Jenny's blog

A Day in the Life of a Relief Society President: Feeling RS’d

Today has been a long day — emotionally draining in almost every way.

I started out behind. Without Jared here, I was getting the kids ready for school by myself. I tried to get through my scripture reading this morning, but dd needed help with her piano practice. Worked on that, and then it was time for family scriptures and go to school.

CONFESSION: I took the kids to school wearing my jammies and no bra this morning. Yes, that’s how we roll at the RS president’s house.

I had 3 appointments this morning to do video interviews with sisters for the Enrichment activity we are having Thursday, so I called the first, Nichole S, to tell her I was running behind. I took a shower and headed out, 30 minutes late. I couldn’t remember which apartment Nichole lived in and knocked on several doors before I finally recognized her place by the flowers on the back porch. Had a really nice visit with her. I love her daughter, Madison.

Went to appointment number two, with Susan P. She had so much good information to share — I ended up writing notes and will use her analogy about dieting and scripture study in my talk on Thursday.

Number 3 was a new sister, Crystal M. What a sweet woman! You’d never guess the strain she’s under from her children and extended family. I think I wear my problems right on the end of my nose. She is fantastic.

I got home and called the Bishop to remind him to contact a family that was needing some support. Their mother, also in the ward, is losing a battle with leukemia and they were facing some very difficult decisions over the weekend. Bp says we’ve got 2 more families moving in. One near here, and the other is a special situation. Probably confidential at this point.

After talking with Bishop, I researched last stages of death and dying in case we were dealing with those problems later. It’s difficult to read it all. And it sounded like our sister was already beginning the early stages of dying. One article did stand out as being exceptionally well written:

and this article from the same website might be useful reference someday as well:

It’s about helping families begin the planning process.

I did the dishes while I was on the phone with the Bishop, and then finished them while I talked to my dad (he called 3x, I answered 1x). He says there’s potentially something wrong with my DAR application. I’m not sure if I care at this point. It’s seeming to me like the DAR is just a bunch of old women coming up with obscure rules to exclude others to keep their organization exclusive. It’s not like I’m not related to a dozen or so of these patriots, as proved decades back by g-aunt and gma, who were members. So silly.

Anyway, I called him because I was looking for information on the Mississippi Saints. I remembered he wrote a history, and I was going to use it as “spiritual thought” for our Welfare meeting Sunday. We got a new Elders Quorum president who is from Mississippi, so with me (also from MS) and the high priest group leader (who is married to a woman from MS), I figure we Mississippi Saints outnumber the outsiders now :) I’m going to say something like, “Contrary to popular belief, the best leadership in the Church comes from Mississippi, not BYU, as some would have us believe….” Bishop is World’s Biggest BYU Fan. It should be fun. And it’ll help keep the meeting light. I have a feeling it may get heavy this week.

At any rate, did a little research online on the MS saints, and then got a call from a sister saying her mother-in-law had passed away. When her father-in-law passed away, they had the memorial service in our ward and then took the body elsewhere for burial. It’s sounding like they want to do that again, and that they want me to prepare the body (mom was temple endowed). I’m more than happy to do any thing they need me to do. I will admit to being a little nervous about dressing a body, but I know we have other women in the ward who have done it and will help. It’s still a little scary tho.

Called Bishop, at her request, to let him know the situation with the family. He is out of town until Saturday, first counselor is in Africa, so it’s going to be 2nd counselor, who has recently suffered several deaths in his family.

Anyway, was just about to call the VTers to let them know, when I checked my email and got a message from the best friend of the sister who is ill with leukemia, saying that she was coming home, moving to Richmond, and going into hospice care. I love both of these women so much, not as RS president, but because they both rock. They are gmas in the ward with fantastic senses of humor, and I love them. It’s so hard to see them making such painful decisions. I put their names in the temple last week. Gosh.

Anyway, I called Leukemia gma to talk to her. She was straightforward about the situation and only a little emotional. She says it’s been hardest to talk her children into letting her give up the chemo. I would have made the same decision she is, but if I were her child, I would have fought her on the decision, just like her children are. It’s so hard. We will miss her while she’s in Richmond. I hope she recovers enough to visit us here again.

Anyway, emailed Bp. to let him know, but I won’t call since I know that he will be talking to the family tonight anyway as per my first phone call with him.

So I’m halfway through calling all the VTers to let them know about the moving sister and the mother-in-law who passed, when I got a call from the Enrichment Night leader with some questions about our activity. I’m on the phone with her, when my kids come home. DD is her usual perky self, but DS is clearly upset. Got off the phone, and talked to DS. He starts bawling, and tells me that his best friend from last year, who he’s been looking for at lunch and recess since school started, has moved. Apparently he was so upset his teacher noticed and sent him to talk to the school counselor. There, he wrote a letter to be passed on to his friend (I doubt this will occur for confidentiality reasons, but did not mention it and never will) and cried. Poor kid. Anyway, we’re working through this, while I’m fielding calls from the VTers and the Enrichment Night Leader.

So I’m just feeling tired. I’ve been spiritual (video interviews), sad (death), prideful (MS Saints), and sad again (more death, sad child). It makes me want to cry myself, but so far I’m together.

And now it’s time to cook dinner.

These kind of days only come when Jared is gone. :)

Posted by Jenny Smith

I'm Jenny Smith. I blog about life on the 300+ acres of rolling farmland in Northern Virginia where I live. I like tomatoes, all things Star Trek, watercolor, and reading. I spend most days in the garden fighting deer and groundhogs while trying to find my life's meaning. I'm trying to be like Jesus -- emphasis on the trying.