Brent's little sister Sheri was 15 when Brent and I got married. She attended BYU Hawaii and served an LDS mission. Shortly after she married Eric, they moved to Lolo, Montana. Because our earthly acquaintance was relatively short, "remembering" Sheri feels more like recalling the feeling of her presence and loving her through the stories of Brent's family.
Sheri would have been 34 years old on Sunday. She passed away last August while giving birth to her second child. Yesterday we gathered to remember the blessing of her in our lives and to celebrate the selfless gift of her two daughters.
We started at the cemetery where we left notes, flowers and pictures at Sheri's grave site. We tied some messages to helium-filled balloons and the kids released them. We ate dinner and birthday cake at Brent's parents' home and finished by watching home videos of Sheri as a young girl.
Sheri's death causes me to think often of the things I know and believe. It is hard to reconcile how faith changes when it is tested in reality. Now the things that I know feel so small compared to those I don't and I think that was probably the same for Sheri.
Sheri knew that Eric was the right guy for her...that he was cute, funny, kind and good. She didn’t know what an incredible parent he would be with or without her.
Sheri knew that she wanted to be a mother. Even when it was hard and tiring, she was grateful for the experience. She didn’t know that her time as a mom would be so short.
Sheri knew that having children would require hard work and sacrifice. She didn’t know that she would have to literally forfeit her life for her daughters.
I know that our families can be together again after this life. I don’t know why learning and really understanding the importance of this comforting knowledge can hurt so much sometimes.
I love you, Sheri.