Friday, March 26, 2010
8 Years ago
My sister posted a very touching blog about my dad and because of that I can't go without writing a few paragraphs about my thoughts and feelings. For those of you that follow us who don't know, my dad passed away 8 years ago yesterday from Multiple Myeloma, a rare cancer that causes abnormalities in the plasma cells which are produced in the bone marrow. My family first became concerned about my dad when he would get terrible pains in his back which would put him out of work for days at a time. Being the stubborn person that he is, he would sometimes try to go out and work, which would make things worse. The chiropractor couldn't figure out why he was getting all of these back pains, so they went down to Utah to meet with a doctor. They diagnosed him with this bone marrow cancer almost immediately. Life expectancy for someone diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma is about 50-55 months. I'm going to paraphrase some of the things my sister mentions on her blog because I feel that everything that she says almost completely encompasses everything I feel about my dad. He was an incredible person that I miss very much. He was an avid snow mobile rider and loved his dogs. I miss getting to go out and work with him in his shop. I miss when he would come play ball with me. Like my sister says in her blog, every time I go into Home Depot or Lowes, I just can't not think of my dad. He owned his own construction business building houses, cabinets and counter tops. He smelled of saw dust, stain, etc. every day he would come home and I smell him every time I go to these stores. I remember him always giving me a hug good night, his huge arms gently bear hugging me. Sometimes I ask "Why Us?!" Our family was a great family to grow up in. We did the things that were required of us; Going to church; Family prayer; Family home evening; etc. We tried to live the gospel in our lives. Why do we have to endure such a hard trial. And then it came to me softly, "Why not?" The reason I say that is this. We ALREADY were doing the things we needed to. What did my father leave behind? A strong family with roots embedded in the church. All of his children were married in the temple, and continue to be active today, and I don't see that ever changing. He has 8 wonderful grandchildren with one on the way! Yes, they might never know him in this life, but all of us children will tell stories about their crazy grandpa who would race semi trucks on his snowmobile :). They will know him for being a strong member of the church and a great man. What greater legacy to leave your children and grand children with? Isn't that what every person in the church wants for his or her family? Why Us? Because sometimes I feel that we might need a shock in our lives to continue putting us through that refiners fire, or the fuller's soap. If we are to reach our true, complete and 'perfect' potential, God must continue testing us. If we are already doing the things that he has commanded us, he will allow other trials to come into our lives, even ones terribly hard to bear. God allows things into our lives that he feels we are ready to take on and only those that he feels that we can withstand. The real "trial" is how we act in response to terrible trials. Do we continue to trust in the Lord, or do we turn away? That is one way he sifts the wheat from the tares. About a week or two before my dad passed away, he invited each of us into his hospital room to speak with him alone. I'm sure he knew what was coming, but I think I was a little naive and didn't quite understand. At this time, my dad had a very rough time talking. His mind was going, and his speech was slurred. Sometimes he would ramble about things. But when he spoke to me, he was very coherent and relatively clear. He spoke of his love for me, and that he would continue to fight, but that the one thing I should never forget is this: "Never give up the church, for it is the most important thing I have have ever given you." I miss my dad a great deal, but I know he is doing great things. I know he's prepping his little grandson/granddaughter to come down and enter this crazy world and keep his dad (Me :) ) in line. I wouldn't have it any other way. Love you DAD! Dad at age 19 right before his mission. Dad holding his first grandson. Six months later at my sister Kati's wedding reception and six weeks before he passed away.