There are moments in our lives that catch our breath and ultimately change the course of our lives. These moments come to define who we are and how we see ourselves as well as how others see us. I have had many moments in my life that have been unforgettable, both for better and for worse. I have had moments that have touched my heart and moments that have broken it. Now that we are in the recovery phase of Matt's stroke and dealing with the aftermath I can sense that we have all changed a little for the better and a little for the worse. There are days when we cry, days when we laugh and days when we are just grateful for the opportunity to be together. We have learned that life is fragile, life is kind, life is sad and sweet and incredibly hard all at the same time. My testimony of eternal families has been strengthened and I have felt the tender mercies of my Heavenly Father. He was with us in the hospital to comfort me when the situation seemed so bleak. He was there with Matt as they intubated and prepped him for transfer. He was there with me as I waited a frightening 12 hours to be reunited with my husband. We have been blessed exponentially by our Savior. There are still days that are heartwrenchingly difficult. There are times when tears flow freely and emotions are too heavy to endure but there is also the comfort of our Father in Heaven to guide us and the Holy Ghost to whisper "try again tomorrow." There are days when the memories of that life changing event wash over me and the pain that accompanies the memories is overwhelming. I have re-lived the experience again and again in my mind and in my dreams. These memories have made me catch my breath and have truly changed the course of our lives. It is clear looking back however that my Heavenly Father was with me that day. The Holy Ghost truly was a constant companion. I will not lie, I am not grateful for these particular trials in our lives most of the time but there are those sweet moments when I can see what has transpired and how much we needed these trials to strengthen our testimonies and our love for one another as a family. I think it is easy to become so comfortable with our families that we simply take for granted their presence in our lives. I took for granted the simple things like having Matthew by my side as I slept at night. The nights that I spent at home while Matthew was in the hospital were sleepless and long. I had come to take for granted the simple act of lying next to my best friend as we slept and knowing that he would be there when I woke. I took for granted the simple conversations that we would have about our days. I took for granted being able to look into his eyes and connect with him. When I was finally able to see him after 12 hours, a helicopter ride and an extensive surgery, all I wanted was to see his eyes. Shortly after I entered the ICU room for the first time the nurses left me alone with him. I begged him to open his eyes. I wanted so much to see his beautiful blue eyes and connect with him. I wanted the reassurance that he was ok and knew who I was. I wanted some proof that my husband was still inside. Twelve hours later when he finally woke up, all I could do is cry and tell him how much I missed his eyes. I remember telling him numerous times over the next two weeks in the short intervals when he was awake how much I missed seeing his eyes. We are moving forward but there are days when we seem to take one step forward and two steps back. There are days when Matthew is lucid and full functioning. When he knows what happened just hours before and no one would know that anything had happened. I am grateful for these days because he can keep our household running even if I can't get out of bed and face the day. There are days when he is so tired and cannot recall what day it is or even what transpired just hours before and on these days we work to adjust and overcome our fears about this being a permenant condition for him. In all honesty I am just glad to have him and to have our little family back together. While we were in the hospital we were seperated from one another and even the kids were split up in order to accomodate schedules and try to maintain some sense of normal. During those days as I made phone calls to each of my children I could only think of how nice it would be when we were all home together again. As I longed for that day I couldn't help but think of how it will be in the eternities when we are all together as a family. I am so grateful for the plan of salvation and the promise that if we are true and faithful to our covenants that we will all be together forever. During those quiet tender moments in the hospital when Matt and I were alone, he sleeping and me alone with my thoughts the Lord was silently but lovingly teaching me of the importance of the blessings that I already have in my life. I felt his guidance the day that Matt had the stroke. I felt calm in moments when I would normally be falling apart. I knew that without a doubt that Matt would be okay whether he was given the opportunity to stay here on earth with us or to pass on to the eternities where he would wait for us to join him. I knew that Heavenly Father was with him. I don't know if I will ever be able to look back on the events that transpired on March 2, 2012 without feeling many of the same emotions that I felt that day or without shedding tears but I do know that I will always remember the embrace of the comforter, the Holy Ghost that my Father in Heaven sent to watch over me. I no longer take for granted the simple things like sleeping next to my best friend or spending the day as a family without being apart. It is true that we are all suffering a little inside because of the events that transpired but the Lord has given us so much to be thankful for. I know that my Heavenly Father was and is aware of my little family. I have never felt that I have much courage but I have learned that courage can be as simple as getting out of bed on a day when it seems impossible. Courage can be found in the most humble places. Sometime courage can be as simple as breathing in and out when it seems impossible. I am so thankful for the courage that Matt showed in the hospital when the pain was at its worst. He showed me that I am something worth fighting for and that alone has made all the difference.