Our Beloved Pal Scooter

When Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, they made the decision to enable them to experience good from evil, joy from sorrow and many other things in opposition.  These last few days my heart has gone the gamut from complete and utter joy and bliss to complete and utter sorrow and despair.  I understand those extreme opposites well now.

scooter 1
How can you not love that face? What a sweet sweet dog

Our joy started last Friday when our son Nathan Copier married his UK sweetheart, Savannah Stevenson.  I will leave the details to that for another post.  Our sorrow happened yesterday when we lost our beloved pet and dearest furry friend, Scooter.

We have had several pets over the years and we have loved them all, but there was something so special about this little guy.  He really was the sweetest dog we have known.  He was loving, loyal, playful and eager to please.  He loved to snuggle, give kisses and take care of my ‘wounds’ and sing with you.  My heart is aching right now just knowing he’s not with us anymore.

Our whole family loved him dearly.  Many of them have taken time to write sweet things about him on social media, but the one that got to me the most is what my hubby wrote about him this morning.  Now, you need to understand that Scooter loved my husband more than anyone else in this world.  They truly had a special bond.  And as much as the rest of us loved and adored him, and he loved us in return…. it just wasn’t quite as strong as the bond between these two.  Here is what John said today:

scooter medal
Here he is wearing John’s Gold Medal from the Huntsman World Senior Games

“It’s only a dog
My head says it’s only a dog. My heart says otherwise.
Yesterday we lost our beloved, talented handsome Scooter.
Scooter gave us almost eleven years of companionship, love and entertainment. We really loved that wonderful dog.
He was a faithful trusted and trusting companion. He was always wanting to please. He was always happy to see me, to go anywhere with me.
He will be missed by many people, the folks at Home Depot and Lowes, teammates and spectators at the ball park, certainly family members and neighborhood kids.
I will miss the look on his face when, while walking he would stop, slant his body toward home as if to say “Daddy, I can’t go much farther please can we go back home?”  Then his willingness to try to go a little more. I will miss his head snuggling my neck when I carried him back home after he had given it his best.
I will miss his singing along with family members or with the with MoTabs, his singing “Happy Birthday” or “Let Me Call You Sweetheart”.
I can almost hear him singing for Grandpa Don and Grandma Jen right now.
I suppose I will miss most everything about this wonderful friend. Rest in peace. Thanks for all the love you gave.”

My heart broke again as I read those words this morning.  I have learned over time that these precious additions to our family are just that…. family.  Each time we have lost a pet it has been hard.  Tears were shed all around, but this time…. I’ve wept so much harder and so much longer.  Perhaps because Scooter was a house dog, it allowed us to get really close to him.  Literally.  He often slept in bed with us and he liked to be on our laps.  When we lost our other pets, it was usually because of sickness and having them put to sleep, (though we did have one that a neighbor took a b-b gun to) so I wasn’t there to see their passing and their lifeless body.  It’s hard to loose them, no matter how….. but with Scooter, it happened suddenly and sadly without us right by his side, though we were here.

He’s been acting like he wasn’t feeling the best for the last little while.  He developed a wheezing that would set him back for a few minutes at times.  It was concerning to me, but I passed it on to old age.  He would have been 11 years old next month.  In hindsight, I’m kicking myself for not getting him into the vet to see if anything could be done for it.  He’d have spells where he seemed fine and then the wheezing would start again.  Several times over the years he had what I called ‘clingy’ moments.  No matter what you were doing, he’d stand right next to your leg and wouldn’t move unless you did.  He never really seemed sick during these times…. just clingy.  That has been going on off and on for years.  Another sign that should have concerned us was a slowing down in energy, particularly during walks.  Again, we just contributed it to old age.

