Saturday, October 6, 2007

There Were Never Such Devoted Sisters


At 17 months old, I was blessed with a baby sister, a sidekick, a friend for life. Alli and I shared a bedroom until I went to college 17 years later, and when she 
came to BYU the next year,
my friends and I opted to spend another year in on-campus housing at Heritage Halls and she lived in the apartment downstairs. The next year we were back to sharing a room and then we traveled together for a study abroad one summer in Jerusalem (one of the highlights of my life so far.) I left on my mission to Russia in the fall of 1994 and by the time I got home, Alli had already left for her 18 month mission in Honduras. She arrived home shortly before my wedding. Since then, although we have not been roommates, we have remained close friends, talking nearly every day. She insists that she spent the first half of her mission praying that I wouldn't get married while she was gone and the second half praying that I'd find the love of my life and get married when she got home, so she is one of a few people who take the credit for Jared & me falling in love.
Alli has always valued, prized, and looked forward to the divinity of motherhood. I think that perhaps the hardest part for her of being single long past when she expected to be was that she couldn't be a mother. When Kimball was born she was living in Salt Lake City and I in Southern California, but within a year she had relocated, partly because she couldn't stand to be away from him for very long. She was invaluable to me when Henry, our colicky second, was born, especially when I struggled with post partum depression and really felt like I needed support on a daily basis.
When we moved north four and a half years ago, it was a blow to her to realize that she had little control over where our children lived, etc. She had always treated them as if they were her own and I think she really felt that way and was crushed when we felt inspired to move away. I missed her terribly, but you should have seen how my kids missed her--it was as if they had lost one of their two mommies! My heart has ached for her over the years since I became a mother, knowing how much she wanted the life I was living.
Then, a couple of years ago, along came Flint. He treats her with so much love and respect and is most definitely the man she had been waiting for all those years. They married and decided that they wouldn't wait too long to start a family. A miscarriage slowed them down and worried them that their plans might not come to fruition. But happy news! This morning at 3:15 am, their baby Isaac Flint was born!
Yesterday morning I got a call from Allison on her way to her last day of teaching, saying that she was pretty sure that she was in labor. Flint was working up here, so a few minutes later he called me for a ride to the airport. I fell to my knees and asked the Lord to please let him be there with her for the labor and birth of their first baby. Then throughout the day I frequently prayed for them. I know that I can be a worrywart, but when someone I love is in labor I always feel like I need to plead with Our Father for their life and the life of the baby. I guess it's because to deliver a baby we go into the valley of the shadow of death. And I can't imagine anything more awful at a time of joy and hope like the birth of a baby than the loss of the baby or the mother or both of them. I was so relieved and grateful when I got a text message at 3:30 am, telling me that all was well and that Isaac had come.
Allison will finally get to be the mother that she has prepared all her life to be. She has been so wonderful to my children and to her other nieces and nephews. I am so filled with joy and gratitude for this long awaited blessing in her life, and pray that she will find joy and fulfillment as she relishes motherhood.
P.S. (I hate using this blasted laptop. It regularly messes up the formatting and won't let me move pictures around or use multiple photos. Thank goodness our new PC is on its way.)

19 comments:

Macy said...

Hurray! Hurray! Kimmie called to tell me this today. We're so excited for Alli. I was able to bond with her a bit over the "fun" of being an LDS single. So, so excited for her. I loved reading this post. Very sweet.

Rebecca said...

Yes, I agree...what a great tribute to a sister. I have two older sisters and they are my best friends. Congratulations to Allison and Flint. So, how many Johnson babies is that so far this year...three?

Michal said...

macy,
thanks. isn't it great to have all that behind you now? it's crazy how quickly life can change, especially when you have a baby. i'll pass along the love.

Michal said...

rebecca,
that actually makes four grandkids this year for my mom. bronwen, lydia (martin's), scotty (tyler's), and isaac (alli's). crazy, eh? she went from having five grandkids in january to having nine today. not bad for one year. and i methinks that the johnsons are just taking off. :)

Melissa said...

I am so happy for Alli and Flint. Alli will make an amazing mother! Congrats on being a new aunt...again!

Anonymous said...

Michal,
If Alli follows your example as a mother she will be one of the best!

Love,
Papa

Anonymous said...

Alli looks so beautiful! (why can't I look that good after giving birth?) I am so happy for her, she deserves the very best that life has to offer. I was just thinking about her the other day and remembering how much I like having her for an "office neighbor". Please pass along my congratulations and very best wishes!
--Jana
P.S. Thank you for your kind words that you posted on my blog entry - it made me cry!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful start to a family... It looks like motherhood is fitting well..She looks great its hard to believe she was in labor..
Mandy

Mahina said...

congratulations to alli! my mom sent me some pictures that she got from your mom. the baby is so cute!

sisters are wonderful, aren't they? though malia and i are several years apart in age, we are still very close! we didn't share rooms or school experiences together because of the age difference, but now we have become the best of friends. i can only pray and hope that our girls share the same special relationship as we do!

david mcmahon said...

Would it be all right for us to share in your joy and pride?

We're family, after all ....

Michal said...

melissa,
you're right about her being an amazing mom. she has been in training for a long time.

Michal said...

jana,
you're right! i forgot to mention that alli came to work at our office after she graduated from byu. we even had the same first job after college!
we both miss you. i don't get to utah often enough any more:(. i'll pass along your love.
and thank you for being an inspiration to all of us and for sharing that post about breast cancer.

Michal said...

dad,
you are such a sweetie, and have always treated me like i'm your real life daughter and not an in-law. thanks for believing in me, even when i'm not so sure myself.

Michal said...

mandy,
it does suit her. she always was the photogenic one. not me--i close my eyes in most pictures and have my mouth open (talking, naturally) in the others.

Michal said...

mahina,
yes, sisters are the best. i feel badly for bronwen that she doesn't have one (at least not yet--the jury's still out on future babies.) i can't imagine my life without a sis.
i'm sure that your girls will grow up to be the best of friends.

Michal said...

david,
thanks for sharing in our joy and pride. you have such a gift for relishing other people's blessings.

Morgan said...

Hooray!! Please pass along our congratulations. We are so happy for them : )
xoxoh

Deborah Gamble said...

Michal,

I know I should be happy about the new baby and all - and I am - but I'm really jealous you went Study Abroad to Jerusalem. I mean REALLY JEALOUS! I took 3 years of Hebrew at BYU - but never went to Israel. Did I mention how REALLY jealous I am?

Anonymous said...

Michal,

First, thank you for your blogging. It allows me to keep up with the wonderful life of my dear friend.
I am so happy for Alli. Jana and I had lunch the other day. I always think of my friends from the "cubicle days". She waited so long. It is so wonderful to hear how happy she is. Please send my love and best wishes.
--Susan