Today something was said somewhere that reminded me of Lillian. Lillian was a women I met years ago at BYU through a guy I was dating. This guy, we will call him Dave, took me to visit his friends wife who was suffering from an illness that wouldn’t allow her to have children. Lillian was gorgeous, easily one of the most beautiful women in the world. More that beautiful outside she was easily THE most beautiful woman in the world on the inside. There was something very uniquely different and lovely about Lillian. She was from the country that produces Alpaca sweaters and she had married a young kid. She was there supporting her husband through university but she had a health problem that made her life prognosis very short. Lillian and I became great friends, she was so kind and warm and yet sad about never being able to have children. While I knew her she found she was pregnant. We were so excited but her young husband was nervous. The doctors were not sure she would survive the pregnancy. I watched Lillian not only survive the pregnancy but have a darling darling baby. On their first Christmas as a complete family they were understandably poor, short of funds due to extensive medical treatment and well they were university students. I had a lovely friend, Barclay, who hearing that their cupboards were bare, roused college students to do a food scavenger hunt for the cute couple. Barclay even went to Stephen Covey’s home and asked for a donation and was given an entire Christmas tree. We gathered up food and fun and gifts for the baby and took them to their house. It was such a wonderful feeling for us and Lillian was gracious lovely and appreciative of course.
Later that day I watched Lillian go through an “episode” as typical with the illness she had. She was out of control, miserable, not able to be her charming gracious self. We had to stick a pencil in her mouth to keep her from biting off her tongue. I sat next to her afterwards as she lay on her bed waiting and hoping for her to come too while her husband tried in vain to comfort a crying and hungry baby in the other room of their tiny place.
Lillian looked so fragile, so angelically beautiful. I felt worried over what I had seen and new that her having that baby had truly been a miracle. As I watched over her, she opened her eyes, and looked at me and said, “Kim you know it is all about love” and then went back to a sleeping state for several hours.
I spent more time with her and her new baby until I had to leave BYU for summer to go home. Lillian never looked more lovely and the baby was blossoming. Her husband looked exhausted but young husbands will look like that won’t they? Before I left Lillian told me that she had been told she should not marry and have a family. Her parents had worried that she would not surive and I think there was some family angst there. Yet Lillian had fallen in love and had wanted a family. She was a miracle because she had survived. Lillian told me she knew she did not have long and she shared with me advice on my life and living it well. She shared that we must do what our heart tells us even if there are strong naysayers. She would have missed on all this she said, pointing to her baby, if she had not gone against the advice of famiy, friends, and physicians. Her life may have been shortened but it would have been full. I remember saying to Lillian that she needed to have faith and she would live a long full life. She looked at me full of patience and love and said that it was the time we lived it was the love we felt. She wanted me to remember that.
I went home for the summer and met my family in England. It was while there that I got the call that Lillian had passed away. Her husband heart broken was left berefit with this new little baby. I cried for days under a tree in our summer home. My parents, my family who all had grow to love her, felt the great loss too. My friends from university who had helped them through their first Christmas were heart broken too.
Life moves on and I lost touch with her husband and the baby. Yet I always thought of beautiful brave Lillian. I heard years later that he remarried and now has other children. And I was glad to hear it.
I hadn’t thought of much lately until today. Today I woke up thinking of Lillian, her child, and her great example to me. I remembered her words and her great message of love. I missed her more today than I have in years and the heart ache which had been replaced by living my own life, a husband and kids, now today feels fresh. It is not the kind of heart ache that feels pain or loss it is more the heart ache of love. I guess I thought of her because I needed to be reminded about the message of love and hope she had shared.
This holiday week, and the holiday season I am thankful for Lillian. I may find her baby to be grown up and in college but I hope to find her and remind her of her brave courageous mother Lillian. We only gave a little to LIllian but she has been a part of my life’s fibers since we met. Lillian thank you, it really is all about the love.