Last summer, while out walking with my husband, he got a fox tail caught in his paw that became infected.  We had to take him to the vet to have it removed.  The vet expressed concern over some very loose teeth he had and wondered if we would allow him to remove them as long as he was under the knife for the paw surgery.  We also decided to finally have him neutered at that time as well.  Yes…. we should have done it many years earlier, but just didn’t do it for many reasons.  Since that surgery last summer, it seems his health has declined.  He seemed to gain weight, which we couldn’t understand since his diet hadn’t changed, but after doing some research, I found that that can be a side effect of neutering at an older age.  I also did some research on some of the other symptoms he’d been having, some of which I’ve mentioned.  Of course sadly…. much of my research wasn’t done till he was gone.

This is the adorable puppy face we fell in love with
This is the adorable puppy face we fell in love with

Yesterday after we got back from church, we wanted to take a nap since we were still suffering from a little jet lag from our trip to London.  All of the dogs (yes all…. we are tending our sons 2 dogs and our daughters dog lives here now too….) were on the bed with us.  Scooter started panting really heavy and couldn’t seem to get comfortable.  He would try to lay down and then stand or sit back up.  I started to realize that he might be in a little pain.  I was going to see if there were any essential oils that might help relieve some pain, but I stopped to make some dinner first.  I told my hubby and daughter that I didn’t think he was feeling well at all.  They both tended to him for a while.  He sat on John’s lap for a while then disappeared.  A while later (I don’t think it was more than 15 min) I realized he wasn’t in the house panting anymore.  We all went to look for him and I headed outside calling his name.  When I walked to the end of the deck to see if I could see him in the yard, I saw him laying at the bottom of the stairs on the grass.  I screamed and ran to him as quickly as I could.  Unfortunately, he was already gone.  My husband tried a little CPR on him to see if he could get him breathing again, but to no avail.  Then the mourning process began.

Since both of my boys are in London right now, one because he now lives there, the other because he extended his stay after the wedding, it was only my husband and daughter and I that were there.  After a few minutes of sitting and crying and holding him, we sent a text to our boys to let them know he had passed.  More tears and sorrow came from them when they replied by phone to the news.

It’s been a hard day (and night).  My eyes are puffy from crying and my heart is sore.  It truly hurts as much as losing my parents did.  He wasn’t only a dog.  He was our baby.  He was our loyal friend and companion.  He took a big chunk of my heart with him. He will be missed by all.

I know time will heal and it will become a little less painful, but for now, my heart needs to grieve.  We did decide to bury him here at home so I will be able to build a little memorial to him to always remember him by.

I am so grateful for the years we had with that special dog.  What joy he brought into our lives. I’m grateful to know that he is in doggy heaven, running and playing with as much energy as he had as a puppy, and that he is with my Mom and Dad.

He loved the snow and would come in the house with his little beard full of snow
He loved the snow and would come in the house with his little beard full of snow

My only regret is not trying to see if there was something that could be done a while back.  If you have a beloved pet…. please follow your heart and take them to the Vet when you feel like you need to.  I don’t want to live with the guilt that perhaps we could have done better.  Perhaps it was just his time…. but I will never know.  He really was dearly loved.

I shall miss my little fury friend greeting us at the door when we returned home.  His little happy dance to see us and not stopping till he got his proper ‘Hello’.  I will miss his snuggles, he’s cute Ewok face and his friendly and loving personality.  I will miss seeing him perched on the back of the couch watching the world go by outside.  So content he was just to be with us, and how sad he was to be left alone.

Thanks for all the years of love and snuggles, Scooter!  RIP Scooter Bug!

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?


What A Year It’s Been!

With 2014 coming to a close, I feel like I need to take the time to express my gratitude for such an amazing year.  It’s been a year of MANY firsts for me and my family.  Not all of them necessarily pleasant, but the majority of them were wonderful.

Our first first of the year was finding out we were going to finally be grandparents!  Such exciting and thrilling news.  We have waited for so long to be able to claim that title…. we were thrilled!  In fact, I was so excited, I had to blog about it.

The next exciting first came when we moved into our brand new home in February.  There were plenty of hoops we had to jump through to make it happen, but thanks to generous in-laws and their help, we were able to make that move before we closed on our condo.  Though moving is stressful…. it was a thrill to move into a brand new home.  As I said…. a first for us.  Though we had moved several times prior to that, it was always into an existing home.  It was so fun to be able to pick and design the interior of our home.  Though stressful in many ways…. it was worth the struggle.  I’m so grateful to be here and to be in such a great area with great neighbors.

