Monday, August 16, 2010

Seven Years??? Really?

           Good thing I'm not superstitious, or believe in luck at all...
Otherwise, my 'burb would have 6 years and 364 days left of bad luck!
Do you like the way I pimped my ride with packaging tape?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Belated Gratitude and a New Headstone

Yesterday, Mom's headstone was placed on her grave.

It is beautiful but has such a permanence about it that I wasn't ready for the emotional reaction it would evoke. 
Something about seeing your mom's name etched in brass on a permanent grave marker is difficult to see.  Mom picked it out 4 years ago and we had no idea what she had done.  I love the two figures holding hands in this last picture. 

Now for the belated "thank yous"....
The day of the funeral, we were so fortunate to have a police escort for Mom's entourage.  Some of my nephew's buddies from the police force came in on their time off to provide us with that escort.  They did it because they wanted to, not because they had to.  There are truly so many good people in this world!
The City's Finest!

Here is a copy of the thank you card I sent to each of them.

Dear Officers,
We wish to extend our gratitude for providing Gayle Osborn such a wonderful escort to her final resting place.  If you had known her, you would know how deserving she was of such a privilege.  She was one who always stopped her own life to help another.  So it was a fitting tribute to have others stop their lives briefly for her as she was transported by.
Thank you for the gift of your time and expertise.  Your kindness will not be forgotten.
The entire family of Gayle Osborn

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Summer's Almost Over

In just a couple of weeks, it will be time to start school again.  Of course, it isn't too much of an adjustment for us because we homeschool.  Why homeschool??  Many reasons really, but here's a couple of my favorites...

  On a morning when Jaxon wakes up and asks you what dry ice is, you can go to the grocery store and buy a couple pieces...

                            Then Amanda gets intrigued.

  Then you do a couple of experiments you saw on YouTube...
Cool, huh!!

A couple of days later, you find your kids doing this...
And you realize that learning doesn't have to be done in a classroom.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

One Month Gone

ONe month ago today, my mother died.  Not sure how you are supposed to commemorate a one month anniversary so Stacey and I spent the day helping my Aunt Carol move into her new apartment.  She was Mom's bestest friend...Remember this post?  Nothing like spending a day of service to hep take some of the sting of the sadness of the day.
Aunt Carol

Later, we went to the cemetary to take flowers to Mom.  Dad came up with his little dog, Jazmine.  While there, we saw an older man take a folding chair and his puppy over to a headstone.  I walked over and introduced myself, and as my dad got closer, he realized that it was somebody he knew because the both work in the same temple.  Both men were within a year of each other, (age wise) both had been married to the same woman for well over 50 years and both had lost the loves of their lives in the last 2 months or less.  I hope my dad will go get his folding chair and go sit and talk with this man.  I think they could be a great support to each other.

                 I miss her more than I thought I would.

                           Saying Good Bye the night of the viewing.

One month down, many more to go...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Short Stories

Dad, Mom, Me, Jeanna, Stacey
My baby sister Stacey and I went grocery shopping on Sunday.  While driving the 'burb over to the local Wal-Mart, we were discussing crying about adjusting to life without Mom.  Just as I stop at a red light, I notice that the car in front of us has vanity plates that say "2GAYLE". For those of you who don't know, that is the exact spelling of my mom's name and it is not common.  I'd say it was a coincidence except that I dont believe in coincidence.  So, I have to say,  "Thanks Mom" for finding a way of letting us know that you are still here looking out for us.


On the day Mom died, I was making phone calls to our family to let them know that it was time and say good bye.  Mason heard my conversations, teared up and said "Mom, if we get enough doctors here can we save her life?  It broke my heart to see my kind hearted son learning one of the tough lessons of life.  Some of his innocence was gone that day as he realized that doctors are only human and do not always have the abilitiy to save lives.  I explained that we all will die sometime and that this was Grandma's time and that no number of doctors would be able to save her.   


What a beautiful opportunity it was for all of us to be with Grandma as she died a peaceful death and to have the opportunity to say good bye and to surround her with love as she left this world.  It as had a profound effect on me and most certainly on my kids.
When the hospice nurse arrived, she began taking care of Mom.  Mason stood right in front of me and within earshot of the nurse and began complimenting me.  "Mom, you're the best mom.  You know why you are the best mom?  Because you teach me so much and I love you."   The awesome nurse decided at that moment that she would wait for Mason to get old enough and then marry him...I think he will make someone a great husband one day and I can see why she would want him ;o)  You have quite a wait Jolene, but I'd love to have you as a family member!!


A few years ago, Mom had a surgery for a strangulated hernia.  If I remember correctly, she was also in the hospital because something neurological was going on and she was losing her hearing and was unable to move her head without vomiting.  It was really a tough time and it aged her considerably.  She spent much of her time that week having very spiritual experiences.  When she came home, I would go over to help her with her dressings and make sure she had taken her meds.  During one of these visits, we got into a coversation about the experiences that she had while in the hospital.  She told me that what she learned is that love is the only way we are going to fix this nation and fix our families.  Complete, unconditional, love.  She told me that what she had learned is that in order for our children to survive and thrive in this world is for them to have the safety net of parents who love them regardless of their faults.
What incredible advice I got from my mom that day.Of course this was how she lived her life so I have a great role model.  I will always treasure that conversation and pray that I use her wise advice.

I'm so grateful that Gayle Marie was my mother.  I truly am blessed to have been her daughter.