Monday, November 9, 2009

Tender Mercies

Elder Bednar said, "The Lord’s tender mercies are the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ. Truly, the Lord suits "his mercies according to the conditions of the children of men” (D&C 46:15)".
Last Sunday I got a call from my brother telling me that our Dad was in the hospital and had survived a heart attack, but was not doing well. Our family gathered together to visit our dad and grandpa to express our love and support him in his hour of need. He was on morphine because of the intense pain, but he was still coherent and could talk with us. That night, Thom gave him a blessing and Dad was promised peace and comfort. The next day was much like the night before except that the nurse got him to eat something.
Tuesday morning when I got to the hospital, Dad was stable, so they decided to move him from ICU to a regular room. He was no longer on morphine, and seemed to be in less pain. Sometime after noon, Jewel and I were in Dad's room, (they would only allow two visitors at a time due to the high influx of influenza), and we held his hand and talked with him. What happened while we were with him was sweet and sacred, and we listened with our hearts through the gift of the spirit and wept as he spoke to and of others on the other side of a very thin veil. Jewel decided we would ignore the rule of only two visitors and ran to get Mom so she could be part of this sweet experience. While she was gone, Dad asked me who all these people were behind me. I knew we were not alone, and that Heavenly Father was giving us this sweet time with our dad. He smiled and his eyes twinkled as he spoke and we knew he was in a happy place.
That night, after visiting hours were over. Most of the family that had come to visit Dad left for home. I was among them. My two sisters and Mom were still in the waiting room talking about the day, when the nurse ran down the hall. She came back to the waiting room to say that Dad was having trouble breathing. She said she was glad they were there and that perhaps it would be good to stay for a few more minutes. And then, within minutes, she was back and said he had taken his last breath. My sister called to tell me and I drove back to be with them.
I feel that Dad waited to go until we were gone so that we would not be left with the memory of his last breath, but instead the memory of a sweet and sacred day.
We had a viewing on Friday night, where for nearly three hours, friends and family came to pay their last respects to my Dad. Our family was strengthend and supported through their love and kindness.
Saturday, great tribute was paid to my Dad as his posterity participated in a funeral service for him. His grandchildren and great-grandchildren sang, "Families Can be Together Forever". Rick, my oldest brother, read the obituary, my sisters and I sang, "May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You", My brothers, Brian and Chris shared memories of his life, Charlie, a grand-son sang, "Goin' Home", my second-oldest brother, Eric spoke and reminded us of the promise of Eternal life and families. Then Aubri and Spencer, two grand-children, played violin and sang, "Abide with Me, tis Eventide".

Death can be a difficult thing. But God in his mercy, can make it a sweet experience and a healing time for families.

Facebook Thom Richards's Photos - Grandpa Dick Fast

Friday, October 30, 2009

Busy and Blessed

Aaron and Alyssa were married October 24, 2009 in the Draper, Utah Temple

Such a darling couple!

It was a beautiful fall day.

This is in the courtyard at the Lion house. The reception was on the 3rd floor.

The updated family picture! I loved her fall colors.
Front to Back: Jayda (9), Marianne, Emylie (21 months), Aaron, Aly, Asher (3), Whitney
Julie, Dustin, Thom, Marilyn, Camilla, Trent

Momma's first boy got married. "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always..."

Me and my sweetheart:)

Being gramma and grampa is the best. These are our sweet munchkins> Asher, Jayda and Emy.

Preparing for a wedding has kept us busy, busy, busy. But last Saturday as our family joined together to celebrate Aaron and Aly's marriage, we felt so blessed! The day was beautiful and Aaron's smile was worth more than all the gold in the world. Our family is among Thom and my greatest blessings and it was so nice to have everyone together to celebrate this blessed union.
We say that Aly was Aaron's best kept secret. They met each other on Christmas break, but because she was in Honolulu working on her PhD, we never really met her until she came home to Salt Lake in May, a short week before Aaron left for Alabama to start his new job. We decided to be bold and invite her to our family reunion in June. She agreed to come and the family fell in love with her. Little did we know, Aaron had already fallen in love with her and they were unofficially engaged! Shortly thereafter, they made it official, and the rest is history. Their new home is near Tuscaloosa, on beautiful, forested acreage.
Besides family, Thom and I are blessed with the dearest friends and extended family who helped us with the details of the wedding. With their help, the day was joyful and worry free. They did everything from making Aaron's tie (so that it matched the sash I made for Aly's dress), hemmed his temple pants, picked up food for the luncheon, set up and decorated for the luncheon and then stayed to clean up afterwards. We feel confident that earth is a bit of heaven when you have the blessing of good friends and family. The tears I shed on Aaron's wedding day were tears of gratitude for God's good blessings to me and my family.
I'll post pictures soon:)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Appreciating new ways

This is my first attempt to blog. My friend at work helped me get started. She literally had to walk me through each step.
First she told me to set up an email account with gmail. No problem, right? This requires creating a username and password (which I have to write down so as not to get confused with other username and passwords).
Next I need a url address...and then a post name (I think)...and then something else, and something's all a little confusing to me. Right now my page is just a basic one, because I am learning how to download a cutesy one. All in good time.
I was telling my friend that even though setting up a blog is confusing, the process of writing is so much easier than it used to be.
For example, in my type class in Jr. High, we would insert a piece of paper and scroll it around the roller of a typewriter. To center the title on the page, it required counting the number of spaces or letters in the title, subtracting that from the number of spaces horizontally on the page, and then backspacing from the center to get to the right spot to begin typing. When a mistake was made, I had to roll the paper up, use a special typing eraser to erase the ink off, brush the eraser crumbs away, and start over, rolling the paper back in place. Fun times.
I really appreciate being able to backspace, delete, and spell check.