Hi! My name is Abigail. I finished my mortal mission in a little spec of eternity you call July 2013.
Now I'm in the Spirit World and can help my family and friends (that's everyone) from this side of the veil. Some people get a little uneasy talking about "spirits" but I'm here to tell you we're not scary. My body died, but I'm still alive. My body was destroyed and really needed a break, but I'll have it again soon. You'll have to trust me on the issue of timing. It won't be long, promise.
A month before I came here, my mommy was holding me and I told her "I will keep you forever." It took her by surprise that I came up with that on my own, but I knew what I was saying. I reinforced it later a few times by telling her, "I will keep you forever in my world, " and "I will keep you forever in my life". I meant exactly what I said.
This little piece of world wide web is a place my mom can continue to write and record her feelings--her progress, I like to call it. I know it's helping a few of you, too.
Remember who you are--really are--and that many of us are excited to see you all again, too. Eternity is a very long time and I have to keep reminding my mom "I will keep you forever".

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Ten Months

I know May 15th happened this year. I came to post, and couldn't because of a storm. An outside storm, honest! But it was going to be a short post because 10 months is hard to write about.

When we moved here I was told that my email carrier wasn't supported out here (by Cox) and so I went through the tedious process of getting a new email and alerting everyone. Today, I clicked on an autolink to send an email, and it opened up my old Thunderbird program of Cox....and I had over 400 emails--recent ones!! Somehow it is supported now. I scrolled through and only found 3 emails that were personal, so I'll email them from my new email. (if you've emailed me at cox.net and haven't heard from me, don't take it personally! I thought it was a dead email!)

It was weird, though, using that email program. I used it so much in Abigail's journey in behalf of her, that seeing the familiar buttons again was...like I was still living back then. Except I'm not. I'm in my cold Virginia basement in May with a heater blowing on my legs! I'm living in a different place with a different life. I feel like a broken record saying the same things over and over.

So I won't say much more today; just leave you with part of a talk from Elder Shayne Bowen.

My favorite parts:

1. "you will never completely get over it until you are together once again."

 2. "the bitter, almost unbearable pain can become sweet as you turn to your Father in Heaven"

3. "as we rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, He can help us endure our trials, sicknesses, and pain." (Note: He does not take it away. It is there for a purpose.) "We can be filled with joy, peace, and consolation. All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ."

4. "The spirit world is real. The teachings of the prophets regarding life after death are true. This life is but a transitory step forward on our journey back to our Heavenly Father."

And now, his story..

“Because I Live, Ye Shall Live Also”

On February 4 of 1990, our third son and sixth child was born. We named him Tyson. He was a beautiful little boy, and the family greeted him with open hearts and open arms. His brothers and sisters were so proud of him. We all thought he was the most perfect little boy who had ever been born.

When Tyson was eight months old, he aspirated a piece of chalk that he had found on the carpet. The chalk lodged in Tyson’s throat, and he quit breathing. His older brother brought Tyson upstairs, frantically calling, “The baby won’t breathe. The baby won’t breathe.” We began to administer CPR and called 911.

The paramedics arrived and rushed Tyson to the hospital. In the waiting room we continued in fervent prayer as we pled to God for a miracle. After what seemed a lifetime, the doctor came into the room and said, “I am so sorry. There is nothing more we can do. Take all the time you need.” She then left.

As we entered the room where Tyson lay, we saw our lifeless little bundle of joy. It seemed as though he had a celestial glow around his little body. He was so radiant and pure.

At that moment it felt as if our world had come to an end. How could we return to the other children and somehow try to explain that Tyson wasn’t coming home?

I will speak in the singular as I relate the rest of this experience. My angel wife and I experienced this trial together, but I am inadequate in expressing the feelings of a mother and would not even try to do so.

It is impossible to describe the mixture of feelings that I had at that point in my life. Most of the time I felt as if I were in a bad dream and that I would soon wake up and this terrible nightmare would be over. For many nights I didn’t sleep. I often wandered in the night from one room to the other, making sure that our other children were all safe.

Feelings of guilt racked my soul. I felt so guilty. I felt dirty. I was his father; I should have done more to protect him. If only I would have done this or that. Sometimes even today, 22 years later, those feelings begin to creep into my heart, and I need to get rid of them quickly because they can be destructive.

About a month after Tyson died, I had an interview with Elder Dean L. Larsen. He took the time to listen to me, and I will always be grateful for his counsel and love. He said, “I don’t think the Lord would want you to punish yourself for the death of your little boy.” I felt the love of my Heavenly Father through one of his chosen vessels.

However, tormenting thoughts continued to plague me, and I soon began to feel anger. “This isn’t fair! How could God do this to me? Why me? What did I do to deserve this?” I even felt myself get angry with people who were just trying to comfort us. I remember friends saying, “I know how you feel.” I would think to myself, “You have no idea how I feel. Just leave me alone.” I soon found that self-pity can also be very debilitating. I was ashamed of myself for having unkind thoughts about dear friends who were only trying to help.

