Happiness

By Vic - 7:58 PM

Happiness. Today I thought about a few occasions where I was so happy, where I felt such joy that I felt like the spirit came up and said to me, "I'm here because you are so happy I have to stand next to you or you will explode." And those moments became etched in my memory and I can see exactly where I was and what I saw on those occasions.

One was on my mission. It was zone conference at Christmas time with several zones. We enjoyed a spiritual feast followed by a fantastic Argentine lunch. We were doing a silly story about Santa Claus and missionaries-- different groups of us had to do little actions and say different things whenever the story teller said a specific word. My group had to say Ho Ho Ho every time the story teller said Santa Claus. Somewhere in all of that I looked around the church gym and saw my friends, my brothers & sisters, my fellow laborers, and I knew that I was so blessed and I felt such joy that the sight is forever etched in my mind.

The next was about a year after my mission. I was in college and life was going well. I was dating a girl that I was in love with. I was working as an insurance agent and had tripled the sales in the office I managed. I felt so at home in Arizona and it seemed like my life was perfect. I was driving my $1400 dollar Nissan Stanza East on the Superstition freeway at the end of a good day of work, all by myself, listening to the radio and I realized that I was so blessed and life so good and I felt such joy that I will always remember driving that day on the Superstition Freeway.

The last moment was six weeks ago. I was at home with Molly and Lucy. I work as an attorney for a law firm that I love and feel like I am able to do good things for people. We had just moved into our new place here in Park City, and it was exciting to be here and have new paint and new walls and space. I could hear the loves of my life playing and laughing. I am a father and a husband, a blessing I had desired to have for many years and I realized that I was so blessed and life so good, my daughter and my wife so beautiful and wonderful, and I felt such joy that I will always remember walking from the kitchen towards the dining room and my girls.


They are kind of odd moments I think. Almost random. Driving down the freeway? Really? Perhaps more than moments of happiness and joy they were moments when the spirit yelled at me [with a still small voice], “yes you are right, you are so happy and you are so blessed, and there is more, this is only a taste, the beginning of so much more to come. Oh, and trust me, you won't explode from happiness and joy”.

Of course, I do not feel like that today. But I thought about those moments today, and they are etched into my mind and soul. I don't know what raising Lucy after the resurrection will be like. Will she be so smart and advanced that I won't be able play hide and go seek, or make her laugh with my Donald Duck impression? There are so many details I don't know.

During the long years I dated, wanting to get married, feeling alone, yearning for the blessing of being a husband and father, seeing my friends get married and begin raising families, I worried that time was passing me by and that I was missing out. After I married Molly, I realized my worries had been a waste of time, all the heartache disappeared almost as if it had never been.

I will miss Lucy for the rest of my mortal sojourn. But I have enjoyed a lot of happiness in my life. I have had those moments I felt I would explode I was so filled with joy. I hope I will have more. I suspect that on resurrection morning, when my blessings will be so overpoweringly obvious, when I will have my Lucy, Molly, and many other loved ones there with me, these odd moments I attempted to describe will seem like a candle in the sunshine. I can't help but think that these mortal moments of mourning will disappear as if they had never been. That as Neal A. Maxwell said, "Righteous sorrow and suffering carve cavities in the soul, that will become later, reservoirs of joy."

The hope does not erase the pain, but it reminds me to be patient so that I can make it to eternal happiness. I appreciate the chance to share these thoughts in a semi-formal setting, because it forces me to bring together my thoughts and feelings and gives the spirit a chance to tell me once more, IT IS TRUE. I hope you know it too.

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30 Loving Lines

  1. Vic,
    My heart still breaks a little every day for you and then I am reminded of how much the Lord loves all of us and how much strength he gives us through the Atonement and how you and Molly are an example of that strength to me. Your family is a part of our daily prayers. May the lord bless you daily.
    Jamie

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  2. What beautiful words. Thank you so much for sharing, from a friend of a friend (Mindy Lilyquist), who has been checking in on you periodically. Your words and strength help even perfect strangers.

    I pray the Lord may continue to bless you with the strength and peace He has to offer.

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  3. Vic--thank you for this post! It caused me to stop and think of some of my *happy moments* and also some of my most hearbreaking--thank you for sharing some of yours with us & as always your testimony of the Plan. Still thinking of you both daily. loveyou!

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  4. Deep Thoughts by Victor Michael Jackson, and all I can say is Wow, and Thanks.
    You and Molly make we want to strive to be a better person. I am so glad that Molly has you, and that you have Molly. What a remarkable pair. It's true, the small things in life are what brings us true happiness.

