Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Connor's New Look

Connor had eye surgery (PRK/Lasik) yesterday so his new look is now glasses free.   Well, he isn't exactly glasses free yet, because he has to wear these dark sunglasses (doctors orders) to help protect his eyes in the day ...

and these awesome goggles to help protect his eyes when he sleeps (also doctors orders) .  --- Shhh! Quiet Please!   He is pretending to sleep here.  ;)  Just for me!  :)  

We'll have to catch him sometime without any glasses in a few days for a photo without glasses, but for now, this is his new look until his vision becomes clearer and his new look is completely healed.  

"Keep smiling .. it makes people wonder what you are up to."  ;)
image from here

Thursday, February 19, 2015

This Morning's Reading

My thoughts were rolling  as we read during our family scripture and prayer this morning.  I spent some personal time afterward reading the footnotes and doing some more study and pondering on the subject.  I love the scriptures.  They are the word of God.  As I was studying I felt the desire to post my thoughts, so here is my attempt to do so.

One must remember that there is so much more in my mind and heart than what I can say in writing, so much of what I felt can not be expressed as clearly as how I felt them, but I put it in writing to remind me at some future time in my life when I might need it most.   I hope to remember the peace and comfort that accompanied my reading and that accompanies my every moment in life.  I do know that others read my blog and I hope that everyone who reads my writings might find them somehow uplifting to their souls.  I wish to testify of the love and peace I feel from Christ, our Friend and Savior.  I am so grateful for the blessings that come from knowing Him, and from learning of and living His Gospel.

from here

I don't mean to compare myself or Terry to the Savior, but only to compare this sentence in Mosiah 15:7 
"... the will of the Son being swallowed up in the will of the Father."

For months, even years, we have been praying much like Christ did; 
"Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done."  Luke 22:42   
Again, I wish to clarify that I do not compare to Christ, but only to the words in that sentence.   We prayed, over and over again, that Terry's illness be removed from him, truly believing that it could and would be, but always trying to accept the Father's will.   

I have accepted the will of the Father many times in my life previous to now, but none seem so difficult as accepting the will of the Father in taking my husband from me for the rest of my life on earth.   I truly do feel swallowed up in it, and I am so grateful to know that it is the Father's will.  Our Heavenly Father has taken Terry, leaving me alone (alone, in this case, means without my husband on earth) but He has not left me without comfort ..., I know I am not completely alone, and I haven't enough words to express how grateful I truly feel for that comfort.   

After Christ spoke those words, asking for the Father's will to be done, we read that 
"there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him." Luke 22:43

No angel has appeared to me, but I have felt a strength from heaven.

Verse 44 continues, 
"And being in agony he prayed more earnestly."

This was interesting to me because I have felt in agony many times.  I know that Christ's pain was much more and different than mine, but I have felt emotional agony.  I worry about being out in public when one of those moments might hit.   Each time I feel that emotional agony I pray more earnestly and I feel that strength from heaven, from our Father, lifting me and helping me, and once again I am reminded that He knows me, He loves me, and I will be alright.

I don't know how to envision it, but I do know, in my mind and in my heart, that I will see Terry again and we will live together again, for eternity.  How joyous that is!  

Each time I begin to falter I try to remember the promise of eternal life and the path I must take to get there.  I remember that I can not feel complete peace during a time of complete loss of emotional control.  I must stand strong and move forward, every step being guided and even physically lifted as if someone were walking at my side steadying my way and giving me strength to take the next step. This does not mean that I never falter, it means that I know where to turn when I do. 

image from google search
"Heaven's Light is always just a prayer away!"

Among other places, we read about Christ's grand purpose in coming to earth in John 6:38 - 
"For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me."  

Consider our purpose for coming to earth.  Is it not to do the will of our Father?  In a much lesser role, but still to do His will, accept His will, obey His will.  His will be done! 

And we, ourselves, want to do this - we want to do the will of the Father, because 
"...every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life..."  John 6:40

I do want everlasting life, so I will strive daily to 
"learn of [Him], and listen to [His] words; walk in the meekness of [His] Spirit, and [I] shall have peace in [Him]."  D&C 19:23

and I shall have everlasting life, with my eternal companion ...,
and it will be worth it!

"While there may be thorns and disappointments, while there may be heartache, even heartbreak, there can be peace and comfort and strength from the Lord for those who follow Him."  
- Gordon B. Hinckley

My faith and my strength is in my Savior!  