I also celebrated a few 1 year anniversaries.  Some good and some sad.  In January, I was 1 year clean from cancer (I’m approaching that second anniversary very soon!), which was an exciting one to celebrate.   2014 was also the one year anniversary of losing my Mom.  That year of firsts after losing a loved one is hard.  Still miss her.

gram and gramp with benOn July 29, we were blessed with the best first we could ever ask for!  Our little grandson Benedict was born!  I can’t even describe the joy this little boy has brought into my life.  I cried tears of joy when I first met him.  It’s a feeling I can’t even explain.  I know I felt the same kind of joy when my own children were born…. but having posterity born is a joy that is unexplainable.  He is so adorable.  He’s five months old now and I could just eat him up!  What a darling sweet personality.  He certainly has his Grandma wrapped around his little finger.  I’m as SO grateful for this gift and grateful my son and his wife brought him into our lives.  Joy beyond measure.jon and ben

In August, I finally gave in and had knee replacement surgery.  Another first, and I’m hoping my last.  My recovery for that has been a little harder than I’d hoped for…. but my physical therapist insures me that it will get better!  Though I’m still struggling with rehab on the knee…. I’m still grateful I had the surgery.

At the end of September, we were thrilled when our youngest son Nate popped the question to his British sweetheart Savannah.  We are so excited to add her to our family.  She is a very talented young lady and her talent is what will have Nate moving to London when they get married in the Spring since she has a contract to continue as Glinda in “Wicked” on the West End.  I will miss him terribly, but I’m so excited for this part of his life to finally start.

Nathan and SavannahIn October, we went on an impromptu cruise to the Bahamas.  It was a lot of fun, and though I was only 2 months out from knee surgery, I survived fine!  We had a great time with friends and got to hear some great music from our past.  I wouldn’t mind cruising at least once a year.  🙂  Though it wasn’t our first cruise, it felt like it since we hadn’t cruised in years.

And finally….. we get to announce that we are going to be Grandparents once again!  This time with my daughter as Momma and now we know she is having a girl!  We are so excited to add a sweet little princess to our family!  Since we will become full time baby sitters for this one, our daughter will be moving in with us as soon as we can get our basement finished.  It will be fun to have a little one here all the time.  We’ve had the opportunity of tending our cute little Benny a couple of days a week…. so tending everyday will definitely be a new experience.

It’s interesting to look back and see where this year has led us.  The fact that we felt a need to sell our condo and get into a home again, as crazy as that seemed to many people….. to go from having no yard work, etc., to having 1/3 an acre to now care for is kind of nutty at our age…. but the condo just wasn’t a good fit for us in many ways.  Now that our daughter needs to move in with us, it’s a good thing we did move, because she wouldn’t have been able to live with us in our condo due to ‘rules’ about having grandchildren living with you.  It obvious to me now that we were being guided to where we needed to be for many reasons.

So, as this year ends, I look back with an immense amount of gratitude for where we are and what we have and what we get to look forward to.  Here’s to 2015 being an even better year!

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?

It’s All In The Heart

Day 29~

The heart.  Isn’t that where it all starts?  Isn’t that really who we are?

Besides being a vital part of how our bodies function, it really is the center of our emotions.  When someone experiences heart break, there really is a physical sensation that goes with that.  I remember going through that when I was in college and it was truly painful…. but my heart mended and my life lead me to things so much better for me. heart-quotes-131


Nobody views the heart merely as a blood pumping station, anymore. We know that the heart is an emotional organ and has a relationship with the “emotional brain.” Beside the emotions, could the heart also be an organ of intelligence that works in unison with the brain?

According to folk wisdom, the heart is the seat of intuition, love, creativity, wisdom, gratitude, faith and the like. The finest values and qualities are associated with the heart rather than the mind. How do we know this? We know it in our heart. But, is there a scientific basis for this intuitive knowledge?

