The day of Rachel's funeral (23 June 2005), I was looking for my locket. I can't remember what I was wearing, but I remember really wishing I could find my lost necklace, a locket my husband Jim had given me. I thought it would look good with my dress that day and I just needed the physical reminder that I was loved. I'd been looking for that locket for several weeks. I hadn't seen it since I came home from Nevada the first time, to go to Girls Camp with my Young Women.
Rachel had been so excited the day Julia and I drove home together that first week of June, 2005. She called us several times asking, "Where are you now? Can't you drive any faster?" We laughed and we all three looked forward to seeing each other again. It had been awhile since we had gone to Boulder City, Nevada to help care for my dying mother-in-law. Rachel's new baby had just been born, and we had missed sharing much of the new baby stuff together. Sure enough, when we drove into our driveway, Rachel was already there and it was hugs all around as Julia and I piled out of the car. What a happy day! She was excited to give me batteries for my birthday. Batteries for the headlamp I had purchased for our family reunion that month.
Then came the week at camp with the Mutual girls and after that was over, we headed back to Boulder City for our reunion. I felt sad that Rachel and her cousin Jeni couldn't come to the reunion that year. I had planned it for months and I was hoping for a huge success, commemorating our family's Boulder City years. Rachel had decided to visit Jeni in northern Nevada instead, opting for the "better part," a quiet celebration with her favorite friend/cousin, who was still recovering from cancer. Just as well. Although there are always good times for me at my family's reunions, there were also many difficulties that year. The weather was unbearably hot, especially for the Idahoans. Even the air at the motel didn't work right. Jim was allergic to the oleanders at the campground and the air in our ancient RV wasn't working either, despite our best efforts. He retreated to his dad's house.
I soldiered on, determined to make everything work. A mouse interrupted my sleep and the days were hot, but the worst night by far was the last night I was there. I never got to the end of that reunion--the grand finale I had planned--attending church on Father's Day as a family with my dad in the ward where he was once the bishop. That night before, my son-in-law called me with the news that Rachel had been killed in a car crash on her way home from Jeni's. She would never receive my last cell phone message, answering her recording about their private cousins' reunion, comparing notes with ours.
Now I was home again in Utah and I still hadn't seen that locket, though I was almost entirely unpacked from the long series of trips. My suitcase was on the love seat in my bedroom though, and on impulse (or inspiration), I reached down into the inside pocket, looking for my second choice necklace to wear. When I pulled it out, it was hooked to something else. My lost locket. I could not believe my eyes. I had looked in that very place, among many others, for that locket, yet there it was. I dissolved in tears and said my thank yous to God. His answer came back to me clearly, "All things will be restored, just as this locket has been. Be at peace. Your daughter will rise again and your love for each other will be renewed."
It is a promise I have never forgotten. It is the same promise I received the first Easter after the August day my mother died. I sang the words, "Death is conquered, man is free. Christ has gained the victory." I saw the picture in my mind of my dear mother rising from her casket and embracing me once more. From that day in 1982 to this Easter in 2011, I rejoice in His message and His good news. "All things will be restored." I know that is true.