Since A Dash of Salter is coming up on it's first birthday, I thought it would be fitting to share my first blog post. It wasn't at all how I wanted to begin my blog, but I felt the need to share my experience and changed perspective of motherhood. Turner's first Fourth of July didn't go anything like we had hoped it would.
"My first post on my blog was originally about the inspiration behind starting a blog. However, our holiday weekend didn’t quite go as planned.
On the fourth, my parents had invited us over for a family breakfast. My dad took orders from the grill and served us a delicious pancake, bacon, egg, and sausage breakfast. We spent time there playing games and chatting with my siblings. Around 2 p.m. we left to spend some time at my in-law’s house before our BBQ dinner. We arrived there and I started to take Turner out of his car seat. Somewhat distracted, having done this a thousand times, I unbuckled him and pulled him out. He suddenly went from happy anticipation to hysterical tears. I instantly knew he was hurt. I just didn’t know where, or how it happened. I thought maybe I had pinched him somewhere. I sat down on the couch and cradled him in my arms attempting to sooth him, but when I moved he only began to cry harder and louder. I had no idea what was wrong. Then I started to notice that he wouldn’t move his right arm. I slowly bent his wrist, and other parts of his arm only to see him become more upset. I couldn’t figure it out. Matthew started moving it and tried to pinpoint where the pain was coming from. We had a feeling that something had been dislocated, but couldn’t be completely sure.
My heart was tearing in two at this point. What had I done? How did I hurt my son? I was praying that he would stop crying and that he would start moving his arm again. Matthew’s father suggested we give him a priesthood blessing. Promptly after the blessing we felt calm. We knew that a doctor should see him. We hopped in the car and drove to the closest InstaCare, which was the IHC in Layton. After checking in and being told of a 75-85 minute wait, we called McKay Dee Hospital to see what the ER wait times were like. They had 17 rooms available, so we hopped back in the car and on our way to Ogden. At our arrival we were helped and back in the ER in under 5 minutes. My anxiety was at its peak. I couldn’t take seeing Turner in pain any longer. The doctor came in and we briefly discussed what had happened and our concerns. She took Turner’s injured arm and rotated it carefully. Then she moved his forearm back towards his bicep and said she felt a distinct pop. Turner let out a short cry of pain and then slowly calmed down. She suggested we give him a toy to grab to see if he would move his arm. I got his ball from his diaper bag, put it within reach, and he grabbed it and started moving his arm around like normal.
Words cannot describe how relieved and happy I was in that moment. Our son was okay! No more tears! No broken bones! No surgery! No medicine! He was back to his happy, smiling self. I was overjoyed! And yet, I couldn’t seem to forgive myself for causing him that pain in the first place. It wasn’t on purpose and I still couldn’t let go of the guilt for being careless in that moment. Seeing him in pain was worse than I ever could have imagined. Driving home from the ER, after a visit totaled at 20 minutes, I started to come to the realization that this was the first time I saw him in pain, but it won’t be the last time. I started to understand how loving someone so deeply can also cause you the most heartache. Because watching my son suffer, it was more than I could handle. I began to feel an inkling of what Heavenly Father felt when his Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, suffered through the atonement.
I now know that unconditional love also comes with heart wrenching pain. Pain that you could never expect, but is necessary. When you truly love someone you hurt when they hurt, you cry when they cry, and you smile when they smile. Nothing could be more accurate about the way I love our son, Turner. I have never truly empathized for anyone in the way I do for him. That bond between a parent and child is nothing like I had anticipated, and infinitely more fulfilling.
I am grateful for a Savior who suffered so that I could experience motherhood. He died so that I could make mistakes and be forgiven. He is the ultimate example of empathy, for He felt every pain, sorrow, and happiness I will ever experience. Through Him I can become clean and be with my family forever. Everything in the world would mean nothing to me without my husband and my son by my side.
Through Christ I have true freedom.
Freedom from darkness.
Freedom from sin.
Freedom from loneliness in the life to come.
That is why this Fourth of July I celebrate Him."
That experience still has a powerful impact on me today and has deeply strengthened my testimony of my Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ. As traumatizing as that experience was, I'm grateful for the tender lesson it taught me. I'm grateful for the freedom I enjoy to express my beliefs, to live in this country, to have liberty and justice in a nation under God. Let us always remember those who have paid the price for our freedoms and live our lives freely in gratitude for their service.
Happy Fourth, everyone!
Live, love and be free.