Monday, March 18, 2013

In Remembrance

"To the world you might be one person, to one person you might be the world!"

I lost my sweet Papa 2 weeks ago today at the ripe ole age of 93. We attended his funeral a little over a week ago. It was bittersweet news when I got the text from my mom that he had passed. We knew it was coming so you think you would be prepared but you never totally are.

My sweet mom has been caring for him round the clock with her 2 sisters taking shift changes every so often for the last several months. She would often (daily towards the end) send us texts about how he was doing good or bad. One day it would be a bad day and she was thinking he wasn't gonna make it much longer and then the next he would be his spunky little self and completely turn around.

He was ready to go. Whenever you would ask him how he was doing he would say..."I'm not sure if I'm coming or going." His last year he was in a lot of physical pain and would get sick often. Despite not feeling good the majority of the time he ALWAYS had a smile on his face and remained cheerful...I'm not sure how he did it!

I'm excited for the fact that he is now free from all the physical and emotional pains of getting old. I have decided being old is a HUGE trial in and of itself!! To lose your independence of going and doing what you want, when you want, after a lifetime of living that way would be SOOO hard!! Life is hard anyways...throw that on top and every day would be truly "enduring to the end."
On my grandpa's last birthday card I wrote him "Papa...I'm not going to lie...I hope I don't live as long as you have. Life is too hard to endure that long BUT I am SO glad that you have been around this long because you have blessed my life and many others!" I know that sounds like a weird thing to say but it is true.

It's hard to say goodbye to someone that has been in your life for 29 years...someone who has loved you unconditionally...someone who has taught you through their words and example...someone who you know would give the shirt off of his back not just to you but to anyone! So I shed tears of sorrow for my physical loss of no longer being able to go and visit him...hug and kiss him, hold his soft hand, see his sweet smile, and see the love in his eyes BUT I shed tears of happiness for he is no longer in pain but enjoying the blessings he    deserves for the AMAZING man that he was!! He is reunited again with his son Bert who died in his 40's in 1999 from a car accident. He told my mom, the hardest thing that he ever had to do was bury his son. He told my mom, "he thinks about him every day." I can only imagine what a reunion that was!! After almost losing my son...I understand!

Papa, his son Bert, and my dad

My Papa was a great example. He was a tough cowboy who knew how to work and loved to work. We often would gather as a family (cousins, aunts, uncles) to have "work" days...not to play although we had a great time together nonetheless. We worked together and we worked hard. That is where my mom got it and that is why she worked us to death growing up! When I was young I would tell her, "you just had kids to be your slaves!" :) Oh how little I knew then and how grateful I am now for her teaching me how to work!

He was an honest man who when he gave you his word EVERYONE knew you could trust him.
He was a giving man. Often times when we were there to visit he would give us some money. You couldn't say no. He wanted to make sure everyone was taken care of.
 He was a good friend. Almost every morning when he was feeling up to it he would go to breakfast in Benson (which is about 15-20 minutes away) with his friends. When he could no longer drive they would come pick him up. In his last days he said...:   “I don’t think I have any enemies.  I tried to be good to everyone.  I have the greatest friends!”
He was one who always made you feel loved and important. One of my cousins was quoted at his funeral saying,“When you were with him, you felt that you were the only one who mattered.”
 I was always amazed at how much he loved and was sincerely concerned about Dakota. He probably only saw Dakota 3 times after his accident (since he lives in AZ and we are in UT) but he would ask my mom often about him and when we were there it was like he loved him on a whole other level. He would watch him tenderly with his loving eyes and just love to hold him and touch his hand. The last time we were there he told me, "Me and him (Dakota), we think the same." I didn't totally understand what he meant by that but after talking to my mom he meant he understood how Dakota felt and the way his brain worked. He knew Dakota understood much more then he could say and papa too would get frustrated at not being able to remember what he wanted to say or say what he wanted to say right. He understood Dakota on a different level then most people and he loved him tremendously. 

He was a great father! Over the last couple of years whenever we would go to visit or chat with him on the phone...he wouldn't ever talk to you without telling you how amazing my mom is, how talented she is, and how good she is to him. He would love to tell you stories too about her growing up and her accomplishments. He was SO proud of his kids and loved them very much!!

Mom and Papa

He was a funny man. Even towards the end when  he wasn't feeling good, when my mom would ask him, “are you ready to eat?” or “do you want to sit in your chair?” He would say, “Might as well, we can’t dance!”

Some of his witty sayings that my mom shared were:

·        “It’s good enough for a town this size.”
·        “Let a smile be your umbrella.”  He could find something good in any situation.
·        “If you are going to do something, give it your best.”
·        “If you don’t have a pocket knife, you might as well not have pants on.”
·        “You don’t have to be a horse’s behind, just because everyone else is.”
·        “When you fall off, get right back on.”  One of the greatest lessons!
·        When you got an “owie,” he’d say, “Heck, I’ve had worse cuts on my lip and never quit whistling.”
·        “It’s good enough for me and I’m hard to please.”