The heart physically communicates with the brain and the rest of the body. The communication pathways, which originate in the heart, travel through the emotional memory section of the brain and go all the way to the top of the brain responsible for thinking and reasoning. The heart has a complex nervous system, with the capability to learn and remember.

So science shows that our hearts really are more than a pumping vehicle for our blood!  We really do feel with our hearts.

There are so many quotes regarding our heart being an emotional organ.  Like ‘open your heart’, ‘my heart goes out to you’, she wears her heart on her sleeve’, ‘follow your heart’, ‘love you with all my heart’ and SO many more.  I’m sure you could add to the list.

I’m so grateful for my heart.  Grateful for it’s capacity to let me love, and feel and even think.  For the life blood it gives me to live and breath!  Our heart is truly who we are!

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?

Open Arms

Day 23~

There’s nothing like being in the arms of a loved one….. or being the arms that are loving another!

I’m so grateful for my arms.  I’m grateful I can hold my loved ones with them. I use them to carry so many things and do so many things.  I already posted about my hands, but really, without my arms it would be hard to do all I do with my hands!hugs and arms

Let’s see…. let’s think of some of the things we do everyday using our arms (and hands, since they are attached).  Push ourselves up out of a chair, help ourselves with bathroom needs, get ready for the day, cook, clean, play piano, drive, exercise, play sports, crafting, creating, gardening, typing, working, serving…… I could obviously go on!  We all use our arms and hands for different things, so the list could be extensive.  Point being…… that we use them pretty much every hour of every day!

But for me, probably one of the most rewarding and satisfying ways to use my arms is to love someone.  Hugging my husband, holding my grandbaby…. those are some of the things that mean the most in life!

This is the time of year when most of us are blessed to spend time with family and friends.  A time to be thankful for them and a time to use our arms to hug them!

Let’s show some gratitude for our arms and see how many hugs we can give this Thanksgiving week!

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?

Neck and Shoulders

Days 18 & 19

An unexpected invitation for an activity last night took me away from getting my post done on time again….. so I’m combining two things again today…. and I’m doing it early!  🙂getty_rf_photo_of_child_on_mans_shoulders

The other day I posted about how grateful I am for my head.  Well, if it wasn’t for my neck and shoulders….. my head would have nothing to hold it up!

Besides holding up my head….. my neck can hold little (or big) arms around it for a hug!  Have you heard the statistics about how important hugging is to your mental state?  If not, read my post about that here.  And be sure and pass around the hugs when you do!  Though my neck can hold beautiful jewelry of all kinds too….. hugs are much more valuable!hug around neck

Sometimes we can feel the weight of the world on our shoulders, but often, we can offer our shoulders as a place for someone else to rest their head, to lean on us when they need to.  I know many times I have found comfort from loved ones there, particularly my husband.

Our shoulders are a place our little ones love to ‘ride’ on!  And often, it’s easier to carry them there than in your arms for a long time.  As the song says… “He Ain’t Heavy… He’s My Brother”

I’m grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to carry little ones on my shoulders and get hugs around the neck from both big and little people.  And that I could be a shoulder to lean on as well as have many shoulders to lean on.Never-be-afraid-to-help-others-in-their-time-of-need.-You-never-know-when-you-may-need-that-shoulder-to-lean-on

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?








And just because I mentioned the song…..  I have to share this video.  I adore the Osmond Family and I love this clip from their 50th Anniversary special because it includes the oldest two brothers, Verl and Tom signing the song.  I hope you enjoy it.


Christmas Without Mom

I’ve been extremely melancholy and tender hearted these last few days.  This will be my first Christmas without my Mom.  When she passed away last March, we were all greatly saddened and yet happy for her to be released from her body that was making her unhappy.  She was ready to go home and be reunited with Dad.

Our first Christmas without Dad was hard too, but for some reason, this year it’s super hard for me with Mom being gone.  She loved Christmas so much.  Perhaps it’s because it’s the first Christmas without at least one of my parents here.

