taught through Family Home Evening; The Plan of Salvation. It has cleared up a lot for my girls. Now Caitlyn is asking: "When are we going to die so that we can see Dad again?"

How grateful I am to have that knowledge of Heavenly Fathers Plan for us! I have learnt that "Within the general plan of salvation for all mankind, there are individual plans of salvation for all men and women."( Brad Wilcox, The Continuous Conversion 39)

I recall at the end of 2010 my husband was admitted to hospital with chest pains and as he was lying in the hospital bed I couldn't help but notice what seemed to be a loud voice in my head saying, "What have you got in place to look after your children if anything happened to Daniel?", "Do you have Life Insurance?", "Do you have a Will?" And as I look back, that was when Heavenly father started warning me to get all of these things in order. I have had so many strong promptings to write a Will for both my Husband and I since that experience. But being consumed with everyday life and also telling myself, we're so YOUNG! Why do I need to do a Will now...It just doesn't make any sense? ...I never got around to writing one.
Well it all made too much sense yesterday, and hit me like a ton of bricks when I went to sort out some of our finances and everyone is asking, "Did Daniel have a Will?"
The Lord knows us individually and knows our needs... With every trial since 2010 I felt as if Heavenly Father has been pleading to me "Please Terilyn, Write a Will!" "Make sure you've got your Life Insurance sorted!" He did his best to warn me; but in the end whether I made something of those promptings or not, Heavenly Father had to continue on with his plan.
We may never know why promptings come and when we will need what we are prompted to do. But the Lord certainly does!

One of my husbands best friends posted a quote from Richard G. Scott on Facebook recently "Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more. He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit."
This statement is all so real to me. It feels like it's just been a snowball effect of trials the last few years. Through each trial we have faced, my husband and I would sit down and discuss: Have we done anything wrong? Why has this happened to us?, What does Heavenly Father want us to learn from this? And I'm glad we did.
At the time of those trials I felt they were just too big and too hard to get through...Little did I know that through those trials Heavenly Father was preparing me for the biggest and hardest challenge of all; and that it would be one I would have to face without my companion here to discuss and go through. As tough as it is missing my husband and wishing he was here to council with me. I am glad we did that in the past and I know what to do now because of it.

I am grateful for my knowledge of Gods plan. I am grateful to know that I am a daughter of God who knows and loves me for me! I know that God cares for me and knows me and my children's needs.

With love,

Terilyn x

Friday, 23 August 2013

An Unexpected Chapter

Ok, The kids are asleep and I have a bit of time to myself...Wow! I've never written a blog before and I don't really know where to start...!

A lot has changed in the last three weeks and I can feel myself changing at the same time.
If anyone would have told me a few years ago that I would be a 25 year old widow; I would think that would be IMPOSSIBLE to deal with. And just the thought of losing your best friend and lover makes me breath uneasy. It seems so crazy and still so surreal...I haven't lost the plot yet. But I find myself getting through each day working on auto pilot and kind of numb at times to the whole situation.
It's been just over three weeks now since my husband passed away suddenly at the young age of 31. I have 3 beautiful children under the age of 6 and I'm 37weeks pregnant with our 4th child.

This year started off rough (financially) with my husband tearing his achilles tendon and spending 5 months off work to recover. It was tough since we couldn't get any financial assistance from the government. But I learnt that the Lord does provide. Especially to those who are faithful and obedient.

Looking back on the last 6-7months we've had with my husband, it's been more than a blessing. I feel like Heavenly Father knew exactly what he was doing when he planned to take my husband back and so he gave us all of that time to spend with him, love him, kiss him and hug him.
Being heavily pregnant my husband did so much around the house and he took the lead to look after our children, so he spent 24/7 with the kids. That in itself I am so grateful for. Our son who turned 1 on the day my husband passed away pretty much spent his whole life being looked after by his father, and as hard as it is to know he won't be around for the next however many years of my sons life, I feel I can only be grateful for the memories captured for my son to see as he grows up.

I know that GOD has a plan for all of us. We don't know what that plan is right now, but he is mindful of us all and our needs.
As I reflect on my husbands life events before we met and the time we had together, I am blessed to see Heavenly Fathers plan unfold and his hand in all things. I can see that my husband was never promised to me for the rest of my life. He came into my life to mould me and to teach me the many life lessons that I have learnt from him. He told me everyday that he loved me (Yes, even when he was angry with me) and that I was a beautiful and strong women. As I look back I can see that had he not done those things I wouldn't be the woman I am today. I know I'll never get over it but those comforting words (that I can still hear him saying) from my husband a long with my faith and testimony I can get through it a day at a time.

God may have not promised my sweetheart to me for the rest of my life, but he has promised that if I can be faithful and obedient I will have my darling again for ETERNITY and that is something I look forward to!

Lots of praying and pondering plus scripture study is helping me through the beginning of this unexpected chapter in life.