Friday, October 18, 2013

I know you have been waiting for this.

Now you need to update your blog.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Hold On To The Memories

I wrote this paper in college.  It is a 19yr old remembering a 14yr old perspective. I wrote it for extra credit on my psychology class and the TA said that it was one of the best papers he had ever read.  He was a recently returned missionary, that is why I think he thought that.  I titled it Hold On To The Memories.
May 26, 1988 is a day that I will never forget!  It was supposed to be a memorable day.  It was but in a different way.  I had applied to the yearbook staff and had made it.  That day we were to hand out the yearbook and I didn't have to go to regular class for 2/3 of the day because of it.l  I was so happy because I hated school.  I had worn a dress to school that day and because of this my friends and I didn't want to participate in P.E. class that day.  I was a little mad because the teacher made us walk around the track instead.  We got all hot and sweaty because it was a hot day and we had class right before noon.  When we got back to the locker room there was note saying for me to go to the office.  I was wondering what it was about because I had not done anything wrong.  I changed out of my tennis shoes and was on my way.  By that time it was class change so the hall was very crowded and the office was on the other end of the school.  They called out my name over the intercom system.  I was thinking that it must be important because they had not given me time to get down there.  The note must have been sitting there awhile.  As I neared the office I saw my dad and older brother, Frank.  I knew something was wrong because my dad never picked me up at school and my brother Frank was still in his fireman's uniform. I thought that something serious must have happened to mom.  My brother, David and my sister, Elizabeth, who also went to the high school, were already there.  I asked dad what was wrong and he said that he would tell me later.  I then went to the yearbook adviser and told her that I could not stay.  She got angry and said that I was letting her down.  I explained that it was an emergency.  She finally got the hint and let me go.  I then met back with the family and we went to the car.  My dad started driving and then asked if anyone had seen my brother, Henry this morning.  The reason he asked this was because my brother worked as a night custodian at the Atlanta Temple to earn money so he could go back to college. We all said no.  He told us that he had been in an accident.
I could see my dad's eyes watering up.  I knew that it was not going to be good news.  My brother, David asked if he was O.K.  He told us that he was dead. We all started crying.  We then picked up my little brother, Joseph from elementary school.  We all tried to stop crying so he would not know.  We waited till mom could tell him  He had this look on his face like what was wrong.  We went home and most everyone was home by then.  My younger sisters, Diane and Angel had stayed home from school that day and they had already picked up Ruth.  Joseph sat down in the big recliner and mom told him that Henry had been in an accident and that he had died.  He then proceeded to get out his homework.   He started doing it and said that he wanted to go back to school.  We all thought that this was unusual and asked him if he understood that Henry was dead.  He thought that he had only been in an accident so my mother had to explain it again.  My older sister, Amanda was at school and they called to let her teacher know so she could tell her.
Some of the sister's from our ward were there.  They were cleaning up our house.  I guess they thought it would help.  I was feeling kind of guilty because it had been my turn to do the dishes and I had let them pile up and my sister in law's mother was doing them.
We were all sitting around in shock.  I remember at one time I had went up the Henry's room that he shared with David.  The door was shut because David didn't want the relief society sisters to go in there.  Henry had this distinctive smell.  The whole room smelled like it especially his bed.  I remember just sitting in the room and smelling the smell and thinking about my brother.
The next day was the viewing.  It was all day long.  I thought that it was weird because my brother was in the Magnolia room and he was to be buried in Magnolia, Alabama where a lot of my ancestors are buried.  People came in all day long and there were tons of flowers.  I remember the flowers on top of the casket. They were done by a lady in our ward.  There was this particular kind that smelled like orange tic tacs.  Some of my friends, the yearbook staff, and the high school had sent some.  I remember the yearbooks staff's one because they looked odd because they had this big black bow in the middle.  Now the smell of flowers reminds me of the funeral home.
My brother looked very unnatural.  He looked sort of like dracula.  They had combed his hear back but Henry had always combed his hair to the side.  I joke that when he is resurrected that the first thing he is going to do is use his fingers to comb his hair to the side.  The makeup looked awful too.  He had bruises on his neck and cuts on his hands.  They had just blobbed the makeup on and didn't smooth it out.  His body was very cold and his forehead was soft.  He was wearing his temple clothes.  I had never seen a man's temple clothes before.  Henry's casket was this grayish blue on the outside and light blue on the inside.  There were birds flying on the inside of the top and it said GOING HOME.
So many people came in.  My yearbook adviser came in.  She said that she was sorry about getting mad at me.  We had a nice little chat and I told her a little about the church.
