Sunday, September 14, 2014

Haunt my Dreams

I am a dreamer.
I tend to have fabulous dreams.
Most of the time they are clear and detailed and fun to be in.
I dream of magical things while my body sleeps, sometimes I can't quite put into words the dreams I have.
Many times I dream of people and places long past.
A high school friend, a missionary companion, a loved one who has passed on.
Those are the dreams I look forward to most.
It's like just for a moment they haven't left and the love we shared is still very much alive.
Maybe it's because I love too deeply and the love never really leaves me, it's always there and the only way I have access to it is through my subconscious.
What ever the reason, I crave these dreams.
My heart longs to feel those people and places and times.

My heart has been breaking all week.
The other day as I sat in the hospital bed with my sweet friend, Kathy, her hospital room felt like an extension of heaven.
  She and her husband talked to me about the prognosis.
They told me that they had sat their young children down and told them that their mommy was going to die.
These are the same young, sweet children who have grown up right beside my own.
We'd have weekly play dates while our children ran and played in the park or at my house in the living room while we spent a few precious hours talking the time away.
We'd spend hours together for the last 4 years talking, time that seemed to fly by.
Time that I never thought would end like this.
As they told me these things I cried, and cried and cried, I couldn't find words to speak.
They seemed to know she would only have a few short days left in this life.
Their faith in the Lord is inspirational and comforting.
When I could finally speak through my tears I told Kathy to come and haunt my dreams.
She promised she would.

How weird that we're in the same position

“I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time.”  ~A.A. Milne Winnie-the-Pooh

What I wouldn't give for one more carefree Summer day at the park with you and your laughter.
But if all I can hope for are some nights with your radiant smile in my dreams, I'll take it!
God be with you til we meet again, my sweet, sweet friend!

“We'll be Friends Forever, won't we, Pooh?' asked Piglet.
Even longer,' Pooh answered.”

“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”

“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together... there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart... I'll always be with you.”

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

“Some people care too much. I think it's called love.”
~A.A. Milne Winnie-the-Pooh

If you happen to have any spare change laying here

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Love is the Answer

I was at a friend's house last night and as we chatted she handed me a book she'd been reading.
It was a health and wellness book to do with healing certain pains or afflictions in the body.
There were included in the book positive affirmations that were touted to help with healing.
A specific affirmation for each specific ailment.
As I got to flipping through the book I noticed a similarity in the affirmations.
They all mentioned love toward self or others as a healing mechanism.
A couple months ago a dear friend of mine was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma.
My sweet friend also happened to be expecting her 6th child, making any sort of treatment dangerous for the baby.
They quickly realized the cancer was growing much more rapidly and was in far more tissue than they had anticipated.
Over the weekend they found it had spread ever farther, to her liver and spine.
Doctors are giving her about a week until her liver could fail.
Difficult decisions were made and they are delivering the baby, a little boy, as I type.
She's a mere 26 weeks along.
When I got news earlier today of the situation I made a bee line to the hospital to see her.
It was about a 45 minute drive and the whole way tears flowed as I tried to come up with some words to say, but nothing came.
Then it hit me, she didn't need me to say anything at all, she only needs my love.
I was literally shaking on the elevator ride up to her room, I was petrified to see her in a bed, hooked up to morphine.
But when I walked in the room I was filled with immediate peace.
Her gorgeous skin glowing like it always does, she looked like an angel.
I walked over to her bed and just grabbed on to her, I didn't want to let go, not ever.
She quietly told me to come lay down by her.
She didn't have to ask me twice, in a second I was curled up next her and I just held her and cried into her hair.
 I don't know how long we stayed like that.
We spoke a little, but I can't even tell you what we said.
Mostly I was just trying to spill out as much love as I could, hoping that it was true, that love could heal.
I was wishing more than anything that I could take this monster away from her, that love alone would be enough to keep the momma of all those babies with them.
To spare her sweet family the pain that the next little while will hold. 
Then, instead of me being the one to speak words of comfort, the next thing I know she's telling me all about it.
All about the plan God has for her, all about His love for her, and that she'll soon be in His arms and that it's enough.
The dying comforting the living.
The morphine taking the edge off her pain, but doing nothing for mine, or her husband's who stood in the room and watched me bawl like a baby.
Time is a funny thing.
I felt like I could have stayed there forever, never letting that moment end.
But all too soon the clock says it's time to get my kids from school and then music lessons and then dinner and bedtime and on and on and the precious moment is gone, like a sigh into the dark night.
I sit here thinking love really is the answer.
It's the love we have in this life that makes it even worth living.
It's the love of friends, children, parents, sisters, brothers, and every other kind of person that can possibly be in our lives.
We take the love with us everywhere we go.
My friend's love will stay here in the hearts of all the people she loved long after she's gone, I'm honored to be included in that group.
And when our time is come she'll be there waiting for each us us, waiting to claim that love she left behind and then to make it grow into infinity.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Down the Drain Hole

