This post has been on my mind for a very long time, and I just don't know if I express how I'm feeling. But I want to try.
In our home is this picture. It hangs above our piano where I see it when I go up and down the stairs and every time I play the piano. People see it as they enter the house.
These are the words of a song that I have always loved, and has become very dear to my heart.
When Emily was alive she loved this song The year she was a Sunbeam (Age 3-4) at church the kids learned this song. Whenever she would hear it she would kick her legs in her wheelchair and get super excited. Robby and I were her teachers (along with 8 boys and one other girl!) and I learned the sign language and would help her do it when we sang it in Primary (Sunday School) and whenever I played it at home on the piano she would start rolling around back and forth super fast and squeal. I loved it! I honestly thought she must just really love the beat of the song-it has a very strong beat that kids love. The song is typically sung about missionaries; and that is certainly the message that I always heard when I sang it. Here's an example of a video of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing it; with the idea of missionaries. And I love this meaning as well. Called To Serve
Here are the Lyrics:
Called to Serve Him Heavenly King of glory
Chosen e're to witness for his name
Far and Wide we tell our Father's story
Far and Wide His love proclaim
Onward, ever onward, as we glory in His name
Onward, ever onward, as we glory in His name.
Forward, pressing forward, as a triumph song we sing.
God our strength will be pressed forward ever
Called to Serve our King.
Called to know the richness of His blessings
Sons and Daughters, children of a King.
Glad of Heart His holy name confessing.
Praises onto Him we bring.
After Emily died our bishop came to our house the next morning and went over the funeral arrangements with us. He told us that the Primary children would like to sing-his wife was the person who taught the children the songs, including Emily. He named a song that Emily didn't know but the kids had learned. I didn't say anything but after he left I told Robby I didn't like that idea, and wanted them to sing Called to Serve, since it was Emily's favorite song and the children had learned it that last year in Primary and sang it for the program. I called Shauna Busch and she of course agreed.
After I had called her back I went on a short run to give me a bit of thinking time. I was thinking of Emily and this song and how much she loved it and the thought came to me that the reason why Emily loved this song so much wasn't so much for the beat, but because the words of the song explained what her mission here on Earth was. She had been chosen before she was born to be a witness of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and help others know His love. And she KNEW it. Through all of her trials she was ever going onward, happy and smiling and bringing peace and happiness to those around her. She knew who she was and she wanted to share it with others. And those who knew Emily would say that she did.
I really feel like so many of our children with disabilities feel the same way; that they know who they are and what their purpose on Earth is, and that's one of the reasons why they radiate so much love.
Emily and children like her are my heroes, and so are their parents who so cheerfully and full of love deal with the many trials and heartaches that come with raising a child with disabilities. But I know that with it also comes such great rewards; I will never feel sorry for you!
My dear friend who gave me this picture is blessed to have one of those children in their home. You just can't help but feel happy when you are around Ryan-I really think one of the reasons is that he knows who he is, even though his body can't quite tell you with words.
Lily has learned to play the simplified version of this song; and Lance calls it "Emily's Song." I'm so glad we have such a tangible reminder in our home of who Emily is. I'm sure that Emily has heard Lily play it and is proud.