Sunday, August 30, 2015

Mom's picture

As my dad lays dying in his hospital bed he calls all of us in for some big decisions to be made. We all lean in and hold his hand and know he is going to say something vital and earth shattering.  With a concerned expression he says.... "What are we going to do with your mother's pornographic picture?"   

We couldn't stop laughing!!

The picture he is talking about is a glamour boudoir shot my mom did for him in the 1990's.   It could be called beautiful and sexy but definitely not pornographic. 

We told him we would display it right by his casket.  Hee. Hee. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Big and Little Lyle

My dad's last days are here.  He is confined in a hospital bed in his room with a catheter.  His Body is breaking down and he is getting weaker.
Last night Bre brought Alfie over for one last Great Grandpa hug.  Alfie call's Grandpa Lyle....Pile.  It's pretty cute.  Alfie did all ofhis sign language, grass, flower, clouds, horse etc... he was delightful and at the end gave a big "muwah" blow kiss...then struggled to get away from Bre and ran over and gave Gpa Lyle a real kiss.  It was so sweet.   This is the last time on this side of the veil these two will be together.  It really is a sweet legacy that Alfie shares dad's name.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Faith Filled Father

My dad called all of the family together for his last hurrah!.  We called it his "King Benjamin" moment from the Book of Mormon.  Dad talked about when he dies how to "Split the loot."  He has a program set up with how he wants this done.  He shared a Mosiah scripture with us from King Benjamin that says let there be no contentions among you. Told us to all get along and not hold grudges, be proud of each other and build each other up....  just love one another.    Marry well...find someone to love more than you love yourself.   "Sheri was the spark and the light of my life. "  
Dad bore his testimony of his Savior, Jesus Christ.  Told how he got his testimony of the Book of Mormon while in the army during the Korean War.  
Dad talked about his funeral plans...having all of us kids speak and Adam sing, "Going Home." This is a song that was sung at his father's funeral in 1948.  Adam got out his guitar and practiced this song on all of us and it was a beautiful bawl fest.  

Going home, going home,
I'm just going home.
Quiet-like, slip away?
I'll be going home.
It's not far, just close by;
Jesus is the Door;
Work all done, laid aside,
Fear and grief no more.
Friends are there, waiting now.
He is waiting, too.

See His smile! See His hand!
He will lead me through.

Morning Star lights the way;
Restless dream all done;
Shadows gone, break of day,
Life has just begun.
Every tear wiped away,
Pain and sickness gone;
Wide awake there with Him!
Peace goes on and on!
Going home, going home,
I'll be going home.
See the Light! See the Sun!
I'm just going home

Adam changed the words to say, "Sheri's there, waiting there....  Mom and father too..."  

A few days before this Dad gave each of his children a final Father's blessing.  He can't stand up much with out a lot of help, so Me, Adam, Liz, and Angela all sat on the floor by his feet while he gave us one last blessing.  It was a sacred time. At the end, he asked Al if she would like one. She agreed.   Dad said it was a privilege to call Allison one of his own. 

I'm just feeling so blessed to have such a faith filled father.    He has one foot on earth and one foot in heaven.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

1st Day of School

Truman and Laila both started school on Monday.  Truman transferred to the U of U and Laila is at MPJH as an 8th grader.

Our family friend Aisha Nalder is also attending the U after many years off, with Truman.
Tru and Aisha

Laila likes and dreads going back to school. She loves her summer. Laila had to wear her MPJH cheer shirt to represent school spirit.  This again was a good and a bad.  She didn't have to think about what to wear, but she looked the same as 16 other girls.    Laila had her back to school assembly today and got to cheer and dance in front of the whole school.   She has all honors classes, plus concert choir and cheer and has made a deal for a trip if she gets all A's this year.  Let's hope she will do it and we have a cruise in our future!!

Monday, August 24, 2015

NYC with Laila, Wayne and Me!