If kids are gross, then boys are downright disgusting!
Many years ago our bathtub drain became seriously clogged.
Nothing we tried fixed the problem, and that's saying something because Mr Bird can usually fix anything.
We tried the plunger, Drano, tearing it apart.
Mr Bird even resorted to using the snake.
All to no avail, the clog was too deep.
Our last resort was to break down and call the plumber.
I honestly couldn't tell you what the plumber did to that drain to pull that clog up, but he finally succeeded.
I do, however, remember some of what he pulled out.
A Hot Wheels car was to blame for the bulk of the problem.
Once the toy car went down, nothing could get past.
It grabbed on to every hair or piece of lint or tiny wad of paper that went down for probably weeks until we had the world's nastiest glob of disgustingness camped out in our drain.
I don't even know how they managed to get the car in there, it didn't look like it could possibly fit to the naked eye, yet down it went.
That plumber commented about our predicament.
He told us that boys like to shove things down drains.
He said that of all the calls he gets of homeowners with stuff shoved down the drain, 90% of the offenders are little boys.
They just naturally have a fascination for shoving things down the drain, go figure.
I'm sorry to say, that was not the last clogged drain due to boys in this house, far from it.
We've had so many things down the drains and toilets, it's unreal.
At least every few months I find a clogged toilet with the water dangerously close to the top, threatening to spill out at any given moment.
I can usually be found hysterically yelling at the offending water, as if by some small miracle the mere sound of my voice will calm the raging sea.
Once I get the immediate problem under control, I lock said bathroom door.
It's a know fact in this house that if the bathroom door is locked with no one in it, it's out of commission until daddy gets home to fix it.
The most flabbergasting thing to go down the toilet was a brand new roll of toilet paper, yup, the whole dang ding dong thing.
Some man child, who shall not be named, 'accidentally' dropped the roll in the pot and watched it swell, and swell and swell, until it soaked up nearly all the water in the john.
Then the genius thought the right answer would be to flush the evidence.
He flushed and flushed and when it still wouldn't go down, he flushed again.
I still can't believe how far down it ultimately got lodged!
Oh, the mess that one made, Mr Bird worked for hours on that one.
The bathroom sinks have had their fair share of the action as well.
At least quarterly the water runs so slow that Mr Bird finally breaks down and tears it apart to pull out the nasty, matted, smelly clog.
Usually that one is full of Lego's or hair pins or bits of left over sea monkey foam or just a huge ball of tangled girl hair.
This week the water in the sink did just that, it went down the drain hole as slow as molasses on a winter day.
After the kids brushed their teeth for school yesterday morning Beano came down stairs with a very peculiar item he pulled up from the drain.
Turns out whatever went down was starting to come back up!
We inspected the thing and were horrified that it was growing, it was a small sprout of some sort.
At first glance I thought maybe an apple seed went down and decided to start to grow.
It had roots and a pale stem and a little green shoot coming off the top.
Whatever it was, it had been growing in there for quite a while.
Upon further investigation, I noticed more of the small plants, their tips just below the lip of the drain, just out of my reach.
Many apple seeds?!?! 
To tell the truth I was a little scared of what I might find, so I didn't try too hard to get at them.
That's what Mr Bird is for, right?
Ever my knight in shining armor!
Without disappointment Mr Bird grumblingly went to work on his mini drain garden.
And this is what he found:

A small forest of wheat grass.
I can just see some child (none of whom are taking credit for this one) going to the huge wheat bucket in the pantry and grabbing a small fist full, spilling some down the drain.
What I want to know is, what's so fascinating about wheat berries that they would even want to haul them, around?
They don't taste very good like that, after all.
I prefer them all ground up into nice warm flour and turned into a soft loaf of fragrant homemade bread, still warm with an inch of melted butter.
But hey, whatever floats your boat! 
...or wheat grass



Thursday, May 1, 2014

Seat Warmer

Mr Bird drives the kids to school in the mornings.
Even though Spring is here (hallelujah!) the mornings are still quite chilly.
The kids take turns sitting in the coveted front seat in his car.
It's the front, so it's just naturally more desirable,  but the icing on the cake is the seat warmers.
Turns out they all want to have toasty buns on those icy morning drives to school.
The other day Dubs found himself in the back seat with the cold, cold leather seats and nothing to warm his hiney but his own body heat, which could take a while.
(I know, I know, first world problems)
So, being the intelligent kid that he is, Dubs came up with a solution to his unmomentous predicament.
From the back seat Mr Bird spontaneously heard,
 "3...2...1... SEAT WARMER!!!" 
That last bit didn't come from his mouth though, it came from his nether regions. 
More specifically the same body part he so desperately wanted warmed.
Yup, I guess that's one way to get the job done.
Only down side to that solution would be the odor...
Boys are so gross, all I can say is, it's a good thing he was with his father.

Monday, March 17, 2014

You Are My Sunshine

My baby will be 3 tomorrow.
I am going to try really hard not to rant about how lightning fast the time went or the fact that all my babies are growing up (WAAAAAAAAHH!)
She is nothing but pure sunshine in our lives.
There is not a mean bone in that tiny little body.
Just don't let her hear that, she'll correct you in a hurry, she's not tiny, she's a BIG girl.
It seems like just yesterday she was brand new and I was introducing her to family for the first time.
Don't let the cuteness fool you, she was a hard infant, cried everyday for hours on end.
For the first 6 weeks of her life she refused to go to sleep before 4am, she chose instead to scream her little heart out from 11pm-4am Every. Single. Night.
It felt like Chinese sleep torture, I'd cry right along with her.
Then my midwife gave me tips on switching her days and nights.
Then she screamed all day, but at least she was sleeping some at night.
But it's OK, she's more than made up for it in her sweetness the past few years.

I'd go through those torturous nights a million times over if it meant I could have her just the way she is right now.
If you ask me, she's perfect.
She is the cutest little girly girl.
Doodle was just the opposite,  She barely knew what to do with a doll and refused to wear anything resembling a dress.
Not this little M&M, she's carting around a doll or a pony or a Lalaloopsy or all threee at all times.
She loves to wear dresses and glitter and have her hair look just so.

She begs me to paint her fingernails.
She is constantly stealing my jewelry and lip gloss when I have my back turned.
She already has me nervous for her teenage years, her preferred state of being is nude.
She has been know to sneak into bedrooms at family members houses and take off all her clothes with a house full of family.
I have raised 5 toddlers, and she is the only one of my kids that has been a stripper.
I thought, by some miracle, that gene passed over my family, 'fraid not.
From the very moment her tiny fingers figured out how to pull clothes off, she has been doing it.
Now we are training her to keep her clothes on by making them pretty dresses that she likes to wear (and can't reach the buttons or zipper in the back).

So Happy Birthday to the sweetest little girl on the block.
Our lives just would not be complete without you in it!

Friday, March 14, 2014

All We Have is Here and Now

Huelux from Randy Halverson on Vimeo.

I saw this video the other day and was spellbound.
I could not look away.
It really put things into perspective.
This earth is in constant motion, time never stands still, even if we feel it does at times.
Time marches on and I can't help but feeling the overwheling desire to make it slow down.
But that is not within my powers.
All that I have power to do is enjoy each and every moment I have, for all too soon even those are gone.
As fast as we acknowledge the fleetingness of the present, it becomes the past.
There is no rewind button, no matter how much we might feel we want to go back, have a do over.
It's all right here, right now.
It's how we treat people, it's how we learn form our mistakes and apologize and move on.
It's the people we serve and the acts of love that make each moment worthwhile.
Here's to a day, a life full of purpose.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Earth Says, "Hello!"

