Monday, June 25, 2012

My mother died

My mother died on June 15, 2012 at 9:30am right before my sister and I started our first legs at the Ragnar.  That's very important.  We told her in May that that particular weekend wasn't good for us to have her die but APPARENTLY our wishes don't count.  Just kidding.  We still got our medals and our stickers and our shirts for participating.

My dad called my phone because he couldn't get a hold of my sister.  He was crying and said, "I think your mom just died."  What did he mean by he "thinks" she just died.  Either one is dead or they aren't.  But she was.  My sister started crying immediately but I went into "planning and being the boss" mode.  About an hour later when I talked to my second daughter to tell her about grandma she started crying and that's what put me over the edge.

 I had about an hour to get myself together for my leg of the race.  Which was hard and crappy.  7.8 miles up Avon pass.  A dusty, dirt road up over a mountain.  The last two miles of the leg nobody passed me.  Even the hard core runners were walking it.  Kristen (my sister) ran down the other side of the pass into Eden then my brother-in-law picked us up and took us home.  I bawled for a good portion of that drive.  I tried to do it quietly so I wouldn't upset my BIL and my sister but they could hear me.

As soon as I talked to my dad I called my husband and told him to cancel all of his appointments and get up to his house.  He's so awesome.  He did exactly that and stayed all day.

We finally got to my dad's house at about 5:00pm and stayed until about 8:00. 

The next day we went to the funeral home and picked out a lovely poplar casket, a dress, temple clothing, flowers, etc.  My sister went up to one of the caskets and kicked the wheel of one of the carts and said, "I'll take it!"  Because that's how we roll. 

The following Tuesday we met our hair girl down there and she did my mother's hair.  She looked dead.  We joked around and poked at her and got her hair done.  On Thursday morning we went and dressed her.  Non-Mormons will think this is weird.  Well, maybe even Mormons will think it's weird but she needed to be dressed in her LDS Temple clothing and only Mormons know how to do that.  She looked lovely.  That night was her viewing so we told them to draw some eyebrows on her as she has none.  My sister plucked them all out years ago.  Completely on accident.  Completely.

My dad hadn't seen her since the morticians had come to get her on the day she had died so when he came into the funeral home that evening and saw her he started to cry.  She was so pretty to him.  He said that he would court her all over again.  My poor dad.

The following is an excerpt from an email I sent a friend about the day of the funeral:

It was an exhausting, long day.  We were so happy to see those who came but when it came time to put on her veil and close the casket all three of us lost it. And we forgot to take a picture of her in the casket.  The funeral itself was great.  My cousin Kelli gave the life sketch, the grandkids sang a song and Emily accompanied.  Kristen and I spoke together and told several funny stories about my mother and her crazy antics over the years.  The chapel was filled with laughter.  Then we both blubbered through our last thoughts and testimonies.  We barely got it together enough to sing Amazing Grace (the MoTab version) and I only broke at the last two lines when I happened to look at my dad.  So I quickly stopped looking.  The bishop told a story about how she Jazzied up to him once and told him he was a good bishop and said that she probably said that to all her bishops to which in reply in unison we all three said, "Nooo!"  We'd forgotten to tell a story about Cliff Henkel and his 7 year reign of terror.  I'll tell you about it sometime.  The pallbearers hauled her out to the car and then I said to my cousin, "Let's eat!"  They think I'm terrible.  And then Kristen comes up to me and says the exact same thing.

We drove up to the cemetery in Wellsville and had another cousin dedicate the grave and my dad bore his testimony.  Then he sat down and I leaned over and said, "Now what?"  Then Kristen leaned over and said, "Now what?"  Then my dad let everyone know it was over.

We cried a good deal of the day.  I was exhausted when I got home and went straight to bed.

Saturday was really solemn and quiet.  Jon was having a party for my birthday and my dad came but left early because he "wanted to be alone with his thoughts."  My sister walked him out and he was crying.  I guess he cried all the way home then when he got into the house he lay on my mother's side of the bed and bawled for a long time he said.  Sunday was better although I saw a friend of mine from the other ward who works for the hospice that took care of my mother and I talked to him about the nurse coming and I started bawling.  It comes and goes like that.

Today is fabulous.  I feel good.  Kristen and I went up to my dad's and started going through my mom's stuff.  We went through the jewelry today and I gathered a bunch of genealogy my mom had in a drawer since I'm the one interested in that stuff.  Then we went out for Mexican food.  My dad paid.  We made him.  He's doing good today.

I need to write everything down that happened before I forget.  But I don't know if I have the energy to do it.  This is a good start, though.  I don't feel like she's hovering around anymore.  I felt like she was hovering around until we dedicated the grave.  I didn't realize I felt that way until later."

There is more to it but I'm not in the mood.  It has been a moody couple of weeks.  A few days before she died I was able to spend several hours with her,  Kristen did it again the next day.  On both days she was really lucid.  The day before she died we took turns going up and sitting with her.  Her oxygen levels were really low and the next day she died.  Really fast, too.  It was kind of amazing.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Today I attended a parole hearing for a man who molested a child in the neighborhood.  I sat with the victim's family and witnessed the utter suffering and uncontrollable crying of the mother as the specifics of the case were read aloud.  And when I say specifics I mean everything was laid out in the open.  There was no second guessing what this man had done to this child. 

The man was asked questions and then left the room while the mother spoke openly and candidly about the sadness her child has to live through.  How the child doesn't think much of themself, the child's usually high grades had plummeted, how the child cries frequently, and has had continual therapy since the time it came out in the open.  Also, the child continues to relive the abuse suffered.  That will never go away.  The child will always remember it, unfortunately.

