Friday, May 31, 2013

Funny Friday Flashback

Laila was all over writing a letter to Santa this week.  First, she made a designed paper with glue and glitter, then she dictated a letter to me:  "Dear Santa, I hope that you are going to be very nice and very sneaky.  This is my gift to you.  I love you so much and I wish I could kiss you.  Give us a very nice present.  We love everyone.  Thanks you for the toys and the elves.  Watch out for bad guys.  I'm going to catch a butterfly for you.  That's all.  Laila."

She is really spiritual.  My burned legs are getting better and she tells me,"Of course they are... Jesus healed you."  I thank God for her daily.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Funeral Recap

Bre's sweet sister Kirsten took notes at the funeral.  This is her recap of all of the speakers.
 She writes:   This was such a wonderful funeral, wish you all could have come. Sheri was a truly amazing woman.

Angela - Sister 1
-never stopped trying to improve herself
-made everyone feel like you're her favorite
-best multitask-er
-saw the beautiful in life, it was a matter of attitude, positive outlook and attitude
-she loved life
-she would get people in her life by getting them sucked in
-she was everyone's biggest fan, she was their cheerleader
-dance, sing, speak in public
-she was inclusive and always had big crowds of people and parties, everyone was welcomed
-she had disappointments, but she learned to love people anyway and TRUST in the Lord's timing
-she looked at trials through God's lens, it was an "event," something that would pass and something she was just going through - always positive
-husband and wife were devoted to each other. Lyle gave her the space she needed to be creative and use her talents.

Elizabeth - Sister 2
-sisters trip - eating, shopping, games and growing together.
-Sunday night "chicken checks"
-big traditions (pie, scones, and donuts on Halloween)
-change is good, change is ok
-"don't wait, enjoy life -eat the pickles!"
-"people are more important than things, love one another"

Adam - Brother 1
-to choose the happy, no one can make us angry or upset, we choose I be that way, find the funny and humor in things, use it to be happy through the tough times...cherry cola story
-love everyone, see a quality that you love in everyone, even if its just their nice teeth
-don't be afraid to reinvent yourself and strive to improve, no matter how old you are
-way to go graduated!

Melinda - sister 3
-she lived, she loved, she left proof
-makes your hopes and dreams feel possible
-dance was such a talent of hers
-she was a master teacher, always teaching about Christ
-she was a talker or "taco"
-she loved quality time and conversations
-she could talk to anyone about anything, she asked lots and lots of questions and wanted to know all about you
-she was a collector of people
-her mission statement: to return with honor, to leave with no regrets, read and learn all she can, bring joy to self and others, create environments, to encourage others, can-do attitude, love unconditionally --this was her greatest talent.

Marci - Sister 4
-a builder of people, a lifter of souls
-well meaning, charitable and kind (benevolent)
-she "made-whole" and uplifted those she rubbed shoulders with 
-no regrets, none of great consequence 
-no living up to one's potential and not allowing herself to be happier (NOT Sherri)
-she loved to spend time with those she loved
-mom was a "do-er" and always striving to be better
-it's not "why me?" but "why not me?"
-"did you love everyone?" "YES!"
-the gospel of Jesus Christ is true! She knew it.

Stephen - Sheri's brother
-always the light of the party..more personality in hr little pinkie than most people have in their whole body.
-embraced all facets of life
-if it were raining fireballs she would put them in a pit and roast marshmallows
-a finisher
-never negative
-driven and strong sense of commitment
-always partook of the sacrament, she said her week was never the same without it
-her forte was the way she loved people
-you can't truly love someone until you sacrifice for them - Sheri did that
-love is a sealer of souls, the sweetness of the savor of life, unreliable in its affects, it is god's gift to us, it is only when we are feeling it that we can come to know his Son
-the spirit can salve your feelings - hope takes away the pain of lose, charity in your heart, kindness, compassion, they are beacons of brightness = all found through Christ
-did I love enough? did I laugh enough? did I make a difference?

