When we got Christmas cards at the end of the year, my mom always hung them up on this wall. We thought it would be a good spot for all the cards people gave us. Thank you to everyone for your sympathies, thoughts and prayers.
Here is a pleasant surprise! Someone left these at our mom's grave. We're not sure who they're from but thank you very much!
Check this out! We noticed this when we were at the cemetary yesterday. Didn't know our mom was such a trend-setter! :)
After reading my sister's post, I started thinking about how much I have been relying on music to help me out, too. There are certain songs that remind me of Mom (like every James Taylor song ever written) or songs that have phrases in them that I catch at just the right moment, like the song Brooke talks about. I have been at her grave and when I turn on the car, a phrase will play and I feel like it's playing that particular phrase because it is something my mom wants me to know.
I Will Be by Leona Lewis is the song that was playing the first time I went back to my mom's grave. She sang, "I'll be with you forever, to get you through the day and make everything okay."
Footprints in the Sand by Leona Lewis is a song that I feel is a conversation between us and Heavenly Father. He says, "I promise you, I'm always there..."
Goodbye by Celine Dion is such a sad song. I love Celine Dion's music but I could never make myself listen to it after I figured out what it was about...not until now anyway.
Right Here by Brandy is a song I listen to everytime I'm on my way to the cemetary. I imagine my mom saying the words to me, "I will be here right beside you every step you take. I will be your strength, your shelter..."
I'm Already There by Lonestar is Brookie's song that she hears every morning (see below).
Back Here by BBMak is the song Scotty sang at Mom's grave.
It's Amazing by Jem is another one of those that I caught a phrase of one day after visiting my mom. "It's amazing, it's amazing, all that you can do..." was what I got after confessing that I sometimes feel like I may not be able to handle everything I'm going to have to.
Anyway, there is a playlist to the side with all these songs and I hope they can help others having a hard time, too.
Even though this last month has been a rough one everytime i've gotten in my car and am on the way to school this one song is always on.. now its not exactly about death its about a father who is away on a trip but my mom knew i liked country music so i'm betting she played it every morning for me. The lyrics that stick out the most are the ones in the chorus, right when a little girl asks when are you coming home and her daddy replies
I'm already there, Take a look around. i'm the sunshine in your hair, I'm the shadow on the ground. I'm the whisper in the wind, I'm your imaginary friend. And I know I'm in your prayers, Oh, I'm already there.
So for all of us who miss my mom and wish she was around, she's already there :)
Carly is Co-Captain of her school's cheer team with her friend Jill this year. My dad, Scott and I went to see her cheer at a girl's soccer game at her school this week. Here she is leading her squad in R-O-W-D-I-E...and then Scott tries to steal the spotlight from the soccer team.
Here's a video with my mom at one of my jiujitsu tournaments. Even though she didn't like seeing me wrestle around she always came and cheered the loudest. Thanks Mommy! (I earned 1st place at this tournament, and my mom handed out all the awards for everyone too!)
For as long as I can remember, my mom has been very interested in books about death and out-of-body experiences. I could never understand why she was so enthralled with the subject. I knew that her mother had passed away when she was about my age. Actually, so did my father's mother. I have never met either of my grandmothers. But my mom has books and books about this stuff. I used to think they were kind of interesting but I never paid that much attention to them. Now my brothers and sisters and I have them all out and we read them over and over. I think I get it now. I feel like I need to know everything about where she is and what she is doing, if she can see us and if it is possible that we can see her.
Shortly before my Great Grandma Sofia died, my mom told me she had a dream about her. She dreamt that her grandma and her grandpa were together and they were dancing and laughing together. She said they looked so happy to finally see eachother again. I think she had that dream about a month before Grandma Sofia died. The night that she passed away, my mom said she heard noises that sounded like someone walking around our living room and into the kitchen and she heard someone open the fridge. She got up to yell at us because she thought we were wandering around when we were supposed to be in bed, but everyone was asleep and nobody was in the kitchen or the living room. My mom told me that her grandma always used to get up in the middle of the night to get a snack.
