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! ;)


  1. What a sweet post! I love the idea of "When you were with him it felt like you were the only one who mattered." I strive to be that friend that is like that. This was beautifully written. I don't even know him but I sure wish I did :)

    1. Brooklyn...thank you SO much! That is so sweet of you...I hope everyone has an example like him in their life! That truly is what a great friend is like...I am still working on that but So impressed that you are like that!! Thanks for your comment!!!

  2. What a sweet tribute to your wonderful "papa"! I laughed out loud at his funny made me think of some of my own grandpa's sayings ("I don't mind the smell, it just burns my eyes", whenever someone changed a baby's diaper around him :) Seeing the pictures of your grandpa working hard on the farm, reminded me of my grandpa, as well...they just don't make them like they used to!
    I especially appreciated you sharing that special connection he and Dakota had...just one more angel on the other side who loves and understands how to help Dakota!
    So happy you were able to be there to honor a wonderful man and the life he lived... BIG {{hug}}

    1. Thank you SO much Jenell!! They really don't make them like that anymore that's for sure!! It makes me want to move to the middle of nowhere on a farm and raise my family! ;) Kids don't learn to work hard anymore because they lack the opportunity to work like they used to for sure! LOVE grandpas...that is a hilarious saying by your grandpa...LOVE it! Love you!

  3. Way a great tribute to your grandfather... Sorry for your loss.

  4. I am a blog stocker and have never commented before, but I couldn't help but see your sweet little Dakota in your papa in the younger picture you posted. They look a lot a like to me.
    P.s totally off subject. Are you still doing your spray tan business? I need to get a package from you this summer.

    1. Andria...thanks for stalking! ;) Thanks for your sweet comment. I haven't noticed the similarity between Dakota and my papa but I have a couple of cousins that TOTALLY resemble him for sure!
      I am still doing my spray tanning so let me know whenever you are ready. I know this spring weather is making me busy with sprays...everyone wants some color now!! ;) My number is or text me!! Thanks again!!

  5. I'm very sorry about your loss. I lost my grandpa when we was almost 93 and you are right, it was very hard even though we knew it was coming.

    1. Chantel...thank you so much for this sweet comment! Sorry to hear about your grandpa. Glad you can relate!

  6. I am so glad you got to go to his funeral. I am sorry for your loss. Now I know why you are so amazing, it runs in your family!

    1. Oh Kali...thanks SO much! I definitely have some GREAT examples in my family. A lot to live up to for sure!! Glad you are home from the hospital!!!! Love ya!

  7. I love this, Tessie! What an awesome "Papa!" Now I need to jet straight to Idaho to hug on my Grandpa Durf for awhile. And I am SO, SO thankful for The Plan of Salvation! I just couldn't bear it without that knowledge! The veil is thin. I forget that sometimes.

    1. Ooops I accidentally commented instead of replied! ;)

  8. Sarahn you little sweetheart! Thanks for this comment...he is AWESOME to say the least! So grateful to have had him in my life for so long! get right up to Idaho right now!!! ;) The veil truly is thin. Have you ever read the book The Message?? YOu should...makes you realize it even more! Love your guts!!

  9. It is amazing how much Dakota looks like your grandpa in his picture as a young boy in his cowboy hat!

    1. Oh thanks!! I would be so happy if he was just like him!

  10. This brought tears to my eyes, reminds me a lot of my grandma who passed away about a year ago. You are so lucky you had him for that long its hard to think she won't be there for my wedding won't get to be in my kids lives.

    1. Oh I'm so sorry about your grandma! I do feel so blessed that I had him in my life for so long for sure!!

  11. Zach and Tessie, I am touched by your strength and the love you have for your family. Your blog is an inspiration to all who stumble onto it. You are an example of grace and sacrifice. May Gods love always surround you and your beautiful family. My most sincere condolences on the loss of of your Papa. He was a great man, and a cowboys cowboy. St. David will never be the same.

    1. THANK YOU for your sweet words!! I most definitely agree...St.David will NEVER be the same! Thank you for your love and support to our family!!!