The man came back into the room and the mediator asked him questions. I won't go into the questions the man was asked as suffice it to say everything the man answered was either half truths or all out lies.  Because you see that is the way pedophiles are.  They lie.  THEY LIE!!  They are almost narcissistic in their behavior.  "If I don't get caught, I didn't do it.  And no matter what I did I will not apologize."  I will say thing like, "I'm glad I got caught, or I feel the victim's family's pain, or I understand what I did was wrong, etc."  But at no time will they actually say, "I am sorry." Period. Because they will put the blame on the child, the child's family, the way they themselves were molested as a child, pornography, their home life, etc.  And they are slimy!!  They will get their family, friends, church and community members to believe that "it only happened once, maybe twice, and never with another child."  And the family, friends, church and community members will believe them.  Because they have been groomed right along with the child he violated.

As a side note, for every child you find out about there are at least 100 children in one stage or another that are being groomed.  Some are in the beginning stages and others are too old for the pedophile.  It's a proven fact.  

Behind the group of us who were with the victim's family were the group who were with the man in prison.  They were not allowed to speak.  I knew all but one person in that group.  I hope that whatever lies the man's mother and family tell about their son/friend and about the victim's family were now laid out for all to see.  I hope that their will be no more confusion as to what this man did.  I'm glad they weren't allowed to speak their lies to the mediator.  They don't deserve a voice.

My friend has felt compassionate towards the family.  She's a better person than I. 

However, I do believe in the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  I have personally put my faith and trust on the shoulder of the Savior to help me through hard times and to help me forgive those who have wronged me.  Granted nothing like this has ever happened to me or my family but I know for a fact that the Atonement of Jesus Christ his given me peace as I've laid my burdens at His feet.

I hope for that sakes of both family, the victim and the pedophile especially, that they can learn how to apply the soothing balm the Atonement provides.  The memories never go away.  They are there to help you remember how to treat others, I believe.  But the pain can disappear.  Like nothing ever happened.

In the meantime, he's in jail for a long time.  Amen.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sometimes I surprise even myself

You want to see an embarrassing picture of me?

Who toldest thee that this wast sexy? (May '88)
I have no words.  Or boobs.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Meaning of WampumQueen

My husband named me the WampumQueen when we were freshman at BYU.  I was pretty cool back then.  I had really, really, really short platinum blonde hair.  I wore what I wanted, mostly black.  I had this pair of slip shorts.  They were black and silky like a slip with a bit of lace around the bottoms like a slip but they were shorts.  They were meant to be worn under a dress but I wore them as shorts. Because I could.  I thought I was something else. I, also, wore a white slip as a skirt.  A regular old slip but it was short.  I had clothes that I wore that were not underclothing, too.  Don't worry.

My sister and I in front of Heleman Halls. I was very tan.

At my grandma's condo in Bountiful

Somewhere at BYU.

Me with Jonathan on the right and Steve Hartline on the left.  Who cares about the other two.  I'm wearing the white slip here.
But the best thing I had were these boots.  The Wampum Boots.  The hubs gave them their name.  I loved them.  I still have them.  They were comfortable and I thought they went with everything. They were light brown, suede, ankle boots with colorful bits of leather pieces woven in.  They had very pointy toes and velcroed on. 

In front of Whitney Hall in Heritage Halls.  I'm wearing the WampumBoots here but you can't see them.

The Wampum Boots.  A little worse for wear over the 25 years I've owned them but still really cool.
Because I had the WampumBoots then I must be the Queen of Wampum.  So I was christened.  And that is why I'm called the WampumQueen.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Baby Adam

In the last two weeks we've been very busy celebrating the manhoodedness of my oldest child, Adam. 

He turned 18 in April but the culmination of his childhood began with his receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood from his father on Sunday, May 20.  Jon's step dad, George, and step mom, Char, came into town to witness this event.  He also graduated from seminary that evening although we didn't attend the ceremony as we were busy with family. And ate lots of good food.

On Wednesday, May 30, he graduated from high school.  Barely.  In April we found out he was .25 credit short so he sent to East Shore High School, an alternative high school, and did 2 packets to make up that credit.  He stayed up until 4am on Monday the 28th to finish some assignments due in math.  He squeaked by with a D.  So proud.  Jon's dad, Clay, and step mom, Stephanie, came into town for the graduation.  Also there were my dad Warner, sister Kristen, brother-in-law Erich, and one of their boys Ezra.  Rod Morgan an old friend of ours attended along with Adam's good friend Josh Nilsson and his girlfriend. And we ate lots of good food.

Tonight he received his Eagle Scout at his Court of Honor.  This was done in conjunction with Josh Nilsson as he received his Eagle Scout also and they wanted to do this together.  It lasted about 45 minutes and was fun to watch the boy getting his Eagle Award.  Even I got a little pin that said, "Eagle Scout Mom."

I've never been shy about saying that  I want the kids to grow up and move out as soon as possible but now that the first one is grown went too fast.  He will be gone quite a bit this summer then next spring he will go on a mission.  Then he'll get married and have kids of his own......

As Adam has done all the firsts in the family I realize the lasts are also ticking off just as fast.  Matthew just finished Cub Scouts and received his Arrow of Light.  No more Pack Meetings for us.  He has one more year in the elementary school.  We will have  been in the school for 14 years.  What happened? 

Anyway.  This is getting morose. 

Good luck out there in the world, Man Cub.  Hopefully we've taught you everything you need to know to start you out in life.  There's still a lot of learning ahead of you.