This young lady came in and said she knew my brother but none of us knew who she was.  She didn't say much about herself and later on I saw her talking to the mortuary  director.  She was smoking.  I wondered if the director had hired her to make us always wonder who she was.
The other custodians that worked with Henry came in.  They were all really nice.  They said that they had read the scriptures together before they started working at night.  The guy told me that my brother was the one reading that last night.  He told me the scripture verses.  I can't remember the exact verses now but they were reading about Helaman's 2000 stripling warriors.  That story has new meaning for me now and has become one of my favorite stories.  I just thought about how they had been young and my brother was young too.  He was only 22.
The next day, Saturday was the funeral.  My parents were already at the church so David drove the van.  My brother had died on the same road that lead to the church.  Henry had went off the side of the road while he was putting in a tape.  He over corrected his mistake and went into the other lane.  A tuck was coming the other way and hit my brother on the front passenger side.  We know all of this because my counselor at school was right in front of him.  She thought he was following her so she was looking at him thru her side mirrors.  They said my brother was killed instantly.  He had broken his neck.
Don't as me why we were listening to the radio but we were.  David slowed to a stop where the skid marks were.   On the radio they were playing "Hold on to the night" by Richard Marx.  Right as David was slowing down it was saying hold onto the memories.  I thought that this line was suitable for what were were experiencing.  Now the song always makes me think of Henry.
There were lots of people at the funeral.  My best friend's dad who was the bishop conducted.  His wife sang the song "The Test" by Janice Kapp Perry. I really like that song and asked if it could be sung.  The choir sang "O My Father", the death song.  I think that it is the death song because it is usually only sung at funerals.  I don't like it when we sing it at other meetings.
The bishop, Brother Kelley told stories about my brother.  One story was about when my brother had been bitten by a dog when he was little.  After he came into the house my mom asked him why he didn't run away from the dog when he got mad.  My brother was confused and said the dog only smiled at him.  He was so little he didn't realize that the dog was showing his teeth because he was mad.  After the funeral we stood in a line.  Everyone came up and hugged us and tried to make us feel better.
We live in Georgia at the time and had to drive all the way to Alabama.  It was long drive.  We had another short funeral there.  It was mostly family.  I remember that the singing was awkward because there were so few people and the pianist didn't play very well.  After it was over my dad and Bishop Kelley lifted up my brother to put his temple cap on.  His body was so stiff.  It mad me cry to realized that this was the last time I was going to see him for a long time.  My uncle Larry dedicated the graveside.
My brother was engaged to be married.  He met Jasmin on his mission in Mexico.  It took us a while to get a hold of here because her family doesn't have a phone.  She got an emergency visa to come.  We didn't know she could do that or we would have postponed the funeral.  She arrived two days after the funeral.  I felt so bad for her.  She said that the morning that he died she had a dream that he did .  I thought that was kind of cool.  She wanted to be sealed to him. We wrote a letter to the First Presidency.  They said she should go on a mission as she had planned to before she met my brother.  We supported her and she has been back for a few years now.  I  don't know if she still wants to be sealed to Henry.  We continue to be friends with her but it is hard to communicate because we don't know Spanish and she knows very little English.  She came to visit us this summer.
This experience has taught me many things.  Life is unpredictable.  You never know when you are going to die.  I have asked myself why Henry, why not me.  He had so much to look forward to: going back to college, marriage, a whole life ahead of him.  I didn't understand why Heavenly Father had chosen to take him at that time.  He had just come home from his mission.  Our family feels that Heavenly Father needed him to be a missionary in the spirit world.  His headstone says missionary on it.  My belief in eternal families has been strengthened.  I hope that my family and I can live worthily so we can be a family forever.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Brace Face

Before and middle-check back in a year for after.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Frank

I remember feeling sorry for Frank in Alaska when I first saw this picture. He told us this is what that had for a bath. 20+ years later, he told us this was staged... and they had a real shower. Sneaky Frank. Happy Birthday, btw do they still make Pert:)

Friday, January 6, 2012


Mom, this one is for you.

Dreaming of Disney Dole Whip Recipe.. 2 cans (20 oz. each) DOLE crushed pineapple 2 tbsp. lemon juice 2 tbsp. lime juice 1/3 cup sugar 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped How to make it -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Drain pineapple: reserve 2 tbsp. juice. Set aside. Place pineapple, lemon juice, lime juice, sugar and reserved pineapple juice in blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Pour into two 1-quart freezer zipped bags. Store bags flat in freezer. Freeze 1 1/2 hours or until slushy. Stir pineapple slush gently into whipped cream until slightly blended in large bowl. Return to freezer until completely frozen, about 1 hour and serve.