I’ve probably talked about this before, but Christmas has always been a big deal for me…. as far as family goes.  While the hustle and bustle and anticipation have always been fun, the most important thing of all was having family together.  Our family traditions are what made me look forward to the Christmas season.  As I get older, I realize just how important those family times are.

I was raised in a close family.  At least those of us that lived around got together often.  While raising my kids, we spent almost every Sunday evening at my parents home.  We would gather for ‘cheeseies’ (a family tradition of an open faced broiled cheese sandwich) each week, spend time together and the cousins would play.  It meant the world to me and was a priority in my mind.

At Christmas time we would gather each Christmas Eve.  The evening would start with a big dinner; with tables and chairs strung everywhere as the family grew.  Then we would gather in the living room and portray the Nativity with each of the kids acting out the parts.  My daughter, Mandy, being the youngest girl (of only a handful of girls) in the family got the honor of playing Mary for many years.  Our costumes always consisted of sheets, towels, scarfs and tinsel with the manger being a doll cradle and who knows what doll for the baby Jesus, unless there was a newborn in the family…. then they got the honored roll of being the Baby Jesus.

After acting out the Nativity, we would sing songs (sometimes my kids would be the entertainment since they participated in a kids performing group back then) and we would wait in anticipation for Santa’s arrival.  We always tried to keep the kids distracted and occupied while we waited for his arrival.

Once Santa arrived through the front door, it was mayhem and excitement!  He would sing a couple of songs with us and then reach in his big bag and call out the name of each of the kids one at a time.  They would come sit on his lap and get their small gift from him.  It was an opportunity for each child to have their photo taken with Santa by their parents.  It was a joy to watch from year to year, the young kids go from being petrified of him to jumping on his lap.  (And what a hoot to look back at the photos and see the styles we wore!)  He would have us sing a few more songs and end with Jingle Bells as he left to ‘go to the next house’.  What a fun tradition that was.

Then we would exchange gifts amongst cousins and adults (drawing names as the family got bigger).  Then off to our own homes to get the children all snuggled in their beds with visions of sugar plums dancing through their heads.  Christmas Eve.  The best part of Christmas for me growing up.

As my parents aged, they were getting tired of all the clean up…. plus the family growing with many great grand kids made it a tight fit for their home.  We spent several years trying to do it in their church cultural hall.  Then grand kids grew, started marrying people who had their own Christmas Eve traditions and it turned into a party at some local ‘event’ place (like a Roller Skating facility) one a night other than Christmas Eve for the last few years before my Dad passed.

Once Dad passed and Mom had had her stroke, she ended up needing 24 hour care and spent the last 6 years of her life in an Assisted Living facility.  We were always able to reserve one of the rooms there to hold a family party, but it was never on Christmas Eve again.  Too many family members with their own Christmas Eve traditions…. but none the less…. we gathered.

Mom with Daisy on her lap last Christmas Eve at her place.  You can se the joy in her face of having us there.
Mom with Daisy on her lap last Christmas Eve at her place. You can se the joy in her face of having us there.

The last few Christmas Eve’s, my little family has spent the evening with my Mom at her Assisted Living place.  Sometimes we sang for all the patients there…. but last year, we just spent time with her in her room and sang to her.  She loved it.  It meant so much to her.  We always took the time to look through the Christmas album the family and made for my parents several years back with photos of all those great Christmas Eve’s.  I’m feeling sad I don’t have that at my house this year.

I just don’t know what I’m going to do with myself this year without her here to spend Christmas Eve with!  My heart has been so tender these last few days.  I’ve shed many tears missing her and Dad and those sacred traditions.  I want so desperately to carry on some of those traditions in our family.  It’s been hard because my children haven’t been married with kids of their own up to this point, so we haven’t had the little ones around to treasure those moments.  I know it will come.  Jon and Ali got married this year and I have BIG hopes of it all beginning soon.  I just pray that it will become as important to them as it is to me.