Final kiss
Momma's siblings:  Diane, Bailey, Darlene, Steve, Brad
Lynn and Sheri's sister  Lynette

Piper played "Amazing Grace"
Wayne says the Dedicatory Prayer

Holly comforts "Cole-my buddy"

We went back to the cemetery later in the evening.  We told stories, relived the day and sang "Once I went in Swimming" and "Love one Another."  Dad was in great spirits.   He loved this day!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My Funeral Talk

Welcome to the Sheri Show!
The title of my talk is :  She lived.  She loved.  She left proof.
 I met my mom  July of 1962.  It was love at first sight. She was gorgeous, talented, kind, and so wise.   I grew up in a very loving household.  One filled with the gospel of Jesus Christ .
     As Mom’s Scottish mission presidents would say… “There goes Sister Cole…scattering  Sunshine”—the goodness and optimism kind of Sunshine and Son- in the Son of God with her strong testimony of the Gospel.  She scattered Sunshine everywhere she went.
     Today I would like to focus on my  mom’s many talents.
I asked my children to share about their Grandma.
    Monson said:   “One of my most favorite things about Grandma Sheri  is that she was always there supporting us in anything that we did and she always wanted to help us be the best at it.”
    Laila said;  My Grandma was the definition of courage and love
    Bre says: Gma Sheri taught me to love unconditionally, to embrace my divine nature as a daughter of God, that I am more than I could ever understand, and that life is that we might have joy. 
   Addison says Grandma Sheri was one of the most influential and important people in his life, and he wouldn’t be who he is today without her.
   Truman loved how he could share his hopes and dreams with Grandma and she would make them all sound possible and encourage him to move forward
   Landon is going to miss his talking buddy. His angel.  She was such a light and strength.  A true fighter.  A believer and a lover
   My momma had many talents…being  a beloved Grandma was one of them.
   Being a remarkable mom was another …. We all felt cherished. Singing together, boating together, shopping together and being in shows.   All summer long we spent at Grandma Butters pool because our mom would take us and be with us day after day.  We worked together, and celebrated EVERY Holiday! We always felt like we had more than enough.  Mom’s positive attitude had a lot to do with that.
   Dance was always mom’s great love…. From her teen years , dancing at the U of U and then BYU to teaching dance in our home studio to choreographing for groups all over the Wasatch front.  She has danced her way through life. But my  favorite dance was watching my  parents time and again, dance around the kitchen and my dad asking us, as he gave my mom a big dip and a kiss…”Kids, do you know how much I love your mother?”   We never doubted their love.
    Sheri was a master teacher.  She opened minds and hearts in the classroom, in church meetings,  in the board room and all across America.  Mom taught at education week many times.  And she was always teaching about Christ and sharing her testimony of light and goodness, just by being her.
   My mom had a great gift of gab! Talking was really one of her spiritual gifts and along with that was her gift of listening.  …..Mom was an empathetic and  insightful listener.  Mom didn’t just talk just to talk…she adored quality conversation…quality time.  Mom was a talker…or as Little Landon used to say it….a taco.   Mom was a self dubbed taco… too
   Mom was always the last one leaving a church meeting..she had to talk to everyone there.  As kids we were just glad we always lived close to our church so we could walk home  Sheri loved to linger longer.
     I remember talks that put her teenage daughters “Back together” after particular hard days at school or with friends.  I remember talks that put her middle aged daughter back together as well… She would pump us back up with her words of love.
    Mom loved to talk on the phone.  We had to have the home phone with the longest chord.  She  would wander all over our house, cleaning, preparing food, helping us all the while talking on the phone.  My dad teased that she should have surgery and get it permanently embedded.   She answered the phone different than anyone else, in her low alto tones….. “good morning…good afternoon….good evening....Happy Halloween.”  
   Mom could talk to anyone about anything. She was all about sharing….what happened at church?, what is a cherished Christmas memory?   Did you see the clouds today? What’s the latest book you read?   What do you feel about the atonement?
    Mom could talk anyone into anything……another talent… I know all you out there that had never been in a show before, or danced before or sang in a choir before Sheri talked you into it, know what I’m talking about.
   My mom was a collector of…….well, not things and stuff…but of people.  She was a great gatherer!  Once she had weaved her magic Sheri spell over you…she had you.  We discovered all of our friends liked our mom way more than us .  She was like a magnet.
   While working for Franklin/Covey mom created her own mission statement that resided just outside her bedroom door for years.   Two weeks ago as we were celebrating mom’s final birthday on earth…we all gathered around her hospital bed for a big Christmas and hymn sing along/talent show.  Then mom had her final teaching moment where she went through her mission statement line by line and discussed with us the importance.  Her final goal was to have unconditional love.  She was so great at this.
   The thing  about my mom is you don’t have to do anything or be anyone for her to love you.  She just loved you because that’s who she was.  She could see you and me and everyone she met through Jesus’ eyes.  She had a talent for Unconditional love.
   I’m so grateful for all of my mom’s many talents that she shared so freely.
My momma Sheri……..She lived, She loved, She left Proof
Me and Daddy at the viewing
Laila, Grandpa, Preston and Ryan

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Momma Sheri's letter

 Mom wrote this 4 years ago in celebration of her and Dad's 50th Anniversary- June 9, 1959

Dearest children,
50 years is a very long time to you, but to us it was just last year we were married and you were all home with us.  I want to share with you a few memories…..but first I want to speak to you about your father.