Being at his funeral was very special. Zach and I booked flights right away. It was too expensive and hard to bring Dakota so last minute but I am SOOO grateful we were there. Although seeing him at the viewing tugged at my heart I had the chance to stand there alone and just admire him and say my goodbyes. I felt his spirit surround me as I stood there and I knew he was close and that he was happy. 

Me, my parents, and siblings

Zach and I

My mom and her siblings (minus Bert)

His funeral service was amazing and I LOVED learning things I didn't even know about love for him grew even more. One cool fact I learned was that he wasn't a deputy by profession because he wanted to be. The sheriff of their town actually came to him and asked him to be his deputy. He was just a cowboy raising his cows and didn't want anything to do with being a deputy but after several pleads from the sheriff he became a deputy and was a great one for almost 24 years!! 
He was a darn cute deputy too!

They lined the streets on both sides saluting us as we drove into the cemetery

Listening to the man he was made me want to be more like him and become an even better person. Being at a funeral really makes you think about your you are living...what legacy you want to leave behind...what you want people to remember about you...the example you hope that you are. You can't walk away from there without feeling a sense of I want to live better...I want my papa to look down from heaven and be proud of the decisions that I am making each moment of my life!

His final request that my mom shared with us all was that we would love each other, help each other, and all get along.
What a WONDERFUL world this would be if EVERYONE lived by these words!!

Papa I sure love you!!! Thank you for loving me, teaching me, supporting me, encouraging me & uplifting me for the last 29 years. I truly believe that you are even closer to us now then ever before and have the ability to help us even more now that you are on the other side. I often wonder how many times you have visited Dakota already?? I wish that he could tell me...but I know you are with us! We will miss seeing your sweet face but I look forward with great joy to the day I get to hug you again!!! Until then...I will try and live my best in honor and remembrance of you!

He almost always had suspenders on since he had no bum to hold up his britches! ;) I bought Dakota his first pair of suspenders at H&M the other day and when I put them on him I couldn't help but think of Papa. ;)
Dakota in his suspenders! I hope he grows up to be like Papa!! ;)

Me (very young ;) ), Papa, and Nana (his mom), and her baby! She had Alzheimer's and took care of that doll like it was her own.

Grandma, Papa, and us

Dakota used to have lots of fun at Papa's house...
Brushing the dog with Grandma

Just workin like a good cowboy should! ;)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Million Dollar Question

SO here is the million dollar question...I don't really have a million dollars to give someone who can give me the best answer although I would if I could...BUT please think seriously about this one and give me your VERY best answer...we will take ANYTHING...and I'm being serious!!

What would you do (for work) if you went blind?????

This is the question that has been heavy on Zach and I's mind of course since he went blind 3 1/2 years ago but A LOT the last few months. Before Zach went blind he ran his own landscaping business. He went blind in August of 2009 towards the end of the landscaping season. Because he was in the hospital for 3 weeks and then of course in devastation mode afterwards he didn't finish out the landscaping year and then came winter. He had never worked in the winter anyways, we just save up for it, so it was a time to cope with what life had just dealt us.

As the winter months turned to spring we were a little in panic mode...what do we do now?? What does a blind man do for work?! Because time had run out he decided to give his landscaping a try...this year as a blind man. He had an AMAZING worker to fill in the gaps that he couldn't do anymore and seriously the Lord guided and provided and he did great!
Every day was a struggle for him because EVERYTHING he used to do very easily now took him 10 times longer. He had to pay his guy extra money just to drive him around, etc. Dakota and I also became his employers taking him to bids, picking up parts, dropping off trailers and equipment. I got pretty dang good at pulling a trailer...even with a heavy skid steer in the back.

It hasn't been ideal especially since Dakota's accident and when the last year rolled around and his long time employer had to go back to Mexico. He was in a panic on what to do now. Luckily he found a great kid to work for him and he once again, with the help of the Lord, made it work...and he really does AMAZING work!! I'm not just saying that because I am his wife!

Because he can't do all the things he used to do though he has become more of the physical laborer then he ever has been...doing more shoveling, raking, picking out trenches. This has of course taken a toll on his back and he realizes that he can't do this line of work forever...SOOOO he is looking for something new.

Obviously spring is upon us though so he is going to have to start another year of landscaping, but once again lost this last employee to a wife and baby (which I guess is a good is nice! ;) ) SO...if ANYONE knows of a good, hardworking, reliable person looking for a job that's not afraid of a little sweat and dirt PLEASE let me know! He is hoping to get started aerating the middle of March if all of the snow is melted by then and he is on the hunt!!

