There has definitely been a lot of change over two years. I am now the mother of a college student, a 16 year old driver who wears make up instead of braces, a confident middle schooler, and a baby who is turning ten years old. The most recent (and painful) adjustment has been Josh venturing out into the dangerous world of Provo, Utah. Just as I was getting used to only five people around the dinner table, or five piles of folded laundry; I find myself once again mourning the empty spots.
But reflecting on the past two years, many things have remained the same. We still live in our beautiful house in San Clemente, that thanks to kind hearted neighbors and friends remains intact, clean, and functioning. The treehouse Kevin built in our front yard is still visited daily by little explorers, and miraculously, all of Kevin’s koi are still alive, despite my complete negligence. The love and support of a community continues, and is deeply felt in our home and in our hearts; although the depth of my gratitude seems to have increased. Most importantly, we remain in awe of the love the Lord has for our family and the amazing healing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
I am especially grateful for the vivid memories we have of Kevin; which makes us miss him all the more. People frequently comment to my children - “You look just like your dad!” I’m used to it. My contributions are all under appreciated and unnoticed when they flash their Hegewald smiles. I have resigned myself to the role of creating a happy and positive life so each of them have sufficient reason to use their smiles often. When they smile, I see the best of Kevin’s legacy: his children, and his smile.
In memory of Kevin tomorrow, I hope you will smile, and dedicate one of your smiles to him. It’s a simple thing; but someone whom I love and miss demonstrated what a powerful thing it can be.
The Hegewalds are about to embark on another two year adventure, as Josh will be opening his mission call next week to see where he will have the opportunity to serve and love for the next two years. (The letter is sitting sealed on my fireplace mantle anxiously awaiting Josh’s arrival next weekend.) I can only hope and pray that I will be able to say on his return, “I can’t believe how fast those two years went!”
Sending you my sincerest smile,
I was inspired this week when I watched, “Hope for Hegewald,” the touching video Walker Boyes made of the San Clemente youth honoring Kevin. If you haven't seen it, watch it - it will make you cry & smile.