Sunday, February 15, 2015


35 years ago, on February 12th I was married to my eternal companion whom I love and cherish.  I am so grateful for that opportunity and I am so grateful for the good times we have shared together.  I truly have special moments that carry me through rough times and make living patiently and faithfully a desirable thing.  I am also grateful that I have been taught by goodly parents and church leaders and others that I can do hard things, because this is surely the hardest thing I've ever had to experience.

I heard something recently that touched me -

"A wife is heaven's last best gift"

To me, that was a pleasant thought and I hoped that Terry felt that way about me.  

I don't know where that quote really began so as I thought and pondered and searched it for a few minutes I was enlightened and thought I'd share - 

It is similar to, or a portion of this quote from Jeremy Taylor, found here;

"A good wife is heaven's last best gift to man; his angel and minister of graces innumerable; his gem of many virtues; his casket of jewels; her voice his sweet music; her smiles his brightest day; her kiss the guardian of his innocence; her arms the pale of his safety, the balm of his health, the balsam of his life; her industry, his surest wealth; her economy, his safest steward; her lips, his faithful counselors; her bosom, the softest pillow of his cares; and her prayers, the ablest advocates of heaven's blessings on his head."

I wondered about the word "last" being used and then found an invitation to consider Eve being created last and given to Adam, found here, where these words were shared;

Heaven's Last Best Gift. At first I thought Lord Crawford was just being flattering, but then realized the historical significance of his statement; Eve is the last creation ever mentioned. And if we do our best work when we have obtained the most practice and skill, then God's ultimate creation would indeed make woman, "Heaven's last best gift." 

What an interesting way to look at the creation and marriage.  

I will say that as Eve was given to Adam, Adam became her gift as well.  That is how I think of Terry - heaven's best gift to me.  Without that gift I would not have the wonderful children and grandchildren that are ours and that bring so much joy to our lives.    

Without that gift of wife to husband and husband to wife, I would not exist, because my parents wouldn't exist either.   What a wonderful blessing of marriage and family, and what makes it even better is the blessing of the gospel and the priesthood of God, making eternal marriage and families a reality if we live worthy of it.   

I am ever so grateful for that sweet fact of life ..., beyond death.

I am also grateful to the family and friends that helped make these last couple special holidays special for me this year as my sweetheart was elsewhere.   I won't start sharing names of those family and friends because I would most dislike neglecting to mention someone.  I do send thanks to you and to our Father above for helping me through rough days.

I will share one gift I received on Thursday.  I cannot say who it was because I do not know.  It was and continues to be a surprise.  However, I do know it involved a couple young children in dark clothing, running from my yard.  Your secret is safe, because I could not tell who you were, but if you or your family members are reading this - THANK YOU!   Did you know it was our anniversary that day or was it a Valentine?  Either way, it was an act of love that touched my heart in a very special way.


I thank each one of you for your tender kindness and for your prayers on our behalf.  

Sunday, February 8, 2015

You will be alright!

I was reading through the book my mom and dad gave me (about Terry's health journey) and wanted to write down a quote I had posted 4/22/2014 

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow,
it empties today of its strength.”

and an experience I posted 5/21/2014.

"As I was sitting in the infusion room yesterday I tried to recall my prayers and if I had felt any real answers to them.  I couldn't recall specific times that I had heard or felt a specific answer, but my mind immediately received an answer telling me that He [our Savior] promises to be with me.  That is what I need.  I need my Saviors love and I need Him every hour!

And, I'm grateful for a Father in Heaven who loves us and hears and answers our prayers, even on His own time and in His own way.  He can make me strong."  

I was grateful to re-read that and to remember that I have been given many spiritual reminders that let me know that my Savior loves me.  

I also re-read that Terry knew the same thing -  I wrote this on 5/6/2014 while he was in the hospital last spring.

"As we were talking this morning he [Terry] remembered a special moment years ago after being diagnosed with this disease when the Lord told him - "I know you, I love you, and you will be alright!"

I know he is alright and that makes me happy.  I am just so grateful that we have had these witnesses in the past (and present) to let me know that I am going to be alright too.

I opened my planner to write down the quotes and thoughts I had just read and I found a couple notes that I had written in my planner earlier this week.  I had forgotten them until now and decided to get up and post about it.  