But back to my question...ANY ideas??? After going blind Zach finished his last year of school. It was rough to say the least since I had to read his text books and homework to him! Let's just say I am SOOO glad that is over and that we are still married after that! ;) He got his degree in sales and is such a people person. He would LOVE a job in sales and would be amazing at it because he is such a go getter, SUPER motivated, hard working, great with people, and handsome! ;) (I just threw that last one in there for fun! ;) ) Some of the sales jobs that he has looked into that he would have to drive a lot. OBVIOUSLY that is a problem for him. He could do a job with a little driving and be able to get rides around but obviously a job that requires a lot of driving is not for him. It's SOO hard for him to be able to see all of these opportunities out there but know that he is limited all because of his sight! It is frustrating to say the least.

So I'm asking for some serious thought. Ask your spouse, talk about it. If you or your spouse (whoever is the provider of your family) went blind today...what would you do? Would you be able to keep the job you are doing? I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to hear!

And one day when we do make millions of dollars on Zach's inventions he has been working on...maybe we will throw you a few! ;)

Friday, March 1, 2013


So I'm sure you have noticed the side of my blog that says Heroes...I mentioned why I added that list on an older post.

I had the WONDERFUL opportunity to go to lunch and meet one of my newest heroes the other day Kali Winward.
Cafe Moores...YUM!

Her sweet little 7 year old boy was involved in a fire accident not too long ago here in our town. There were 5 boys total involved and he was the worst. I didn't know any of the families beforehand but of course my heart went out to them. When you have been through ANYTHING with your child and almost lost them you are FOREVER changed. She posted sweet and encouraging comments to me on my blog despite the fact that she was treading through this difficult water herself. I am SO happy she did though because it led me to her! I am a firm believer that you can NEVER have enough friends. Each person and friend that you make along your path will touch your life in a different way and teach you something new.

Her little guy Tayton almost didn't make it but he is such a brave little guy and pulled through!! He still has a long road ahead of him with more surgeries along the way so there family could use the love and prayers of all of you wonderful people out there.

His AMAZING mom has to do 5 hours of therapy a day with him which involves stretching his little fingers, hands, etc because of the skin graphs. It is pretty painful for him so of course as a mom it is not something that you would enjoy doing. Kali is SO loving and unselfish and does so much for Tayton and she is about to have a brand new baby in the next month!!

Tayton LOVES the Utah State University and is in a contest to win the title of THE BIGGEST Aggie fan!! It is a super tight race and he keeps going back and forth with a couple other kids so he can use ALL the votes he can get!! So if you have a spare minute PLEASE vote for him by clicking on each star. He is so cute and makes his mom check all day to see where he is at. If anyone deserves it, he does! He will win season tickets to a sporting event but really he just wants to win the "title" of THE BIGGEST Aggie fan out there! Isn't that so dang cute!! There are only TWO days left to vote so get on there and tell everyone you know...lets make Tayton and his families day!!! Click on this link to vote.

Keep up on sweet Tayton here!

My other Hero is my dear friend Emmi!! IF you have EVER clicked on her blog from my list of blogs you have probably fallen in love with her HILARIOUS sense of humor, her raw and real posts, and her darling little self!! I met Emmi through Western Wishes that Dakota became a part of. She was one of the people on the committee and she is one who just loves to give and serve!

Emmi is one of my heroes because of her honesty in the regular old hardships of life!! She suffered with post partum after having her 2 boys which is a huge battle! I didn't have to deal with that and I can't even imagine what that feels like but it is a real thing that we need to have compassion on for other people!!

She is struggling with some personal things but manages to still see the positive in life and continues to thank God every day for her blessings!! For goodness sakes her blog is entitled...To God Be the Glory!

Her blog is AMAZING because she is real. She wrote a post about how one of the #1 causes of depression in woman is from reading other woman's blogs. Everyone seems to post ONLY the good and wonderful things in their life and it paints a picture that they have "the perfect" life. Well, I'm the first one to say that I don't think ANYONE has a perfect life! Sorry chicas! It may look like it from the outside but EVERYONE has struggles big and small. Emmi is one who does the world a favor by posting about the good and the bad. I think we all learn more from each other when we are willing to share both. I'm not saying write a post every day about how bad your life sucks and only complain about this and that...because focusing on the negative things in life is not good. But I think it is appreciated by all woman when someone is willing to share some of their hardships and struggles so that others don't feel alone.

Life is hard and I think we could all learn from each other if more people would be willing to quite hiding behind this perfect life they are trying to portray and be real!!

My third hero that I adore is Melanie. We were connected through our pediatrician because she has a 9 year old boy that was born with a brain injury.  I admire her for her continued strength, endurance, and love!! It has only been 2 years that I have had to endure the new life of having a brain injured child and she is going on 9 years!! She is a superwoman in my eyes and I have LOVED becoming friends with her and her sweet boy Crew. He is DARLING! We both have an obsession with is our personal therapy for sure!! She is even training for the Boston marathon right now...ROCK STAR!!

She recently has had some personal life changing things in her life and her plate is even fuller now! Even though she is struggling with her own challenges and going through so much right now she is still lifting me up and cheering me on! She is an amazing person and friend!! She doesn't write much on her blog lately but to follow her click here.

Keep all of these AMAZING woman in your prayers...I honestly don't think there could ever be enough!