As I felt the guilt, anger, and self-pity trying to consume me, I prayed that my heart could change. Through very personal sacred experiences, the Lord gave me a new heart, and even though it was still lonely and painful, my whole outlook changed. I was given to know that I had not been robbed but rather that there was a great blessing awaiting me if I would prove faithful.

My life started to change, and I was able to look forward with hope, rather than look backward with despair. I testify that this life is not the end. The spirit world is real. The teachings of the prophets regarding life after death are true. This life is but a transitory step forward on our journey back to our Heavenly Father.
Tyson has remained a very integral part of our family. Through the years it has been wonderful to see the mercy and kindness of a loving Father in Heaven, who has allowed our family to feel in very tangible ways the influence of Tyson. I testify that the veil is thin. The same feelings of loyalty, love, and family unity don’t end as our loved ones pass to the other side; instead, those feelings are intensified.

Sometimes people will ask, “How long did it take you to get over it?” The truth is, you will never completely get over it until you are together once again with your departed loved ones. I will never have a fulness of joy until we are reunited in the morning of the First Resurrection.

“For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy;
“And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy.”3

But in the meantime, as the Savior taught, we can continue with good cheer. 4
I have learned that the bitter, almost unbearable pain can become sweet as you turn to your Father in Heaven and plead for His comfort that comes through His plan; His Son, Jesus Christ; and His Comforter, who is the Holy Ghost.

What a glorious blessing this is in our lives. Wouldn’t it be tragic if we didn’t feel great sorrow when we lose a child? How grateful I am to my Father in Heaven that He allows us to love deeply and love eternally. How grateful I am for eternal families. How grateful I am that He has revealed once again through His living prophets the glorious plan of redemption.

Remember as you attended the funeral of your loved one the feelings in your heart as you drove away from the cemetery and looked back to see that solitary casket—wondering if your heart would break.

I testify that because of Him, even our Savior, Jesus Christ, those feelings of sorrow, loneliness, and despair will one day be swallowed up in a fulness of joy. I testify that we can depend on Him and when He said:

“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

“Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.”5

I testify that, as stated in Preach My Gospel, “as we rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, He can help us endure our trials, sicknesses, and pain. We can be filled with joy, peace, and consolation. All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.”6

I testify that on that bright, glorious morning of the First Resurrection, your loved ones and mine will come forth from the grave as promised by the Lord Himself and we will have a fulness of joy. Because He lives, they and we shall live also. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Pain, peace, and FAITH.

to read his full talk, visit Here

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mother's Day Missionary

I'm surprised at how quickly it happens. For those who may not have read my earlier description of my new life, I'll quickly recap it.

I am like a blue sphere, which represents peace, happiness, contentment. But in one part of my blue sphere, a 'scoop' was taken out of me that left a deep, gaping, jagged hole all the way to my core. My core is white and solid. It is my Savior who I rely on every minute of my existence. The perimeter of this scoop is red and throbbing, because obviously, that hurts! Spreading outward from this hole is a network of lines that encompass and surround my blue, kind of like a network of blood vessels, but I call them pain vessels. They aren't always red, but when my scoop overflows with pain, it runs off into the pain vessels and makes my entire sphere hurt.

June 2013. The day after we started hospice. Day and night in the rocking chair. We both are asleep here.

My scoop always hurts. Always. But it doesn't always overflow, and so often, my pain vessels aren't obvious and the majority of my sphere appears blue. Oftentimes, my pain isn't visible to others because you may be looking on the other side where you can't see the scoop. That's good! It's good it's not always visible, and it's good that a lot of blue still exists.

Slowly, with time and faith in Jesus Christ, He will weave healing around the perimeter of my scoop. It is only through Him that pain turns to joy. But He won't fill up the wound, because that is only a place for Abigail, and she will always be a part of me. Through the pain of her absence, I learn to become more like Him. I call the pain a horrible blessing. Haha. The first word is from my mortal perspective, the second, of course, from an eternal perspective. Many of you will understand the phrase, and if you don't, that's okay.

And so I'm surprised at how quickly it happens. I'm surprised at how quickly my red overflows and every part of me hurts, but within a day, or sometimes hours, even minutes, it recedes. The pain is calmed. "He lives, to calm my troubled heart" is so very true. He indeed lives to soothe our aches and help us carry our burdens. I am so grateful for His goodness and kindness.

This week has been one of those off and on weeks. Great hours, hard hours. A year ago, this was a really bad week. I was gone from Abigail for a few days to a Neuroblastoma symposium in Florida. On the trip home I spoke briefly with Aaron and he told me Abigail had stopped walking, again, because of too much pain. That meant too much cancer. My heart broke. It was one more sign that she was nearing the end of her mortality.

Also during this past week I put in a DVD of home video that I haven't watched yet, but need to label and organize. It was from Mother's Day last year. The children all sang a "12 Days of Mother's Day" song to me. Abigail had a special line to sing, but she wouldn't. She wouldn't sing at all, but she did stand there next to her siblings. Stood there to be a part of them, but with pain in her face and body.