While in Texas for Josh's funeral, we had some time to burn.
We decided to drive around the once small town, which has more then tripled in size since we packed up our U-Haul and drove away in the early 80's, and reminisce about our childhood stomping grounds. 
I was in first grade, a mere 6 years old, when we moved to California, where I would spend the rest of my growing up years.
While I'll always consider Stockton, Ca my hometown, McKinney, Tx will always hold a special place in my heart.
 As we drove and walked down the familiar roads of my first recollections of this earth, memories came flooding back to me like forgotten whispers of another lifetime.
I stood and stared into the very pecan trees which so willingly gave me their fruit from the time I was a toddler.
The trees themselves seems to greet me, to recognize me and welcome me back.
It was such a surreal feeling, the paths begged me to walk down them, part of me didn't ever want to get in the car and drive away.
There was a longing in me that I can not put into words, I'm not sure I even understand it.
A longing to be little again, to be completely enthralled in this world that once was my every breath.
If no one had been looking I would have gone over and given those trees a huge bear hug.
I did, however, bend down and move the dead leaves aside to find some of the little pecans that were left over from last Summer's harvest.
I gathered a few of those little gems and slipped them into my pocket.
A token of my visit, a tangible remembrance of a time long ago.
We stood on the lot of our old home, which within the last year had been torn down.
In it's place, in true hick fashion,  is a double wide trailer. 
That was hard to see.
My dad had built that house just for our growing family over 30 years ago, this was before the divorce.
The house sat on 3/4 of an acre in the middle of no where at the end of an old dirt road.
We had a few neighbors, but they all seemed to live far, far away.
Our yard itself seemed as big as the whole Texas sky to my small self.
My whole world consisted of that yard and surrounding dirt paths.
I would wonder up the paths for what seemed like miles and miles in search of fallen horse apples in the ditch, while side stepping the piles of fierce fire ants.
As a grown up, I realize I never did wonder all that far from home, a few hundred yards maybe.
I was always bare footed and would come home with dirt caked thick on the bottoms of my tiny feet.
I remember sitting for hours and hours in the front yard picking up pecans that had fallen from the trees in the front yard.
I think in the late Summer I lived on those things, just like the squirrels.
I remembered going in the back yard and walking for what seemed like forever to get to the back fence.
Oh, the adventures we had back there.
I remember the hiding place for small things in the knot hole of the fence post in the back corner of the yard.
We had an old tire swing hung from a branch.
We'd get the garden hose and fill the bare dirt patch under the swing with water until it was a huge mud pit. Then we'd hang on to the bottom of the tire and slide right through the pile of mud. 
We would be covered in mud head to foot.
It was the BEST!
There was a space under the cement in the back steps and frogs lived in there, hundreds of them.
We'd take the water hose and spray it into the gap and watch as distraught frogs came bounding out at an alarming rate.
Then we'd have a big glass jar just waiting and we'd scoop up as many of the frogs into the jar as we could get our hands on.
The poor things never saw it coming.
I remember walking out in the back field in the endless Summer days just as dusk was setting in and seeing the sky slowly fill with  tiny flickering lights, FIRE FLIES!
We'd catch them in jars as well and bring them into our bedrooms and watch them bounce around the sides of the jar as we fell asleep.
To our complete dismay, they were always dead in the mornings.
Then there were the peacocks.
One of our neighbors was a peacock farmer.
We could hear the cry of the peacocks from sun up to sun down.
What a treasure when we'd find a fallen feather to bring home.
I remember finding turtles in the huge open fields and bringing them home, only to realize that they were snapping turtles and their bite hurt like the dickens.
We'd set them free after a few hour of tortured fun, mad that they did not know how to be nice.
I rememebered our neighbor, Arty and his pond.
We drove past the house where my younger brother had wondered to when he was just 2 or 3 and had fallen into their swimming pool, only to be rescued and dragged out by their dog.
Memories of starting school, where the bus stop was, the freak snow day waiting for the bus on "the triangle" only to find out school was canceled. 
Getting stuck, wedged, in the huge tire at recess and needing rescuing by the teacher.
There were not so happy memories as well.
The divorce and all that came after.
Leaving that place, I remember being small and sitting in the backseat of the car bawling my eyes out as we drove away.
I remember the last goodby with my father. Oh, how I cried. He stayed in Texas when we moved half way across the country.
It would be many years before I'd see him again, little did I know he'd literally be going through a hell all of his own.
While I haven't lived in that place for literally a lifetime, it is a part of me, it will always be a part of me.
I wanted to soak up every memory I possibly could.
My dad's family had lived in that town for generations before me, but now everyone of us has moved away and all of my grandparents on his side have passed.
I will likely never have another reason to return that that corner of the world.
But as long as I'm living, that place will be a part of me, a part I hold very close to my heart.


