18 years ago I married the man of my dreams. I was 18 years old and living the life I had planned on since I was a little girl. Jake and I were so in love. We were married and sealed for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. It never occurred to me that I was too young to get married and start a family. It felt natural and right. I wanted to spend my entire life with Jake and wanted it to start as soon as possible.
After just 4 months of marriage I found out that we were expecting our first baby. I was only 19 when Jax was born…almost 20. Jake often teased me that I added to the teen pregnancy statistics for Utah. We started our family quickly and added to it in the same manner. I never thought twice about it. We prayed continually about following God’s will in our lives and tried hard to do what was right. We loved our kids and wanted a big family.
When Jake died after 7 1/2 years of marriage, and 2 weeks after the conception of our 4th baby it was clear. We never felt like we were in a rush, but we were. We had a lot of life to live in a very short time. We had 8 years and 3 days from our first date to our last day on earth. We needed to establish a loving marriage, and a stable foundation for our family. We also needed to bring 4 souls into this world. I know with all my heart that Jacob Jr. was the last thing Jake needed to accomplish in this life. When that was done, so was he. His mission on earth was fulfilled and he was called back home to start a new mission. We were left here to pick up the pieces and figure out how to continue living with out the love of our lives. This was not part of my plan…but it was the life we were meant to live.
At first thought it breaks my heart that we only celebrated 7 anniversaries together. It makes me sad that our time together was so short. After serious reflection I realize that we have celebrated 18 years together. Our relationship has continued to grow. My love for him has grown as I know his love for me has as well. Jake has been in my heart now for half of my lifetime. He has loved me and filled my soul with his love. I have loved him, cared for him, grieved for him, remembered him, and thanked God for him everyday. Our bodies may have only experienced 8 years together, but our minds, hearts, and souls have known each other for far longer than that.
I am so grateful for everyday I had with Jake. The blessing of eternal life and eternal families is our greatest blessing. I know Jake has watched over us for all these years and will continue to. I am so grateful for that and for the knowledge the gospel of Jesus Christ gives us.
Happy Anniversary Jake! I will always love you!