Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Medley

Sunday morning November 24th, 2013
Eric and I moved io Gilbert over 26 years ago., we are both natives of Arizona, me from Phoenix and Eric from Mesa. We moved into the 6th ward when Haleigh was only 18 months old, now she is married.  We raised all 4 of our children in Gilbert, everyone of my children were baptized on their birthdays in this ward--6th ward will always be home to me.  I will never forget our 1st Sunday attending this ward, we met in the Val Vista Stake Center building.  Elouise Cluff was our Relief Society President, she came up to me with that big huge smile of hers, put her arms around me and said "You must be sister Williams, let me show you where the Primary and nursery children meet......" I felt special, she already knew who I was, I have to say even my children who are married and gone say there is no ward like the 6th ward.  Bishop Wally Slade welcomed us with open arms and a giving heart. This ward was exactly what I needed at that time in my life. I distinctly remember sister Harbertson bearing testimony, when she spoke it pierced my heart.  One of the most powerful testimonies I have ever heard came from a young adult in this ward, Ally Packard visiting from BYU, her testimony of Christ and his teachings touched me.  I connected with her without her even knowing, she said she was searching for a testimony, her own, separate from parents or teachers,   through her study and prayer she had come to know for herself that HE lives. I could go on forever about the examples of faith and hope in this ward I live in. I have loved every gospel doctrine teacher, Brother Steve Peterson and Brother Stephen Phelps taught me so many lessons about the Savior and the Atonement of Jesus Christ-- I realized this morning I have been in Gilbert longer than I lived with my parents.  I have always had a testimony of Christ, but I would be lying if I said the men and women of the 6th ward haven't helped me to anchor it, keep it burning in my heart.

This morning when I prayed I asked if the Lord would please let my mom and dad see a glimpse into my life now, let them see the woman I have become.  I'm trying so hard to do what is right, live a Christ centered life and make them proud of me, please let them know I really do have a forgiving heart, that I enjoy the simple things in life and because of every trial, bump or bruise I have learned to be a fighter, to be a survivor and to lean on the Lord for guidance.  In other words, I am who I am because of the good and bad I've experienced and will yet experience in my life.  I don't try to fully understand what happens between the period of death and the resurrection but I have to believe we have a chance to redeem ourselves for mistakes we've made, especially those that concern our eternal families.  I have seen the reaction and tole PRIDE takes on a body, physically it can destroy lives, it makes me want to say I'm so sorry to anyone I've ever hurt, my heart has really changed, and I think this is yet another experience I needed in my life--I Will Never Be The Same--

I'm not feeling very good , my ear is pounding, I don't know if I can make it through the meetings today.  I love the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and for the 20 years we have been in this ward I have sang  with the choir--The  Thanksgiving Medley- arranged by Stephen Phelps and Eloise Cluff.  Today, I won't be able to sing, nasty sore throat and pounding ear, does not make for a good combination--

Sunday November 24, 2013 4:30 pm
I decided there was no way I could miss hearing the choir sing or Stephen Phelps play the Thanksgiving Medley--they announced today Stephen Phelps has played this arrangement 32 years in a row in 6th ward, I'm so glad I didn't miss it.  I teared up, like I always do, some because I couldn't sing today and mostly because  no arrangement of music has ever touched me like that one....I love it. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mom's Funeral

My nephew Ronny 
November 19th, 2013 Tuesday
Today, my sisters and I attended the funeral services for my mother.  It's difficult to describe how I felt and feel.  I was drawn closer to her by listening to her cousin, Mary Joyce speak of mom's earlier years, when she was a young girl and teenager.  Mom really never talked a lot about those days, so it was nice to hear and learn the fun, happy side of her life.  I believe all is Holy in the house of God, and I was trying my hardest to feel heaven there.
Linda, Myself and Dottie (Linda's mom)

