Saturday, August 30, 2008

8/28/2008; 11:06 am

The time finally came. Grandpa did all he needed to. All of his kids got a chance to talk to him one last time. It was a neat experience being there all that time. There were some neat things that happened. Although Grandpa was in a coma and unresponsive, little things happened that told us he was there with us and he could hear the things we were saying to him. This past week was definitely a high spiritual week.

Thursday morning about 10:45, Bekah and I noticed another change in his breathing. We called my mom and told her she better come. About fifteen minutes later he started pausing for several seconds in between breaths. After a few minutes of this I knew the end was very close and I was worried my mom wasn't going to make it. A few seconds later she hurried in the door. She told him to go ahead and just go. I told him we loved him. Seconds later he was gone. It is a very real thing when a spirit leaves a body. All of a sudden it was just a body and not Grandpa. Although we couldn't see the spirit we saw the body as he left and there was a definite change. It I was there for the births of my younger brother and sister and this is definitely up there with that on the list of the most spiritual things I have witnessed. We know that he was waiting for my mom to get there before he left also. The timing was so perfect.

Back to real life. We aren't too stressed. Most everything is ready for the funeral which will be Monday. I have been asked to give the life sketch as the oldest "ours" grandchild. Heaven help me get through it. I should be fine. This whole week has helped me prepare. I have actually cried most of my tears watching him suffer through Alzheimer's disease the past year. I am feeling more relief and happiness for him now.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Keeps going and going...

Here we are...still...watching Grandpa...waiting for him to make his move...We've decided to change the cover of the funeral program from the angel Moroni to the Energizer Bunny. We feel OK laughing about it because, thankfully, he appears to be comfortable and at peace. For some reason he needs to be here on earth a little longer. And we are willing to wait for as long as it takes. In the meantime we are enjoying being near him and reading his journals. I've been reading some entries from his missionary journal. He wrote in this journal throughout five of his six missions. It's amazing the vision he had. He was excited about the work. He loved being in the service of God wherever he was sent. He gave all he could. He was a husband, father, grandfather, and missionary.

I have also become a member of this Alzheimer's community. It is fun to interact with the other residents. This is a pretty happy place to be considering the situation these people are in. The staff here do their best to keep the residents happy and comfortable. They are doing their best to keep us comfortable as well. I recommend Alta Ridge Assisted Living. Who knows I might even decide to move in here. If Grandpa decides to stick around for a while he and I can be roommates. And he might. The nurse said that his heart and vitals are strong. I am amazed at the capabilities of the human body and it's desire to survive. His heart is going to keep the rest of him alive.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Still Breathing

Another day, night, and day has gone by and Grandpa is still breathing and his heart is still beating away. Its been a bit of a surreal experience watching and waiting for someone to die. It can be a bit exhausting emotionally too. He doesn't look like Grandpa anymore. He hasn't eaten or drunk anything since last Friday. And yet his body keeps going. We talk to him. Rub his hands. No response. Just breathing. We haven't had any monumental spiritual experiences yet. Just the feeling peace and comfort. We've had lots of time to talk about his exceptional life and appreciate the example of service and love that he has left for all of us. And if anything we've grown closer as a family.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Bear Lake and Alta Ridge

This past weekend we had a super summer activity for the singles ward at Bear Lake. And it was excellent. We rented a SWEET lodge in Laketown and we had boats and sea doos. I am huge fan of Bear Lake. The water is so beautiful and fresh. The lodge we rented was the best. It had six suites. A big game room in the basement with a theater and a huge living area for socializing and eating. The whole activity was a huge success. Everyone had fun and no one got hurt. I can end my summer satisfied because I can still get up on ski no problem.
Caron, my sisters and I went up the night before to check things out and have a bit of fun before the rest of the party got up there. We used our usual sleeping arrangements. Anywhere we could find off the road. And we had great time sleeping underneath the stars.
Before coming home from the activity we got word from my mom that my grandpa, who has been battling Alzheimer's disease for the last few years, got some fluid into his lungs and went into a non-response state with up to 72 hours to live. And since his wishes are "DNR" (do not resuscitate) there was nothing we could do but let him go.
After we got home, we met as a family where he was and my dad and brother gave him a blessing letting him know it was OK to go. It was hard to hear but we all knew that it was right. He has been living in a personal hell. And it was hard for us to watch him go through it.
Its been two days and I am still here with him waiting for him to go. My mom, sisters, aunt and I stayed with him all Saturday night. Not the most pleasant night of my life. He lived through it but we could hear the suffering in his breathing and moans. On Sunday they gave him morphine and he slept. Its now Monday morning and I am still here listening to his breathing waiting for the last one to come. His heart is not ready to quit. His mind was suffering but his body was still very healthy. That is why this whole incident was a surprise. We were told that he could live for years. But we've been praying for something to happen so he wouldn't have to suffer anymore.
The whole experience has caused me to reflect on a lot of things. Death (naturally) and what comes after, what might be happening now on the other side of the veil, those that could be present in this room supporting him from the other side of the veil, what is his spirit going through now. My uncle made interesting statement. Just like we go through labor to get into this life, we go through labor to get out. I've certainly watched him labor and wondered, and prayed for it to end. His heart is going to beat all it can.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Changing it up

