Saturday, December 31, 2011

First Christmas In Heaven...

David left in Sept. as you all know
I was surely not ready to let him go.
He had to go 'cause he was old
And that's God's plan, as we've been told.
At age 93, he'd had a good life
But he sure didn't want to leave his wife.

If a death could be perfect, then David's was
He just slipped away with no obvious cause.
He'd seen all his kin in the last week or two
But to see them together, just woudn't do.
To his room they all went, one or two at a time
They visited and talked, (just can't make this rhyme)

For a week, he'd' been talking 'bout traveling on
But I just never thought that so soon he'd be gone.
He wanted to talk about things and such
But to talk about death was a little much.
So I wrote him a note just two days before,
I told him my love went right to the core.

I said if his time should come before mine,
He should just go in peace and that I would be fine.
"We have good kids who will take care of me,
So don't you fret, and don't you worry!
When Father is ready he'll call you back home,
Where you'll be safe and sound, no more to roam."

He felt funny and different, he said that day
But I took him out for a drive anyway.
He wanted to spend some time just with me
His legs were painful below the knee.
To the farm we went on that sunny day,
Saw horses and cows and then some hay.

A ride in the country was David's delight
He'd go any time without a fight.
I drove the car at a very slow pace
It wasn't as if we were running a race.
Driving home very slow, we laughed and we cried,
and when we got home, he just up and died.

There wasn't a struggle, there wasn't a pain,
With a smile on his face, leaning onto his cane.
Holding on to me, holding onto the door,
He just slowly went down and laid on the floor.
He didn't suffer at all, for which we give thanks,
He was anxious to go join the Heavenly ranks.

When the ambulance came, there was no sign of life.
He'd gone past the veil, leaving friend, love and wife.
We'd been a great team for thirty-four years,
So that when he left, I shed many tears.
But because of our covenants, I know that we'll be
Together forever through Eternity.

What a reunion in Heaven he must have had,
There was Marge, Lucy, Ann, and then his Dad.
To say nothing of his Mother, "Auntie Mame"
Who was known the town over for "Nephi" fame.
Now they all work together, some souls to save,
They'd all been waiting for their dear Dave.

In this very special month, David's no longer here,
He's now with our Saviour, whose birth we revere.
May this knowledge give us assurance and peace,
So that much of our mourning will certainly cease.
By God's own voice and God's own word,
Our loved ones are now in the arms of our Lord.

Written by my mom (Lois Peterson H. Salisbury)

The New Headstone...
I think it's beautiful.

But to be perfectly honest, the other side of it freaks me out a little bit... I mean, wouldn't it you?

And I SO want to change the "my" to "our"... But I guess it's already "cemented in stone"... And being joined at the hip as they were... I guess that "my" sort of makes complete sense anyway.

Oh, haha I just realized that that is a scripture quote... Ok then, well, alrighty, um, nevermind...

Seriously, Mom... David... thank you so much for this wonderful legacy! It's absolutely perfect.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Stolen Life

A Memoir...

At age 29...

I'm not exactly sure why I'm sharing this here, except that since I read this book, this girl has completely and utterly touched me and completely changed my faith in human resiliance. Not only with her story, because it was horrible... and certainly not always easy to read. I'm sure it must have been even considerably harder for her to write. And I'm not even recommending her book unless you really like true reality kind of stuff... and yet, on second thought, this wasn't true reality kind of stuff so much anyway... really. True nightmare stuff is more like it.

And so why did I read it? Because I am a complete sucker for survivor stories and happy endings... And because I sort of knew how it was going to end to begin with... And also maybe because as a mom and a grandma I think that losing a child would be a heartbreak so huge that it would certainly never, ever mend.

I'll never forget the day Whitney called me and told me that Elizabeth Smart had been found! And of course, though I didn't even know her, I still remember that day as being one of the best of my life. Seriously.

So anyway, this is the story of a girl who was abducted at age of only 11 and spent the next 18 years being held captive in a tent in her abductors backyard. She was finally rescued at the age of 29 along with her two daughters (who were also born and raised in that tent and yet somehow she still managed to raise to be healthy and well adjusted teenagers)...