NYC trip August 20-23
Day 1:
1st Taxi ride
Great hotel room with view of Empire State Bldg
1st Subway ride
Eating a $1.00 hotdog off a street food cart
China town
Foot massages
Eat in China town at Nice Green Bo sweet and sour whole fried fish.
Times Square at night!  
Toys R Us Ferris wheel.
Hershey and M&M store
Eating hotdog #2.  The $1.00 hotdog is the winner
Cheesecake and Red Velvet cake from Juniors
Having the Empire State bldg all lit up right outside our hotel window
Walk 6 miles

Day 2:
Central Park and Strawberry fields with IMAGINE  
Manhattan Temple with baptisms  and initiatories
Lost Laila on the subway...found her at next stop.
Lunch with Levi Poulter at Orbica Italian in Trump Towers followed by ice cream Nutella crepe
Ferry ride see Statue of Liberty
New York style .99 cent pizza
Power Nap
Schubert Theatre Matilda
Burgers, fries and shakes at -The Counter
Walked 11 1/2 miles.
Shopped til 1 Am

Day 3:
Brunch at .99 cent pizza place
9-11 memorial
One WTC observation deck. Tallest bldg in Western Hemisphere
Subway to Brooklyn
Walk Brooklyn Bridge back into NYC
Salty pimp ice cream for the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop
Power Nap
Lunt Fontane Theatre-Finding Neverland with Matthew Morrison
Steak Dinner
Shopping on Times Square til after midnight  
Walked 13 miles

Day 4:  church with Manhattan ward uptown
Street waffle with strawberries
Walk through Central Park
Laila get portrait drawn by Central Park street artist
Sushi lunch
Cronut from Paris Bakery
5.5 miles walked  

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Marcie's Life Sketch

 Delivered by Me at Marcie’s Funeral Aug, 19, 2015

I had a chance to sit at Marcie’s bedside and reminisce with her about her 54 years  or life and would like to share some of the highlights she mentioned with  all of you.  Marcie Cole Call was  born March 26, 1961 in Salt Lake City, Utah and lived most of her life in Bountiful, Utah.…1st born daughter to Lyle and Sheri Cole, . She always looked like  dad’s mom…. but she always acted more “spiffy”  like Mom’s mom,  Eulala Butters.
From the beginning it was always Marcie and Melinda…”Sarcie” and “ La”--- Being only a year apart, mom dressed us as twins for years…she made us matching outifts and coats, …. but Marcie got the long hair and I had the short since Mom only wanted to do one head of hair.
We did everything together……we were pretty inseparable.  We thought we were “in charge” of the 1200 south Bountiful neighborhood where we grew up…and made dirt filled gutter water root beer floats for the neighbor kids.   We sold my mother’s cherries without her knowledge up and down the street in our red wagon and put on her blue nightgown set,  stood on our dresser, called ourselves the “Blue Birds”  and sang Donny Osmond songs at the top of our lungs. Sarcie and I shared a bedroom for 10 years, and could drive each other nuts with our clean side/  messy side  tape down the middle of it.  We slept under a quilt made by our Grandma Cole out of all sorts of fabric and loved playing “I spy” with the quilt blocks as we fell asleep.  We also played “Timber” and chopped our “tree” arms down on top of each other.  Uncle Brad taught us this….   We had a golden childhood with parents who loved each other, grandparents right up the hill, a swimming pool to spend all of our summer days in and plenty of cousins around.
When Adam, Liz and Angela joined us as siblings, Marcie took her responsibility as oldest very seriously.  We now had the big girls, Adam and the little girls.  Marcie was that perfect-and-right-oldest-know-it-all child. One quintessential moment from our childhood  is one night we were all setting the table  with Dad, Marcie was being her bossy-sassy self… and instead of Dad pouring the water into the cups he threw the contents in  Marcie’s face.  We all gasped…and knew not to  do or say whatever it was she just did.
Our family move to 800 East. Bountiful, in 1972,  (the house my dad still lives in), was difficult for Marcie. She was going into 6th grade and felt like she had “no friends” and I remember so many talks on the stairs with Marcie crying and my mom putting her back together with her wonderful words of wisdom. Marcie was so happy when Teresa Toone moved in and it helped that her favorite Bountiful elementary school 5th grade teacher ,Mr. Todd was in the ward.
Marcie did theatre, choir and debate at Bountiful High School, with me-her little sister tagging along of course, and we shared Choir trips to Canada complete with  nude beaches,   Senior Crimes and productions of Kiss me Kate and  Irene.    Infact, Marcie’s first kiss was during Funny Girl…. At BHS…back stage as a sophomore… she fell for the “I bet you a nickel I can kiss you with out touching you” routine.
Marcie is a Red color code personality and she met another Red,  Gary Call during her 2nd year as a Theatre Major at Weber State.  The Bill and Mary Call family had moved into our ward when their son Jeff was a Senior in HS .  Jeff shared a seminary class with Marcie.…and he always told Marcie , “you would like my brother”…. “I need to set you up with my brother”…and Marcie always thought…”why would I like your brother?… I barely like you. “  Well Jeff was right.  
On their first date in  the fall of 1980… after talking in Gary’s car for hours and hours, Marcie came in crying that she  met the guy she was going to marry and now he was going to ruin all of her plans.  They got married June, 12 1981…. On a beautiful sunny day that in an instant turned into a windy, hail storm and chased the whole “Somewhere in Time” themed out door wedding, indoors.  It was memorable.  I was her maid of honor…and she was mine of course.
Marcie had a knack for creating beautiful, magazine worthy spaces out of interesting old houses and apartments wherever she lived….She and Gary lived in Roy above the old Roy movie theatre, in an old  house in Salem while they ran the Spanish Fork Main Street movie theatre,  In a Provo condo when Gary went to Beauty School,  in an old House in Farmington,  and finally settled back in Bountiful in their current home on Davis Blvd….just when they were thinking of moving out of  this home, it  burned down in a terrible- after Christmas- fire on Dec. 28, 1992…..they lost everything, but each other.   They lived in a condo for a few months,  then at my parents home for 2 years…during which time their home was expanded and rebuilt and Hayden was born.   They feel so blessed to have stayed in the 14th ward for  the past  27 years.
Our time singing in the Cole Collection…was wonderful…all of us sisters, and Mom and sometimes Grandma Butters.. sang at Christmas time from 1988 to 2001  We later had Megan and the Cole girls join as well. One of our favorite  times as sisters…was being in Nunsense with Mom directing and Marcie as the Mother Superior…..this was the perfect part for her…
Marcie helped run the Call family owned Kaysville theatre.  She  designed and costumed dozens of shows for Bountiful High School.  Marcie loved to throw a great party, sew, paint, cook, decorate, travel around the world with her sweetheart  and be with her children, Jordan and his wife Laurie, Megan, Nelson and Hayden. Marcie was an avid Red Sox baseball fan, traveled to NYC many times to see Broadway shows and attended the temple weekly with her children.  She was the perfect grandmother  called “gra-marcie” and  adored Ryan, Carson and baby Drew who was born on Marcie’s birthday this past March.
Marcie loved our Cole family Bear Lake week…and we all treasured the time spent with her this summer.   Marcie enjoyed her many church callings, and couldn’t decide if Relief Society, Young Women’s  or Primary was the best place to be…she just loved them all while she was doing them....especially girl’s camp. Marcie enjoyed her book club ladies, birthday lunch friends and her scripture  group.
Marcie was diagnosed with Cancer on May 1st…she passed on 3 ½ months later On August 13, 2015 in Bountiful Utah --a fighter to the end ,with her  “it is what it is” attitude in tact.

