You would think that I would be a little "disheartened" by the fact that I have a twenty-nine year old child. Just the opposite. As I think of my oldest child, his life, his works, his goodness, his humor, his love. his devotion; I am uplifted, over-joyed, amazed and awed! I rejoice in each year, day and minute that Derrick has been a part of my life.With the birth of Derrick, I was able to immediately experience unconditional, eternal love. Regardless of what he did or didn't do, this little, baby boy had my heart and he still does twenty-nine years later.
Having an adult child, particularly one who so brilliant, well-read and articulate could be a little intimidating. It is not... because Derrick respects and honors me as his mother. Even though I am so not on the level that he is intellectually, Derrick values what I have to say. He listens intently and allows for me to counsel him. He has always been receptive to what I have to say; he might disagree or choose not to heed my advise, but he always respectfully listens. I am so grateful for the honor and love he gives me. Can their be a greater joy for a mother? I don't think so.
I've always known that Derrick loves the gospel, the scriptures, the doctrines, but it is pure joy to "feel" the gospel through him. Derrick was given the amazing gift of intellect and knowledge. As a result of honing and using this gift, Derrick has searched out, studied and pondered gospel truths. Truths that he has learned intellectually are now spiritual anchors in his life. He has been able to apply those teachings and principles to not only bless Brittney and his sweet, little Molly but his extended family as well. I sat in total thanksgiving as I listened to Derrick impart a priesthood blessing upon the head of his grandmother the other day. His inspired words pierced my heart and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was speaking under the direction of the Holy Ghost and that he was righteously using the power of his priesthood. Can there be a greater joy for a mother? I don't think so.
Derrick is fiercely loyal to his family. He truly, truly loves each one of us. When he makes plans to visit from Wisconsin, he goes through great lengths to make sure that everyone is going to be home. He happily anticipates each sibling's arrival. It was "touching" as I witnessed the sincere disappointment that he felt upon learning that Daniel wasn't going to be able to come home while Derrick was visiting. It was "sweet" to have him ask me every day when Brandon was going to be home. It was "joyful" to see Travis and Derrick engage in meaningful conversation and a double date into Vegas. It was "hilarious" as he hacked Noelle's Facebook and made her life a tad uncomfortable. It is "wonderful" to see him interact with Natalie, Holly and Hannah, and strengthen sibling ties of those who didn't have the opportunity to grow up with him. I ask once again, can there be a great joy for a mother? I don't think so.
I have loved seeing, hearing and feeling his devotion and love to Brittney and Molly. He expressed tender concern for his wife's well-being as she left to travel up to Provo for a couple of days. Although the situation was a little comical, I was moved to tears as I witnessed his love for Brittney. I have always known that he loves her deeply; it is just heaven to be able to see it first hand. Derrick's heart has been enlarged as he has magnified his calling as a father. It is sheer delight to not only see Molly light up when she sees her daddy, but to see Derrick light up when he sees his Molly is priceless. He takes his duties as a father and husband seriously. He makes necessary changes in his life so that he is setting a righteous example for his Molly and his future children. Derrick places priority on that which has greatest value in his life; his own, little family. Can there be a greater joy for a mother? I don't think so.
Dear Derrick, I express my unconditional, eternal love for you. You have set an amazing example for your siblings. You are a very good, kind person. You have grown into an amazing man. It was truly my honor to be allowed to raise you. It is now my honor to learn from you, and I have and do. Thank you Derrick. Can there be a greater joy for me? I don't think so!