By the time she was my age…

Recently, I visited my aunt and looked through some photos. She has pictures I have never seen before of my grandparents and my dad when he was a boy.  As I looked at a certain picture of my grandma I realized she was about the same age as I am now.  When I was younger, I looked a lot like her but looking at a picture of her the same age as I am now I can see that resemblance has faded.  My dad assures me though that I have many of her mannerisms and still carry myself in a similar fashion.  That is comforting because I have always enjoyed having that connection with her even though I don’t remember her very well.  She died when I was 12 but for the last three years of her life she was in a nursing home and her body became merely a shell of the vibrant woman she once was.  But when I saw that picture of her of when she was close to my age I compared our lives and the different roads we have both taken to get to this age. Continue reading

The Case of the Birthday Brownies

Some time ago, an old friend in mom’s ward made brownies for me one year for my birthday. Little did she know, that one act of kindness would start a tradition. Not only for me, but for every member of my family still living under mom’s roof because her kind heart couldn’t possibly leave anyone out.   Since it had been some time since I had grandma notice me (almost before my recollection) I called her Grandma Ann. I guess, you make a big deal and hand out a moniker like that, it could guilt a person into turning a single act of kindness into a tradition. Which is what it did. Continue reading

Worst Day

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By Trey Lee   

Through life we experience trials and tribulations. There are ups and downs along the way but we hold firm to the belief that there is a wonderful ending. This has proven true in my life as I have gone through my ups and downs. A particular down that I had to deal with was when my grandmother passed away. This was particular hard on me for a number of reasons. The first was that she had a special connection with everyone she met. She had the ability to be anyone’s friend. She shared a common connection in that sense with my grandfather who to this day has never met a stranger. Another reason that her passing was hard on me was the fact that she had suffered having been diagnosed with cancer for four years. This was very hard for me to see.  The third reason I wish to share about this being a trial in my life is that I had never known death until her passing. Her passing taught me a number of things including stronger faith, dealing with pain along with a number of other things.

My grandmother had a special connection with everyone she came into contact with. She had the ability to talk to anyone no matter how ruff they may have appeared on the outside. She was constantly serving others and helping them become better. After all she raised the man who would raise me, so she must’ve done something right. It was hard for me to ever imagine she would pass on. To me all men were immortal because until that point I had never had someone so close to me pass on.

My second reason that the passing of my grandmother was difficult for me was that she had suffered battling leukemia for four years. When they found the cancer she was not expected to make it through the night. This proved to be wrong seeing that she lived an additional four years. That was a miracle in and of its self. She would get better and then a little worse. Towards the end of her time on earth, she decided that she might be ready to meet her maker. She was placed on hospice and was taken care of for a number of months. This was hard for my grandfather to see; she was and still is his queen. I still, to this day, get choked up even writing about it. To see one as wonderful as this human being suffer, was a very hard thing to do.

The last thing I wish to write about is that up to that point in my life, I had never seen someone pass on. In my world all men were immortal and there was no death. I guess that comes with the naivety of youth.  This was an eye opener. It taught me much about faith. During this time of mourning I knew that it wasn’t the end somehow. But it was part of something bigger.  I cannot say that what I felt was something other than what it was because that would give anyone who ever reads this great injustice. Her passing was hard on me but it taught me many great things. The mercies of God are great and powerful.  A scripture passage that helped me cope with her loss can be found in 2nd Nephi chapter 4 verses 15 through 35.

Hard things do happen. And how we respond to the hard things in life can enormously effect what we do after the trials. I was fortunate enough to grow from this hard time. Many however are not so fortunate. The total realization that came to me can be felt by anyone who so desires. It is only up to the person to find for themselves.  Millions have found it and there are millions more who can.

A Poem by Tomie

I have to explain today’s silly verse.  It was actually written by my grandma – Margaret Thomasine Sneddon – who went by Tomie [sic] (1924-1966).  Isn’t that a cool nickname?  I love it.  My grandma died 7 years before I was born.  So all I have to get to know her are pictures and a few poems my mom gathered.  I am sharing my favorite poem of hers.  I think her and I would have shared many laughs together if given the chance.  And now I know, I come by my dorkiness honestly.

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Tough Enough

Life is messy, life gets hard

sometimes you don’t want to press on.

How will you ever make it

when you don’t feel strong?

Here are a few words

of encouragement for you

because you do have what it takes

to help you make it through.

Because she’s a part of you –

tough enough to raise her children all alone.

She’s a part of you –

tough enough to leave and set out on her own.

She’s a part of you –

tough enough to give birth while rain flooded the Green.

She’s a part of you –

tough enough to start her family at seventeen.

So you see – you will succeed.

Look behind you –

They are walking with you.

Reach inside you –

they are a part of you.

Heartache will come your way

but you will make it through the day –

because you’re already tough enough.