So I have wanted to change my background for a while. But I haven't wanted to sit at my computer long enough to do it. But I finally did it. It might change a few more times because I'm not sure if I am settled on this one.

Friday, August 1, 2008


(I would have this posted sooner, but I kinda got caught up in a book=)
Let me tell you something that you might not know. I have an amazing sister. Actually I four amazing sisters and a spectacular sister-in-law. But I want to focus on one right now.


Let me tell you a story starting on Sunday, August 29, at 5 am. Actually the story probably begins back in January while we were absorbed in watching the Davids compete for the next American Idol. One evening watching it Hannah says, "I want to audition for American Idol someday." And I replied "Great. I will drive you." So we planned on it, looking forward to a road trip. Conviniently, because of gas prices, we discovered that the auditions were coming right here to Salt Lake City.

And that brings us 5 o'clock in the morning standing in line at the Energy Solutions Arena, with the rest of the idol hopefuls, waiting for our turn to register. By 8 am we had our wristbands on and the info we needed for the actual auditions on Tuesday. Since we were already in town and it was Sunday morning we decided to stay for Music and the Spoken Word with the Osmonds, which was a lot of fun. We got seats up on the 10th row. Nine rows behind the prophet.

Now that we had our wristbands all we could do now was wait for the next 48 hours to go by and then we would return once again to the Arena. And that brings us once again to Tuesday. Once again 5 o'clock in the morning waiting. This part of the story is absolutely ridiculous. There is no point in us being there at 5 am. They won't let us in until 8. The judges don't even show up until 9 or 10. And we have a ticket with an assigned seat. The only reason they want us there so early is so they can get their TV shot of the crowds lined up ready to be the next American Idol. So Hannah the "so eager to be on TV person" person that she is promptly steals the pillow I brought and lays down and falls asleep. While everyone around is pining for the camera to come around and interview them. As luck would have it the camera did find us. Fortunately Hannah had woken up by then, or else I would've had all the spotlight. Some guy from one of the other seasons started interviewing me. However since I wasn't the one auditioning I turned the spotlight over to Hannah.
They finally let us in at 8ish. As everyone was finding their seats in the Delta Cen..., I mean the energy solutions arena (dumb), they were working on group numbers. I have no idea what for, but it was fun to sing with everyone. They also shot a bunch of crowd cheering shots and then Ryan Secrest came in to shoot some shots with the crowds. He was fun to watch. He is very personable and good with the crowd. He know what makes a good shot.

Then it came time to line up. Down on the main floor they set up the judging booths. They took one section at a time and lined them up by fours. By fours they went and stood in front of a judge (these judges were the producers.) and they each got a few seconds to step up and sing and convince the judge that they were the next American Idol. After singing the judges either let you through or not. These judges were pretty harsh. I saw then turn down so many people with talent and very few people got through in the time we were there. Fortunately we were in the third section. So Hannah didn't have to wait all day for her turn. She was ready for this. She looked good and she was prepared. And was incredibly calm. I was probably more nervous and anxious then she was. I watched her line up and head down as confident as ever and then I watched her in front of the judge. (from a distance) Unfortunately this judge did not know a good thing when he saw it. Even right in front of his nose. All well. Hannah got to check one more thing off of her life goals. She is amazing and she will always be my IDOL!!!