My mom also often told me about her mother having a dream where she saw my dad holding me. Isn't that amazing? My sister, Brooke, said she had a dream where she was getting married and our mom was running around trying to get things ready. That seems about right, since she never planned ahead and was always doing things last minute. :)
I went to the temple a couple of weeks ago with my husband and my brothers and sister-in-law, Lauren. I was praying and hoping so hard that Heavenly Father would let her come there with us and we would see her reflection somewhere or something, anything! I just kept getting the feeling that she was too busy. She can't right now because she is so busy. I guess that is understandable. She loves to teach and that is what she is spending her time doing right now. I'm grateful for the dream I had. It was just a few minutes where I felt like things could be normal because she was able to be with us still.
I know that we will see her again, but we'll miss her terribly until we do.
Scott, Brooke and I went today to get the "sticks" we made for our Mom so Valley View could do their yard work tomorrow without worrying about our stuff. We actually got there a little late and they had already closed the gates to the cemetary. So, we parked by the dairy and walked to her grave while it was getting dark, and she's not close to the entrance. Kind of a creepy situation. But we were walking back to the car and talking about how it doesn't really feel like she's gone. There are moments that everything catches up and it hits you and you break down for a little while because you realize that she's not going to be making one of her many random phone calls to us or we won't get any more picture messages from her with one of her friends doing something exciting and fun. Otherwise, it feels like she's just safe at home.
I'm sure that this feeling comes from the knowledge we have that she is not really "dead", but actually living, just somewhere else. Right now, she is in the Spirit World being really, really busy teaching other people about the gospel who didn't have a chance to hear about it on earth. (Check out Doctrine & Covenants Section 138.) I know that she is OK and she is happy, I'm just a little upset that I don't get to have her around. Alright, I'm ALOT upset! I have so many feelings, good and bad. I'm sure we were made aware that this was going to happen before we were sent to this earth, and we still wanted to come. Experiencing these feelings is necessary to the Plan of Salvation, so we can become like our Heavenly Father.
I am so happy about my mother's decision to become a member of the LDS church so many years ago. She didn't grow up with it, like we did. She pursued it on her own. She was a teenager when she was baptized and ran with it from there. I am sure that my feelings would be way different if I didn't have this gospel and things would be so much harder. I admire her for her faith and her example and am so grateful that she has given us this gift.
My dad and I went to watch Carly cheer at a soccer game at her junior high. Her school's colors are blue, green and white and the players' uniforms are green. It was a little after half-time and she gathered her team in a huddle (she is co-captain with her best friend, Jill) and she turned around for a second and shouted, "Kristin, listen!"
She told all her friends the story of our mom cheering, "Go, green, go!" at Jaron's soccer games.
I spoke with the manager of the grounds crew at the memorial park. They do clean-up on Mondays and mow on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. So we will have Mom's temporary marker up on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
We haven't yet picked a grave marker for our mom and I don't think we're allowed to put one in until the ground settles a little more, so we have some time. We wanted something there since the flowers from her funeral have all died and been cleaned up. This is what we came up with...
Each of the letters are decorated with flowers and ribbon the color of each of our birthstones. I hope these and the picture in the title are able to capture how beautiful it looks. If not, I guess you will have to go see for yourself (Valley View Memorial Park on 4100 S. and 4400 W. in West Valley). I took a million pictures because I didn't think any of them did the scene justice. It is amazing to look at!
My husband sometimes talks in his sleep when he's dreaming. Early this morning I was awakened by, "It was nice to see you." I was wondering who he was talking to and I started thinking about my mom. Then I fell back asleep and started dreaming that I was in a hospital room. It was a nice, big room with 3 beds in it and big windows all along the wall. It was sunny outside and made the whole room bright. My mom was laying in the middle bed and nobody else was in there. She was gone and we had already had her funeral a few days before.