Linda one of my besties- I love her

Susan and Ron Lundberg (mom's closest friends)
 I am grateful for my friends who supported me and  did not let the influence of "not knowing" my mom keep them from coming to support me.  I needed you there, and I so appreciate Millie we have been friends for 15 years she has no idea of my life before Gilbert, yet because of her Christian spirit she came and loved me through it, she also brought enchiladas to my family for Sunday dinner, she will and always be close to my heart.  Linda my friend from childhood, she and her mother drove far to be here and I will always love Linda for her unconditional love, especially having known my parents, made it special to me to have her there.  Last my dear friend Jenny Ruttinger text me and said "I know this will be hard for you, I will be sitting with you" and she did, we've been through a lot together in the past 20+ years, no questions asked I knew she would be there for me.  Eric and I decided we wanted to position ourselves perfectly so that we could see and watch Stephen Phelps play the organ.  I always feel the spirit and peaceful when I listen to him play, he and his wife have been a tremendous example for me as we have tried to raise our children by their example.  Eric and I spoke about him many times this past week knowing it would be difficult for him physically to play, and would of been OK if he couldn't come, but he did and I know he did it just for me.  I love you Stephen and Carolei you have been an example to me for over 20 years now, and still continue to amaze me with your loving hearts.
Jenny--I love you

November 20th 2013 Wednesday
As I post this Eric and I are in Mexico, spending some time at our condo, he needed to fix our freezer (well I say him, but those of you who know my "Tim the tool man" knows he will hire someone to fix it.)  He wanted me to come last week, and in fact was leaving for Mexico on the day he got the text from me saying my mother had passed.  This week he has been begging me to come with him, and I have not wanted to go, mostly because I think a little bit of that depression and unresolved issues is unsettling to me.  Eric knows me so well, he knew if I stayed home I would lay around and try to figure out the whys? Then become depressed and anxious, so I'm glad I came with him.

 Being here, draws me closer to Heavenly Father, I'm able to sit on the sand, watch the ocean waves come gently  in and out and see the hand of the Lord pick me up and keep me from getting carried away in those waves.  Honestly, I have so many emotions stirring up inside of me, although what I am saying is completely from my heart and I am being true to myself, I know it will probably be confusing to some people.

I want to remember and write some of my fond memories of mom.  Our kitchen was always our gathering place, and I loved to sit, watch and learn from her. There were 3 things I remember distictly about my mom during Christmas--she always made Red Velvet Cake and sprinkled the green and red sparkles to top it off. She also taught me how to make her Cranberry Meatballs, that was a Christmas Eve Tradition in our home. Lastly, she made cheese balls and gave them out to friends and anyone she knew needed a little boost during the holiday months.  Eric and I sill carry on this tradition, so if you get a cheese ball during the holiday month it;s because our family loves you--DON"T THROW IT AWAY.  Mom grew her own small cucumbers, and taught me how to pickle them, I loved her homegrown pickles. Every year I went to girls camp, she was there it was comforting to have my mom with us at Camp Lo Mia, all the girls in the Stake loved her so much. I wanted to be just like that, I wanted to work in Young Women's like she did, go to girls camp like she did and enjoy all the blessings that come from serving in YW.  I have not really had an opportunity to serve in the YW program for more than 6 months, but I was able to be our ward camp director for several years in a row.   I also remember my mom giving me the 1st compliment I can remember.  She said "Monya you have the ability to get upset or mad, spit it out, then let it go, I like that about you" When Elvis Presley died, I was mowing the lawn and remember coming into the house to get a drink of water, she was crying, she really loved music, that is probably why I love music so much.  I'll never forget having to tell my mother over the phone that my brother had died, she was heart broken, she screamed "No, No" over and over then threw the phone.
Mom is with Lance now
I have tried to write and re-write so that not to offend anyone, I've decided journaling is a good thing for ME (maybe not how YOU would handle it) to be real, I've hidden for too many years, soooo--to all of you who have written me emails criticizing me for the things I blog about all I can say to you, my intentions are in the right place and coming from an authentic real me. You did not live my life and are not living my journey now.  You saw my mom give endless hours of service to others including some of you, and she did it not because she was Relief Society President, she did it because she wanted to serve, I'm so grateful for her example to me in that regard, and for the last thing on this subject, those of you who have emailed me with your criticism, I noticed not one of you took time to show your respect to my mother and come to her funeral.  So please do not bother sending me a follow up email--I said it, was upset about what you said, and now I'm over it.  This is in the Lords hands now, and I truly believe my mother wanted the ultimate goal that myself and my sisters wanted, for our family to put the pieces of the puzzle back together, but it is difficult to do that when you cannot admit there are pieces missing.  I tried many times to mend this relationship, and was given a blessing  with confirmation that this will not be resolved in this life time, unless hearts were softened and sorrow was shown.  I realize this was difficult for my mother, but was necessary on her part in order for our relationship to continue--she made her choices--and we have all had to deal with that decision.  Mom did the best she knew how to do.  I will see her again, and the Lord will solve all earthly issues. Thank you Linda for giving me permission to express my feelings here--so if you have issues please email Linda.

