Rebekah: Trisomy 18, soccer mom, medically fragile, Air Force, Special Needs, Mormon.

Hi I'm Rebekah

About Me

I grew up in an Air Force family. My father was a career Air Force officer and he retired two months after I graduated from high school. I loved traveling with my family. I always had built-in playmates in my siblings. I have been married for 22 years and we have 9 children, 2 girls and 7 boys. I never planned to be a soccer mom, but that's how life turned out. Our children have been active in music, sports, and scouting, especially scouting! I love to read. I'll read almost anything I can get my hands on. My life was pretty crazy but normal until half-way through our last pregnancy. We were told our little boy probably would not live to be born alive. If he was, he would not be with us for long. We were devastated. We set out to learn all we could about his condition, trisomy 18, in an effort to support him. Along the way, we have encountered miracles too numerous to count. His life is our biggest one.

Why I am a Mormon

 I was born to parents who were already members of the LDS church. I grew up going to church and attended seminary as a high school student. I have always found peace and comfort when I follow the counsel of the scriptures and the prophet. I remember a time in college when I almost decided that it was too hard to keep living the gospel. Immediately I thought, no, it would be much harder to try to live without it. I know that in our current circumstances, I would be incapacitated without my testimony.

Personal Stories

How has the Holy Ghost helped you?

 The past year has been a huge learning curve for me. I have never had much exposure to special needs or fragile people. Sometimes our son is acting strange and it's no big deal. Other times, it's a very big deal. I have learned to listen to the Spirit and to recognize when I need to take action. I've learned to relax as I've discovered how He speaks when my son needs help. If I'm just concerned or worried, I am extra vigilant, because he can change quickly. But for the moment, no additional help is needed. But if I become anxious, even if there's no real clinical signs yet, it is time to get medical help. Every time I have been really anxious or upset, Aaron has needed help. I know that while Aaron's life will not be as long as the rest of ours, it will be as long as it is supposed to be. And with the influence of the Holy Ghost, we can help keep him happy and comfortable.

How I live my faith

For many, many years, I have helped out in our local congregation. My favorite calling has been as a pianist. I love the music of the church. In practicing and preparing hymns, I am able to hear repeatedly the beautiful messages. Some of my most cherished friendships have come when I have been asked to visit other women to help them. Over the past couple of years, due to extreme extenuating circumstances with our youngest, I have not been able to serve as much. But I have been on the receiving end. Sometimes this is much harder, but there is a peace that comes knowing that I have many friends and neighbors praying for us and willing to help out in any way that they can. One of the strangest requests was last summer. My baby was in heart failure and I was in the hospital with him. But his two older brothers were in the community play at the same time. My visiting teachers, and a few other women, got together and learned how to do my sons' make-up and hair for the play, and then made sure that it got done each night through the two week run. I don't think many visiting teachers have been asked to do hair and make-up for pre-teen boys as a service!