I have three totes of journals and photos I have to go through or store, but with the new setup in the office I have been chipping away at it. I’ve scanned more photos in the past few weeks than I had since I started this project four years ago. Andy is our tech guru and has set up backup systems for all of our photos and files on and off sight, but I have a hard time not doing an extra backup with my photos in fear of one of the other fail safes crashing. I started thinking about why I do this. Why do I hold on to things for so long and double backup and scan everything? And I think it has a lot to do with the death of my brother. My deep seeded nostalgia is an attempt to cling to things that have passed. I can learn to let go of certain things as I cling to the hope explained by President Uchtdorf May 2014.

He states, “In the light of what we know about our eternal destiny, is it any wonder that whenever we face the bitter endings of life, they seem unacceptable to us? There seems to be something inside of us that resists endings. Why is this? Because we are made of the stuff of eternity. We are eternal beings, children of the Almighty God, whose name is Endless and who promises eternal blessings without number. Endings are not our destiny. The more we learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we realize that endings here in mortality are not endings at all. They are merely interruptions– temporary pauses that one day will seem small compared to the eternal joy awaiting the faithful. How grateful I am to my Heavenly Father that in His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings.”

This brings a lot of comfort to me. There have been many mortal “endings” I’ve had to endure. I’ve had to face a lot of new beginnings and leave friends, family, even hobbies behind for these new beginnings, but it is a great comfort to know that someday those endings will be irrelevant. That being said, I am happy to state that despite the ending of having new babies, there is the beginning of focusing on raising good children and enjoying that stage more. Despite the ending of Andy’s medical training, our beginning to life after training gets to continue right here, so at least for once we won’t have to start our new beginning by ending close friendships and saying goodbye to our home. Andy and I are beyond excited to continue living in Evans and enjoying the relationships and life we have built here. Of course, we miss our family in Texas and Utah and our friends that are now spread across the US, but we are happy here.

While scanning documents I have had a lot of time to reflect on how far I’ve progressed as a person. Some pictures bring comical memories– some of which were kind of painful at the moment, but now almost twenty years later, they make me laugh. I took so much stock into the dating scene at high school I always asked the wrong guys to dances– some of whom I don’t even remember their names! There is one face in a lot of those pictures that still brings great memories. My dear friend Holly. We were good friends in high school, great friends in college (and roommates for a year), but even with the huge geographical distance between us now, I probably feel closer than ever to her. I’m grateful for modern technology that allows me to keep in touch with distant friends and family. Holly has been a mentor to me in this medical journey (among other things). She’s a few years ahead in the path of training so I could always turn to her and plead with her to tell me that it would get better. She gave me wise words once. She said, “I don’t know if it is easier per se, but I have become stronger and more capable of handling it all.” It is a very true sentiment. There were things that were more challenging in medical school than residency, but emotionally I’ve struggled more in residency. But now that we’re nearing the end (4 more rotations!), I feel more resilient than ever. I have a deeper understanding of who I am and how I can overcome the mental barriers that increase my anxiety or keep me from progressing.

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