Marcie ready for the viewing. She really didn't look like herself but so much better than the day she died. 

Ryan loves his grandma and made sure she had some taffy to take with her to heaven.  At the cemetery he hugged the casket and sang, "Are you lonesome tonight " to her. 
Pallbearers:  Jordan, Aaron, Chad Call, Addison, Truman, Monson, Landon, Hayden, Nelson
As the casket was brought up the hill Ryan insisted on helping. He sang a song about "going up the mountain." It was so sweet.
Melinda with Aunt Diane, Dad with Megan, Hayden with Monson, Laila, Melinda and Lindsey. 

My crazy siblings....

Marcie's favorite flower is a Lilly.  We decorated with it and sang, "Consider the Lilies" in a big combined ward and loved ones choir. We sounded heavenly.
Having a swig at the after luncheon was "love, true love" 
My kids have all been so supportive and helpful through all of this and the time I've spent away from them all summer. Life is sweet because they are in it.
Adam dedicated the grave and spoke about a time when we had just moved when Marcie was in 6th grade and Adam was a 2nd grader and was scared one day and went to Marcie's class room and asked for "Mousey" since he couldn't say his "r's". Everyone laughed but Marcie stood up and comforted him. It was sweet. 
This is on the top of Marcie's casket as they lowered it into the ground. 
So many people came to this funeral. She was loved by many. We had a great luncheon after with family. This is Wayne, Zmelinda, Cindy Sweeten, Darlene Ostlund, Gary and Diane Hill. 
I was proud of all of Marcie's children today. Their talks were beautiful and they have great testimonies and love for each other. 

I love this big sister of mine!  Marcie did everything first and I just followed after her.  She was born first, she broke her arm first, she wore glasses first and contacts first, she did school first and theatre and choir first, she went to Weber state first, she got engaged and married first, she had the first  child and bought a house in Bountiful first , had grandchildren first ….and she died first….   I'm counting on my angel momma and my angel sister to be my cheerleaders now.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

A Marcie Memory...