Beautiful Casket

Greg dedicating the grave
 I believe our lives are like ocean waves, constantly moving, sometimes those waves are further out than we can reach, but they eventually rise to meet me in a solemn comforting manner--when they do -- all is quiet and calm especially in my heart where I need it the most.  I am grateful my mother is peaceful with a complete healthy body, still I need some guidance, I believe there can be healing even in the deepest of graves--when we  humble ourselves and allow the spirit to speak--but not all is calm in my heart right now--I feel lonely and vulnerable, and I know no-one on this earth can understand what I am feeling--not even my sister Sonya--she said she felt a warm blanket of "comfort" around her during the funeral--why didn't I feel that?  Am I not worthy enough for that feeling?

When my brother Lance died I felt so guilty for not doing more to help him, it was a heavy burden I was carrying, I knelt and prayed one night for comfort and peace to fill my soul, for the Lord to let me know Lance was OK.  That night as I knelt waiting for an answer, I felt my brothers hand on mine and his voice as clear as day say "This is the Lords will, not yours, I am happy" Because of that experience I was able to move forward in faith and HOPE knowing without a doubt Lance was in a good place.

 For me, it was the start for healing when I was able to be at moms bedside and say "I forgive you" before she  passed on. It was a tender moment, and I know she heard me.

During the funeral my mother's dearest friend Susan spoke and told memories she had of my mom.  She spoke from her heart and she really loved my mom, something I will always be grateful for.  While she was speaking I thought of a talk given by Elder Bednar in General Conference October of 2009.  He talked about family love, he said that no wife, daughter, son or husband should hear the words "I love you" for the 1st time from the pulpit--this is what I heard--but not from my mom from her friend. I wish so badly I would of heard "I love you, and I am proud of you" from my mothers lips.  All I can do now is to make sure everyone I truly love and care for,  not only hear it, but KNOW it.  I understand mom may not have been able to express her love to me, because I'm not really sure if she was told as a child--maybe she was never taught by example--I don't know--all I know for sure is when I held each and everyone of my children in my arms for the 1st time I loved them--unconditionally loved each one of them.  I guess the forgiveness does not always leave you with a feeling of peace and happiness, this part will come to me in the Lord's time--It always does-so for now, I love you mom, and I know you did the best you could.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Dear Mom

Today is Sunday November 17th

 Last night I barely slept my hip pain is getting worse, I just barely had a cortisone shot a month ago--When I spoke to the Oncologist last week, she said I need to get more tests done--YAY more tests--(sarcasm)  Also the tumor in my head is bleeding out through my ear, I constantly have to change the cotton ball--I didn't want to go to church today, in thinking about it I received an email from my dear friend Carla Kelly, telling me her husband was speaking in church, I invited her to sit with me.  The meeting today was beautiful, I loved all the talks revolving around President Monson's talk on adversity in our lives--endure to the end.  Carla and her Husband lost a son 2 years ago, it has been a difficult time for them, probably a wrenching pain I don't understand since I have never lost a child. But I do remember how hard it was on my mom when she lost her son Lance at age 15.  I've decided it's not about the trial or adversity we endure, it's about how strong we are to endure those times.  We can embrace those storms, and come out on the other end a better person having been through it, or we can become cold, hard hearted and let it destroy not only our lives but the ones we love the most, our family.

Mom on Halloween 2013

I know the Lord knows where my hidden places are and HE will find me there, bring me into the light again and pull me up from the scrapes, bruises and wounds I feel--HE will heal me.
If I am 100% pure and honest, I am afraid of going to the Funeral, there were many people from the West Stake area where I grew up, who when hearing bits and pieces of our lives years ago, did not believe this could be true--I'm nervous about seeing any of them. I'm hoping this can be put to rest, I'm wanting my mom to find some peace that for so long she did not have here on earth.  Nothing that happened here on this earth can be changed, I would never change any of it, even as hard as it has been, I prayed for so many years it could and would be different, but I've realized all of the fears and doubts we all go through are OUR OWN JOURNEY, something we chose together with our Heavenly Father before we came to earth.  The faith that I have found in myself during these endless, sleepless nights have changed me.   I've seen the hand of God in my life, I've asked for big and small miracles to happen in my life, some have been granted and most have not.  Not because HE does not love me, but because HE loves me THAT much.  I am living proof that He is REAL, I cannot and will not ever deny that.