Family is everything to me.  I want to spend more time together than we do.  I love them all so much.  We are trying to carry on the larger gathering of the family for a Christmas party.  I promised Mom we would.  Though it won’t be till the first of the year…. we will still gather and enjoy each others company…. laugh at the White Elephant exchange and just be grateful for one another.   As with anything in life, it gets harder and harder to make the schedule work for everyone to be there….. but we will do our best and miss those that can’t make it.  And Mom will be happy we did.

I am SO grateful for parents who started and kept such special traditions in our family.  The thing that amazes me the most is that none of the spouses of us siblings had a spouse with Christmas Eve family traditions.  The party at the Bangerter home was the priority!  And you darn well better be there!  It wasn’t until the grandkids started getting married that we ran into conflicts with other family gatherings.  We were blessed to go so many years without those conflicts.

I’m grateful for my family and want them to treasure this time of year as much as I do.  I know Mom and Dad will be with us all in spirit, but I miss them so terribly much this time of year!

Much love to you all and may you have a blessed and wonderful Christmas with cherished loved ones by your side.  And if they aren’t able to be with you…. may you be able to communicate with them all your love.  MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL…. but especially to you MOM!!  May your first Christmas in Heaven with Daddy be one of your best!  You can SEE and MOVE and SING!  I love that….. it makes me so happy to think about that.  Miss you tons!

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?

Serving in the Temple

I love serving in the temple!  I’ve always known that, but yesterday was really a reminder of just how much.

John and I have found a home we want to buy.  It’s being built so we won’t be able to move into it till the first of the year.  While we are very excited to make the move back into a house, we are saddened that we will be moving out of the Jordan River Temple district and therefore will need to be released as Ordinance Workers there.

John is having his knee replaced today, so yesterday was his last day.  With the Temple closing in a couple of weeks for cleaning and the Holidays coming up, it worked out to be his last day.  Depending on how things go with him, it may have been my last day too.  Knowing that, I was very melancholy as I performed my duties serving the Patrons.

It hit me the most as I was sitting in the front of the room for the Endowment session.  We had several older Sisters in wheel chairs on that session.  When that happens, it’s usually an opportunity for us to serve them even more than we would a healthier Patron because we are often needed to help them put on their Priesthood robes during the session.  I was lucky enough yesterday to have a Sister to help.  I love doing that.  It endears me to them so much.

As I observed those Sisters during the session, I was touched by what many of them are enduring in their old age.  One of the Sisters had Arthritis so bad in her hands its hard for her to hold her hands straight, which makes part of the ceremony a little more difficult.  Another of the Sisters feet are so twisted that taking off her shoes and putting them back on was a little difficult.  She is stuck in a wheel chair for the remainder of her life.  You could see that the muscles in her legs are disappearing as she is unable to use them.  It broke my heart for her, yet it made me so grateful that I had the chance to help her.

Jordan River Temple (photo by Kendall Davenport)
Jordan River Temple
(photo by Kendall Davenport)

I was choking back tears yesterday knowing that it might be my last chance to do that for sometime.  I was also choking back tears regarding everything that has happened to us in the last two weeks (both good and kind of scary)  that makes me very aware that my Heaven Father knows and loves me.  I know that he sent those Sisters to the temple yesterday to be on the session I was helping with, so I could have a reminder of just how much joy I receive doing His work there.  Not going to lie,  I’m not always in tune with the spirit when I work there.  Often I let my mind spin on worldly things and not focus on what I can feel there if I allow myself to do so.  That’s why yesterday was so special to me.  It completely made me focus and realize that it might be the last time for sometime that I will get to help perform those ordinances.  We hope to maybe work in the new Temple district once we get moved and settled, but it may be a while.

Because we work on the early shift on Wednesdays and have to get up so early, often I am tired while I’m there.  And often, I have been known to close my eyes during part of the session and doze off.  I’m not happy to admit that, but it happens more often than not.  Yesterday I was surprised at how I wasn’t tired.  Even though I had forgotten what night it was when I went to bed the night before and didn’t get to bed till 11 pm.  I was surprised at how much energy I had.  Again…. I think it was The Lords way of reminding me what joy I have had serving Him.

