Friday, November 9, 2018

Grand Children (written in 2015)

I love my Grand children.  Their beauty takes my breath away.  The other night we had dinner with a couple that hadn't seen our grand children.  It took Randy all of a split second to whip out his i phone to display 7 darling images.  They oooood and awwwwwd courteously and I was pleased at their reaction.  But I wanted to say, "Did you see his precious little hands?  Did you notice the sweet little laugh lines under her beautiful eyes?  Look at their little pink knees now that they've learned to walk.  And what about the sweet 6 year old smiles with a lost tooth or two?

Just like most grand parents, time stops as I bask in the latest photos sent.  Or when I run to the front door to answer their little tapping knocks, and see small pink faces in anticipation of fun.  Sometimes they just let themselves in.  Oh, the light that fills the rooms.  Their voices, their playing, their sweet heads on my shoulder. . . .
It's like the song that never ends.  "I could go on and on, my friends . . ."
I'm stuffed with granditude!  

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

When I See Her Again

Last week as I was happily working in the temple, I stopped short.  Anyone observing could have heard my audible whispered gasp.  The room was still, except for a woman who suddenly appeared, walking in my direction.  I stood spellbound, and soaked in all of her glory over a split second, as if it were slow motion.

How familiar she seemed.  From head to toe, she could have been my Mother.  Her height, her small build, her softly curled hair style and color, her old glasses she wore when Dad was alive, her newer temple dress, her sweet hands that held gently on to sacred things.  She walked slowly, with humility and intent, along her side of the aisle.  I stood on the other side, not wanting to disrupt the moment.  She didn't see me staring.  She knew her purpose there.  And as she passed, it would have broken the heavenly bubble enveloping me if I had followed her.  Besides, I knew if I didn't hurry to the nearest tissue box, I would be a complete mess. 

She went on her way.  And I tried my best to hide the uncontrollable tears.  My encounter lasted only a few seconds, but in that space a sweet blanket of knowledge draped over me, leaving a distinct impression what it might be like when I see her again.  I knew my feet could not run fast enough to hold her tight enough.  My heart raced with loving delight as I imagined my own angel Mother there before me.  

My assignment changed to a part of the temple close to where I knew the woman would be.  I could have peeked in to find her, but my heart was already full, knowing I couldn't ask for more than the validation of  Heaven I had already received.  I will replay this sweet experience in my heart for a long time; especially the part about fervently running to Mom with grateful tears and open arms to hold her tighter than tight when I see her again.


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Who'd a Thought?

I’d like to thank Carol Tuttle for her inspiring book called "Dressing Your Truth". She has developed a system by which people can be categorized according to 4 different style types.  I have been intrigued by this since first learning about her (10 years ago), enough to study her concepts without investing a small fortune in her online guidance. 
A couple of months ago, a friend loaned me this book.  Now was my chance for self diagnosis.  She tells from the beginning that her angle is not to label you, but as you learn the descriptive style concepts, you will begin to label yourself.  Well.  OK.  Let’s do this!
I scoured the book, looking for my type.  I read and reread.  The descriptions were divisive.  I could see the differences.  After completing the book, I had no more a clue to what my own type was than when I began.  However, this is where the thanks come in.  I learned a great life lesson.  I could identify with each of the types enough to label others.  Definitely the people around me, who influence me for good or not so good, fell right into those descriptive types. 
I learned that by recognizing their types, I could approach them with better educated empathy.  I could more easily put myself in their shoes.  I could forgive, rejoice with, root for, and be thankful for being taught by them.   I learned that by understanding my own type wasn’t paramount after all. 
If by chance I come to discover my own type (through DYT), it won’t be because I am searching anymore.   Thanks to Carol Tuttle, my intrigue has shifted to understanding others.     

