Friday, May 5, 2017

Lunch With Lari

I had the most lovely experience this week.  The beautiful lady on the right was a very close high school friend of my mother's.  Her name is Lari Lybbert Dirkmaat and they went to Olympus High School together, where they reportedly had tons of fun and regularly had to decide whether to "go get ice cream together or commit some heinous crime!"
Shortly after high school they went there separate ways.  She went to the University of Utah and my mom went to BYU where she married my dad and they were off in the military.  Lari also traveled the world and lived abroad, including the Middle East for many years.  Over the years since our mom died, she has sent us notes about our mom and shared pictures she had of her.  I always appreciated it so much when such little messages would arrive.  It was like getting a piece of mom back.

She now lives in North Carolina and was back in Utah to celebrate her mother's 90th birthday.  She offered to take my sister and I to lunch.  I am having trouble finding the words to describe how much good it did my heart to be with her.  It was like being with mom.  She was so much fun.  So, so funny and charismatic.  She had us in stitches many times over.  She told us stories of our mom in high school-- drive by stalkings of the boy she liked.  Putting orange barricade cones on the front lawn of a tall blonde boy whom she liked, but probably didn't know she existed.  She gave us advice in the same spirit our mom would have.  We felt her love for us because she loved our mom.  She told us how she blames her love of skin care products on our Grandma, Beth Clark (my mom's mom), because she was the first one to give her a skin care kit.  How she liked how classy my grandparents were because they collected real art.
Over the years we have missed our mom so much.  It's been sixteen years and while you never get over losing a parent, you do learn to cope.  After a while you get used to the new normal.  You don't hurt all the time.  You adapt, and in some ways, you don't know what your missing.  We've gotten accustomed to life without mom here.  But to be around Lari was a reminder of what we're missing.

 However, it didn't hurt.  It felt good. It made our hearts happy because it felt a little bit like getting to have a lunch with our mom after sixteen years of missing her.
Heavenly Father knows what heartaches we will experience in life, but in his mercy he puts in place tender mercies to ease the pain that is inevitable.  How could my mom have known when she forged this friendship as a teenager, the blessing it would someday be for her daughters?  I'm so happy my mom was the kind of woman who had such an impact on those around her, that after however many years of separation, Lari loved her enough to seek out Brig and I and want to spend time reminiscing her friendship with mom.  You never know how the good you do may come back to bless you.

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