Tuesday, November 27, 2012

About Dad

That was one LONG day for both of us. The surgery was scheduled for 11 a.m. Just before we left home, they called and scheduled it for an hour and a half later. We still waited and waited. They finally took Dad in at 3 p.m. By the time all was said and done, we did not leave there until dusk. I got to drive home in the dark. :) (You all know how I love that.) But it was not bad. Poor Dad, he had gone without food since 7 p.m. the night before. Thanks to Julie, we came home to roast and brown rice which she had cooked and left in the oven for us. I tried to get Dad to eat a banana on the way but he did not feel like it. (WHAT?? You know how he loves slightly green bananas. He must feel really lousy.)

When I say it was a long day for both of us, that is because I had to impatiently (I was the impatient one, not Dad.) wait with Dad. I was perched on a little doctor's stool. They took us back to the prep room not long after we got there and got Dad ready. Then we waited and waited and waited. Of course, if it had been Dad who was the person needing the extra time we would have been thankful that the doctor gave him the time so we tried to be cheerful.

Dad looks pretty good, considering that they cut out a chunk of his eyelids. They also tightened the muscle that holds the eyes open. He has wide, wide eyes now, even though they are both black. The doctor said that by morning we can expect them to be swollen shut so, for a few more days, no one will be able to see how wide and nice they are. He has to sleep either in a recliner or on top of three pillows. He gets to wear an ice bag over his eyes for the next couple of days off and on. He gets to take extra-strength Tylenol for the next couple of days, as well. I was feeling really sorry for him until they wheeled another patient into the same discharge room we were in. It is sort of a little good-bye room with recliners that they have the patient sit in until they have their sea legs and while the spouse (or whatever) goes to get the car. The woman's whole lower jaw was swathed in an elastic-style brace/bandage and she was complaining about extreme pain. I still feel sorry for Dad, of course, but I am glad he was not in that situation. UGH!

In six weeks we go back to the doctor. And, hopefully, that should be that.

Dad's RN was a person that Auntie Helen had trained in nursing. Her maiden name was Anderson. Her first name was Alys (said Alice). She was so happy to wait on a relative of Auntie's that we got the royal treatment. She was the nurse who got him ready for the surgery and who kept tabs on him while we waited and waited. (The Primary song: "Pioneer Children Sang As They Walked and Walked and Walked" made me think of Dad. "LHT joked as he waited and waited and waited. . .")

I am just thankful that, even though I drove through the rush hour traffic of Salt Lake City, I got us home in one piece and that I did not make any driving mistakes. When they remodeled the freeway, they should have added a fifth and sixth lane I am thinking. We did the bumper to bumper traffic on the way to Provo and I was in the HOV lane. What does that tell you? At least I didn't have to worry about speeding. 

I just gave Dad his last meds of the day and fixed his ice pack so he is tucked in for the night (or until the ice melts). I am heading to bed myself. 

We love you all.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Who will be here for Thanksgiving?

Myrna wrote: Plans for Thanksgiving 2011 are now made. I know who will be here and how much turkey to cook.

Thanks to my family for all of the responses to my question about who will be where on Thanksgiving. I now know who will be here to celebrate with us and who will be celebrating elsewhere. Let's all have a great day. Thanksgiving is still one of my favorite holidays: food, family, fun. Of course, there is also gratitude, thankfulness and lots of good and happy memories.

One year for either Christmas or Thanksgiving, when Joey and Walter Olpin lived next door, they were our only guests besides our own small family. We crowded into our small kitchen, that was years and years before the addition was added, and ate, laughed and enjoyed a great meal. 

Most years, we traveled elsewhere. I don't know why it was that we stayed home that year. It was most unusual but it was fun. Perhaps all of our usual haunts had other plans. Strange that I do not remember why we were at home. It must have been Christmas. We usually stayed home Christmas Day after all of the children started to have lots of gifts to pack around. We would sometimes have family come to our home for dinner and sometimes not. 