Monday, March 10, 2014

The Boy Next Door

My wonderful nephew, Bradley reminded me that today is the 14th anniversary of the day I moved to Utah.
14 years! Man, that made me feel beyond old.
I expressed this thought of aging with Bradley, to which he replied, "Ya, but it doesn't matter because you're still as fabulous as ever!"
Ya, I knew I loved that kid.
Little did I know he was just buttering me up. :)
I had just returned from my 18 month (not nearly long enough) mission for the LDS church in Montreal, Canada.
I came to live with my father, whom I hadn't lived with since I was 2 years old.
My dad had moved two doors down from Mr Bird's family while I was in Canada.
The morning after I arrived, my dad and Mr Bird's dad were talking in the driveway, plotting to get the two of us together.
They planned to bring their family over to meet me and my sister and her husband, we had all moved together, the following evening.
When Mr bird heard this plan, he had no desire, at all, whatsoever, to come over.
All RM girls are weird, he thought.
Plus he was at that age where everyone and their dogs were trying to set him up with girls and get him married off, in true Mormon fashion.
Mr Bird had grown tired of it.
Yet, somehow, the following day his family convinced him to join them in the visit.
He showed up, all smiles and his happy self that I would come to know and love.
Introductions were made and he was pleased that I did not seem as awkward as he had imagined for an RM.
Everyone went into the living room to sit and visit.
As everyone took their seat, Mr Bird and I found ourselves the only two left standing with two spots, side by side, left unoccupied just for us. 
How kind of them.
We awkwardly took our seats. 
I don't remember anything that we talked about or what was said that night.
I do remember that it was arranged that Mr Bird would give me a ride to institute within the next week.
I remember being struck by his confidence and how he just seemed comfortable in this intensely awkward moment.
So the day of institute came and we drove together.
It was pleasant, but nothing special.
On the way home he had to stop where they kept their horses to feed them.
It was early Spring, but a nice warm day. I got out and helped fling some hay over the fence.
I think I managed to get more of it on myself than to the horses.
During this time, little did I know that his dad was giving him a hard time, trying to get him to ask me out.
Mr Bird was dragging his feet (in his dad's opinion, there was nothing slow about our courtship), so his dad decided to up the stakes.
Mr Bird wanted to borrow his dad's laptop for a computer gaming party with his friends, so his dad told him he could only borrow it if he asked me out.
That did the trick.
He came over to ask me out, but we ended up hanging out together all afternoon, then saw a movie later in the evening.
From that day on, we were inseparable.
I was looking for a job, but was not yet gainfully employed.
He had a part time job and had classes at the local university.
Whenever he wasn't in class or at work, we were together, every single day.
Living so close to one another made it really hard to stay away.
We were like two magnets, we just couldn't be apart.
By the first weekend in April we realized things were developing, yet we hadn't even held hands. 
After spending the day together watching the semi annual conference of the church, we just couldn't part ways. We ended up at a friends house hanging out and watching movies.
That's when the snuggling began.
On a light tan leather couch in the basement family room of his best friend's house surrounded by chaos of people.
I never wanted to get off that couch, if I could have just melted myself into him, I would have.
He walked me home night after night, then came the goodnight kisses.
We'd stay up sometimes until 4am talking and playing games.
It was so hard to send him home every night.
I just always wanted to be with him, and I think he felt the same.
That lasted until my dad made a rule that wherever we were at midnight, that's where we'd have to stay for the night.
He was tired of us waking him up night after night.
We obliged and we all got to be more rested, but then Mr Bird started skipping work so he could do more things with me.
Within 6 weeks we were engaged to be married.
But in dating time it was more like a year because of all the time we'd spent together.
He took me on horse rides with his family and we did everything together.
I went to his family gatherings and met all his married siblings.
I was at his house a lot so I saw how he interacted with his family,  how he treated his mom and younger sister.
By the middle of June we were married and have lived happily ever after since.
Yes, we had a whirl wind courting and engagement.
We only knew each other two and a half months from the time we met until we got married.
Yet, it has been the best decision I have ever made.
That man owns every inch of my heart, I'd do anything if I had him by my side.
Our marriage has not been all rainbows and butterflies, we've had our shares of troubles, but there has always been a whole lot of love.
With each passing year I find it hard to believe that I could possibly love him more, yet I do.
Moving here those 14 long years ago was the best thing I could have ever done.
I'd do it over again a million times if that's what I had to do to get to where we are now.
Each baby we have brought home has multiplied our love that much more.
I think all the time about how lucky I am to have him.
He's such a true and honest and hard working man.
Everything he does is for me and our kids.
I don't know how I ever got so lucky, but to quote the iconic Sound of Music, 
"I must have done something good!"