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  5. I do not know you...I just happened on your blog about the time your precious daughter passed away. I prayed for her as multitudes of others did. Now I come here once in a while to feel your spirit and to love you both for a minute. You both have such strong testimonies! I love to read your postings and my testimony has grown through all of your hard times. Stay close to Heavenly Father and I you know that the lives you are touching for good are countless. You are both amazing people and I am grateful you are here and that you are sharing the gospel in such a beautiful way! My prayers are with you! Terry

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  6. Hi Vic: It's interesting to see how people react differently to your difficult circumstances; sorry for not commenting more- kind of a painful thing to do I guess. If our experiences color our lives your book will wind up a vibrant one. Thanks for your honesty. -Jason

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  7. Molly,
    This is Chante, I'm praying you remember me from the BYU singles ward in Provo (I'm horrible and can't even remember the name of my old apartment!)...But I fell in love with you and Sara and went to Lake Powell with you guys. It's funny because just two weeks ago you crossed my mind and I kept thinking I wish I would have stayed in contact with you guys. You had such an impact on my life!
    I came across your blog through someone else's blog and I'm devastated by your loss...but SO deeply touched my you and your husbands testimonies. You both have the divine qualities of faith and hope that I strive for daily. So thank you for sharing your deep thoughts. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  8. Molly,
    This is Chante, I'm praying you remember me from the BYU singles ward in Provo (I'm horrible and can't even remember the name of my old apartment!)...But I fell in love with you and Sara and went to Lake Powell with you guys. It's funny because just two weeks ago you crossed my mind and I kept thinking I wish I would have stayed in contact with you guys. You had such an impact on my life!
    I came across your blog through someone else's blog and I'm devastated by your loss...but SO deeply touched my you and your husbands testimonies. You both have the divine qualities of faith and hope that I strive for daily. So thank you for sharing your deep thoughts. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  9. You do not know me personally-I came upon your blog through a friend of a friends that I follow BUT I am grateful to you for the strength you have shared. I am sitting on my couch, late at night in northern california with my heart aching and my tears falling for you both. I pray that in my life I can have 1/2 of the courage, testimony and strength the two of you have. So from one stranger to another....I am praying for your family, for your peace and comfort. Thank you for sharing your personal thoughts-it's making a world of difference in so many people's lives. YOU ARE STRENGTHENING US ALL!

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  10. None of your "happy moments" had anything to do with things - just people. People who love you as much as you love them.

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  11. Vic--
    I love Elder Maxwell's quote. He said something very similar in his talk, "Apply the Atoning Blood of Christ." He said, "If endured well now, 'all these things' can be for our good and can 'greatly enlarge the soul,' including an enlarged capacity for joy (D&C 122:7; 121:42). Meek suffering often does the excavating necessary for that enlarging!" Hang on to that future joy. I hope it heals your hearts. You and Molly are always in our thoughts and in our prayers. You are simply amazing.
    Jennifer

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  12. Vic-thank you for your testimony. I feel so comforted reading it. I loved Neal A. Maxwell's quote-I need to print that out and remember it. -Jenny

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  13. I have been following your story from afar and been saddened by the situation you are facing and inspired by the faith, hope, and charity with which you are facing it. I am a young lawyer with a young daughter and it is easy to imagine my family in a similar circumstance. This post reminded me of a few choice moments in my life when I also felt the Spirit in much the same way you describe; as a missionary, as a husband, as a father. I feel in those moments that I have recieved a crystal clear drop of knowledge and joy that will never leave me. Remembering those times has given me perspective and, while not alleviating the suffering of dark times, has tempered that suffering and changed it into "joyful suffering"; the kind of suffering that is accompanied by a deep appreciation for the Atonement and the blessings we can enjoy because of the Suffering of Christ. I feel a lot of that joyful suffering from your family as I read your blog. I would love to be a fly on the wall at the reuniting of your family.

    http://www.bycommonconsent.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/veil.jpg

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  14. I love this post. I try to think about all the reasons I still have Joy in my life.
    I love the way you added the links to your blog. Fellow angels is perfect. Sending love.

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  15. That was beautiful and very inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings.
    It made me take a few moments and really think about the times that I have felt that way. It's good to think of those times.

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  16. Vic,
    I feel your pain. My husband and I lost our 14 month old baby girl in a drowning accident just under 2 weeks ago. I have 3 older daughters. I have been doing alot of thinking since about raising my little Camille after the resurrection. The day after my Camille died, her 5 year old older sister would not put on her "big sister" shirt when she was getting dressed. She said she was not a big sister anymore because Camille was dead. I told her, and I believe this is true, that when Camille is resurrected she will be in her 14 month old body and will have the same personality and capabilities that she did when she died. Someone will have to teach her to walk and talk and read and tell a good knock knock joke. I am sure each of her sisters will have a hand in teaching her those things. Just as I am sure that she will be teaching them a thing or two as they grow up on this earth. I have every confidence that the words of Joseph F Smith, who lost 9 children himself, are true when he said that we will have a far better experience raising our children after the resurrection than we ever could have had now. We are invested in our future now.

    I loved your post today about the overflowing with joy moments. I too have had many. The one I look forward to now is our distant heavenly family reunion. No doubt the aching longing we will feel in the coming years will only make the joy of that reunion even more joyful than it otherwise would be.

    May the Lord (and Lucy) be with you always.
    Stephanie
    www.adailyscoop.blogspot.com

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  17. My prayer for both of you at this time is that you will have true happiness and feel joy again in this life on Earth. Still heart-broken...love you.

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  18. Vic and Molly,

    I have never had the chance to meet you. I am a friend of Jessica Beans and came across your blog through hers. I have been honored to read your thoughts. They have inspired me and humbled me. I have been on my knees praying for you and your family. Thank you for being so brave and for sharing. Families are forever.

