Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ed Herrman with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Longfellow's Christmas

One evening on my way home from the hospital (the first couple weeks of November) I felt wracked with torment thinking of what lay ahead in our future.  My heart was heavy and I was out of control.  I had lost hope and was feeling total despair and yet I knew I should be able to cling to the Lord for peace, but I wasn't finding it.  I know where to turn for peace and I knew it was my fault that I wasn't finding it..., I was struggling and needed help.   I called the bishop to have him give me a blessing, and after the blessing I was able to find the peace I needed. (I was almost home and didn't want to turn around and go back to have Terry give me this blessing because I was trying to get home to be with Anthony.)

I shared my experience with Terry the next day and in tears he recited the words -  "...and in despair I bowed my head, there is no peace on earth I said..."  and we visited about it briefly even though he wasn't strong enough to say too much.  We had a tender moment together that I will remember and cherish forever.

This song seemed to fit my feelings and circumstances and I felt like I could connect.  Though my story and Longfellow's story are quite different, the despair and grief were very strong for me that night, and the peace that came later was equally strong.

My internet search led me here  where I found the video clip above (we had watched as it was broadcast a few years ago), and to this info below:  

The great American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is revered for his classic literary works. His poem “Christmas Bells” has become one of our most well-known and beloved Christmas carols, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” What is less known, though, is the story behind the poem.
Reeling from the tragic death of his wife and the war wounds of his son, Longfellow penned the words to “Christmas Bells” during one of the darkest times in American history. And while the words of the poem reflect his obvious despair and grief, it is the triumphant message of “peace on earth, good will to men” for which this song — and Longfellow's personal story — is remembered.

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day has always been one of my favorite Christmas songs, but this year it seemed to speak my language even more.   I listened to it several times on the radio in my traveling to and from the hospital those two weeks and when trying to choose what songs to sing for Terry's funeral I knew this had to be one of them.  There is one difference as I hear it this year - it brings me to tears as I think about my experience with its message. It will forever hold a special place in my heart ..., right next to my feelings for Terry, because it is very much a part of our relationship.

Added 3 January 2015
I just learned that Ed Herrman passed away 31 Dec. 2014 after a fight with brain cancer - more info here.  (the day after I wrote this post)

A Scripture

Our ward has a plaque made for each missionary before they leave for their mission.  Each missionary chooses the scripture that he would like engraved on it and that plaque is then displayed in the foyer of the church for the time the missionary is serving.

The scripture Connor chose to put on his plaque before leaving for his mission is D&C 42:5-6:

And I give unto them a commandment that they shall go forth for a little season, and it shall be given by the power of the Spirit when they shall return.
And ye shall go forth in the power of my Spirit, preaching my gospel, two by two, in my name, lifting up your voices as with the sound of a trump, declaring my word like unto angels of God.

It is a great missionary scripture and it meant something to him at the time he chose it, but it means something more now than it once did.

The bishop gives the return missionary the plaque after he speaks in Sacrament Mtg. upon his return. Connor spoke Sunday (sorry I didn't even remember to post about it previous to it and I didn't even think of a gathering after church - I guess my mind was elsewhere, if anywhere at all).

The bishop asked Connor to read his chosen scripture out loud at the end of the meeting Sunday and Skyler noticed something as it was being read.

"...it shall be given by the power of the Spirit when they shall return."

Connor had a unique situation with the poor health of his father.  We shared what we knew about Terry's health with Connor, which was that there was no longer anything the doctors could do for the cancer in Terry's body and that he would not have much time.  The doctor did promise to try to help him through the holidays, but her expression seemed to tell us that she doubted he would make it. We were still determined to try as hard as we could, and we put our faith in the Lord to help us.

Connor's mission president was informed, and I had a few phone visits with him during those last couple months trying to inform them of Terry's health condition and helping decide what Connor should do.  I could not help make Connor's decision whether to come home early, but promised to pray for the Lord to help him make that decision.  We fasted and prayed for him and put his name in the temple, then we turned it over to God to help Connor make that decision.  With the help of the Lord, and a branch president and a mission president and unique experiences meant just for Connor, he was able to know what he should do, and his release date became December 17th.

Terry wanted so badly to make it to that date, but the Lord had different plans for him.  But Connor was able to be here for the funeral and find some comfort with family at such a sorrowful and critical time.