Thursday, February 27, 2014

These Things Come in Threes

Looks like we'll have another funeral in the coming days.
Jay's dear grandma Faye passed away last night.
We knew it was coming, just not quite this soon.
She lived a good, long life.
I can imagine with joy the reunion she is having right now with her husband and daughters.
The last few years it was extremely difficult to watch as Alzheimer's disease set in.
She always thought her husband was just outside and that Jay's mom could not come visit becuase she had to stay in Ogden.
We stopped telling her over and over again that they had passed away years before.
Grandma lived in Idaho Falls, the last time we visited was in January.
She kept on asking where grandpa was, at one point she said, " Grandpa was just here, he's right behind me now, isn't he?"
While we couldn't see him, I wonder if he wasn't often there taking care of her.
She knew, she could feel his love.
I am thrilled they are together, what a sweet moment I wish I could witness.
This will make 3 funerals in 3 months in 3 different states, it feels like too much.
I feel this immense load of grief has just been dumped on our family.
I didn't feel like I had a chance to fully grieve Brad before the tragedy with Josh.
Josh took center stage and all the things I wanted to do for and with Brad's family got pushed to the back burner.
When the week of Josh's funeral was over it was hard to get back into life.
It's hard to explain, I didn't feel like myself.
I needed to do things, but really had to force myself just to get the bare essentials accomplished in the day.
That is not me.
Then I went to Lisa's house last week and walked into her bathroom, through her bedroom, to talk with her as she was finishing her makeup.
Brad was in the bed the last time I had seen him.
Those images filled my mind even though Lisa's bed was neatly made.
There were pictures of the two of them all around the room.
It was too much, I had to fight back the tears.
And the tears for Brad haven't stopped since.
They fall right along side the ones for Josh and now grandma Faye.
They just won't stop falling.
It's hard mourning for so many people at once.
From one minute to the next my mind goes around all their sweet memories.
And I'm mad that all we have left are memories and photographs.
Like really, really mad.
I wasn't ready for any of these loved ones to go, yet they did.
We had so much we still wanted to do with them.
Looks like it wasn't up to me, because if it were this is not what I would have chosen.
But I guess it's time to "cowboy up" yet again  and rejoice in another life well lived and trust in a God that knows more than I do.
He knew it was their time, even if I didn't agree.
So I will be content to trust in His wisdom and try not to cry so much and rejoice in a wonderful plan laid out by our Maker.
  "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
  A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
  A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
  A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
  A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. " 
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

I have had so much joy in my life, with these family members specifically.
The Lord says that time is over and now it's time to weep and mourn.
I look forward with faith the times of healing and laughter and dancing that are still ahead for me and my beautiful life, because it really is beautiful.
Part of me thinks I need just one more baby to counter all this death and dieing. 
What do you think? Sounds like a good idea to me!

