Sunday, July 19, 2009

Deja Vu

Here's the latest pic of our beautiful, handsome, talented grandchildren! (With their beautiful and handsome, talented grandparents, of course.)

Here we are nine years ago. Now take a look at the little blond girl in each picture. Looks like we kept her in the freezer and took her out for pictures, doesn't it? Same little girl who hates having her picture taken.

Can you tell who is who?

(The grandkids, I mean.)

Real Live Orcas!

Mel and I enjoyed a get-away in the San Juan Islands in June, and part of our get-away package was a whale-watching tour. We totally lucked out, because it was the best day of the year to that point for seeing the orcas. We saw them both from the beach and also from the boat on our tour. I know many of you have seen orcas at Sea World, but seeing them in the wild is a different experience. It was so exciting. My photography leaves a bit to be desired, but you get the idea. We just wish we had our whole family with us so they could experience it with us.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thoughts for our Time

I love these quotes from the last General Conference. They are worth pondering and remembering. Elder Rafael E. Pino said:

"...When adversity arrives in our lives, the only true source of comfort is God."

Then he quoted Pres. Hunter:

"If our lives and our faith are centered on Jesus Christ and his restored gospel, nothing can ever go permanently wrong. On the other hand, if our lives are not centered on the Savior and His teachings, no other success can ever be permanently right."

Elder Richard G. Scott said:

"What I am trying to teach is that when we keep the temple covenants we have made and when we live righteously in order to maintain the blessings promised by those ordinances, then come what may, we have no reason to worry or to feel despondent."

Elder Boyd K. Packer said:

"It may seem that the world is in commotion; and it is! It may seem that there are wars and rumors of wars; and there are! It may seem that the future will hold trials and difficulties for you; and it will! However, fear is the opposite of faith. Do not be afraid! I do not fear."

"The certainties of the gospel, the truth, once you understand it, will see you through these difficult times."

How fortunate we are to have the Truth in our lives!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Music and the Spirit

This past week I was able to go to Utah to help visit my Mom and help Sue take care of the multitude of details that have to be attended to after a death. I had a sweet experience I'd like to share with you.

I first need to introduce you to Aloha, my Mom's roommate who also suffers from Alzheimer's. Aloha is about 5 feet tall. She has a hunched back, maybe from osteoporosis, and she can't speak very clearly. I have never seen her smile, and I have never seen her receive visitors (although I am not able to visit very often.) I didn't know if Aloha could even understand if you spoke to her.

Chad, Abbi and I visited Mom one evening. As usual, Mom expressed her love for us and her happiness that we had come to see her. We began singing songs together - "I Am a Child of God," "Whenever I Hear the Song of a Bird," "Give Said the Little Stream." In the middle of one of these songs, Aloha came in and sat down in an empty chair in Mom's side of the room. She had a big smile on her face. She sat quietly and listened to every song. She had a light in her eyes that I had never seen before. The Spirit was so strong. It was a time of joy.

After we sung about four songs, Aloha, with the peaceful smile on her face, mumbled something, stood up, and walked away. Although Mom's and Aloha's minds don't remember and understand, I know their spirits felt joy that evening. I know mine surely did.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Love from Emily

We received this sweet letter in the mail from our granddaughter Emily. Thank you Emily for thinking of us!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Mourn With Those That Mourn

From the time of Dad's accident to the present, we have been supported by friends and family and Church leaders who were willing to bear our burdens, that they would be light. They mourned with us, and they comforted us. (see Mosiah 18:8-9) Meals were prepared, visits were made, hugs were given, cards were sent, love was extended. And it made all the difference. Our burdens truly were made lighter, and our hearts were filled with love and peace. Our deep thanks to go everyone who reached out to help carry our burden. We will never forget your kindness.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

"I go down to my grave with joy."

I felt an overwhelming feeling of peace throughout the experience of Dad's passing away. This feeling brought to my mind Joseph of Egypt's words, "I die, and go unto my fathers; and I go down to my grave with joy." (JST Genesis 50:24) Joseph was able to say that because he had kept God's commandments, he had remained faithful to his covenants in spite of bitter hardship, and because of his righteousness he was able to save his family and a nation from starvation and death. This principle is also found in D&C 42:46: "And it shall come to pass that those that die in me shall not taste of death, for it shall be sweet unto them." I know Dad tried to live his life to qualify for that promise. Although our family shed tears at Dad's passing, there was a feeling of peace and joy for a life well-lived. Now I need to follow his example: to try every day to live close to the Savior, to keep my covenants so I can "go down to my grave with joy."