Not every missionary gets to choose when he shall return, but as Connor's scripture stated "...it shall be given by the power of the Spirit when [he] shall return."   Connor didn't choose the exact date he returned -  that was given him, but he did choose to come early, which was different than he had been thinking  (because he really would have liked to have extended his mission instead).

I will not share the complete story about how Connor was able to decide when he should return, but he had some personal and spiritual experiences that helped him know he should return early, then the leaders chose the date for him.

Realizing the significance of this scripture (and that Connor chose it before he left with no knowledge of what would take place at the end of his mission) has been another tender mercy or small miracle that has brought peace to our hearts and reminds us that the Lord is aware of each of us, and we, and all things, are in His hands.

Monday, December 29, 2014

to be proved and tested

Remember that you are here to be proved and tested, “to see if [you] will do all things whatsoever the Lord [your] God shall command [you]” (Abraham 3:25)—and may I just add, “under all circumstances.” 

When these trials come..., try to force a smile, gaze heavenward, and say, "I understand, Lord.  I know what this is.  A time to prove myself, isn't it?"  Then partner with Him to endure well to the end.

Spiritual confidence increases when you accept that

"Often trials and tribulations are allowed to come into [your life] because of what [you] are doing right." 

full article here

This was first published at  http://waitingpatientlyonthelord.blogspot.com/2014/12/to-be-proved-and-tested.html

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

image from here

Here is the only photo I took Christmas day -

It was a slow and relaxing day for the most part.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


FAITH gives understanding and strength...

God has given us the capacity to exercise faith, that we may find peace, joy, and purpose in life. However, to employ its power, faith must be founded on something. There is no more solid foundation than faith in the love Heavenly Father has for you, faith in His plan of happiness, and faith in the capacity and willingness of Jesus Christ to fulfill all of His promises.

Even if you exercise your strongest faith, God will not always reward you immediately according to your desires. Rather, God will respond with what in His eternal plan is best for you. He loves you to a depth and completeness you cannot conceive of in your mortal state. 

Sincere faith gives understanding and strength to accept the will of our Heavenly Father when it differs from our own. We can accept His will with peace and assurance, confident that His infinite wisdom surpasses our own ability to comprehend fully His plan as it unfolds a piece at a time.

full message by Richard G. Scott here

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


I remember Terry reading this to me a couple months ago.  

"The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays."
- Soren Kierkegaard

I saved the magazine and just found it this morning - it is something to consider and to remind me.

"What you're supposed to do when you don't like a thing is change it.  If you can't change it, change the way you think about it.  Don't complain."
- Maya Angelou

From The Progressive Farmer / October 2014

a gift from a friend

This was first published at  http://waitingpatientlyonthelord.blogspot.com/2014/12/change.html

Christmas with Family

We had our family Christmas gathering on Sunday since that was the last day everyone would be here together.  It felt a bit strange, but it was still a very nice celebration of love. 

This was the first time since the summer of 2003 that our children had all been gathered together at the same time.  Some were meeting family members for the first time (those sweet little grandchildren that have joined our family in the last few years).    All were saying goodbye to a wonderful part of our lives and trying to move forward in faith.  We did find reason to smile and be happy together, even in our time of sorrow. 

We had people everywhere, and everywhere people were enjoying each others company.  We gave gifts to each other and opened them with excitement - grateful to have this joyful reason to celebrate.

I felt a little out of sorts and didn't accomplish my plan the way I had originally thought, but it was still a good celebration.  In my mind I had given this holiday a theme - REMEMBER.  I was hoping to help my children remember their father, their family, their love for each other.  We chose gifts that would hopefully mean something special and connect them to their father, and at the same time help them also REMEMBER our Savior. 

I added a message that would hopefully help them REMEMBER.  

The grandchildren each received a nativity globe.

I wanted each to remember that HE (Christ) IS THE GIFT!  He is the reason we celebrate life.  He is the one we look to for peace and comfort and for guidance and direction in life.  Always REMEMBER Him.

(We also gave each married family a set of Power Tales books like we read together when our children were home and growing up together.  Remembering our time together.) 

Willow Tree seemed the perfect gift this season because of the family set that Terry gave me several years ago (seen at the funeral), 

and the couple he gave me another year,

and the wise men he gave me a few years ago.  

Terry didn't always give material gifts, but when he did they meant something very special.  Each of these touches my heart deeply and makes me happy when I see them.  Each was a surprise and a gift he came up with on his own.  Awesome huh!