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Airplane Miracle

The days following Josh's passing were nothing short of hellish.
The physical feelings were like nothing I'd ever experienced.
It ranged from sick to my stomach to boughts of uncontrollable sobbing.
Yet, there were plans to be made.
Josh lived here in Utah, just 2 or 3 miles up the road from our family, with his mom for most of his life.
About a year before he died, he went to Texas to live with his father in the same town I lived in until I was in 1st grade when my family moved to California.
That is where he was when he died.
His father began right away with funeral arrangements, so that meant there were lots and lots of family that needed to get to Texas, and fast.
The viewing was held just 3 days after he was found, then the funeral was the following morning. 
It all seems like a whirlwind.
Right away we got online looking for airline tickets, searching for the best deal.
The cheapest price we could find round trip was about $450.
That day was filled with millions of phone calls back and forth and coordinating, finding out who could go, who had to stay for school or work and figuring out the best way to get everyone there that need to get there.
I checked with pilot friends for buddy passes for my sister, but their airlines did not fly into Dallas/Fort Worth.
We tried a hundred different ways to find flights, to no avail.
In fact, that evening, my sister Elizabeth and her husband, Kerry's home teacher had stopped by their home out of the blue.
Elizabeth and Kerry told him of their nephew's passing and that we were trying to get flights for lots of family.
As that sweet home teacher left he offered a prayer and in it he specifically prayed that we would all be able to find affordable flights and that we would be looked after.
Little did we know that our connection to heaven would be better than any other connection we could find with all the people we knew.
Flights did not get booked that day, so the following morning  we got back online to book the flights.
Prices had skyrocketed overnight to about $750.
Regardless of the price we had to get them, there was no way any of us would have missed going for Joshy.
I was put in charge of getting tickets for myself and my other 3 sisters, all of our husbands had to stay with our kids and for work. There's no way we could have brought everyone that wanted to go.
Christine's family were getting their own and there were other family members who booked their own flights separately.
Christine's family had, by far, the most people to buy for. 
As I was online looking, Kerry called, he was looking for a deal, too.
Here we are talking and searching for any other deal we could find.
All the airlines were within a few dollars of each other, so we resigned to go ahead and buy the $750 tickets.
To ensure we were on the same flight, I would pay with my credit card and let everyone pay me back.
Just as I had put in the dates and how many tickets we wanted to purchase, Kerry shouts, "WAIT!"
He had found a deal on one of those flight booking websites, I believe it was
The tickets were $325 each! Less than half of anywhere else.
The catch was that we couldn't pick our flights or even which airline, instead they gave us a window of time that our flights would be departing on the specified day as well as a window of time for our return flight.
And the window was not even bad, it was like between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm.
It wasn't even the red eye.
Plus, they both ended up being direct flights, NO LAYOVERS!
We quickly snatched up our tickets and were beyond thrilled with our deal. 
We were flying Delta and both of our flights left at totally doable times.
While I was waiting for the confirmation for our tickets Kerry grabbed another phone to call Jerry, Christine's husband.
Kerry got Jerry to the site where we had found our deal.
When Kerry called Jerry, he was on the computer at that very moment in the process of purchasing the $750 airline tickets for all the people he was trying to get to Texas.
He had already entered his credit card information and had hit 'submit'.
He was waiting for a confirmation number.
He quickly hit the power button on the computer, crashing it, hoping to cancel out that order before it charged his card.
It worked!
He then was able to purchase enough $325 tickets for everyone who needed to get to Texas, paying less than half, saving him literally thousands of dollars.
Wow, talk about an adrenaline rush. 
About an hour later Kerry decided that since the tickets were not as much as he had thought, that he might come along as well.
He got back on the site and entered the same search.
All the tickets were gone, the prices were back to $750.
Kerry decided to stay home after all, but content in the thought that we had witnessed a miracle.
Those tickets were there just long enough for all of us to get our tickets, it felt as thought the hand of God was directing us, guiding us and holding us in the tender palm of His hands.
Even in the middle of the worst tragedy I had ever felt, I felt the hand of God, His very love and care. 
"I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."
D&C 84:88

What an amazing answer to that beautiful prayer.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Emotional Overload

