Saturday, December 20, 2008
Saturday is a Special Day
There is a song that I often sung as a child called "Saturday".
The words are:
Saturday is a special day, it's the day we get ready for Sunday. We clean the house and we shop at the store, so we won't have to work until Monday. We brush our clothes and we shine our shoes and we call it get the work done day. We trim our nails, and we shampoo our hair, so we can be ready for Sunday.
So today, not only for Sunday, but in preparation for this next week, we are definitely doing all those things. This morning at 9am we went to the James River Care Center and sang with other youth from our church to those who live there. It was a very happy experience, and one I really enjoyed. My husband and I had a few unexpected experiences that took us back to times in our lives with our own grandparents. So, I have been left pondering this morning about my Grandma and Grandpa Dunn, as well as my Grandma Hull.
I thought that I would share some of these memories with you today. It has made me realize that it truly is the small things that we remember, and that make an impact. Never under estimate the little things that you do.
Lette Mae Wardell Dunn was born in March in 1922. She was born in Cowley Wyoming. My grandmother passed through the veil on November 28,2001. It is hard to believe that it has been that long without her right here, because I often feel that she is not gone. My grandmother always gave the "I Love You" sign in sign language whenever she said good bye to us. I cannot remember a time that she did not do this.
As we were going from room to room singing carols, we came to a room with an old man who was very happy to see us, and he kept showing us that he loved us through sign language. We were singing "Silent Night" and I could hardly get through the song because of all the emotions that suddenly came flooding back. All the I love you's from my grandmother as well as the last Thanksgiving I spent with her as well as the Christmas that year being the first without her. My grandmother was living with my mother at the time, after having been in a care center in Wyoming, she was brought to Utah so my mother could care for her. That was the 2nd hardest Christmas in my lifetime, the first being when our son Ammon suddenly passed away in utero and I had to deliver him, which was on December 9, 1997. I was 21 1/2 weeks along at that time. His passing through the veil made me feel all that closer to our Heavenly Father, and how he must have felt about his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Knowing that he was going to be a sacrifice, willingly, for all of us. This last year, a simple verse of scripture burrowed itself deeply into my heart from a different perspective then before.
The verse is:
Luke 23: 46
46 ¶ And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
For the first time, I saw the willingness of the sacrifice in this verse. Jesus Christ willingly deciding to die, to give up the ghost, to send his spirit back to the Father that gave it. The spirit burned all the more, that He did this for me and everyone because of his great love for us.
When I think of my grandmother, the first images that come to mind are all about service, compassion, and freely giving of herself. There are so many things that I admired about her, that I never told her that I did. There are things I will never forget, like her orange juice blended with bananas, or her banana bread. The little cork board coasters, and the round glass bowl that she always seemed to have one of her fresh cut roses floating in. But most of all, I will never forget that she loved me. She loved all of us, and everyone. Her life was full because of what she gave, and so it is that example that I hope to live as well.
My grandfather, Billie Leland Dunn was born in June 1923 in Kingsville, Texas. He passed through the veil January 2, 2000. When I think of my grandfather I think of him constantly taking pictures of everything. He loved photography and loved taking pictures of family. I loved to sit and look at all the photo albums that he had that were just full of family members. And not only that, there were cards from friends for years and years in there. My earliest memory of my grandfather was his garden. He was out in the garden picking his tomatoes. I remember it very well, because I got in trouble that day. I had found this little metal door on the chimney, that I thought must be a secret hiding place, and so I got it open only to find a lot of ashes! My grandfather could be very strict, but at the same time, I knew that he loved me and my grandmother. There was a man at the care center today that has Parkinson's disease, just like my grandfather had. He was so happy to see us, and he reached out to touch our hands as best as he could, and that was when I saw my grandfather sitting there. It is this grandfather that I heard from in a dream, that resulted in my article "The Power of One" on LDSFreemen. That dream still influences my life today.
"Let your light shine. It gives permission to others to shine as well."
My Grandma Hull was very much a southern woman, I just did not know it. I only knew her while she lived in Utah, which is during my entire life. I always thought that she did things different then other grandmas in Utah, and I always thought that she was a great hostess. She would have her house decorated for every holiday, and celebrate it well, surrounded by friends and family. She was so focused on family. A sweet lady that waved good bye and said to my children "Bye Hunny, nice to see you, thanks for coming." reminded me of her. My grandmother, Lucille Hull passed away just last year. I went to Utah, and was there for about 6 weeks to see family there. I was thankful that she passed through the veil, so that she could be as young as she truly felt. She often talked about her spirit being 16 or 17 and her body getting in the way. She had a bubbly laugh, and there were many times I really did think that she was younger then me. She loved social gatherings, and was very involved in politics. She was a campaign manager for Dixie Lee Minson when she ran for Governor of Utah. She was quite the lady. I have no idea how she was able to remember all the birthdays, anniversaries and holidays, and even throw parties for her dog. I hope someday to be able to be as thoughtful as she was, and as open about how I feel about others. I care about everyone, I really do, I just do not tell them, and I really should. I have been told I care too much, but for me, I think that I should show more action with that caring.
Aaron mentioned that he too had memories of his Grandma Rose come flooding back, as we watched a sweet lady give cookies to all the children caroling with us. She did remind me of his grandmother Rose. She was such an incredible woman. I loved her very much, and wish that I and my children had more time with her. I miss her and Grandpa Davis both. I also miss grandma Timothy. She gave us the encouragement to get married, and eventually to move to Missouri. Even when she went blind and lost most of her hearing, she would still know I was there. She would walk into the room and call my name. I have no idea how she did it, but I was so touched that she could tell I was there.
Family means everything, and I am grateful for the knowledge that family does not end at death, that we can be united together for eternity. I have found great peace and comfort in this knowledge. Binding on earth and in heaven these precious relationships is one of the greatest gifts that we have been given. Some of us marry until death do us part, but it does not have to be that way, we can choose to accept the gifts that Christ has offered us, and enjoy these relationships eternally. And that, is the only way I want to spend my eternal life. Surrounded my those whom I have come to love and admire during this life, those who I have served, and have served me.
In Christ, we have been given everything. It is a gift that we just need to choose to accept. His arms are stretched out still. And I am thankful for that, not just at this time of year, but everyday of my life.