If I could talk to my mom today I would say....
 Monday November 18th, 2013

Mom, I want to be healed, I want you to know me, I want you to see the woman you helped create.  Thank you for giving me life, for staying with me all those times I was in the hospital and didn't want to be alone in the dark as a little girl.  Thank you for never saying anything bad about the Belshe family, or my father who put me in the hospital.  Thank you for teaching me how to sew, even if I didn't care for it, thank you for teaching me to bake and love it.  Thank you for not allowing me to drink soda, for giving me a choices between fruit or candy.  Most of all thank you for remaining true to your faith, taking me to church, and helping me to anchor my testimony in Jesus Christ.

I know you have been in pain for years, and I also know this is so bittersweet for you, leaving 3 daughters behind with no earthly resolve,  but being able to go into the arms of Lance,  your only son.  You and I have been wanting the same things, a loving eternal family. I want you to know I KNOW you did the best you knew how to do.

 Today I went to the funeral home and watched as Kris fixed up your hair, you were always so beautiful to me.  I've  heard it said "time heals all wounds" I know time cannot stand still, life goes on and things get easier, but for some reason I want you to know not a day has gone by since Lance died that I haven't thought about him, now as I think of him I will always think of you, with a perfect body, no more pain, being able to once again go forward with this next journey of your life, hopefully happy and able to look down on your middle daughter (bonbon) and finally hear the words
I LOVE YOU MOM.  I have you to thank for the tears running down my cheeks, but now its time to wipe those away once and for all.

 There has been a hole in my heart for too many years, now its time to release that pain,  reclaim the parts of my life that I have struggled with.  I don't blame you, I forgive you, and this place where we call home, where we call life, is just a passing through place, home is where you are now--no more sorrow or pain--the Lord will take over now and allow you and I both to heal. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

This is who I am

I have received many emails, gifts, cards and text messages full of encouragement and support--they have come from the people I respect and love so much--thank you.  Michelle, I am listening to the CD you gave me from Josh--as I write--thank you Mallory and Michelle for dropping that off.

My sisters do not have blogs to follow and honestly would not have posted much or anything close to what I have done---not sure if that is a good thing or bad, all I know is that I have always throughout my life handled trials, hardships, and life events differently than they have, and it's OK.

One thing that has bonded us together as sisters is knowing we have each others back, we will fight to then end for one another and love one another unconditionally.  I received a text from a friend recently thanking me for my honesty on my blog, my heart swelled up out of my eyes and down my cheeks. (thank you TS)  I have been questioning myself about all of my HONESTY and FORTHCOMING, when it comes to my personal life and what I post on this blog.  Is it the right thing to do?  Would others do it the same? Why do I feel comfort here? Why has blogging become such a therapeutic release for me? I'm not sure of any answers to those questions, I have always been a journal writer. I have notebooks full of journaling I have done throughout my life, there are some years missing--and in those years I realize it is because I was told once to only write what I WANTED to remember--I don't agree with this philosophy now, even though I followed it for so many years. I believe in journaling all of life's events good or bad--I want to have a place to go back and remember, and then look at how far I have come, sometimes I take time to read old posts and I cannot believe I did this or that..the road has weaved in and out of clear view, but there is one thing I know for sure HE will and has picked up the pieces for me along those winding roads, there has been bittersweet times where he has taken it all off my shoulders and those moments have become beautiful moments of truth that otherwise I may have forgotten. Just as a side note, I have many posts that I have saved as drafts, knowing those parts of my life I don't want exposed, but want recorded for posterity purposes.

This blog is sacred to me, it's who I am, it's a place I can "find me" in places I never thought or imagined I could go.  I have throughout my life tried to find a place out of the darkness and into the light, and this is my place--it is a real, sometimes a raw place where I can go quietly and find myself again--the real authentic me-where my heart is.  I am sorry if I have offended you, or shocked you with some of my posts--I am for once in my life living free, and I will not go backwards--Only the Lord knows my heart, HE knows me and I will, in this respect, never change.