Being the very peaceful man he is, he likes to go through life almost as a shadow….always doing good things but never making enough noise about it so anyone would ever know.  I want to share with you my thoughts on what a wonderful husband, Father and companion he has been……and I will speak with no particular order in mind.

Although it may not seem so….we have always been perfectly yoked.  To look at us one night not think this is the case…..but it is. Each carrying the loads we could do best.  Together we have moved not only ourselves forward but also our family.  There have been times when one or the other might be involved is unequal. Pulling.  When your Dad was in the bishopric, and especially when he was Bishop, I was pulling harder on the family line….when I was involved getting my degree, your Dad carried the family load.  Even though it seems impossible….Together we took turns.

Your Father has always had a strong testimony of the Gospel and the church,,,, and yes they are two separate things.  I never had to worry ‘if we were all going to church….  It was a given.  I never had to worry about him falling away…..he has always had the simple faith necessary to do what is right..  He knows the scriptures….he knows his Savior and he knows Heavenly Father.  He is a man of prayer….Remember the story about our wedding night?  We knelt down and had a prayer.  Before the prayer he told me that we were two just starting our family and in 20 or so years we would be just two again and our job was to still be in love so we could be together forever.  We have had prayer every night since then when we have been together.

Your Father has always been a ‘doer.’  He is always doing things for people.  He is always looking for things to do that would be helpful to others…..right down to how he drives a car.  Me, I would just keep on going, I would not let that car in front of me…it could  or would take my parking place, but your father would let them in saying,  “There is always another place to park.”   He is doing all sorts of things…He is doing temple work,  He is doing yard work.  He is constantly doing things for others.  He is doing his mission work.,  He does his best to make this world …well at least his neighborhood, a better place.

Your Father is a lifter.  He is the ward welcoming committee of one. A stranger coming to our meetings would think he was the bishop the way he talks to everyone and shakes hands and hugs those who need a  hug.  He is one of the kindest people I know.  He always has a kind word for others.  When I would come home mad as heck about someone who I thought had done or said something stupid and wrong…Your Dad would always take their side and try to make me see that maybe it wasn’t what I thought it to be.  I would be so mad that he didn’t take my side of things…..little did I realize he was taking my side by trying to get me to be a bit more patient and benevolent.

Your Father has great integrity!   If you were to ask someone to describe him, they would say he is always upbeat, kind and has great integrity.  One day, years ago when He was in the middle of being the best real estate man in town, a knock came to our back door.  I answered.  There stood a stranger.  He asked if this was the home of Lyle Cole.  I said yes it was.  He then told us that he was from out of state, and that he was being transferred to Utah and people told him to make sure he lived in Bountiful.  He said he arrived here and started asking around as to who they would recommend to work with in buying a house.  He said that, to the person, everyone he talked with told him to use Lyle Cole because his word was his bond. They said he was honest, had great integrity, and would make sure everything was alright.  What a wonderful reputation to have.  Your Father has always been like that.

I know that growing up “Cole” has sometimes been a bit tricky.  Every one knows your Father and what he stands for.  Consequently, it was hard to do something wrong because people wouldn’t let that happen…..”Lyle Cole’s kid?  I trust you cause I know your dad.”   You couldn’t go anywhere in this town without people knowing who you were and who raised you.  And it still goes on.  Right?

Your Father can do anything he puts his mind to do.  When we were busy doing all of the Color Code pilot testing….he realized he had not one drop of yellow in him.  This concerned him.  So he decided to change that.  He decided  to lighten up….to have more fun… bring more joy into others lives.  This was truly what Color Code was all about….Change for the better.  I can tell you … your Father is a hoot.  He has developed a sense of humor that is delightful. He makes me laugh. He is quick on the up take.  He finds the fun in everyday,  He may not be the perfect example of the time management/ clean desk era….but he is a sterling graduate of the color code era.

Living with your father for the past  fifty years is like taking a journey on a long road…..sometimes the road has been smooth sailing….sometimes there have been pot holes to avoid and sometimes we didn’t or couldn’t avoid them.  Sometimes the road was twisting and bumpy causing us to slow down….at times we could go freeway speed and even break the speed limit.  Some times we got “pulled over” so to speak as things we were doing needed to be reigned in a bit. The journey may be fifty years old, and the road conditions may have changed a bit over the years, but  oh what a ride!