I went to Wenatchee for an appointment with the Social Security. I went early enough to take care of a couple other things and while at the counter of one business, giving personal information, the lady asked me "are you married?"  I hadn't been asked that since Terry passed away and it kinda caught me off guard.  How do I answer that?  
I knew she could see Terry's name on her screen and that he was my husband, and in my mind I am still married, and in the Lord's plan I am still married, but to them, I am not, so my answer came in a way of explanation as I informed her that Terry is my husband but he passed away in December.  She then put me on a new account, because Terry's account was no longer valid.   

I understood and wasn't too emotional about it.  It really is a fact of life right now that I am trying hard to deal with, and I had already emotionally lost it once this week (or last week) over a silly little thing someone said during testimony meeting in my mom and dad's ward last Sunday. (Yes, I felt rather foolish - all he said was that he was 91 years old today ... lucky guy huh! However, I know he lost his wife a few years ago ... not so lucky guy!)

Okay, next appointment was at the SS office and as I was answering questions they asked if our marriage ended at death.  What?  Again, I know the answer is NO!  Our marriage has not ended and I am so looking forward to eternity with my husband.  I am so grateful for Heavenly Father's plan, for our Savior's sacrifice, and for the priesthood and temple blessings that make this a fact. I am striving to be worthy of those blessings and promises.  

Well, I answered yes because I realize that they needed to differentiate that it was death and not divorce, and I know that our bodies did part at death, but they are wrong - our marriage did not end with that parting.  

I am pleased to say that I was emotionally stable through that too. I don't know why I was so emotional about that 91 year old, except that the man who spoke before this 91 year old man shared such a powerful testimony about his belief and faith in Christ - it was exactly what I was feeling which made me emotional already, so this one little phrase just set me off. I can't imagine what everyone around me was thinking, especially those on the stand who could see me so clearly.  It was a bit embarrassing. 

I'm okay!  

I'm okay!  ;/

I really am!  :)
It's a good feeling!
Thank you for your prayers!


Monday, February 2, 2015

Our Weekend

We had a nice weekend!

Anthony, Connor, Chase and I went to Longview to see my parents.  It was a quick trip, but it was a good one (except for the part where we had to travel home in the rain in the dark for a couple hours - I don't see so well in those conditions and it makes me stress a bit more - so I was grateful to park the car and be home).

Our purpose for the trip was to get Anthony's patriarchal blessing.  My dad is a patriarch and has been able to give Chase, Connor, and Anthony their blessings.  BJo plans on it, but we have been unable to make that work as easily due to other obligations and responsibilities through the last couple years.  She is hoping to make it work on the 15th.

I planned on getting a photo of Anthony and my dad ...
How is it that I can think about that before and after we get there, but not while we are there?
I'll have to cheat and try to remember on our next trip.

I do have this photo from Connor's phone - taken at Stuffy's in Longview, where we had dinner - we love this food -

We did not know how much food that meal consisted of, but we know now.  That was just Chase's order.  He wasn't able to finish it.  Connor got the same thing in a different size, and he didn't finish his either.

My parents and Anthony and I got something different - we were all filled with yummy food. We really like the Stuff at Stuffys.

I have my camera ready now, so I can show you something else from this weekend visit -

My dad had been saving the posts about Terry's health that I published on our blog since our 2010 trip to Seattle for Terry's first transplant.  He had them printed and bound and presented me with this 300 page book while we were there.

So Awesome!  It was a surprise to me and I love it.  I have started reading through it and have enjoyed having it in chronological order and at my fingertips to flip through the pages and hold close at heart.  It can now sit on my shelf instead of having to get into the computer.  I love it!  (I think I already said that!)

I have re-read some of the quotes that I shared and I'm grateful that they are there to help strengthen me again.

One quote I shared on 25 April 2010 was from Elder Oaks, and is great to see today -

"Our families faith is in Jesus Christ and is not dependent on outcomes."

Wow!  Was that ever meant for us!   We must always remember that!  I took another look at the message that quote came from and as I re-read Elder Oaks talk I found some things that made my heart hurt and other things that made it grateful for such a faithful husband.