I’m so grateful for the blessing of working the The Lord’s House.  I have many sweet memories and have gained some wonderful friendships both with fellow workers and with Patrons who come so often.  What a blessing it is to do His work!  I guess I will have to settle for just being a Patron myself for a while.  I can always attend during the hours that we worked and hopefully be able to say “Hi” to some of those friends while we are there.  Being a Patron is a blessing too.  One I haven’t taken as much advantage of as I should.  Now I will have a chance to finish up those Family File cards a distant relative gave me to do.  And that….. will be a blessing too!

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?

Miss Lyn

It’s been two years.  Two LONG years I might add!

For many reasons, I have not been able to see my dear friend Lyn for the last few years.  I won’t go into the reasons here…. that’s not important.  What IS important is that she was able to make a trip to Utah to visit her Mom.  Luckily, she asked me to pick her up at the airport and drive her to her Mom’s so we could have some time to visit.  Then…. she even invited me to stay over night so we’d have even more time!

Sometimes…  people and personalities just click.  And we did.  Once we got to know each other, we have just become good close friends.  Unfortunately we live in different states so we don’t get to see each other often.  Usually, it’s at least once a year at the Senior Games in St. George, but the last two years she hasn’t been able to come.  So this visit to Utah was a welcome and fun surprise!

My crazy talented friend, Lyn surrounded by the quilts she made for her grandkids
My crazy talented friend, Lyn surrounded by the quilts she made for her grandkids

It was a delight to meet her Mom and her sister and brother in law.  We had such fun talking and catching up.  She always makes me happy!  I just wish we would have had more time.  We both know that if we lived closer together ‘we’d get in so much trouble’, as Lyn puts it.  Not bad trouble….  just little trouble.  

Well… I had a brilliant thought today on the way back home from her Mom’s house.  How about I go get her a day early (late in the day, of course), and we drive back to my house.  On the way back,  we can stop and see some other friends we know from the Senior Games, then,   she can come stay over night with me and I will take her to the airport the next day!  

I’m so excited that after discussing it with her Mom she is going to do that.  It will be fun, once again!  But I better get out my crochet hook in the meantime….. time to make more hats…. for friends this time!

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?

Love One Another

I woke up the other morning with what I thought was quite a profound thought.

I enjoy reading books on Near Death Experiences (NDE’s).  I have read several of them and I’m in the process of reading one right now.  One of the things that you will find in common when reading about NDE’s is that each one felt an expression of an overwhelming feeling of being loved beyond anything they remember feeling on this earth before.    I love hearing that, but I wonder if I really understand even remotely the feeling they experienced.

I love my family.  I love my husband, I love my children.  I love and enjoy doing many things….. but do I really know what an overwhelming feeling of love is?  I’m sure you can all relate to having those moments when you feel the love for someone so much and so strongly that it kind of consumes you.  You feel a rush of energy coming from you heart and you can’t feel anything but blissfully happy.  Isn’t it an extraordinary feeling?1150416_598568200185881_733462880_n

Now…. I imagine, if we take the most profound feeling of love we have felt for someone and times it by a gazillion…. we might have an inkling of an idea of the kind of overwhelming love that someone talks about when they try to describe what they felt during an NDE.

EVERY book I have read about NDE’s say there are no words in our language as we know it to explain what they experienced.  Things are different over there.  We are in a different ‘realm’ and don’t experience time the same way we do here.

When I woke the other morning I was thinking about what I had read in the book the night before and the scripture in John 13: 34  came to mind:  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  

I think most of us are pretty familiar with that scripture.  In the LDS church, we have a short sweet beloved song based on that scripture, so it’s reiterated in our minds quite frequently.