I never have doubted Lyle loved me…..There were times he would roll his eyes and shake his head…but he loved me.  I always knew he would defend me.  I am glad I never had to put him to the test……well, if I did, he was kind enough not to let me know it..  He has supported me in everything I have ever done….even in the early years when he was still getting used to me.  He understands now, but back then he would just tolerate everything.  I would do things for ‘free’ ….Lyle would moan because in his world growing up, every one had to work for every penny they could get so they  could pay bills.  One always worked for a wage…..and here I was giving away my time.

Our life together was made complete by the arrival of our children,  Each one a very unique personality.  Each one bring their own piece to the puzzle known as the Cole Family.  When all of you were still home, we tried to build memories with you as a family.  When we got our first boat…we didn’t go out and buy it….it was part of a commission in a real estate deal.  We had a boat.  We didn’t know we even wanted one…but we had one.  So we proceeded to build memories.  I can still see you Dad standing waist deep in the  cold water at Bear Lake and Pine View helping you all try to get up on water skis.  It would probably have helped if the driver had not been me…but somehow you learned how.  We did family night trips to Anderson Cove returning after ten in the evening…hoping these things would bring us closer together as a family.  Spending every summer Holiday at the pool was another good thing.  We were there because we didn’t have the money to take you to Lagoon or to the city park celebration.  I remember  the day you found out about the celebration in the park….you were all so surprised.  You thought it was the first year it was done.  Not.  By then, you all loved the pool so much who cared about a celebration.

As parents we were always in a learning curve.  Marcie was raised by two adult  parents who were going the raise the ‘perfect child’.  We soon found out that raising a well adjusted happy child was far more important since there  is no such thing as the perfect anything. Marcie was taken out of church meetings not because she was crying….it was because she was way too happy talking and laughing. This was a bit confusing to her parents.

 On the other hand, Angela was raised by a houseful of adults…people older than she was.  She has a very adult vocabulary by two.   She was the bottom of the pecking order.  The only option she had was to harass the cat and the dog.  Yes we did try cat and dog back them. It was before we realized she was very allergic to them.    It is amazing she survived.

Teaching Elizabeth how to be a good sport became a family project.  Remember the trip When we had played a baseball game, and Liz didn’t like the way it turned out….nothing was fair in her mind and she was being a pretty good example of a bad sport whining all of the way home. Your Dad suddenly pulled the car over ….demanded that we all get out.  He then took out all of the ball equipment and we right then and there played another game so she could better understand how to take turns playing different positions, how to take turns at bat….how to take turns period. 

We took Adam through little league games much to his chagrin.  He was a good sport as his very athletic based father tried to introduce him to the joys of playing sports.  Adam was very patient with us….right up  to the point where we realized he would grow up into a fine man even if he didn’t play every sport.  Adam was the only kid we knew of who dressed for every game of little league football….and then played the game on the field as a spectator.  He wasn’t about to hit someone ..”What if I hurt them?”  He would line up and then stand up and watch as the play progressed.  He played football one year.  It was easier that way. 

Raising Melinda was an experience ..period.  First of all, we had to keep Marcie from patting her lead….often too hard….because she so loved her new baby. They were only fifteen months apart.  What were we thinking?  Heavenly Father wanted them to be like twins and they were.  What one didn’t think of the other one did.
She was born happy.  She could cry and laugh all at the same time…..still does…it is a very good thing.

We remember your first days of Kindergarten, as well as the day you graduated.  We remember tooth pulling experiences and well as your late night dating experiences.  We remember your first stage performances as well as our family stage experiences.  We remember when you moved out and in some cases when  you moved back in.  We remember your food preferences and your school experiences. We remember the wonderful Bear Lake  vacations that still bring us great joy.  We remember the joy of becoming grandparents.  We remember the joy of watching our grandchildren grow.  We remember their stage performances as well as other kind of accomplishments.

 We remember….it is the stuff of old age.

We love that we are all living so close.  It is our family that is the substance of our fifty years.   You are the meaning of life.  Yes, in the beginning we are just two, and as you father told me would happen, we are two again.….but the things that made our life together were contributed by you.  You are our life.  We love you.  We love living by you.  We love being on your lives.  We love it when you take time to visit with us.  We love it that you care.

What we love most is how the tide has turned… You were once Lyle Cole’s kid…..but now our greatest joy is being called  …” Oh, you are so and so’s parents”  Or even better…”your so and so’s grandparents”   We love that we are now known as belonging to you.  It is one part of the cycle of life that is awesome.

