Alvin is still in the hospital, and in fact, still in IMC (Intermediate Care.) He’s been in the hospital so much over the last two years that he doesn’t handle the confinement well. He’s getting pretty ancy and so we went for a walk. We found a little balcony and we were able to step out of the hospital atmosphere for just a moment and bask in the late fall sun. We enjoyed it so much, and the simple pleasure of enjoying the warmth God has provided for us, as well as the crispness of the air and the trees turning gold, yellow, orange and red was invigorating. After a few moments Alvin became chilled (there’s a new one) and we headed back inside the hospital. We stopped in the waiting area of the 2nd Floor IMC and decided to sit and watch a little television there. Saints at War was on KBYU and we settled into listen to the Mormon men talk about their captivity during World War II and the horrible conditions, even atrocities, they suffered.
As they shared experiences of small kindnesses, finding one another in prison camps and more, something amazing happened. They choked up as they spoke of these things and then each began to speak of that moment in time when they learned Hitler and his armies had been defeated and the war was over.
One sweet man spoke of seeing the white flag with the big black swastika fall to the ground and the American Flag being raised. As Old Glory caught in the breeze, the tears began to flow down the faces of the American soldiers. As veteran after veteran spoke of this moment, joy literally exploded from their faces, smiles wide and tears sparkling. Some raised their arms, reliving that moment of freedom and unrestrained joy. The symbol of freedom, the American flag, made a very real moment more beautiful for men who had paid so much in the fight for freedom.
Imagine, if you can, the day we burst through the veil between this world and the next and we lay eyes on the faces of loved ones, possibly even the Savior. The joy these veterans felt at the surcease of their suffering must be only a fraction of that joy that will envelop us at that moment.
Just for a moment, in a hospital waiting room with my husband by my side, I had an epiphany, an actual realization of what that moment will feel like. I cannot wait to kneel before my Savior, with my husband, and finally be reunited with Him. Can anyone imagine that I would not give my all, everything I say and do, to be treated to that moment of freedom. That moment when I realize I have successfully passed my second estate (“And they who keep their first estate [the spirit estate in which we then were] shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate [this estate where we are, this mortal period] shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.” (Marion G. Romney, “We Are Children of God,” Ensign, Sep 1984, 3) and have returned to the presence of our Lord God Jesus Christ.