We were going to be having some other service for her and I was supposed to get her dressed and ready. I left her laying in the bed on her back with her arms stretched out to her sides and went to her walk-in closet (who knew hospitals had those?) to find a dress. I was looking for a specific one with a really bright flowery pattern. I walked in the closet, which also had windows in it, and saw her temple clothes folded nicely on a shelf to my left and her temple dress hanging up, along with another temple dress. I don't know whose that was. I found the dress I was looking for and walked out of the closet and found my mother laying on her side with her hands under her head, cuddling her pillow like she would do when she fell asleep on the couch at home. I was confused for a minute and told myself, "Okay. Dead people don't just make themselves comfy." So I ran out into the hall to go find a doctor.
I kept running around telling people what happened and they all just kind of blew me off, because they knew everything that happened. I ran to an upper floor to find one of my mom's friends who worked at the hospital. She was sitting in a chair and had some candles lit and was trying to relax. I called her Bernice. The person I really think she was supposed to be was Toni, who does our X-rays at the dentist, even though she didn't look like Toni at all. This woman looked more like a younger and skinnier version of LaVerne on Scrubs, but the feeling I got from her was the same thing I feel when I'm around Tony. I told "Bernice" what happened and she got up and ran downstairs to my mom's room.
As I was running down the stairs, I turned around and saw that Jaron was standing just outside the room we were just in. He had his phone in his left hand and he looked at me and asked me what was going on. My first thought was that I didn't want to get his hopes up that our mom might still be alive and then have it not be true. I told him anyway. I said, "Mom turned herself over on her side!" and he got excited and started texting somebody.
Next, I was back in the room and I was sitting next to my mom's bed. She was still laying on her side and I started playing with her hair. She woke up a little bit and I asked her if she felt ok. She told me, "Yeah, my head hurts a little." She still had stitches in her head from the autopsy. Then her dad came into the room. He can't move very well but he wheeled his wheelchair up next to her and got up to give her a hug. He kind of fell over on her and I freaked out a little. "Grandpa, be careful! Don't hit her stomach." But he was happy to see her and she was happy to see him. He sat back down and showed her a baby boy he was holding. It was his baby, but at the same time the baby was him. Kind of like a clone, I guess. I took the baby and held him up so I could look at his face.
Then my dream backs up a tiny bit, I think. After my mom waking up and talking to her, it was still possible that she wasn't really alive. I remember being outside the hospital room again and walking in quietly. There was a doctor sitting in a chair to the left her bed (her left, our right because the bed was facing the door) and he was just watching her. I walked in the room and looked at the doctor as if to make sure it was really true. He looked at me and nodded and smiled. I had my mom back! I went back to the side of her bed and she started to wake up again. I talked to her for a little bit and started to tell her about her funeral. There were so many people there and all her friends. I told her Becky and Denise were there, even though some of them really weren't able to make it. I said, "And Trisha and Clint came, I mean Tricia and..." (Trisha and Clint are some of my friends. I meant to say Tricia and Dave, who are her friends). Before I finished my sentence I was holding that baby again and he was starting to get fussy. Then my grandpa showed up again with his wife, who was some woman I had never seen before, but kind of like Toni, I got the feeling she was really my Grandma Ester. She walked in the door and I saw she had a bottle with her and I was relieved to see that she was prepared.
The room started to fill with our friends and family. I didn't see any of them because I was just staring at my mom, but I could feel that the room was full of people. She just looked at me and the baby I was holding and she smiled and grabbed my hand and just held it while she fell back asleep. Her skin was so soft and her hands were still skinny and bony, but they were warm and I was so happy. I held her right hand in my left hand and had that baby in my other arm and I looked up and started crying. And then I told myself it was okay to go and I woke up.
Whenever we went on a long trip my mom would play James Taylor and sing along as she drove. You can't help but think of her when you hear his voice.
Some of these songs have nothing to do with the situation, but they have phrases that we've had experiences with and make us think of our Mom, or they help remind us that we can get through this hard time.
Families Are Forever
Beloved Mother, Sister, Aunt, Daughter
Our mother was born October 31, 1956 and returned to live with our Heavenly Father on August 8, 2008. She was a wonderful woman who loved her children and loved her friends and family. She was an elementary school teacher at Gearld Wright Elementary and adored the children in her classes. She spent her time in the service of her family and we will rejoice when we will be together again. Families are forever.