FYI - When Terry gave me the figurine of the couple standing together he told me that he had chosen that one because it represented how fast we slow dance together.  It's so true ..., when we did dance, we did SLOW dance.   I love his interpretation of it and cherish it.  It is so fun!

As I was decorating for Christmas I saw and read the card that came with the figurine and my heart exploded, tears immediately began to flow, and I told Terry (who was sitting on the sofa at the time) that that piece meant much more to me now than it had previously (and it had always meant a lot to me).  When I explained why, his heart then began to overflow and tears began to fall. We do share something special.  I have wonderful memories and many material things that will remind me of that special relationship we shared.

Hold dear the promise of love
We have been promised to each other, and with the Saviors promise we will be reunited ... together forever.  Our relationship will not end.  I can hardly wait to see him again, but I will endure and patiently wait for that time, on the Lord's time, so that those blessings will be mine/ours.  I will remind myself over and over that I CAN DO HARD THINGS. 
My father gave me a beautiful blessing while he was here and I will use that blessing to find courage and strength to carry on and live worthy of this eternal promise.  I am sure I will crumble at times, but I hope to pick myself back up and carry on in faith and trust in the Lord.  I know that the Lord will walk with me every step of the way if I stay close to Him, and I am also aware that there will be times that He will carry me.  I am so grateful that we have a loving Father in Heaven and a Savior, Redeemer, Brother and Friend.  HE IS THE GIFT!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Poem by Michael

Michael wrote this masterpiece the day we got home from the hospital after Terry passed away.  I was in the same room with Michael as this thought process began and I saw his expression change and he got up and got a piece of paper and a pencil and went to the table and began writing.  After he completed it he gave it to me and I read it and kept it close at heart.
When it came time to plan the funeral program I asked Michael to share his poem with us all.   Everyone was so impressed and grateful for this poem and the truths it testifies of, and several noticed that we could hear Terry's words there too - recognizing that this poem was very likely inspired by him.  
We knew Michael had to share it in the program and I now share it here for a reminder whenever we need it in the future.

This poem dedicated to Terry Wayne Hebdon
Written on the day that he’s gone to heaven.
He passed in the morning of December’s day 10
Though we may fret we will see him again.
His greatest and dearest possessions in life
Are his farm, his faith, his family, but mostly his wife.
A father to 9, a brother to all
Trained to rescue whomever did fall.
A presider, a provider, a protector of family.
He loved his life and lived it happily.
“I am fine” he would say, though lately his body would sway.
He taught through example, followed the Savior’s way
We still hear his voice echoing through the house
“Get up, get dressed, get going” he would daily announce.
A captain in suffering, a saint when in pain
A decision he had made again and again.
It made him a much better person you see.
Like that one who suffered with him in Gethsemane
And with that miracle so noble, so true
He claims us His, both me and you.
So on this day Terry’s lowered in the grave
Be of good cheer, Christ is mighty to save.
At those white gates he patiently waits
His arms spread out wide, his Savior by his side.

By Michael James Hebdon   10 Dec. 2014

Christ-like Characteristics

This is the talk given by Gregory at Terry's funeral (of course things may have been said slightly different when he actually gave it, but these were his thoughts when he wrote it) -