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


        I depended on my right eye all my life.  My left eye was always the weak one.  My mother said  when I was a little girl, the eye doctor recommended putting a patch over the good right eye, to help strengthen the left.  They called it a lazy eye.  But knowing that would also cause unwanted attention, she hoped it would someday strengthen itself.  I must say, being a red head with a catchy last name, running around with an eye patch might have done me in.  She did have compassion.
      Back in January, I had cataract surgery.  My good right eye, was starting to fail.   Lights became  glarrier at night, reading ordinary print made it impossible without a magnifying glass, reading music became embarrassing; since everyone knew I could sightread, and wearing a watch required a big face with the ultimate of contrast. 
     Thinking about all the changes I was making to convince myself and others I could see, makes me sad.  I used to love book clubs.  Writing and creating were exciting to me.  But playing the piano started to make me nervous instead of joyous.  And driving at night was now dangerous.
 No more.
     After the surgery, I wore a patch for one day and they removed it the next.  Driving home, I was overwhelmed at the detail and color of this beautiful world I had forgotten was so vivid. The change was night and day.  We passed landmarks with details that had always been there, but that I had not seen.  Peoples' features were so clear it made me think I could have been a great dermatologist!
     After a month of regimented eye drops and now reading 20/20, I went in to have the left eye done.  The contrast between the two now, was a cloudy day compared to a sunny one.  Plus I had to know if the vision would miraculously improve.   Modern technology  makes it easier to consider this even once.  Now I was going for it twice; being thankful there weren't three eyes.
     Learning the left eye would never read as good as it started (20/40), I was overjoyed with the detail I gained back and had been missing for so long in it also.  Colors are bright.  Details are clear.  Depth perception is gageable.  Threading a needle is possible.
     But last week, sitting in my ukulele class with people and music I gave up knowing for a few years because I couldn't read the chords, I was in heaven.  I pinch myself frequently and am humbled, realizing my eyes are back. The eyes that I pretended would do.  A big piece of my life is back.    And my gratitude is huge.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Thank Heaven for Little Boys!

Today is Jeff's birthday.  He reminded me that since it's an even year, he has an even numbered birthday. He is 34.  Funny, that's how I remember too.  That makes me feel good.

Since it's also a space of time where we have been clearing out Mom and Dad's house, our childhood home; I have been thinking a lot about them lately.

I remember the day Jeff was born, at Mesa Lutheran Hospital in Mesa. This was a big deal to be presented with a little boy, after having two sisters before him.  I was in love.  I couldn't keep my eyes off of him.  A blue blanket; imagine that!  He was perfect and handsome, and brand new.  I knew I needed to call Mom, since she had been home with the girls, anxiously awaiting the news.  She wanted to know all about him, and I tried my best to describe everything.  Then, in between my words, she interrupted me.  "Is that him I can hear?" she said.  We both were silent.  I realized that as I was speaking, so was Jeff.  He was just minutes old, and had never heard his own little voice before (at least in stereo).  He chose Grandma's telephone call to experiment with all he could make it do.  Softly humming high and low, loud enough to catch Mom's ears.  It was magic.  I acknowledged it was indeed him, and I put the phone closer to Jeff's little mouth.  We listened and giggled for a long while, enraptured over our new little gifted baby boy.  It was heavenly!

Mom had me.  After that, she had three boys.  Each one, such a prize!  I know she loved me, but no one could compare to her boys.  Jeff fit right in.  I'm so thankful for the connection of that day, sharing Jeff's real birthday with Mom, and feeling heaven over him, with her. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

. . . and waffles

One year ago, tomorrow.  Christmas Day.  Mom is heavy on all of our minds.  She seems to need more and more care and thought.  Some days are like a blur to her, I'm sure.  I know she enjoys  us being around, but drifts shortly after.   Not quite the same.  Hence, we watch and are around her a lot. . . .