We want to thank you for being who you are.  Thank you for being strong in this crazy world. There will be  rough days  coming that  your testimony will be tested.  There will be times when you conversion to the church will be tested.  ( Remember these are two separate conversions… to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the second a conversion to the church of Jesus Christ)

We want you to remember always that your parents and grandparents have a strong testimony of both.  We have a strong testimony of the family.  This  was why the earth was created……to come down in families and learn and grow in righteousness. It is our work and our glory to help Heavenly Father with this purpose. 

We must remember to love each other.  To always be forgiving.  To always buoy each other up. 

We must remember the first commandment which is to love the Lord our God with all our heart might mind and strength.  And the Second is like unto it….to love one another even as I have loved you.  Heavenly Father and Jesus love unconditionally …. and so should we.

We love you all………you are indeed  what makes life work…..Hummmmmm  maybe there is something  to Heavenly Fathers plan after all.  He just knew we would need one another.  Family isn’t it awesome?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Flashback


Landon asked Laila if he was her favorite?  She scrunched her face up and said, "Well kind of...on this earth."  Landon asked her what she meant.  "Well," she said, "My favorite is God."  Then he said,"Well what about being your favorite brother?"  And she said, "No" and pointed up...."Jesus is."  So now we know where we all stand, after God and Jesus.

We have been working on her "th" sound when she talks.  She uses an "f" or a "v" instead.  So we are trying to help her.  Thing instead of Fing.  Both instead of Bof.  You get the idea.  So she was saying Muhver, for Mother.  I was correcting her.  She tried and tried to say it right.  Finally she just gave up and exasperated she said,  "I'm just going to call you mom."

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Momma's Obituary

Sheri Butters Cole (Sharolyn) passed away May 21, 2013. She forgot to breathe in. "I love life, life loves me!" she said. 2 years from her initial cancer diagnosis, she now says farewell. Sheri was born May 9, 1939 to Grant and Eulala Butters. She married the love of her life, her rock, her sweetheart, Lyle Cole on June 9, 1959, they have spent 54 years together with eternity still to go. We celebrate a life lived with grace, beauty, and style that she exhibited to the end. Sheri was a builder of people, a lifter of souls, an example to us all of how to live, laugh and unconditionally love. She touched so many of us with her passion and energy; she shared her talents and gifts everywhere she went. For you it may have been dancing for her in 30 years of musicals at Bountiful High, or in dance lessons in her home studio, or as one of the many hundreds taught life lessons and time management as a professional trainer with Charles Hobbs and Franklin Covey. Did you work with her in the Sweet Adeline's or Beehive Statesmen? Or in one of the many choirs she has choreographed or directed? Did you watch her dance across Utah with the Sheri Cole Dancers? Or hear her singing with her Mother and Daughters in the Cole-Collection? Or as the drama teacher at Davis High School or as the choir teacher at Bountiful High? Were you a student, or one of her families with Washington Online? Did you carry a banner as an LDS Young Woman in the days of '47 parade? Or were you part of her LDS mission to Scotland? Perhaps you witnessed one of her 4th of July spectaculars at Rice Eccles and Spring Mobile Ballpark? Or one of the many amazing Relief Society lessons she faithfully taught? Better yet, maybe she was simply your friend to comfort you in times of need and give you that boost of positive energy she had for everyone. Did you see her in a show? She loved the theater. She directed, danced and performed in shows too many to count. She spent genuine time with each of us, building us, teaching us, and was always everyone's biggest fan! She loved us all! 
She lived to have a party and would make up reasons if she had to. The legendary Thanksgiving pie party, Halloween doughnuts, and summer scones brought family and friends together. Her favorite role and best party was as loving wife and mother to her family. Bear Lake on the beach will never be the same without her, but we will never forget how she loved spending time with us there. We will never forget the Christmas records playing all year round, sitting with her at parades, puzzles on the dining room table, family talent shows and concerts, her love of learning, always the latest books, The Color Code, family nights at pine view reservoir, The Love Languages, road trips in the Pace-Arrow, her beautiful paintings, and living in "your essence." She was a one of a kind - an original. 
She is survived by her devoted husband Lyle Nelson Cole, children Marcie and Gary Call, Melinda and Wayne Welch, Adam and Christine Cole, Elizabeth Cole and Allison Dennison, Angela and Guy Brown, 20 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. Also survived by her brothers and Sisters Darlene and Jim Ostlund, Lynette and Lynn Poulter, Stephen and Mary Butters, Diane and David Hill, Bailey and Christie Butters, Brad and Karen Butters. Preceded in death by loving parents Grant and Eulala Butters and brother Grant Michael Butters. 
We know she is returning to our Heavenly Father with honor! 
We will never forget her legacy of unconditional love; her remarkable style, beauty and grace and her testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are all better for having known her. A life well lived. 

We love you Sheri!