Life - What is its purpose?  Are we a coincidental evolution following a strange growth in a scum pond or a reaction from a serendipitous cosmic collision?
In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we are taught, following a Christian tradition, that we existed as spirits before our mortal birth.  We come to earth in a probationary state.  We are given commandments and agency.  Our decisions to follow commandments bring us blessings, and our rebellions cause negative consequences and heartache.
It is our duty to try to become better people, and earn a place in Heaven with a loving God.
How are we supposed to learn these things?  How can we grow?  God gave us tools.  We have scriptures, prophets, a conscience or the Holy Ghost, a Savior who provided a perfect example for us, and one other gift.  God gave us fathers.  It is one thing to read about a person, and another to live with and interact with someone; to be able to watch them as you grow up.
We on the Royal Slope, and especially Terry and Elaine’s children have had a wonderful example to look to and strive to emulate.  He provided a great example-though not perfect as our Savior’s.  I don’t want to sound blasphemous-but an example of how a mortal man can work to become more like Christ.  After all, my Dad is my Hero.  In the LDS church we call these characteristics Christ-like attributes. 
The manual called Preach My Gospel has a list of Christ-like attributes.  I would like to put a twist on them, add some others, and submit to you my version of Dad-like attributes.
The manual starts off with the ever important trait of faith in Jesus Christ.  The poem written by Dad included on the bulletin shows that he absolutely did have faith in our Savior.
Next is hope.  Dad never gave in to despair as he digressed in his fight against cancer.  He kept a good attitude when things looked so bleak.  He hoped for a positive outcome in this life, and if he couldn't get that, then a better state in the world beyond.
Then we find charity and love.  I think of a winter when a family on the slope lost their home to a fire, and Dad gathered us to explain that he wanted our consent to fore-go some Christmas gifts and donate some money to this family after their great loss.  We didn't have much but we had enough to help someone in need.  Dad also had a tender way of lifting up the homeless on the streets, sometimes with food or money, and if that wasn't available he would offer a friendly conversation to cheer someone up.  He also made many visits to friends and neighbors in times of sorrow or need.  And now in our time of sorrow we have had many people reciprocate that demonstration of love and compassion, and we thank you all for that.
Virtue follows; and when I think of Dad I think of Honor.  He didn't have a church self and a farm self and a different personality for different situations.  What you saw was who he was.  If he said he would do something, he would do it.  I would liken it to dignity, which was very important to Dad. 
Next is knowledge.  Many of you might not know this but Dad used to read the dictionary.  He would read papers, books, magazines, anything to increase his knowledge.  In school he had near perfect attendance.  Mom has some report cards showing that Dad missed one day of school in four years.  He also urged us to continue our education beyond high school, and made it a priority of his to help us get through it financially as he was not able to do on his own, due to his duties here.  Much of his knowledge and mental capacity is showcased in his poems over the years, always written for the benefit of others and not for his own gain.
Now in the spirit of honesty, I will not gloss over the next attribute.  When Dad asked me to speak at his funeral he told me to tell the truth.  Patience is possibly the one that gave him the most trouble.  Especially in the eyes of our family it seemed like he had more patience with others than with us.  But I don’t hold a grudge about it.  I am glad for what it taught me.  Dad always expected a lot out of us, but only because he knew our potential and wanted us to stretch and reach it.  He would not settle for a part time attitude or less than our best.  Now, continuing with truth, he gained much more patience as he dealt with his trial of cancer.  Anger pretty much vanished. 
That leads to humility.  Dad had an often quiet strength.  He never aspired to positions of high rank or recognition.  He felt that he was not good enough to have them, while many others would have gladly recommended him.  He esteemed himself much lower than the high regard that the rest of us hold for him.  He was also mistreated occasionally in deals with business associates and others which hurt him both financially and emotionally, but he remained polite to them and did not hold a grudge with anyone, no matter what had happened.
Dad was diligent.  He would not give up no matter the difficulty of the task, and rarely complained.
Obedience follows. . . Do you see what I did there?  Dad always enjoyed a pun.  He accepted every assignment given to him at church, even when he didn't feel like he was prepared, or the best one for the job, or even when it put him in danger.  He was asked to be the early morning seminary teacher, and it caused a great deal of strain on his body, but he didn't worry about his health.  He focused on obeying, and helping those youth.  And more than a couple of those kids will tell you that he left a lasting impression in their lives for the better.
Dad always showed a willingness to serve others.  From helping people move, to plowing snow, to many other things, he wanted to help others when he could, and looked for opportunities.  When he was young he was often found pushing the wheel chair for his friend Cruz.  He wanted to help, and didn't want Cruz to miss out.  He was very considerate of the needs of others.  That was another thing that he tried to instill in us.  He tried to help us learn to think of how our choices affected others and act accordingly.  He often asked us to spell considerate, and define it for him so that it would be ingrained in our minds.
He had a positive attitude.  He found joy in life, even small things like stacking the last load of hay for the cutting.  He had a sense of humor.  He enjoyed sharing a chuckle with someone or giving them a reason to smile.  He didn't share the loud jokes like, “a rabbi, a cardinal and a Mormon bishop walk into a bar,” type, but a clever response or a play on words.  He liked to make people happy.
Now, for me, comes the crowning piece, the traits that I think he most fully embodied.  Dad believed in industry, and provident living.  He was not afraid of hard work, but actually enjoyed it.  He lived frugally, not wasting any money on his own desires but spent all of his energy providing for his family.  I do not know of a time that our needs were not met.  Even if it meant that he slept for only two hours a night, and ate only one meal a day, he made sure that we were fed and healthy.  We know him lovingly as “Terry Tough.”  He attacked any weakness in himself like a lion.  He saved tenaciously and prepared for the future.  And now as he has lost his ability to work and earn more money to support his family, his preparation will continue to provide for his wife and family.
And so I say as the prophet Nephi said in the Book of Mormon, “I, Gregory, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father . . . having had a great knowledge of the goodness and mysteries of God.”  He taught us in words, but more importantly he taught us by his actions.
The morning after Dad passed away Thomas and I expressed our sorrow that our kids, his grandchildren, wouldn't have their grandpa around as they grew up.  All that they would miss from not interacting with this great man tore us apart.
I submit to all today that it is our duty to carry on that legacy.  We who are his sons, as well as all others who admire him are asked to strive to develop those attributes that we have respected and admired.

