Sunday, May 26, 2013

"Jesus Wept"

I love just about everything with the rain.
I love the clean, refreshing smell it brings.
I love staring out the window and watching it fall.
I love the coolness it brings to a hot summer evening.
I love hearing the pitter patter on ground, especially when I'm falling asleep.
I love the green growth that follows in a dry desert.
I love feeling of it on my face and through my hair.
I love rain.

But sometimes the rain means something more than water drops falling from the sky.
They are Christ's tears.
He suffered for my pain... my afflictions...
He did it so He would be filled with mercy for me.
And know how to succor me in my infirmities. 
(Paraphrased from Alma 7:11-12)

A week ago Friday when my life changed in an instant, it was raining outside. 

I found our softest Kleenexes, wrote a love note on the box, and headed to the hospital. If anyone has ever shed more than a few tears at the hospital, you would know that their tissues are pretty much like using thin printer paper. They barely dry the tears and they scratch. I knew my Grandma would appreciate something a little more soothing as she experienced the shock of loosing her husband.

As I drove the short distance to the hospital, with my windshield wipers going, I kept thinking about John 11:35, "Jesus wept." He was crying that night with my family... with me. Although death is not the end, it does not make the separation any easier. And Christ knows that pain; He had compassion for Mary & Martha when their brother Lazarus died. He had compassion for me as my Grandpa died.

I tried to help bring comfort to others with softer Kleenexes. But ultimately, the best comfort is found in the Savior. It is found through His Atonement. It is found crying on His shoulder as He gives rest. It is found through His compassion as He weeps along with us.

The rain that Friday night meant much more to me than just rain.
It meant empathy.
It meant mercy.
It meant comfort.
It meant succoring. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

in an instant

A week ago yesterday, my mom and I went in to her parents house. We were there to help take them shopping--just like a regular day. One of us would take my grandmother to the store and the other would stay home with my grandfather. Before our shopping trip, we decided to have a picnic with my grandparents in their living room. We picked up some sandwiches from Subway and I attempted to feed Devin in a stroller. My grandpa ate on the couch with a TV tray in front of him. Really, he sat there and enjoyed the company and watched the rest of us eat. He is a picky eater and did not like his turkey sandwich.

I took grandma shopping and mom stayed home to "babysit." We came home and put the groceries away, then stayed and chatted for awhile. Devin found the stroller (yes it is pink... it is a spare one my mom keeps in the back of her car... I was just grateful for any stroller and didn't care what color it was!), pushed it over to the front door then climbed up in it. He was trying to reach the door handle. My child is definitely a climber and explorer!! Devin also sat on Grandpa's lap for a little while and Grandpa kept telling him that he was so cute. He loved holding Devin and you could just his feel and see love for his great grandson! 
(Terrible picture quality... I know!)
We gave everyone a hug and went home. Life was completely normal. We went on a date and walked around a couple of festivals downtown.

And then it changed. 

9:04 pm my phone rang. My first thought was who is calling this late?! And who ever it is, they are lucky my phone is still on because I normally turn it off about that time when we start getting ready for bed. (We go to bed early because Casey has to wake up so early for work!) I see it is my dad. The conversation went like this:
"Hi Lisa. I have some really bad news."
"Grandpa died this evening and we are in the hospital."
"What?! How?! We were just there today and he was fine!!" (It was like I was trying to convince my dad that he was wrong.)
"He had a heart attack. I have to go. I have to make some more phone calls."
"Ok." And we hung up and I started to cry!
Life changed in that instant. I am so blessed to have spent so much time with my grandparents. When I was growing up, I would always follow my grandpa around and was his little helper. On Thanksgiving, we would always sit together on the piano bench. I just wanted to be with him. And now he was gone. I kept thinking of how grateful I was that I was able to have a picnic with him and one last hug. And mostly how deeply grateful I am for the Plan of Salvation and the Blessings of the Temple. Life continues on. And I will be with my grandpa again!

This past week was spent with extended family and planning the funeral. I was also with my grandma and parents a lot helping to make phone calls, cleaning, making dinner, running errands, etc.

Devin loves carrying around Grandma's cane.
We have spent many hours here and Devin never grows tired of it.
The funeral went well. I was not as sad as I thought I would be because I kept holding onto the knowledge that life and marriage and family does not end in death. I know that I will see him again! But I do miss him! During the funeral, all of the grandchildren and great grandchildren sang a Primary song. We took Devin up there with us and he sang his little heart out. It was cute and thankfully he was making happy noises but he was LOUD. He just wanted to participate and sing with everyone else and he wanted to hold his own copy of the music.
With my Grandma at the funeral.
I knew that Grandma was going to wear a brown dress...
so... we all wore brown to match & support her.
As we drove to the cemetery, it became more real. More final. I was sad and cried. My grandpa was in the Navy during WWII. We listened to "Taps" and watched the flag be folded. It was really neat to watch my cousin (who is in the ROTC at BYU) present the flag to my grandma.
Helping Daddy put away the chairs after the luncheon
It is amazing how life can change in an instant. It is a good reminder to not take it for granted. To slow down and spend time with those we love. To unplug and really listen. To make memories and treasure them forever.

Goodbye Grandpa. Until we meet in heaven, I will cherish all our memories together!
One of those treasured memories....
This was last fall when Baby Bunny was bald!

Saturday, May 4, 2013


Last August, Casey officially earned is Associate of Science in Information Systems & Technology. We were not planning on having him graduate with his A.S. degree. But last summer as he was applying for jobs, he was not getting any interviews. One company told him something about being under qualified and that he needed some education or experience to back him up. Well, Casey started looking at his Bachelors program and realized that he had completely already earned his A.S. degree and that it was just a matter of paper work. So he applied for graduation and reentered his Bachelors program. And all of the sudden, he had several interviews. It was a huge blessing!

Walking into Commencement.
The Graduate!!
We are so proud of you!
When I graduated from BYU, the stole was worn and then given to someone who has supported you.
I gave mine to Casey.
We decided to continue this tradition.
He gave me his stole and now it hangs on my dresser!