I got up, as usual this Christmas.  With family all here, our morning was delightfully busy.  The traditional waffle brunch out at Mom and Dads was what we anticipated next. This was Moms first Christmas without Dad.  He had been gone for 10 months, which was part of her distraction.  At about 10 AM, we met in Gilbert.  I walked in to a peaceful atmosphere  (unlike other busy years)  No noise.  Tabernacle Choir Christmas music in the background.  I went straight into Moms bedroom.  There she lay quietly.  I knew Richelle had been over earlier, since she was wearing her Christmas sweater and her hair was nicely done.  When I walked closer, I knew she was anticipating family togetherness, too.  Excitement filled her eyes when she saw me.   She was quite like a little girl, ready to clap for joy  And we both happily said "Merry Christmas!" together.  Our arms reached out for a sweet hug, and I helped her up to put her shoes on, that were ready by her bed.  She was happy it was Christmas.  She knew she would be surrounded by love.  As much as she missed Dad, we were part of what held her together.  And more important, she knew what Christmas is all about. Her knowledge of Jesus Christ, and his being born and dying for us, is also what held her together.  Dad might not have been too far away either. 

I won't ever forget that morning.  Heaven must feel like that.  The hugs were longer and stronger.  All our eyes were bright as we considered our dear Mother and Grandmother. She was an angel.

Tomorrow morning we will gather around again..  In their sweet home.  Eating sweet waffles.  Making sweet memories. Life goes on and on into eternity.  If you listen with your heart, you will feel Mom and Dad there too.  Their love and testimonies are what holds us together. 

. . . and waffles 

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Overhaul

Today was our last day to spend the night with my Mom, since February, when Dad passed away.  It has been an adventure for all of us (my brothers and I).  We decided from the first night without him we would rotate nights to be spent with her.  It's been 4 months.  Randy and I took Wednesday and Thursday nights, with a rotating Friday night that we split up every 3 weeks between the 3 of us.  Mom loved it; at least she said she did.  She became anxious to see us and was delighted whenever any of us walked through the door.  Even though we all knew it was an adjustment, it was small, compared to her peace.  So we carried on.

A month ago my niece and her law school bound husband expressed a desire to move in with her.  The back bedrooms and bathroom would be perfect for their bank account, and Mom would have company, at night until he finished school in a year or so.

This brought on a decision to "over hall" the back part of the home.  The 1975 brown and yellow striped carpeting and wood paneled wall would have to "go" in one bedroom.  The blue multicolored shag with the blue and white striped half way up wall paper would "go" in another.  And the dirty beige carpet and mural scene of the Jackson Hole Tetons across a complete wall, had to "go" in another. (A blessing, you say?)  Plus, there would be repainting, remolding  rebaseboarding, and doors redone in each room. along with new cupboard doors in the hall and bathroom.  That makes 40 years of life, gone.

This leads me to our last nights. . . The "over hall" began swiftly.  So fast, that when we got there, we were prepared to head back home as soon as we saw there was no place to sleep.  But nay. One lonely bed was left, with a lamp sitting on the floor.  We rolled our sleeping bags out, just like every other night, and made the best.  How hard could it be?   Things started getting tricky when we had to wear shoes to bed.  The bare floor hadn't seen the light of day for 40 years.  All that was left were glue marks scribbled back and forth in some creative designs; along with remnants of 40 year old crusty carpet fuzz.  But the funnest part? The potty in the bathroom is right next to the door.  Did I say door?  No door!  It was a strategic event if you needed  the bathroom for whatever the reason.  Every door from distances away had to be closed!  Sliding doors, laundry room doors, etc.  And whatever you were doing in there, you had to hurry, keeping your eyes only on the outside doors.  Heaven forbid, they would slide open from someone on the other side!  You had to be prepared to scream at the slightest slide. Do I have to paint a picture here?!  Don't forget, the curtains and blinds had all been taken down, and the window from the "blue room" framed that potty in the doorless bathroom.   A perfect view from Jim's house!

When we returned home from vacation, Mom had room mates and a "new house".  Thank goodness it was a beautiful overhaul.  It covers up the memory of those last nights.