I had asked Terry a couple times the last couple months if he would like a new blessing and his response was always no.  The blessings he had previously been given were more than sufficient and he felt that if he kept getting blessings he would be lacking faith in what had already been given and even searching for a "better" blessing that would give the words we wanted to hear instead of accepting and trusting in what he already received.  We had to take what the Lord was sending us, and we had to do it in faith.  This quote used in Elder Oaks talk spoke of that -

“too frequent administrations may be an indication of lack of faith or of the ill one trying to pass the responsibility for faith development to the elders rather than self."

I really wasn't trying to pass the faith on to another, though I did always appreciate the faith of others added to ours.  I will admit that I was always wishing to hear that he would recover and live, but I also honestly just wanted him to feel some comfort and peace through all of this, and I always felt willing to accept the Lords will, but I wanted His will to be the same as mine.   Looking back now I think it must have been me - I was the one who needed the new blessing to give me some comfort and peace, because I know that Terry already had it.
I did get it one night after leaving Terry when he was in the hospital for those two and a half weeks in November, after hitting bottom so bad that I couldn't climb out on my own.  I am so grateful that I am a member of this true church and to have a righteous bishop with a selfless family who allow him to take time away from them to bless another with his priesthood authority, given him from God.   The priesthood is a wonderful blessing and worthy priesthood holders are valuable assets in our Heavenly Father's plan.  My husband was one of those assets.  My father is, and my 8 sons are.  I am grateful! In fact, when I think of the blessings I have received in my life, those given to me by my husband still stand as my most precious, no matter how wonderful the other blessings have been.  The Lord has blessed me!

There are a few more things I want to add from Elder Oaks talk.  I guess it's one of those days where I just keep going with my sermon.  ;)  It is beneficial to me, and I hope that others will appreciate it and learn from it too.  It is your choice to read the full post I write or not and I'm okay with what ever choice you make that way.

From Elder Oaks:

 "...the effect of the blessing is dependent upon faith and the Lord’s will..."

"...even the servants of the Lord, exercising His divine power in a circumstance where there is sufficient faith to be healed, cannot give a priesthood blessing that will cause a person to be healed if that healing is not the will of the Lord."

"We do all that we can for the healing of a loved one, and then we trust in the Lord for the outcome."

We certainly did all we could and that included trusting in the Lord for the outcome.  The outcome is really quite difficult, but my patriarchal blessing tells me that in the preexistence I had confidence in myself that I would meet the problems which would confront me here.  I find strength in knowing that, and that the Lord would have inspired the man who gave me my patriarchal blessing to include those words in it so that I could read them again and again to give me more strength and confidence in myself to travel through difficult times.

I think I have read our (mine and Terry's) patriarchal blessings probably 4 or 5 times now in the last couple months.  I keep wondering if I'll find something new - if it will "hit" me differently some time.
I guess it kinda did last night.  Along with the part in mine that I just shared, I found a couple paragraphs in Terry's that I read a bit differently than I had before.  I am appreciative of my new outlook on it and I am appreciative of the way Terry lived, so that he could realize those blessings, and so that I could witness them.

His spoke of his life being simply to prove to his Father in Heaven that he could keep His commandments and live according to the teachings of the gospel.  "That is the whole challenge!"  I know Terry did well with this, because of an experience I had one time that told me that Terry had passed his test and now it was my turn, (that story is included here) and because of the life I saw him live.

It also spoke of "the sweetest and most glorious moment of his life" -  going to the temple to be sealed for time and all eternity.  And, his blessing spoke of "...securing a companion who can go the whole course with you..."  That was me!  I did that!  I feel confident in the fact that I went the whole course with him, and I am still doing that!   I plan on being there for him when we meet again, no matter how many years that takes us.

There are more things I noticed and I'm sure there will be more another time I read them, but I am grateful for each little thing that comes each new day that helps lift and lighten my heart and soul.

I have re-read some of the experiences in the book my dad put together and I recall them all and am so grateful for every opportunity we had to be together and enjoy life like we did even during some not so pleasant experiences.  I have some awesome parents!  I love them!  I know they love me!

My dad ended the book with one addition from him and my mother -

"And so ends the Trial of Faith and Strength of one good man and leaves to a good woman a continued Trial of Faith and Strength."

Now with renewed faith and strength I'm going to keep on going so that one day I will be worthy of the blessings promised me and mine in every priesthood blessing given.

What an amazing Father in Heaven we have.  He has provided for us so many things that help us with every step of life.  I am grateful!

I am also grateful for my great support system.  Thank you ..., each and every one of you!