Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Day of Tears

Yesterday was a hard day for me.  It was my mother's birthday.  She would have been 90.  After more than 20 years I still miss her.  I went to the cemetery with my dad where he too shed some tears and told me it doesn't get any easier and he has been thinking about her a lot lately.
Then came the news that a dear friend was in the hospital for emergency bypass surgery.  He is my age.  Reality check.
Then the shootings.  Got a text from daughter that her friends lived there and their daughter was "unaccounted for".  The rest of the day was spent in tears as the reality became apparent that young Emilie was a victim.  I know these people.  This is my grandson's little friend. They had been to my home.  My heart just ached.  I know the Plan of Salvation.  I looked at so many random things.  The family had recently moved there to this particular town, she attended that particular school, was in that particular room.  Her grandfather, Alyssa's dad had died just a couple of months earlier in a freak bike accident in Utah.  One article I read mentioned that Emmie was probably sitting on her grandfather's lap and he would hold her and help her.  My heart aches for the parents who must now go through this life without their daughter.  How just one moment alters everything.
These past few weeks I have been immersed in our church's annual Nativity Festival.  I am the director of this event.  It lasts for 5 days.  This year we displayed 840 nativities and had about 4100 people who attended.  It is a huge undertaking and there are many long hours spent to make something of this magnitude happen.  But my heart has focused on one particular Nativity that impressed me.  A lady from the community displayed for the first time last year.  She and her husband had heard about the event and she decided to display these wonderful, beautiful elephants and camels with wise men on them.  They are ornate and beautiful.  This last year her husband passed away suddenly.  In Colorado for a celebration of life for him, she found another Nativity that she wanted to purchase with the express purpose of displaying it at our festival.  She was in tears as we helped her set it up.  It was a large Nativity and on each figure there were words that to me expressed what each one brought to the story.  Mary was Faith.  What faith she had to be the mother of the Son of God.  Joseph was Hope.  How he must have hoped to be a good father to this special child that was in his keeping.  The angel was Joy.  The news of such great joy was their calling.  The wise men intrigued me with the words that were to describe them.  One was Patience, one Peace and one Purpose.  I have pondered those words to describe them so much.  I realized that for me it symbolized what I need to offer as my gifts to the Savior.  I need to be patient.  I need to bring peace.  I need to have purpose of heart and follow Him.  After yesterday I wept as I realized that as much as I try to bring my offerings to the Lord, that He in turn blesses me with the very gifts I strive to offer Him.  Yesterday I needed His peace.  I need His patience as I try to understand, comprehend and help my grandson grasp what happened to his friend.  I need His purpose as I go forward with how the day's events have altered me.  I think of the scripture in Mosiah which says: "And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.
And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you,  And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?"  Mosiah 2:23-24
How grateful I am for the gifts He brings to me in my time of need and always.  May all of us have the True Spirit of Christmas and celebrate the life of Him who can heal us and make us better.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I'm BACK!!!!!!

I am finally back.  I have thought about updating this blog for so long, but other things keep getting in my way.  It has been an incredibly difficult and yet exciting summer.  I will give a quick rundown and add a few pictures.  I'm not promising anything, but I hope to keep things updated a little better.  I am heading into a very busy time for me.  Our stake (a group of church congregations) holds a Nativity Festival every year and I am the director of it.  It goes for 5 days and we have about 4000 people who come through from all over the community.  Well here goes:
April/May - I "injured" my knee (the "good" one).  I was training for another 1/2 marathon walk when my knee began to hurt.  Suddenly something felt like it popped and then I couldn't put my weight on it.  Thru a long process I finally had an MRI which showed a "big" tear in the meniscus.  I had surgery on May 4th and they couldn't find any tear.
May 26th - Josh married Staci.  The weather cooperated and we had a beautiful ceremony and reception here at the house.  We LOVE Staci.  The 2 of them are back at BYU going to school.  We got to have them live with us for the summer as they both worked here!!

June 1 - Reed ended up in the hospital.  He had felt that something was wrong and decided to pursue testing of his prostate.  He had had a PCA-3 test which is a little more advanced than a PSA test.  A normal level is 30 or below and his was over 100.  He went ahead with a biopsy.  Unfortunately things went "bad".  Routine procedures weren't followed and Reed became septic.  That means an infection had entered his blood stream.  His fever shot up to 106.6 and miraculously I remained calm and informed him that we were going to the hospital.  I felt bad for Josh and Staci who had just returned from their honeymoon and I had to wake them in the middle of the night to tell them we were going to the ER.  Reed recovered after about 4 days in the hospital.  By then we had a diagnosis of prostate cancer.  We then helped Jackie and Jessica move as they pooled their resources and rented a house together.
The next month was spent visiting with doctors and doing a TON of research.  We had time to make a decision and to participate in our vacation plans.

July - Reed and I took a cruise to Alaska with Reed's sisters and their spouses.  It was a beautiful and unique trip which we really enjoyed.  My knee wasn't doing so well so we made plans to travel back east to visit Reed's old college roommate who is an orthopedic surgeon.  He administered a PRP injection.  That stands for a Platelet Rich Plasma injection.  They use my own blood and spin it down and then re-inject it into my knee.  It helped with pain and swelling and then I returned to doing physical therapy to try and get movement back.
August - We took our annual vacation back to the beach.  This year Reed drove back with Jackie and her boys visiting Yellowstone, Nauvoo and other places as they traveled.  The boys had such a good time and were so good.  The rest of us flew back and we all enjoyed a long week at the beach minus Zach and Jayme who were busy with school.
September - Reed had surgery to remove his prostate.  We found a doctor in Portland whom we really liked.  We discovered he was a member of our church as we did research on him and his qualifications.  Funny thing was that when the surgeon came in to talk to me after surgery he kept looking at Jackie strangely.  After I introduced her and Jayme to him he stopped and simply said "nice talk on Sunday Jackie"!!  He is a member of Jackie's ward!!
Since then we have been helping Reed recover, making trips to visit the doctor in Portland and gearing up for this year's Nativity Festival.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring/Winter Break

So we had a power glitch when I was trying to post and it messed up the whole format, so I am trying again!! Spring break starts next week and we have snow! LOTS of snow. Don't get me wrong, it is pretty, but late March? We don't normally get that much snow in Oregon and definitely not 6 inches by noon and still snowing, especially in late March. I am supposed to be working on getting the yard and garden in shape for another wedding reception in May (more on that in another post) and I am falling way behind!! Oh well, not much I can do about it. We have prepared for a power failure since it is such a wet snow. Who knows, we may get the 7 to 10 inches forecast with a possible 15 above 700 feet. Guess where we sit? So one very busy day suddenly had a cleared schedule.