Elder M. Russell Ballard said that a “father sees in a son a promising future and a better, improved version of himself.”  I don’t feel like I will ever reach the standard he set, but I recommit today, to step up and do my best to fill those shoes as much as I can.  And I think that is all Dad and our Heavenly Father, the two now being together, would want from any of us:  Our Best.

Terry Hebdon Life Sketch

Life sketch, given by Thomas -

How do you put into words the events in a man’s life that made him who he is? I have tried to read more of dads early life’s stories, look through his photo albums, and get input from many who knew him. I didn’t want this to be my life sketch of dad, but his life sketch from others. I’m not eloquent like he, nor do I share his ability with words. I do however want to share some experiences from our family to combine what you all know of him with a few things you may not know so we can paint the true picture of “One Good Man.”
            Keith Auger and Idris Egbert Hebdon moved from Idaho to Washington to pursue the farming lifestyle they desired. They had purchased property in Royal City but the land did not yet have water to it, so they settled in Quincy for a time. Dad was born in Ephrata on July 16, 1957, while the family lived in Quincy, the fifth of seven children.
            The family lived in a small camper trailer till they were able to build a home. Dad remembers carrying nails and boards as they built this home, which as you may know, the walls were built with 2x4s stacked on top of each other.
            He talked about the early process of taming the land and the lack of amenities that we now enjoy like running water. He remembers bathing in the canal near the home and at a young age changing siphon tubes. Fixing holes in the dirt ditches and changing water which was always a family affair. Later up grading to hand lines and to pumps to wheel lines and eventually circles. He remembers when the family bought a harobed, which was one of the first in the area, and as kids they ran in front of it turning flat bales on edge as Dennis would pick them up. These experiences along with many others taught dad how to Work, and the importance of it.
            Dad learned the importance of Sharing and Spending Wisely as, during the difficult years, the activities of daily life were centered around the basic necessities of the family.
            Dad was “born of goodly parents who loved the Lord” who taught the importance of Church Service and Missionary Work. I found in his photo album many certificates for participation in church activities such as boy scouts and the young men’s organization which show his desire to follow those teachings. From 1976-1978 he served a mission in Barcelona Spain. This was not the first of his serving opportunities nor the last but was one that we, as his children, know he cherished. We know it provided a broad range of experiences that helped shape him as a man, a father, husband, brother, teacher, friend and cook. He would often make Spanish tortillas for breakfast and taught us simple Spanish words occasionally at the dinner table like leche and sandia and agua, allowing us to share in the excitement of his experiences and sharing in his own way his testimony of the work.
            After returning from his mission, dad continued his life like most returned missionaries, attending firesides and activities, getting to know new people. In June of 1979 at a young adult dance dad met Elaine Rodeback a beautiful young woman. They danced, then went on their own ways after. The next day at a fireside, dad asked mom again to accompany him to an activity in Kennewick, she was pleased to accept the invitation. It didn’t take long for mom and dad to recognize something special in each other and they knew they wanted to continue with courtship.
            Mom, in her teenage years, had developed a “mental list of qualities” her future husband must posses, qualities like Tall, Dark, and Handsome, Kind, Humble, Knowledgeable, Thoughtful and has a sense of Humor.
Dad, in his life up until this moment, must have been developing those qualities in himself. Because when they met, he fit the mold.
            I don’t know if dad had a list for mom, I never found one in his journal but I did find a couple pages of notes and drafts of this poem he sent to mom. And how can you give dad’s life sketch without a poem or two? This poem was the first that mom knew dad to write. It was a strength to her then, and as you blog followers may know, it has been a strength since. He wrote:

            My heart is full
            It can not write
            And so my hand
            Picks up the plight

            To express to you
            My love and care
            And thank you most
            For being there

            For permitting my acquaintance
            With you to grow
            And become a love
            that’s true we know

            A thing that thrives
            When we’re together
            A bonding force
            For worse or better
            An emotion that
            One day may be
            A light far off
            That we can see

            Which guides us both
            In our trek together
            Bringing sunshine
            In stormy weather

            That utopia we both
            Must strive to find
            Through tenderness
            And being kind

            Now let it be said
            Before I’m through
            Elaine, my dearest
            I do love you!

            What else needs to be said after receiving a poem like that? A couple more months of courtship led to their marriage on February 12, 1980 in the Idaho Falls Temple. Where they vowed to continue on life’s journey together. To continue to check off many more “mental list qualities” as he became her Best Friend, Loving Husband, Great Father, Great Example and Hard Worker, along with many others.      I know he succeeded! I have seen it, I know many of you have seen these qualities expressed through his actions and words.
            Often times at home, we have joked about the older children growing up with a different dad than the younger children. Life definitely threw us a curveball that changed the game a little, but I know the younger children still saw these qualities. We saw tributes on face book from BrittanyJo and Chase and others that prove this.  Dad never changed who he was. He grew up in a time when your word was your bond, and a handshake was a contract. He never changed that either, even when the world lowered its standards. He taught us to be the same, by his example and we all can agree that he is our Hero!
            He also taught us to work hard, that it was possible to do hard things. He taught us, “early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” To “get up, get dressed, and get going.” He would quote the film Bambi “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.” Taught us to do our best in every task we faced. To not be afraid of the unknown or cower from a challenge, that “he had signed up for this”. He was resourceful, he built furniture pieces, some out of left over lumber from our house and some out of scrap metal from the shop. It seemed he could repair anything we could break, maybe not the conventional way but he would figure it out. He overhauled an engine learning as he went, being meticulous and attentive as he tore it apart so he could correctly put it back together. Whatever the task he worked till the job was done.
            He has always took pride in his accomplishments while striving to maintain humility. He encouraged us to take “pride in ownership” no matter the condition. As life has gone on his perspectives have changed a bit. He has been able to achieve many of his business goals:   
            Work hard to get out of debt
            Build an adequate home and provide for family
            Become self reliant/dependent/sustaining
He also shifted more focus to personal/family goals
            #1 raise family in gospel-have joy in posterity
            Attend graduations from HS and College
            All boys serve missions
            Attend all Temple Marriages
Some of these are nearing completion, while others have a way to go still. But I know his passing will not stop him from fulfilling these remaining goals, even though he cannot do so in person.
            I will always remember, as Akleigh calls them, the Seadattle trips while dad was receiving transplants. How we were able to spend Christmas together,  ride the ducks, go  to the zoo or the aquarium, and visit Pikes Place Market. Last year we enjoyed finding and counting the 12th man flags, a tradition we didn’t know would keep going where ever we go.
             I remember seeing his compassion towards others as they too were receiving treatments and facing life’s trials. Sharing the gospel with many and love with all. Telling about the different sleeves made by BrittanyJo and Ellen and sharing them with others.
            The different stories from his life as he and I worked together for the past few years. Stories that weren’t momentous in many ways but still brought us closer together. In trying to come up with a few things to share about dad, I asked a few of my siblings if they had anything they thought should be said. Through a lot of the ensuing small talk a common thread was the way they enjoyed being able to spend time with him in different ways. Dad was fun to be around and to learn from. There are many more experiences I could share and I’m sure you have some of your own too.
            I am grateful for the time we got to spend together. For his unwavering and unshaken faith and positive outlook in his life that seemed to be a lot like the weather outside today. For being the rock I needed at times in my life when I was walking through sand and needed a solid place to stand. May we never forget Dad’s life, nor the life of whom he followed.
            I feel a little like my speaking today has gone against one of dad’s other sayings. “Of all the things that come to your head, only 10% of them should be said.” I may be around 15% now, so I will finish with a poem from my Aunt Shawna,

            The sofa is covered with children,
                        But it is empty too.
            The room is lit and glowing,
                        But it is empty too.
            The lady bug bucket is missing,
                        I’m sure it’s empty too.
            But life goes on forever, we know,
                        Because of the empty tomb.

