Sunday, September 19, 2010

Zoe; My Sister, My Friend

I have neglected writing this because I have been nervous to revisit the pain of the last couple weeks, but I have felt a desire, a need to share some things that I loved so deeply about Zoe. I've been reflecting a lot about Zoe, her life, the impact she had on my life and I never want to forget. There were so many qualitites Zoe had that made her who she was. After spending the last week with her family, I have understood more where some of these qualities came from. Here are a few things that I just loved about Zoe:

  • She always gave us her opinion. It took the Nates a while to get used to his one, but we grew to love and appreciate her honesty. I was always so excited to show Zoe anything I had bought or done because I knew she would be completely honest with me.

  • She loved animals. She had a dog that we all thought of as a nuisance, but she loved her and took such good care of her. She rescued a few animals in town and found them a home.

  • She was always working on a home-improvement project. She has gallons of paint lined up in her house, waiting for her next project. She didn't paint anything the way most of the rest of us do it either. She had her own quirky way of doing it and I loved it! In her house right now, there are like 4 different colors of paint on her bathroom wall. She would always paint several strips of paint on walls throughout her house until she found the right shade. Then she would gradually work on it every day until it was finally finished several weeks later!:)

  • She's famous around Cokeville for her driving. People got used to pulling over when they saw her gold van drive down the street! No, she wasn't that bad, but she had to be pulled out of a few snow banks and it was always an adventure to travel with Zoe.

  • She had a love of all peoploe, regardless of age or circumstance. She had some of the most unlikely friends; age, race, religion didn't matter to her. She could be a friend and see the good in everyone.

  • She loved to socialize. She wouldn't just run into The Store for a quick gallon of milk. She would stay and visit for a few minutes. She would do the same when she went to the diner or when she delivered her Allison's Pantry orders.

  • She had beautiful, flawless skin. She wore little make-up, but she didn't need to. She had the most beautiful green eyes and when she would get dressed up, she was stunning.

  • She didn't always keep her house spotless (not because she wasn't capable--she had the cleanest house in town when she dug in), but it's because she was always playing with the kids, reading to them, traveling with Kevin, spending time with all of us. What wisdom that was as she had such a short time to nourish those relationships.

  • Her accent was pretty much gone in her everyday conversation other than a few English phrases she always used, but whenever she talked to her family on the phone her accent was so thick. I loved being around when she was talking to her mom or sisters!

  • Everyone knows how much my family loves to support the athletic programs in Cokeville. Well, Zoe was always right there with us, but for different reasons. She was always worried she had missed the cheerleaders dance.:)

  • She loved England and would often tell us of the many things that were better in England. She loved to visit her family and really loved her homeland.

  • She loved the elderly. She served my grandma Perkins so much before she passed away and that was her nature.

  • She used to research everything before she would buy it or do it. She researched for hours before she planted her little garden, before she bought a car seat for the kids, etc.

  • She was a very generous person. She would've given money or food to anyone if she knew they needed it, and she did to several people.

  • She had a testimony of the gospel. She had tremendous faith to join the church, leave her family in England, and move to America to be with Kev. As we tidied up the house for her family to come stay this last week, it was apparent that the gospel was a part of her everyday life.

  • She was my best friend, my sister. I saw her nearly every day. She spent so much time in our home and we did nearly everything together. Whenever I needed to go out of town for something, Zoe would go with me. I could talk to her about anything. She would always pop in and say she only had a minute and then several hours later, she would finally gather up the kids and go home. I cherish those times. Lori was telling me this last week that I need a "Sarah" in my life (Sarah is the name of her good friend in Kaysville). What she meant was that I needed someone I could talk to about anything, someone who could step in and take care of my kids on a moment's notice, someone who could take my husband cupcakes from me if I happened to be out of town for his birthday. I simply said, "Zoe was my Sarah." And she was. I miss her so deeply every day. She was such a huge part of my life. The pain I have felt over the last two weeks has been the far greatest pain I have ever experienced, but my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ has been strengthened so much. When I felt I could bear the pain no more, through the power of the priesthood and through the Atonement of Christ, I was able to feel peace and understanding. I don't have all of the answers, but I have come to an understanding that whatever mission the Lord has for her on the other side is very important, so imortant that He felt it necessary to take her from her husband and two children for a short time. Our family has always been very close, but through this trial, we have been strengthened so much and have grown so much closer. It has been two weeks full of the most tremendous pain, but two weeks full of the most sacred spiritual experiences we have shared as a family. I know there are many tough days ahead, but after my experiences the last couple weeks, I cannot deny the power of the priesthood, that through the Atonement our pain can be taken away, that the plan of salvation is real, that the Comforter is real, and that if I live worthily, I will see my sister, my best friend again.