Being vulnerable is one of the weaknesses I have, and here I can truly be who I am.  So many times I have closed the door on places I could of gone and learned so much, oh how I wish  the Lord would of forced me to open those doors, but HE never forces us to do anything, HE is on the other side of that door if we will do our part and just open it.  I always carry a note book with me and write down things that are weird, funny and made some type of impression on me, then I choose what I decide is appropriate to share on this blog, remember what you think is appropriate may not be what my real authentic self is....we all have a different journey, and for me this is how I deal with it.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Today was a better day!!

There is a shortage in this world of "I LOVE YOU" today the sun came up, I woke up, said thank you to Heavenly Father for all I have been blessed with and tried to carry on.  The last few days have been hard, the next few days will be hard, but today will be a day to just listen, no talking just listen...
I went to the doctor today and had time in my car alone to do just that....listen.  I found HE is the always the TENDER behind the MERCY--love those words, and the unconditional feeling of love I feel just writing them.

 Kayla showed up with the boys this morning, thank you, thank you, thank you. I love those boys with every bit of my heart, and I am grateful to her for sharing them with me today--even though I got distracted and actually forgot to pick Recker up from school--oops--sorry I know I put a panic in her that was unnecessary.  When I arrived at the school he jumped up when he saw bon bon's car come around the corner, my heart dropped, how could I forget?  I was so looking forward to playing with him--I hugged him tight, to reassure him and tell him how sorry I was, gave him a big hug and said "I LOVE YOU SO MUCH"  When I got home Kayla was waiting with Ezra, all I could say was sorry, she was gracious enough to smile and quietly say "it's OK mom" Then we played--it was exactly what I needed--
Ezra--what a joy, I love him

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Better not Bitter

-Regina Clara Heath-

I can't sleep tonight, I wonder if it is selfish to ask the Lord to take it all away for now--probably huh?
I'm having trouble wrapping my head around the death of my mother, all the fear and doubts I have ever had about myself are all flooding back into my head and I need a release, at least for now.  I can't carry this burden I'm feeling anymore--I have flown on the wings of the angels who have carried me through life's experiences, my soul has been healed by sweet testimonies born by people in my ward, people who have no idea how they have touched my heart.  This has definitely been a ravenous storm I was not prepared to deal with, I honestly thought this was the one place HE knew exactly how I was feeling, I thought HE truly understood that I could not handle this one, just take it away, let me not feel, let me have numbness and let it pass.  I have asked to please just let Sonya and Kris take care of this one--I understood HE was willing to let me take a "get out of jail" card--obviously HE and I are were not on the same page, because this pain is not going away--I'm glad my kids have not seen my pain, for now I just need to cry--oh boy do I need to cry, just get it all out, I know that it is even hard for my Heavenly Father to see, I have to believe he wants to take it all away and HE has the power to do just that, but where is my learning and growing in him doing that?

Sometimes, I am feeling weakness and the heart ache starts to pull me down, no matter how hard I fight it, I know  I agreed with the Lord he could put this beating heart inside me when I came to earth, HE already knew the fullness of that pain and suffering I would feel--I have full knowledge of this proof he has so graciously let me feel--but today I just need to not ask why, or when it will stop, I just need to let it be what it is--I am broken hearted--more than that, I am broken, I have felt joy in my life, so much joy, so much blessings have come to my family, in fact my family is my blessing, but I wonder if at times like this if it is ok to feel the pain, I know it is not going away anytime soon. I just need this time to try and understand once again what I am supposed to learn.  I know for a fact HE will take the pain away, maybe not today, but HE will take it away--like Hillary Weeks says in her song  "just let me cry" Yesterday I was laughing and enjoying my grandson, pure ultimate joy in my heart--within moments that joy was taken away--I want to come away from this better, not bitter--HE knows my heart, HE knows my willingness to give all I have to HIM, until the last tear drops from my face, I will try to have no regrets, I plead with the Lord to not let me feel those regrets, please take those away, carry them away--I can't take those right now.  Tomorrow is a new day, I will rise, kneel in prayer, cry and repeat if I have to, but please NO REGRETS--please let the healing begin, please with all my weaknesses and mistakes let me feel your grace.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Today Mom Died 11/12/13

