Thursday, May 25, 2006

My Life Monday - Week 4

I'm doing this early because I am leaving town tomorrow and will be gone on Memorial Day. Please don't forget to add your link and add a comment if you complete today's MLM.

Week 4 - In Memory Of . . .

On this Memorial Day, there are three people I will be thinking of. The first two are my grandparents on my mom's side (my grandparents on my dad's side are still living). My grandpa passed away in 1986 when I was only 11. I don't remember tons about him, but he was a hard working, honest man. He was gentle and soft spoken. When my mom was a child, one of seven children, my grandpa was a dairy farmer. He owned acres of land in the Woods Cross, UT area. The government decided they wanted to put a freeway through his land and offered to buy his land. He didn't think the price was fair and he liked farming, so he turned down the offer. Well, the government condemned his farm so he would be forced to sell (apparently they can do that). He could no longer sell his milk, so he lost his source of income and had to sell the land for a pittance. My mom tells stories of being very poor. In spite of that, my grandpa rebuilt their lives. He built a spacious house (for the time) with 5 bedrooms, two baths, and two kitchens. He built it himself. He saved enough money to leave my grandma well taken care of until her death. He also left a mission fund that paid for one-third of each grandchild's mission. And there are 33 grandchildren in all! Because not all of us served missions, there is money left over in the fund. The remainder will be used to pay the first and last month of the missions ALL the great grandchildren may serve. That is a great legacy to leave behind. I hope I can be half the person he was.

My grandma died last year shortly before Mother's Day. She had spent the last few years of her life in a nursing home because of severe memory loss. I always remember how welcoming she was. She opened her house to everybody. When we were younger, she held huge Thanksgiving dinners at her house. All of her seven children, and their spouses, and all 33 grandchildren would gather in the huge family room downstairs for Thanksgiving dinner. It was a blast. The adults sat at one table and the kids sat at other small ones. I loved those times at her house. My grandma was a former school teacher and had old ditto's stored in her house. We would use those and play school on a regular basis. As a teenager, whenever I traveled from my hometown in Idaho to Salt Lake City for various things, she opened her house to me and my friends, letting us come as we pleased. I rarely remember her door being locked. She welcomed everybody with open arms. She had a strong testimony that never wavered.


The last person I will be thinking of today is my stepson Tyler. He was a beautiful, pure, ACTIVE boy who died too young. I didn't get the chance to know Tyler well. He died before my husband and I got engaged. But I love him and miss him as if I had known him well. He holds a very special place in my heart. Camden has Tyler's name as his middle name in honor of him. Tyler died in August of 1999, just 10 days after his 4th birthday. He drowned in a reservoir near here. Mark and I were in the temple when it happened. When we came out of the temple, Mark's ex brother in law was waiting to tell him what happened. Mark and I both have peace that it was Tyler's time to go. We (and Mark's ex wife) firmly believe if it hadn't happened that way, it would have happened another. We still miss him daily and especially on special days. We know he watches over us and our family. I have no doubt that he has met Camden, that he and Camden were friends before Cam came to earth. I know Tyler is Camden's guardian angel. Camden already has a laugh that was Tyler's laugh. We're sure Tyler taught it to Cam before Cam was born.

To my grandparents, O and J, and to Tyler - We love and miss you. And today, we remember you and honor you.

Please share with me your memories of loved ones you may be remembering and honoring today. Leave a link below when you have done this week's MLM. Whether early or late because of the holiday, share with us.

Next week's topic - Take a picture of something (not somebody) that represents part of who you are. Share that object and tell why it is significant to you.

It may take me some time to get back and check out your blogs, but I will be back! I'll will try to check in Tuesday!

29 comments:

Katy said...

Thanks for the subject, that was therapeutic. I love reading about your Grandma - she & your Grandpa left big shoes, but wonderful ones to fill! So sorry about Tyler.

Nettie said...

What a nice topic for Memorial Day! I'm so, sorry that Tyler is no longer around to hug. It sounds like you have a great family legacy. I wondered if you became a teacher partly because of your grandmother's example?

emlouisa said...

What a great post. Thanks for choosing such a timely subject for Memorial Day.

have a great trip!

Vlyb said...

Wow....that was a great post! Thanks for sharing!

Amy said...

I loved that post!! And Tyler was a very handsome boy. Sorry it posted my link twice. Hopefully you know how to take one of them off?

amerimeximadre said...

thanks for reminding me! I'm in Mexico and I forget when some of the holidays are in the US when nobody around is celebrating, I just started a blog today so now I have something to post about!

scraphappymama said...

Thanks for the topic - it is always great to remember those who have touched our lives for the better. Sounds like you have a great family, and I love that Cam has Tyler's name. I am sure it means lots to your hubby!

Maine Mom said...

What a perfect topic for this Memorial Day. I'm so glad we have the knowledge and comfort of the gospel to get us through these times of losing loved ones.

Butterfly Kisses said...

Your grandpa sounds like he was quite a guy....such a hard worker..it shows the true love he had for his wife and family.

Elizabeth said...

What a great topic for this week!

Nikkie said...

Great topic! Thanks for creating it and sharing!

The Constant Gardener said...

Thanks for sharing! Tyler was such a beautiful boy. You have such a wonderful attitude about the tragedy. You amaze me!

SuAnn said...

great post! reminded me of my own grandpa.

Frog Legs said...

Hope your weekend was lovely-- wonderful tribute to them all.

Diana - Teacher Mom said...

It really is nice to read about your loved ones and all the fond memories you have. I've read a few MLM's on this week's topic and though it is sad to hear about everyone's loss, it is quite touching to be able to share the memories.

ubercyl said...

Enjoyed it as always.

EmmaSometimes said...

Awww, grandparents are wonderful. Good memories. Happy Memorial Day!

Darci said...

I love your memories.
Darci

Jessica said...

Awww...your memories are great!

Kristen said...

What a great post. Heartbreaking about Tyler, though.

I posted my first MLM this week (on Tuesday). ;-)

Stephanie said...

Rachelle, this gave me tingles. What a touching tribute to Tyler and to your grandparents.

Carrie said...

That was a wonderful post about your grandparents and Tyler. You are awesome.:)

Dawnyel said...

Thanks for the topic. You come up with the best ones! :D

QueenMeadow said...

Great topic and great post! :)

As usual, I'm late again, hehe.

handiemom said...

I love your MLM topics. Sorry I didn't get it done last week but I will contribute this next week.

My husband is a teacher and he is totally ready for the end of school too. He's been counting the days since spring break!

BTW, I tagged you to do a meme. Visit my site to find out more. You don't have to play, but I would love your input!

BigSister said...

Thanks for the opportunity to write on this topic. Great tribute. Tyler is beautiful!

Rachau said...

I love your memories.It was nice to read.

beth said...

I love reading about Tyler and Camden's relationship. He taught him his laugh...beautiful. It took me a while to come back and read this once I realized it was about a child who died. I didn't think I could handle it right then. I'm glad I came back though, because reading what you had to say was so touching. You've been gone a while though. I hope everything is ok and you are just on an end of the school year adventure. I've tagged you with a meme on my site if you'd like to do it. Hope you come back soon.

Jane said...

Thinking about you, and hope you are okay.