I love my blog. I love that it is a way for me to record my feelings and my thoughts and my life.
I love writing, getting out the emotions that would otherwise be trapped and perhaps fester inside me. 
It's the cheapest form of therapy.
But sometimes things happen in life that are too difficult to process, let alone write about. 
Hence, my neglected blog. 
I have had several ideas and blog posts that seem to write themselves in my head, yet I feel hesitant to share, to let it out.
This winter has been difficult.
Lots of heartbreaks, too many to handle with the grace I'd like. 
I feel at a loss of words to express myself.
I like to be light and positive and think of my relationship with my Maker and the joy that brings to my life.
But right now, I'm dealing with some pretty heavy stuff.
Right now that relationship with God along with that of my amazing family are the only things getting me through.
About a month ago our family got some devastating news.
I had a restless night, sleep just would not come.
I found myself at 3:30 am as wide awake as a night owl, I had yet to even fall asleep.
I came downstairs to give Jay some peace from my tossing and turning and checked Facebook in the wee hours of the morning.
I noticed some alarming, but vague posts by 2 of my nieces directed to their brother, my nephew Josh, that were just alarming enough to make me worry.
I quickly sent each of them a private message asking what was up.
I stayed online a few minutes longer with no immediate reply from them, then decided to try sleep again.
The next morning after I dropped the kids off at school I hopped back on Facebook to see if there was any news.
This was my niece's reply:
 "Hes gone Sara, he died."
Immediate denial.
My eyes saw the words, yet my brain could not, would not comprehend them.
That was simply not possible.
He was not old, a mere 20, he was not sick. Just the opposite, in fact, he was in the prime of his life.
He had just started college and bought a car the week before.
The words simply did not compute.
I picked up the phone with my shaky hands and with a pit in my stomach, dialed my sister, his mother. 
My other nephew, Bradley answered the phone.
Brad is married and no longer lives there, yet here he was answering his mom's phone at 9 am when he should have been at work.
Clue #2, yet it still did not register.
The words came from my mouth, but I don't recall what they were, the conversation is a blur.
It was confirmed that Josh had indeed passed away sometime the previous night. 
Then there was screaming and crying and panic and shock and horror and gut wrenching physical pain, it was difficult to suck in air, I found myself hyperventilating, struggling to control my body. My arms and legs literally flailed about as I writhed in shock. 
It felt like my very spirit was struggling to be still, it did not want to be contained.
Then came the details involving a call to the suicide hot line, police notifying family of the call, an overnight search for him  and the shocking discovery in the early morning hours, just as daylight was breaking. 
The shock and horror were too much to bare. 
I have lost loved ones before, and not even that long ago, but this was by far the most shocking situation I had ever found myself in. 
My brain simply could not make sense of it.
How could this be real, and yet my head was telling me that it was.
I could go on and on about the next few days and weeks and all that has happened, and I likely will over the next little while simply so that I can process this in my way. 
For now I have a few predominate thoughts.
Suicide is one of those things you never think will touch your life, until it does.
For me it was more of a concept than any sort of reality.
I remember learning about the word in a vocabulary unit in high school. It was lumped with words like herbicide and genocide.
The thought that someone could or would end their own life had never even occurred to me.
But the idea of it seemed so far from anything anyone would ever really do that I really didn't give it much thought.
It feels different than losing someone  in other ways.
Maybe it's just the sheer fact that no one sees it coming.
Or maybe it's all the unanswered questions and guilt, that we perhaps could have done something to prevent this.
Did I mention the questions we will likely never have answers to until we leave this realm ourselves and see our beloved Josh again?
Then there's the stigma about it.
Like it's a taboo word and that there is shame in it.
A few days later I started having nightmares about it, which took me completely by surprise because I usually have quite pleasant dreams.
I don't fully understand why it feels so much more harsh, but it does.
All I know for sure is that I miss my Joshy.
I feel heartbroken that he was suffering enough to do this and I did not know, that none of us knew until it was too late.
I miss his little boy self with the white blond hair and the infectious smile and the one million questions a day.
I seriously have never met another little kid who asked as many questions as he did.
I miss his giant teddy bear hugs and how he loved the children.
I am sad that it had been so long since I had seen him.
I am sad I didn't get a proper goodbye.
Most of all I feel broken and tired and ready to get back to my life and my kids and away from this heartache. 
I know healing will come and that it's a process, I just wish I could fast forward through this part.