So as Mother's Day has approached this year, I have been interested to see what would happen to me (because sometimes it seems out of my control! I know they are 'my' emotions, but man oh man!). Overall, the feelings that permeate my blue sphere are ones of gratitude for my sweet, precious children. Those are the feelings I work toward and strive to keep near. But I was surprised where the pain came from. From missionaries, of all things! Who would have guessed? Not me. So I wrote a poem. I love missionaries, don't misunderstand! We pray for them daily. ALL of them ;).

Mother's Day Missionary
By Annabeth Goss

On Mother's Day
There will be no phone call
No 2-hour skype to see her pretty face.

She has no address
That I can mail to her
Care packages with things she might need.

There is no "hump-day"
that I can count on
Marking the 1/2 way mark till I see her again.

No instant messaging
No email chat
No return home date to my arms.

It's hard to hear
About these missionary joys
Because they are so glaringly absent.

I don't begrudge
The parents who have missionaries;
I just miss mine.

It hurts
It hurts so bad.
My missionary is gone.

But during and after
The tears that I cry,
I try to remember my joys.

From sorrow deep within
I look up and out
And remember the "goblet of gratitude."

I remember this separation
is something we both have to do
And that we grow because of it.

Gratefully, my missionary
Serves, learns and grows;
She teaches, helps, and loves.

She lives!
Just not with me;
Just not with a body.

She's healed--
No more cancer and
mortal pain can't touch her.

She's happy
Doing His will
And I hope eager to see us again.

My missionary,
On Mother's Day,
Is still mine.

In the movie "Princess Bride," Wesley's friends are trying to revive him. The scene in Miracle Max's hut is quite funny:

Miracle Max: Hey! Hello in there! Hey! What's so important? What you got here that's worth living for? (Pushes on Westley's abdomen.)
Westley: t-r-u-e l-o-v-e.
Inigo: "True Love", you heard him? You could not ask for a more noble cause than that.
Miracle Max: Sonny, True Love is the greatest thing in the world, except for a nice MLT--- mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, when the mutton is nice and lean, and the tomato is ripe.

True love. It is the greatest thing in the world. Jesus Christ is our ultimate example of love, and because He wants us to become like Him, He gave us families and friends and put us all here on earth. "Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die." (D&C 42:45). You can't say it any better than Jesus said it.

Thank you for loving Abigail and remembering her. Thank you for loving our family. We are so blessed. Life is wonderful. And hard. Wonderfully hard. A new phrase. :)


Saturday, May 3, 2014

May 3rd Update

Earlier this week it rained. A lot. Wednesday morning I looked out at the road in front of our house, and the little creek that runs from our neighbor's acres, under the road, and continues along the edge of our property, was completely flooding. The water was up probably 4-5 feet above it's normal height and was pouring OVER the road. We had fun sloshing through it and watching our dog run in it.

Yep, we got a dog. After a lot of name ideas, we settled on "Grace." She is a stray from the animal shelter out here, and she's beautiful. From what we can tell, she's mostly a shorthair German Pointer. She doesn't bark excessively (YAY!), is well-behaved and somewhat trained, only jumps up on Mary and no one else, and is house trained (although she is not a house dog for us). We "lucked" out pretty good on her. The vet said that breed is very hardy and rarely sick. I was happy to hear that, and then 15 minutes later the test on Grace's blood tested strongly positive for Lyme's disease. So, now she is on antibiotics which make her sick and I'm doctoring a dog. Not exactly what I want to be doing, but oh well. The kids love her.

We have around 2 acres of grass...and now that it stopped snowing and rained a LOT, the grass is tall. So we bought a riding lawn mower that doesn't work. :) Good times. It works, it just stops working after 5 or 10 minutes of use. Aaron gets to doctor that.

As I sit at the computer, I hear 8 little chicks pecking on their food and straw in the other room, rustling around under the heat lamp. We got those last week. Hopefully they'll all survive growing up, the majority of them will be female, and Grace won't bother them. Haha. They are Buff Orpington chicks, which they say are friendly chickens. We can hope!

A friend of mine taught me how to (really) do my family genealogy last week, and although it is very challenging and often CONFUSING with so many of the same names, it is exciting.

Yesterday we drove down to Spotsylvania to participate in an Education Day of the 150th anniversary of the Battles of the Wilderness and Spotyslvania. Virginia was right in the middle of the Civil War (location wise) and you can't drive down a road without seeing some memorial sign about something.

I just finished my second course of holistic nutrition, we are still enjoying homeschool, and Aaron is enjoying his work.

Life is good. We are busy. We pray and study and serve and give thanks for so much that is right in life. We ache for our little princess that isn't with us. We pray for those who are still on their cancer journey, for those grieving, and for more who struggle elsewhere. We are so grateful that God is in control, at the helm.

He always has been, always will be. Happy May!