The time is 8:15 pm on November 12, 2013
 It's seems weird to write about this, but my feelings are raw and real and I need to write for therapy.  I always wondered what this would feel like, today my mom passed away.  She has been staying in an assisted living home for the past couple of months, only a couple miles from my home.  My sister Sonya, (mother Theresa) got the call from moms bishop that mom needed to be placed in assisted living after her last fall, and Sonya decided driving a couple hours one way everyday to take care of her in Phoenix was a little too much for her, so she made the decision to move mom to this side of town.  A few months before my diagnosis with cancer my step father, Gary died and I was asked by my mother's best friend Susan to please come to the hospital and be with her, I hesitated because besides a couple of hateful letters I had received over the years, (one that almost put me in a mental hospital, I have Debbie Slade and President Lesueuer to thank for that not happening)  it had at that time already been 17 years since I had any contact with either one of them, per my mother's request. 6 months before Gary died, I was at the Temple and out of the blue had a feeling of forgiveness come over me stronger than I had ever felt before, I searched for an email or someway to contact him and let him know.  It simply read "Dear Dad, I want you to know I have forgiven you. I have a beautiful family 3 girls and 1 boy we live in Gilbert Arizona and are very happy.  I hope you are happy too."  Love Monya  within 6 months he passed away and I was at his bedside.  My choice to be at his bedside did not have a lot to do with him, but more to do with mending the relationship with my mother.

 I will never forget walking into that hospital room with my 4 children, my sisters chose not to go and I never judged them for that, in fact Sonya begged me not to go, she is very protective over me and knows I get my hopes up, only to be crushed, and the depression, guilt and heartache start all over again.  She is wise, but I did not listen. I went anyway, it was a tremendously grotesque experience to have my children watch as they pulled the plug on him, it was as if he was fighting to go to the other side, it honestly is what I imagined a person with a demon inside of them trying to get out would look like--I have questioned my motherly instinct on that one for years now.....not a good idea.  But the one thing that struck me and has stayed with me over all these years is that my mother showed no emotion what so ever--NONE.  I spoke with her bishop and told him Eric and I would be willing to help with whatever arrangements needed to be done, hugged my mom and said good bye.  The next day she called me to find out about meeting her at the funeral home, I replied "Yes mom I would love to help you, what time would you like me to pick you up?" and then it came, that voice, it rings in my ears I can still hear her "Monya, I still have one more thing I need to say to  you...." the sarcasm and stinch in her voice let me know this was not going to go well...I quickly responded "mom, please not now, your husband just died yesterday, can we please just let this go, I want a clean start with you"  she abruptly interrupted me and said "You ruined our lives with your lies, and your father was forgiven for what he did"  obviously my next question was "what was he forgiven for? according to you and he both, he never did anything wrong? blah blah blah this led to a huge bowl of tears on my part and I immediately called her bishop to tell him, this was not going to work and he would have to get someone else to go to the funeral home and help her tomorrow, one of my kids called Sonya and told her what had happened as I wept like a baby wanting to be coddled by their mother.  Sonya took measures into her own hands, called my mom and, well lets just say she finally was able to give her a little bit of her own medicine, all in defense of me.  I love Sonya for that.  A few months later came my cancer diagnosis and of course Sonya was protective, not allowing mom to come to the hospital or make life anymore stressful than I needed it to be.  I simply have put the whole ordeal behind me and not looked back, I knew and still do know that my mother is stubborn, that pride will never allow her to say she's sorry, if she did then she would have to do something about it, and that was out of the question for her.

The past month I have realized while reading the Infinite Atonement that I needed to forgive my mother.  I have asked myself over and over again, "how can you forgive your father who beat you as a three year old and as a result made you deaf in one ear?"  'how can you forgive the stepfather who  abused you, but not be able to forgive your own mother?"  Theses questions have haunted me as I have studied the Atonement and tried desperately to comprehend why a mother would walk away from her children and grandchildren, why did she stay with a man who could do such heinous things to her very own flesh and blood.  All these years, all I have ever wanted to hear from her was "I'm sorry, this is not your fault, and wish it had never happened"  or just "I'm sorry" that would of been sufficient.  I was never granted those simple words, or the words "I love you"  One day recently while at the Temple I had that overwhelming feeling again that I needed to let her know I had forgiven her, this is all the Lord asks of us, to Love One Another and to forgive as he did.  Knowing I am about to have another major surgery, I realized I do have one last regret I need to take care of, I need to let her know how I feel, to let her know I have forgiven her and that I know the Lord will take care of all of this mess one day.  I was not expecting anything in return, but my heart had finally been softened enough to acknowledge my weakness in not granting her the forgiveness I have in my heart for all these years of heartache and pain.