I love you, Dad!


Now a note from Elaine:
The lady bug bucket is just a cute bucket I had at the house when Terry needed it.  If you had visited the last month or two of his life you probably saw it sitting on the sofa, table, or floor beside him.

It was cuter than a garbage can or big plastic bowl, and it became his "spittoon" so to speak.  He would use it to spit in, throw up in, or just put garbage in.  He sometimes referred to it as his "ladybugget".

In Loving Memory of One Good Man - Terry Wayne Hebdon

Terry Wayne Hebdon

We had a beautiful day dedicated to celebrating the life of Terry Wayne Hebdon and by the end of the day I was so overcome with gratitude for the many tender mercies that came our way and my heart was full of love for all who participated in any way to help make that day a special day for Terry and for his loved ones.  It truly was a special day, and many people helped it become something that we will remember and cherish forever. 


On the day of his funeral the heavens rained down as if in sorrow missing this wonderful man just like we do.  But then when we needed to be outside at the cemetery the heavens were stilled and we were able to dedicate the grave in peace and reverence for Terry and all who loved him ..., and then it poured down again for the rest of the day.  I have sent a THANK YOU upward to heaven for that moment in time that helped me feel God's love.  I have felt His love in many ways, even in such a sorrowful time.

God took from me (for a time) my most precious possession, but I will do my best to be worthy of reuniting with my love for eternity (because we were married for time and sealed for eternity on 12 February 1980).  These blessings are real and eternal and they make life worth living.   I've never known such deep sadness and sorrow, but I know that when we meet again there will be even greater joy and gladness, so exquisite that I cannot comprehend, and I anxiously await that moment.  Until then I will strive with all my heart to live a good life and continue to raise a good family and to love and serve those around me, and to follow Christ and His teachings.  It is tender mercies and small miracles that will help me through each day.  I need to feel my Saviors love in all the world around me, so I must live worthy of it. 

There is much that I must learn and do now, and I'm sure I will meet failure and sorrow time and again but with the Lords help I can do all things.  He has been there for me in the past and is with me in the present and will be with me in the future.  And as a wise man has told me many times,  "It will turn out better than I think!"

There are so many (including thousands I have never met and know nothing about) who have helped Terry become the man he was and I am so grateful for each one that has touched his life in some way, however large or small that was.


At a funeral we always hear about the good things and it makes us think that person is perfect and then we might wonder why we are not.  Terry was a good man, not perfect, but very good even with his failures and shortcomings - he had many qualities and characteristics that blessed our lives and made us happy.  We will miss him - everything about him. 

Our days have been overflowing in kindness shown by family and friends and we are grateful for each one that has shared their love and their hope and their prayers and their time and effort to help us through our last couple weeks ..., even months and years. 


We love you for ALL you have done!  

Friday, December 19, 2014

Terry Wayne Hebdon


Terry Wayne Hebdon was born July 16th, 1957 in Ephrata WA, to Keith Auger and Idris Egbert Hebdon.  One of 7 children, he was taught the value of hard work, responsibility, honesty and integrity, a love for family, and a faith in and love for God.

He attended Ricks College and then served a mission in Spain for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and has continued serving faithfully in many positions through the years.

Terry enjoyed farming and followed his dream to live in Royal City and farm with his dad and family, eventually purchasing the business when his dad retired. 

Terry had a love for learning and would often enjoy reading the dictionary and finding new words.  He had a special talent of arranging words on paper to create a message or poem that would touch hearts so tenderly.  These many poems remain with family and friends to fill their hearts with love for this special man and his love for them.

Terry met, courted, and married Elaine Rodeback in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple for time and eternity on February 12th, 1980.  Their eternal family began to grow and Terry continued to work hard to support this family he loved – 9 children, 5 daughters-in-law, eleven grandchildren and a posterity that will continue to grow for years to come.

Family has always been important to him and he strived to teach his children the same values and gospel principles that sustained him in life.  He led by example, even, and maybe especially, while facing adversity.  