    Sincerely,
    Jenifer McAninch

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  19. Molly and Vic
    Greg and I only visited w/you for a few minutes the other night at the Flint's home, but I think about you daily. Your entire blog is poetry (makes mine look silly).Even before I knew this tradgedy had happened to you, I saw pain in your eyes. I believe, with time, joy will return.
    Keep praying, and believing. Even though you are temporarily separated, the three of you are still in a really good place.

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  20. Vic, thanks for being able to post this ...I actually had to start over and read it again, because until you got to the part of "I was dating a girl that I was in love with" I had thought I was reading a Molly Post.
    I have felt those moments...and they do stand out in such vibrancy. You are such a wonderful man. I love you.

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  21. Vic and Molly,
    I have a sister in Heber and heard of your situation through a friend through a friend you know how it goes, first of all you are two of the most amazing people, what wonderful parents you are.I have really hesitated leaving a comment, worried about saying the wrong thing etc. But I am left with no choice, I worked in an emergency room for 5 yrs and witnessed many very sad things, I don't know if it is that sweet smile or spirit of Lucy's I feel just by hearing of her and seeing her cute pictures. Or the fact that I have a little girl just 4 months younger than your little Lucy. But regardless I have not been able to keep you out of my thoughts and prayers. And strange enough, you were the reason I started my blog. After reading all the little things about Lucy, I felt I needed to do the same. I cannot imagine what your going through. I pray that you will find some comfort and peace. You have made me want to be a better mother, and person. what happy memories you've made with Lucy her short sweet time on earth. So many times these past couple weeks I have let dishes sit, and phone calls wait to read a book with my kids or do something a little more meaningful, what a special girl to have changed so many lives not by her death, but by her LIFE. There is such a sweet something about her, well, your her parents you know what I'm talking about. It is so strange to feel so much love and pain for people you have never even met, You are amazing, your testimonies admirable and your strengh unbelievable! In my thoughts and prayers -Becca

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  22. You do not know me...I just happened on your blog...but oh how my heart breaks for your family! I have cried so many tears and will be saying as many prayers for you!

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  23. I don't know if you saw this already on Baby Camille's page but I listened to it, it is beautiful and I just wanted to be sure you were able to hear it
    In less than an hour (title)
    http://cdbaby.com/cd/csteele2

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  24. Dearest Vic & Molly -
    After being out of town and away from the convenience of the Internet for a week, I was anxious to catch up on your blog last night. Your words of testimony are an amazing strength to me followed by faith building posts from your friends and even from people you have not actually met in this mortality. I think of all three of you daily, continue to pray for you and relish the moments with little Weston more so now than ever before.

    Please carry on and continue to share your insight and wisdom so all of your brothers & sisters here on earth can continue to learn, grow and develop our testimonies of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I do know it's true.

    ~Much Love and Thanks

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  25. Vic-that was very touching and very well thought out. I hope that you both feel joy and happiness again soon. I love reading your blog. It brings me closer to the things that matter the most in life. I am still praying for you and Molly every night. Take care-Adriane

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  26. Wow Vic. That was amazing. Even more amazing is those little moments etched into your soul. I was trying to think if I had some of those...those moments that pop out. Maybe insignifant in scope, but where the spirit screamed joy.

    Thanks for making me reflect...as always, you and Molly are teaching us all with your spiritual insight. You have come from a place many of us may not know -- which gives you more wisdom to share. Thank you.
    Mindy Lilyquist

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  27. I find it ironic, that Eve started our journey on earth with an apple. Lucy seems to have started a jouney for you, also with an apple. Thanks for your honesty. We love you both. Your Dads poem was comforting. Love you both,Marlene MOm

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  28. Molly,

    I was up in Provo with Brandalee Bluth and she told me of your loss. I'm so sorry. Nicole Bell told me about your blog and I am amazed and inspired by the strength of you and your husband. I wasn't sure if I should comment but I want to thank you for sharing your thoughts and testimonies.

    All my love,

    Kelly Fotheringham Albright

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  29. So beautiful Vic. I hate thinking that your loss and sharing it with us strangers has inspired us. I know you did not set out for it to be that way but it is an inspiring story of love and loss. I know the Lord is mindful of us even though we go through joy AND pain in this life. I lost my husband and parents all within 7 months. My world stopped for a while but life goes on. Eighteen months later, I became a grandmother with my little grandson, a daughter-in-law, and my son living with me and being a big part my life. With all my loss, I could not dream I would be so blessed afterward. I know on that "perfect day" everything will be as it should be. We will all be together with our families and the things that were so hard in this life will be quickly forgotten. I asked my mother about pain and suffering. She said, "it is much like childbirth. The pain is so excrutiating but then....they hand you this perfect little baby and all the pain and the 9 months of suffering is over and forgotten in that instant." I hope that is what the resurrection day will be like. Everything hard that we have gone through will be forgotten in an instant. Your wife is an amazing person as you are too. Your little children are so darling and precious. I hope life brings you lots of happiness, even though you are missing and longing for your beautiful Lucy. The love never ends!!

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