Two things happened, 1st I sent a text to my visiting teachers asking them if they would help me, I wanted them to come with me to the assisted living home while I spoke with her,  I felt this was the best way and felt the safest for me personally.  I purposefully did not tell my family, not even Eric or Sonya that I was planning this for Friday the 14th this week. I have wonderful visiting teachers Kathi Cluff who I adore and admire so much, she is not only beautiful physically but have always looked to her for an example of true Christ like love.  Marian Priday, is my other visiting teacher, I love her and have complete faith and assurance in confidentiality with her knowing she will always give me the best advice and help in anyway she can.

The 2nd thing that happened was last weekend I took my girls to a women's convention in downtown Phoenix called Time Out For Women, there were over 5500 women in attendance.  During the very 1st speaker I was so emotional Brad Wilcox was the speaker, he spoke of the Atonement and how to use it in our lives, it felt as though he was speaking to me, and only me, like I was the only one in the room.  He said The Atonement is a Gift, no one made or forced Christ to die for our sins, HE chose it.
and this is literally what I wrote in my note book "The spirit is so strong, my heart is pounding, I cannot get my mom off of my mind"  Let go of willpower and rely on HIS power, turn towards HIM-HE is the light.  My life end goal of enduring to the end is to become more like HIM, to lead a more Christ like life in all that I do and say.
Can people change?
Not without God-
Alone we will fail-
with God all things are possible-

my next line of notes really hit me tonight--
YES--I can do this-through the Atonement of Christ I can face my fears, I can face my mother, and in the holiest of a pure heart I can tell her "I forgive you" and expect nothing in return.
Heaven is not a prize for the perfect, but the future home of all who are willing to be perfected.

Yesterday, I thought about my brother all day, it has been 26 years since his death, he would of been 42 in January.  This is a night I will never forget, Veterans Day has always been a special day to me now.  That night having to tell my parents their only son had died in their home while they were out of town, was hard.  It was a defining moment in my life.

Today, as I sat holding my little grandson, my sister Sonya sent me a text that read "can you talk?" I did not respond knowing Kayla was soon leaving and I just wanted a few more minutes with Ezra. As soon as Kayla left, I got the 2nd text saying my mom was in Banner  Gateway Hospital and for me to come, she was not going to make it--I rushed over there, walked in the solemn room, quiet and with a smell of sickness and death--I stood by her side, told her "Mom, its Monya and I'm here--mom I forgive you" within just a few more very deep breaths the sounds of the flat lines  on the machine went off and she was gone.  Sonya, Greg and myself alone in a room with a woman who had caused so much pain in our lives, suddenly I felt the pains of devastation--now I know what that feels like, its not having been abused, that can be fixed and forgiven, its not having cancer, it's a family ripped apart, because of pride,  a daughter of our Heavenly Father wanting so badly to have a relationship with her mother, call her for a recipe, talk about spiritual moments, share the blessings of an eternal family--just ripped in half--all over PRIDE.

 This earth is our school of learning, and I am saying from an authentic place, that I need to pray for myself to heal my heart from the hurt and pain my mom and dad have caused--help change ME--don't worry anymore about changing HER--The Atonement will allow all of me to change for good--I choose to be authentic, I choose to forgive, I choose to live like the Savior.

Today, if I am absolutely authentic, I had so many emotions go through me--why? why? couldn't my mom say "I'm sorry?" Why, was I not given 2 more days to express my feelings to her?  Was the Lord protecting me from more pain?  When the disciples prayed with Christ in his last days they were filled with desire--am I filled with desire? what is that desire? Because when I am sitting in this hospital room I want to scream out loud, I'm so mad.  After everyone left, I asked if I could have a few minutes with my mom.  My sisters Sonya and Kris had spent much time with her the past couple of months, and even they were ready to move on and go.  When the door shut, I asked Eric to stay with me, I held my moms hand, talked about how small she was, 88 pounds, and kissed her on the forehead, with a final "I forgive you" Eric and I held her hand and he offered one of the sweetest prayers I have ever heard, I did not expect that from him, he has always had such pain and anger towards my parents for what they had put me through, but tonight that side of him was gone and the spirit of healing began.  I wept, and could not control my emotions--so this is how this feels...

