As I walked from my office to the train station to take the 5:05 home, I saw a life snapshot evolve right in front of me.
You know, those moments you pray your mind will keep in excellent condition because of its perfection.
A boy in a red stripped shirt, and another in a grey t-shirt ran to a man exiting the platform heading toward them. They reached him, and the two boys who were no older than 7, embraced the legs of their father. He held them tightly for several moments. The boys walked back to the mother who was holding an infant in her arms, proudly showing off their father as if they alone were responsible for the joyous reunion.
The man stopped, looked at his wife and gingerly touched the newborn. The young boys bounced on the balls of their feet, the excitement threatening to overwhelm their tiny frames. Tenderly, the father looked into his wife’s eyes, kissed her forehead, and held her and their new baby.
The scene was so tender, I felt like an intruder watching and looked away.
As I walked onto the platform, I wiped a tear away from my eye.
This is what life is all about.
I thought of my own family.
It’s small. There’s just the two of us. And we haven’t been the “two of us” for very long.
But I have learned deep and poignant lessons about the power of love twice in my life now: on my mission and in my marriage.
And how grateful I am for both of them.
I met Eric Whitlock three years ago in a stake center basketball court. I don’t remember this. But Eric assures me that this is the truth.
We were friends for a long time. And I never thought much about it.
Until I did.
I fell in love with Eric when he apologized for not texting me back because he was in the temple.
I fell in love with Eric when he didn’t kiss me when the opportunity presented itself even though he wanted to.
I fell in love with Eric when he beat me in almost every single arcade game at The Craze.
I fell in love with Eric when we cried together for the first time in his old Toyota Corolla on a nameless street in Sugar City.
I fell in love with Eric when he held my hand in the Rexburg temple and we decided to get married.
I fell in love with Eric when he put his arms around me and let my weep, recalling dark memories of my past.
I fell in love with Eric dancing to no music underneath an almost full moon in the dugout of the baseball field in Midway, Utah.
I fell in love with Eric as we sat in an office in the Mesa Temple and signed our marriage certificate.
I fell in love with Eric as we cut our wedding cake.
I fall more in love with Eric every day as he teaches me what it means to truly love someone.
I cannot say enough about this good man.
We disagree about the optimum length of my bangs, the “right” Instagram filter, when to change lanes and the components of a funny YouTube video. But what we have is real. It’s love.
And we are a family.
I thought a lot about this as I boarded the 5:05 and took the short ride to my stop.
Moments like that are the very definition of life.
I heard a rumor that somewhere in the MTC there is a plaque that reads: “Missionaries leave their families for two years so other people can be with their family forever.”
This concept penetrated me. That’s why I served. So that everyone could forever have moments dancing under the almost full moon and hugging on a train station platform.
And then I thought about my own family again.
One day it will be three. And maybe four. And maybe more.
Eric and I will teach them the things we testified of in Montana. And will forever.