We always had Auntie Helen's Christmas party in early December and met together as a big family then. We also, at some point, visited in Kenilworth, Price and Huntington. There we exchanged gifts prior to Christmas and were fed great meals. These are all good memories to warm my old age.

Oh, wait, I am old. Well, they warm my memories now and, perhaps, someday I will actually remember whether it was Christmas or Thanksgiving that we hosted the Olpin neighbors.

Monday, November 5, 2012

From Grammy and Gramps

I think that I am finally happy that I live among cowboys. It has taken some time for me to feel that way but, over the years, I have been in great meetings where humble and spiritual cowboys have taught great lessons. 

For example, at sacrament meeting one week ago, Bro. Davis, first counselor in the bishopric, told of his experience with his cell phone. He is the new church cattle ranch manager for the cattle ranch in our stake. He replaced Bro. Don Berezay when he died. At any rate, our ward is having, at the St. George Mission President’s request, a bring-a-friend-to-church-day on November 11. There is an assignment that goes with the request--we are to pray each day for inspiration, we are to read certain scriptures, we are to seek the spirit--then we are to approach the person with love and respect and ask them if they would like to attend church with us on that day. 

Paul Sutorius, our retired seminary principal and gospel doctrine instructor, said that, if they refuse, we should continue to be friends but that when we approach them we should teach them how to recognize the spirit when it inspires them. There is a list of scriptures we should use: 1 Cor. 2: 11-14; Moroni 10: 4-5; John 14: 26; Alma 32: 28; Alma 5: 45-46; and 3 Nephi 18: 18-20. 

At any rate, Bro. Davis was out rounding up cattle with Mitch Durban, Berezay’s son-in-law, when one of the calves decided to take off away from the rest of the cattle and make a run for it. Davis said that he knows from experience that the only thing to do is to chase the cow and work to cut it back to the rest but that it often leads through rough ground and tall brush. It cuts at the flesh of the cowboy and tears at his clothes. He did get the calf back to the herd but, at that time, he realized that the cell phone he had in his pocket was gone. He knew that it might seem a trivial and unimportant thing but to him it was vital. It had the contacts he needed for the church and for the other church business activities involved with his job. Those could be replaced but it would take time that he could ill-afford. So still in his saddle, he prayed and reminded Heavenly Father that the cell phone, in the eternal scheme of things, was not very important but that to him, Bro. Davis, it was. He asked him to help find it. Then he yelled to Mitch and told him to mind the cows while he looked for his phone. The problem was that he had been all through the brush in a zigzag manner and one stand of brush looks much like another. Still he looked as best he could for 45-minutes. Then it occurred to him that since he wanted help for this project, he should ask in a more formal way. So he got off his horse and knelt and offered a formal prayer. He got back on the horse and rode a short distance and there the phone was shining in the sun. He got off his horse, picked it up and then knelt again to thank Heavenly Father.

Bro. Davis said he wanted us all to know that we were important to Heavenly Father. He took time for each of His children and, if they wanted His help, He was there. “If He would help me find something so unimportant to anyone but me, He will help each of us with any of our problems. All we need to do it ask.”

He then said that the people we wanted to come to church with us were so important that He would help us reactivate them or convert them if we asked for His help and if those people were then ready. However, He was going to send us to the people who were ready. They would be the ones who would be inspired to accept our offer just as we had been inspired to seek them out. Gramps and I enjoy your missionary letters. 

We feel your great spirit in each of your letters and we are so happy that you are serving our Father in Heaven. The only way that any of us can ever truly feel the peace of the gospel is by living it. "Living the gospel does not mean the storms of life will pass us by, but we will be better prepared to face them with serenity and peace." Joseph B. Wirthlin, Ensign, May 2000.

We love you. We hope that you got your Halloween card in time. Grammy doesn't yet know how long it takes to get things to you.

Lots of love, Grammy and Gramps