Friday, November 8, 2013

Fall leaves, ocean Views

I have been wanting to take Eric to see the Fall leaves, for years now.  The last time I went was with a good friend many years ago and I just loved the trip.  Eric is not a cold weather kind of guy, so this was really not on his bucket list for trips.  However, he had a great time and could not believe the beauty surrounding us as we drove through Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. Now I think we will be making this trip every year.... there was so much to see and not enough time to do it all.

Williams Port Light House

Beautiful homes on the beach I want to play with Recker here

Loved all the Lighthouses

Lobster Rolls--Famous

It's hard to find this kind of beauty in AZ

Loved wearing my boots and beanie--winter clothes

Loved all the covered bridges too

He looks warm enough !!

My Favorite part of the trip...seeing our sweet Chelsea Cloward

Just how I love it--no one on the beach but me and Eric The Hampton's

Fenway Park, original seats

Fenway Park, original home plates

Eric taking in the moment

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Dr. Kreymerman Leaves Mayo Clinic

My favorite doctor of all time, is leaving Mayo Clinic and moving to North Carolina.  His family has already moved and Friday will be his last day at the Mayo.  Those of you who contact me via email about Doctors to use for reconstruction--HE IS THE BEST--and if you live closer to NC, you are in luck--email me and I will give you  information about his practice.
I will never be able to say enough thank you's to him, he has been an excellent doctor for me.  Although this seems to be a good move for him and his sweet family,  myself along with many other patients he has treated will truly miss him. 
Family is so important, this move for him will bring him closer to his parents, and his in laws. I know his wife Rakhi is happy to be closer to her family too.  Good Blessings are on their way to North Carolina, we will miss you in Arizona.

Dr. Peter Kreymerman, Me, and Heather Lucas P.A.

Saying goodbye is always hard--so I just said "see you later"

Sunday, November 3, 2013


I have so much to catch up on, our internet has not been working to the best of its ability.  My blog posts cannot be done from my phone, or at least I do not know how to do it, the latter is probably more accurate.

I first want to blog about a talk I heard during our General Conference.  Elder Jeffrey Holland, spoke about depression, anxiety and the perceptions people have of these disorders.  I have gone back through  older conference talks and have not, so far found a talk on this subject.  His words pierced my heart and soul and never have I ever felt a subject needing to be confronted more than this one at this time.

He spoke of serious depression as well as those that we try and conquer daily, like tax season, and bad hair days....we all have those days.
I loved when he said "if you had appendicitis, God would expect you to seek a priesthood blessing and get the best medical care available" so why do we so many times feel embarrassed or lack of acknowledgement when we are diagnosed with these mental and emotional challenges?

So many times I have heard men and women say, "if you had a positive attitude and put a smile on your face, things will change" or one of my favorites is "if you read your scriptures and have personal prayer everyday, you will not have trials, difficult times or depression"  OK, I'm all about reading from the scriptures daily, and personal prayer on a daily basis at least once a day, and while I think these are practices that are worthy and good, they do not take away depression or anxiety.  That's like saying if you read scriptures and have personal prayer you will never get CANCER. or a HEART ATTACK, STROKE OR DIABETES.  Really people? Depression is a diagnosis, sometimes it is genetic, passed down from generation to generation, sometimes it is brought on because of a choice not made by the person.

I have learned through personal experience it is real, it can be debilitating and humiliating.  While I have spent years trying to find some peace and understanding of this diagnosis, I have come to realize I chose this life, and it is my life, the life the Lord and I chose together.  God's plan for me is not always clear, but one thing I know without a doubt is that our Savior also felt the pains of depression and anxiety, through him we can triumphantly  hurdle over those tests and trials, and through our faith we can endure to the end,  this knowledge helps me understand more that the Lord has a plan for each one of us.  HE loves us unconditionally, that love will never change or end. On days when I am feeling discouraged or in doubt, I can lean on the fact that I KNOW HE LIVES, I KNOW HE LOVES ME AND I KNOW HE UNDERSTANDS, even when the natural man may not.