His life changed in 2004 as he was diagnosed with lymphoma and leukemia and through the years other cancers and complications were added to his challenge.  This path was not an easy one but with Elaine by his side and with the help and prayers of his children, family, and friends, and an unwavering faith in Jesus Christ, he held strong and faithful to the end.   Even in his hardest moments he could be heard saying “I’m fine!”

Terry Wayne Hebdon passed away December 10th, 2014 in the Wenatchee Valley Hospital, surrounded by his beloved wife, some of his “best buddies” and supported by the love and prayers of others.

He will be missed but never forgotten.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, December 20th at 10:00, in Royal Camp at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Internment will immediately follow at the Royal City Cemetery.   Please sign the online guestbook or leave a note for the family at www.kayserchapel.com. Arrangements are in care of Kayser’s Chapel & Crematory, Moses Lake.


Just a note:
This was one of the hardest things to do - write an obituary for my husband/best friend.  I really wished for his words to help me write this, but I felt on my own.  Though I was feeling on my own, I was not - eventually, with the help of my children and encouragement from my mother, and then comfort and guidance from above this task was completed.  It is hard to try and remember things, and I realized how much I don't know about this awesome man, so trying to fit a lifetime into a few paragraphs was very difficult.  Much has been left unsaid about him but those of us who knew him will be able to recall things through the years and continue to build a love for him that is strong. 

THANK YOU  for even the smallest part you played in his life.  All who knew him helped make him the man he became and I love you all for that, because he was ONE GOOD MAN!

We all know that he was not perfect, but he was perfect for me. He is my one and only love.  

Blessed Parting Poem

I felt like I should share this poem that Terry wrote for his dad in 2011.  It fits for Terry as much as it fit for his father and I have thought of it often. This poem is on this blog already (here), but I have added it again for easy access. 

Beloved Patriarch

Blessed Parting

An expeditious passing
Can be a fortuitous thing,
It diminishes the pain and anguish
That protracted illnesses bring.

The finality of the death though
Certainly hits the heart.
But what concludes in one place
In another gets it’s start.

That’s what happened to grandpa
Or dad or however you call his name.
That’s what will happen to each of us
The process is the same.

So the theater of life goes on and on.
The players come and go.
From God back to God,
The Savior made it so.

(poem by Terry Hebdon, July 2011)


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Welcoming Connor Home!

It's been a long week waiting for this event to take place. Well, actually the wait began before last week, and we had hoped that things would have turned out differently, but the Lord has plans that we just don't always understand.  The other day when I was reading my scriptures I was thinking (again) about how hard it was for me to understand Heavenly Father's reason for taking my husband, my children's father, from us at this time.  Wishing to understand, these words came to me -
It is not for me to understand, it is for me to TRUST the Lord.
He understands much more than I can and I know that He does what is right, so I must trust and not loose faith in Him and His Son.  So, amongst my sorrows, I will try to find the joys and carry on with faith, remembering I'M FINE!   I am finding that many of my decisions the last few days are made with the thought of "what would Terry want me to do?"  
Some of the cutest children in the airport this afternoon.

Tawnee helped the kids make a sign to welcome Connor home.  It was fun for me to see this sign too.

His plane arrived late and that caused a bit of anxiety on my part, but my joy was great when he did walk in.  It was one of those times when my joy is great and my sorrow is great too.  Strange how that can happen all at the same time.  I will never stop missing Terry and wishing he was with us (physically) but I do hope that someday my tears will be less so I don't embarrass those who are with me at times like this.

Connor greeted all of the family.

Then we went to have him released. 

That is always a bittersweet moment for our sons when they have to remove their name tag, no longer a full time missionary.  They are happy to be home but will miss the life they had for two years.  In my mind I wonder if it is even harder than leaving family for a mission because, as a teenager, there is so much excitement in leaving to be on your own and do something great.  Maybe I should ask the boys about that someday.

We added one more event to our day when a few of us went in to Anthony's band concert. We are so pleased with the band and the choir and their performances.  Well done!

Now, stepping back in time a few hours, in the middle of the night we had another family member arrive home.  BrittanyJo is now here with us for a couple weeks.  (pictures of her later - she is the one behind the camera when these photos were taken.)  We are excited to have her home too.  Her stay will be shorter than we originally thought because she has been invited to attend winter semester, and chose to do so.  It was the right choice and I am so proud of her for making the decision with thoughtful prayer.  I know it is what her father wanted her to do and I know it is what her Heavenly Father wants her to do.  We will try to remember that we can do hard things.