by Verna Nichols Sargent
When my husband was released as the bishop of our ward in Texas, he, with some of his associates, decided to open a mine in Mexico. We decided that I would take our five teenagers and three younger children to live in a home that my father had sold to us in Arizona.
Even though we were apart, we were able to serve in the church. He served in a branch in Mexico. I served in the Relief Society presidency in our Arizona ward. We were blessed in our home as our family faithfully held our family home evenings and family prayer.
The mine had great success; however, after ten years, the price of silver dropped so far that he had to leave the mine with its 200 workers, and he walked away with nothing but his pickup truck. I knew we had both done the best we could, and I was just glad to have my husband back.
We were fortunate to be able to sell our home and started working for our son-in-law, managing his chain of apartments. During this time our family was strong, and our second son filled his mission. There is no doubt that we could have achieved what we did without being blessed for the service that was faithfully given by our family.
Three years later, my husband was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease of the worst kind. He no longer could use his hands to work. Our son began doing the repair for the 70 or more apartments. I cleaned, managed, rented, did court proceedings for the apartments, and at the same time cared for my ill husband for the next ten years. During the last four years, he was in a wheelchair, not able to speak, but he could hear, think, and see. Until my husband died, my five daughters came in the afternoons during the week to help him while I did work in the office in our home.
I managed the apartments for 16 years. On the last day, the old pickup quit while I was driving it into the driveway. Just like my husband, I felt that the pickup had given all that was possible.
While my family gave of themselves, they continued to learn the importance of service to one another. I am confident that this type of service has prepared each of them to be outstanding wives and mothers in their own homes and to be involved in ward and stake Relief Society positions today.
We were grateful that serving the Lord and each other in our family prepared us to accept our situations and to not complain or cry about conditions that we faced. Did the Lord bless us? Yes! More than you can imagine.