As I have loved you, Love one another

This new commandment, love one another

By this shall men know, ye are my disciples

If ye have love, one to another


If we are commanded to ‘love one another as I have loved you’, and we REALLY don’t understand his infinite love for us….  then I wonder how much more intense our love will be for others when we ‘get it’?  When no longer have to fight the physical body and the natural man and it’s just our spirits communicating…. what will it feel like?  No words to describe it I suppose.

Yet… with all the capacity we can give in our mortal state to love, it’s still really an intense feeling for the here and now.  And it’s the best we can give… for now.

I guess my ‘profound’ thought was, that as much as I feel that intense love for my loved ones… I truly can’t comprehend what my Heavenly Father and Savior feel for me!  It just kind of hit me to think of their love for me being so much more intense than I can even comprehend or feel my my loved ones.

All I can do for now is do my best to love everyone.  It’s a daily job to pay attention to what we are thinking of others.  It’s so easy to criticize and not remember that Heavenly Father and our Savior love them just as much as he loves me!  That’s what we are put here in this life to do.  To learn to love all mankind.   If you read books about NDE’s you will find that that is the message that they all bring back…. we are here to love each other, that’s the most important lesson you can learn in this lifetime.970691_619646021413733_26011956_n

It’s really not so hard to be kind and helpful.  It’s the least we can do.  But it is much easier to do when we begin by loving ourselves.  Then we can pay that love forward to others.

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?


Grateful to Be Here

One year ago this last month, a wake up call came into my life.  This last year has been quite a journey.  While much of it has not been fun…. I have come through it amazingly well and I am just so grateful to be here!

No one EVER wants to hear the big ‘C’ word!  Not a fun thing…. but it seems it’s so prevalent in our world today.  It comes in many different ways.  Mine, gratefully, was a very curable kind.  But even so…. the diagnosis doesn’t come without some trepidation.

Grateful to Be Here!
Grateful to Be Here!
(photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Last week, at the ball park after my boys game, I was reminded that it was one year ago in June that we asked all the kids to sit down after the game so we could ‘break it to them gently’.  I’ve never really asked them what was going through their minds at the time.  I know they were worried and concerned.  I do remember when I asked my daughter if she could come over to the boys game that night, knowing that I had been in the Emergency room a few days prior,  she said, “Why?  Are you dying?”  On the night of the game, I didn’t have a diagnosis of what kind of Lymphoma I had…. just that I had it.  The doctor had advised me to wait till the biopsy had been done and I met with the Oncologist to determine what type of Lymphoma it was.  I had said that I could do some research on the internet about it and he suggested that I didn’t.  He said there are so many different kinds of Lymphoma that it will just confuse and possibly even scare me.  He thought it best to wait for a definite diagnosis. So I did.  However…. I know my kids did not!  They did some research online and I think it may have led to a little anxiety in them.

Gratefully…. I was diagnosed with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma.  Even though after some extensive testing it turned out to be Stage 4, I never felt doom and gloom.  I was confident we could kick this one.

My year has been one of many mixed emotions.  I’m so grateful that I was able to maintain a positive attitude and that I had a wonderful support system around me.  Perhaps the most amazing thing to me was that through social media. I was dumbfounded by the love and support that was expressed to me!  Because I made my journey very public through my blog…. I constantly felt the love and support that I needed.

I’m so grateful for friends and family that have seen me through this.   I won’t go into more detail here about my journey.   You can read more about it on this blog under the “When Your Life Hits A Wall” tab.  There are several entries there  that you’ll have to scroll down to read if you want to read about the whole saga.  🙂

I just wanted to express my gratitude for making it through.  For being here! For all the love and support that I felt from everyone, including my Father in Heaven.  Life is wonderful and I still have many years ahead of me.  I know keeping an ‘Attitude of Gratitude” will continue to bless my life and those around me.  Who knew that starting this blog would be such an important part of getting me through this?  Not me… that’s for sure!

You know how you hear to make sure you take to time to tell people you love them?  Well, this is one of those times!  I am so grateful for and love my family, friends, neighbors and even all of you!  You’ll never know just how much.  Thanks for sending me your energy and prayers.  All is well!

I am Grateful!  How are You?