When Tara Arkins was 12-years-old, she was diagnosed with bone cancer.
Even after having the cancer removed, she was told by medical professionals that she could never have children.
But Tara overcame all odds and gave birth to five beautiful children. Sadly, Tara passed away last September.
“This mother’s day will be a different one because it will be the first mother’s day without my wife; without the children’s mum,” husband Sam said.
“It will be very special because we’ll be able to just reflect on all the happy times that we had but it’s times like these when you really do reflect and think - well I wish I hadn’t taken that for granted.'
Sam met Tara around 17 years ago at a BYU dance after he returned from his mission in Perth.
“The theme of the dance was an Australian theme, which is ironic because… Australia was in her blood and here I come along with an Australian accent - I think I swept her off her feet.”
Sam and Tara were married in the Sydney Australia Temple in 2002.
“Tara knew her time on earth was very limited, and so she pretty much jammed as much in as she possibly could,” he said.
“And whenever she walked into a room, everyone fell in love with her. She just had so many friends. She had this awesome love that just radiated and it was something that I fell in love with. It was something that I just had to have.”
Tara’s heart condition was brought to their attention after she gave birth to their fifth child.
“We then had six years of no ramifications. No hiccups. Nothing. But it was in the last two years that we saw a rapid decline and her heart started to deteriorate more and more,” he said.
“The doctors did all they could to keep her stable, but it just wasn’t her time to stay on this earth.”
“It’s good having the gospel because we know that she has gone to a better place. Tara kept saying to all the kids, ‘you know that mum will always be with you’, and we know that. We often feel her presence; we know that she’s always watching us . . . we know that families can be together forever.”
“There’s been times in my life when I’ve . . . hit a brick wall; and thought there’s no way out. But knowing that I can be reunited again; knowing that someday I’ll be able to see my wife again __ it’s great to have that sort of knowledge. To know that there is a plan. The plan is simple. The Lord didn’t make it complicated. He wants us all to return to live with Him again.
'And for those people who are going through similar trials and experiences - just know that when we do get through this, we become extra strong. I know that our Saviour has set up this wonderful plan for us and that we can be reunited.'