I remember hearing of their rescue.. but could only imagine what all those years must have done to her...them. I was seriously imagining a much different outcome.

And so I guess this is where all that survivor love kicks in....

Because she is amazing! And due to this I don't think that anyone one should ever again be allowed to blame who they are today on any of their past circumstances. I especially love how she gives credit to all those years of lacking sunshine for the perfect skin she has today...

Her story was horrific and heatbreaking, yet at the same time sweet, inspiring and triumphant!

Anyway, if you want to watch the Diane Sawyer interviews, I warn you they're pretty long, but totally worth it. Though, trust me, you won't be able to fast forward through the commercials...

Diane Sawyer Interview Part One

Diane Sawyer Interview Part Two

What can I say? I tend to read a lot...

Monday, December 26, 2011

It Was An Almost Perfect Christmas...

My Christmas Tree...

Thanks Mom, Whitney, Aaron, Jade, Everest, Calder, Daryn, Jon, Rachel, Thom, Cheryl, Mike, Renee and anonymous!...

It really WAS a perfect day!

I am SO truly blessed to have such wonderful family and friends in my life!

And miraculously, my really old camera was still somehow able to rise to the occasion as well!... So bonus!

But next year? Well, it's gonna be Frequent Flyer miles for sure.... yeppers.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Memories...

Today I was thinking about some of my Christmas memories and how very much they have changed over the years...

For most of my childhood, each and every Christmas arrived pretty much on schedule like a cookie cutter version of the last one. I always knew exactly what to depend on and what to expect...

  • Laying under the tree on Christmas eve, my head resting amongst the packages and staring up through the branches at those beautiful frosted lights above, pine needles falling in my face. It was magical.

  • Trying to get to sleep at night but never succeeding, not realizing that my mom who would stay up all night wrapping presents would probably have given anything to be in my place.

  • Never understanding how, even though I hadn't slept a wink all night, there was always that pajama and slippers present lying on the floor next to my bed the next morning. Again, like magic.

  • That really sick feeling I would always have in my stomach while waiting to go into the living room and my sisters and I all being allowed to open just one additional present our rooms in order to give mom time to put on all the finishing touches.

  • Finally being allowed to open the door and the next hour of saying "Oh my goodness, Oh my GOODNESS!" over and over again at all the many treasures I would discover.

  • Opening presents until 2:00 in the afternoon...

  • Choosing my own corner of the room in which to pile my loot...

  • Seperating the wrapping paper from the ribbons/tags/boxes/etc and putting them each in their appropriate recyclable place...

  • A dining room table covered end to end with goodies... jelly fruit, chocolate covered cherries, nuts of every kind... See's Candy!

Fast forward to Christmas's many years later...

Pretty much exactly the same scenario with the added traditions of "The Nutcracker"... Amy Grant and Slim Jims... and that this time I was the mom and the one staying up all night wrapping presents... plus I've always been a little less stringent about ripping the wrapping paper....

Anyway, I just really miss all of that for some reason, even while sometimes majorly questioning it...

But now with my kids both on their own and celebrating with their own families (in, thankfully, much more moderate ways!) even with the small gifts being shipped back and forth I realize how truly unimportant the gifts really are and probably ever were! Because looking back, when I squeeze my eyes shut and really try to selectively choose my best Christmas memories, they always come back to the images of just being together with my family. Most of the other gifts have unfortunately long since been sent off to Goodwill or D.I.... and some, even more unfortunately, to the trash.

I would, one year, like to spend a Christmas with just my family and without any presents at all. I think...

I Photoshopped that earlier today but after writing this I think I've had a major change of heart. Because afterall, Skype is a miraculous and perfectly FREE and selfless gift that somebody somehow gave to us! But I'm just not exactly sure who... Mike maybe?

At any rate, I think I just really need to start all over again from scratch on this Christmas thing...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Better Late Than Never... eh, Ray?

I've been such a slacker on this thing lately. Didn't even manage to give thanks on Thanksgiving for all the many, many things I'm grateful for... and there's a bunch! But here's one for starts...

For Rachel... exactly 45 days late! I thought about saving it for Christmas but just couldn't wait....

Love you!!!

Grammy J