Me and Marcie at our parents home..2010
I'm thinking about a sacred time …when I knew this amazing sister of mine was always there for me…… it was the night Laila fell and cracked her skull during an Annie rehearsal at Bountiful High, Oct. 2008.   I was supposed to be flying to China that night to meet up with Wayne, but instead Laila was brought home from rehearsal, became unconscious and we were life flighted to Primary Children’s intensive care unit.  It was very traumatic and all indications were that my sweet baby girl was not going to live through the night.  Wayne was in China struggling to get home, friends and family were gathered around for prayers and support and I knew I was going to have a sleepless night ahead of me at the hospital… It was my sister Marcie who was my rock…as always…she volunteered to stay by my side.  She knew just what to do and say as we sang primary songs and sat vigil with Laila through that long, long night.  It typified our relationship…. I needed to be strong…and she was always there adding her strength to mine.   She was my shoulder to cry on, my cheerleader, my best friend. 
 I will forever be grateful to her and for this memory.  

Laila with the orphans in Annie...2008

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Scars are a testament to life

I found this.. And loved it... It rings true in so many ways 

"He Was Grieving Over The Death Of His Best Friend, Until An Old Man Told Him THIS. Mind Blown.

I'm old. What that means is that I've survived (so far) and a lot of people I've known and loved did not. 

I've lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can't imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here's my two cents...

I wish I could say you get used to people dying. But I never did. I don't want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don't want it to "not matter". I don't want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. 

Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can't see.

As for grief, you'll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you're drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it's some physical thing. Maybe it's a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it's a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.

In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don't even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you'll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what's going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything...and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.

Somewhere down the line, and it's different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O'Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you'll come out.

Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don't really want them to. But you learn that you'll survive them. And other waves will come. And you'll survive them too. 

If you're lucky, you'll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks."

Friday, August 14, 2015

Marcie is gone

She is gone. I am heartbroken.   
She passed away Thursday, Aug 13 at 11:28pm
 Just Wednesday she was talking and reminiscing with cousins Cindy  Ostlund Sweeten and Krystin Poulter Morley. We laughed as we remembered our summer road trip with Grandma and Grandpa Butters. They took Me, Marcie and Krystin to California to see Cindy. On the way there we entertained passing motorists with signs and costumes. We knew how funny we were. 
We also passed the time with Grandma  Butters trying to teach us to sing in 4 part harmony. We weren't that successful but the words to the song that we sang over and over keep ringing through my head now.  

We shall meet but we shall miss her
There will be a vacant chair
We shall linger to caress her
While we kneel in secret prayer 

This is how I felt kneeling at Marcie's bedside last night watching her struggling breathing, hearing her "death" rattle and knowing we were at the end. 

We gathered, sang hymns, cried, laughed, reminisced and cried some more.  We all knelt around Marcie's hospital bed and Wayne offered a family prayer of blessed release for Marcie and comfort for her children.  We all joined hands and did our "forever " cheer at the end.    

At Marcie's final moments her children and Gary were holding her hands and telling her, pleading with her to go; that we would all take care of each other and she could go be with her momma. It was very spiritual, peaceful and beautiful. 

My sister friend is gone. I am in shock. 

The only good part about this whole thing is envisioning Marcie with Mom and Grandma Butters in a warm embrace. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Welch Reunion

Welch reunion at Heber Valley camp, even though only Friday for us, was awesome. I love getting together with extended family and loving on each other  and catching up. We had a pretty good turn out. 
It was so fun to do the big swing together and fly and laugh. Even Holly got on the swing. We were all very proud of her.
Laila and Savannah Bentley
Landon swinging

The pull crew:  Blake, Monson, Blaine and Alex

 Laila got to spend the night and be with her cousins and do the zip line challenge course with everyone the next day. Thanks to Rob and Tami for organizing and cooking everything!

Rachel gets married

Rachel  and Fernando got married August 8th.  Saturday was filled with Temple, Family, Ring ceremony and Reception.   Having Dad there was awesome. It will be the last family wedding he will attend. 

Such a great day. We are so thrilled for Rachel. She has found such a kind person to equal her. Fernando is new In the gospel but understands Christ like love and has a great light about him. It was fun to meet and dance with his only Spanish speaking parents from Ecuador. 

  The Wiser backyard was beautiful and the weather cooperated. 

A highlight was the daddy daughter dance with Adam and Rachel doing patty cake and then the polka in the middle of a nice traditional teary  waltz song.