I'm sure most of you are aware that eight years ago on New Year's Day our son (and Hermana Hess's little brother), Russell, died suddenly and unexpectedly in an accident. I can't explain to you what a horrifying yet sacred experience this was for our family. We received strength from Heavenly Father, power from the Holy Ghost, and an incredible new appreciation for the sacrifice and Atonement of our Savior. Our temple promises became very real and oh, so necessary. We realized through the grief and very real and very debilitating pain that our Heavenly Father's plan truly is a plan of happiness. And every year at this time we feel especially tender as we think about our little Russell and that fateful day.
Christmas wasn't the day we would've preferred to talk to Karissa. If we had the choice, we would've preferred New Year's Day. I don't think President Call knew that, but I know Heavenly Father did.
We were able to talk to Karissa today, on New Year's Day. For us, it was a great way to start what is always going to be a difficult day to get through.
President Call's kindness and inspiration gave us a special family gift this year on a special, sacred day. Heavenly Father gave us this tender mercy and tender reminder of His love for us, and the reminder that He is mindful and aware of our feelings and quiet desires.