Friday, January 8, 2010

So Many Things To Tell

It's been an amazing two weeks! Absolutely amazing. So many emotions, happy, sad, lonely, grateful, spiritual, thankful, nervous, anxious, excited, and love for family and friends.

Nat, Neal and girls arrived from Oregon. Normally it takes them one long day of driving for many hours to get to Salt Lake. But because of horrible weather and roads it took them two days to arrive. We were so grateful and happy to see them. Natalie hasn't seen me for a few months so was shocked by my weight loss. It was exciting to watch her face when she saw the 'new me.'

I had the opportunity, with some of my girls and daughter-in-law in preparing my mother's body for the funeral. It was such a special time and so very spiritual. We curled her hair and styled it and then put on her makeup like she used to have me do it for her when her eye site was failing. She looked absolutely beautiful. Although it was a spiritual occasion, we still had some good laughs and a wonderful time together. I know that her spirit was with us. I felt her and knew that she was laughing right along with us.

Later that evening we had a beautiful viewing where a lot of our good friends and family came and supported us.
I hope that I don't come across boastful or bragging, but without a doubt Mom's funeral was the best one I've ever attended. All of my siblings spoke as well as my sister Margaret, her daughter, and Lindsey and I sang together. All of the grandchildren sang together and then we had a beautiful piano solo by our cousin. The Bishop gave a beautiful tribute to mom too. I'm certain that mom's spirit was sitting right beside Dad. I could feel her presence. She received tons of flowers. She always equated the amount of flowers to how well a person was loved. She was loved tremendously!

The Comforter really helped me through the services. I held up remarkably well. I never thought that I could sing at my mother's funeral, and we sang marvelous. I was able to give my talk without tears too. I knew that was what my mother wanted.

However, this is a scene that I'll never forget, watching my family bring my mother's little body to the grave site. It's hard not to cry when you watch your Dad cry. He held up remarkably well, but he's so lost without her.

Me, Lynn, Ryan, Natalie in the red, Laurel, Little Pregnant Lindsey, Reese in the back, Angie in the blue sweater, and Ginger on the end. My pride and joy. My greatest love ... my family! It's a wonderful assurance knowing that I can have them for eternity if we live righteously.

Where's Waldo? I mean Ryan? It was a cold, wintry day and everyone was anxious to get back to the church for a wonderful meal that our Relief Society had provided. We planned for 125 people for the luncheon. They provided the most wonderful roast beef with cheesy potatoes, jello salads, all kinds of green salads, rolls, and desserts. It was wonderful!

Here's a happier picture of me with my Dad and siblings. Beverlee on the end, next to her is Carol, then my baby sis, Sylvia, my Dad, Me, Margaret, and my brother Gil behind us. Isn't he about the most handsomest man around?

These are two cousins that I grew up with in Montana, Connie and Marsha. Marsha is 3 days older than me and our mothers were in the hospital together. In those days, after having a baby, they stayed in the hospital for 10 days without getting out of their beds. When they did finally get up, their legs were so weak it took quite some time before they had strength to walk! Things have certainly changed these days, haven't they?

This is my Dad's sister, Mona. She's amazing! She's 95 years old and still wears little high heels and dresses so darling. When she turned 90, she hiked to the top of "Y" mountain in Provo. She made the news! She wanted to do it again for her 95th birthday but the Dr. didn't think she ought to try it.

Just when I thought there could be no more tears to cry, I had to tell my father goodbye. It's been a wonderful privilege and joy taking care of him these past months. But it's time for me to go back to work and it's too lonely for him to be home during the day. So, my wonderful sister Margaret took him home to Montana to stay for the winter. I think it was harder to see him go than to see my mother 'graduate'. It was hard watching him drive away. Both Lynn and I shed buckets of tears. It was a sad day going back into their home and finding both of them gone. My daughter Angie and her son came out to help me put Dad's Christmas tree and decorations away. We also cleaned the house, washed bedding, and organized some of Mom's things. It was comforting putting things back in place, knowing that was the way Mom wanted things done. I'm sure she's at peace knowing that her home is in order and Dad has gone back to his favorite place to be with one of his favorite daughters.

So, what now? Emotions all over again. I'm nervous, scared, and excited for my new job on Monday. New job? What's that all about? In order to qualify for un-employment I had to apply for two jobs a week. I never thought that this company would call me for an interview, but they did. And they hired me on the spot! In fact, they wanted me to go to work a few weeks ago but I told them I couldn't until my mother had passed away. They were understanding and hired temp help until I could start. I'll actually be working for three companies owned by a father and two sons. I will spend most of my time with World Joy, which is a non-profit organization that raises funds to put in water systems and build schools in Ghana, Africa. The other company is, hold on to your hat, a Hospice company called Aspire Home Health and Hospice. The owners just purchased another company this week. Not sure what the name is but it has something to do with entrepaneurs. I will be the office manager as well as helping raise funds by speaking to schools and organizations.So, it's on to another new chapter in my life. I'm excited and can't wait to tell you more, as I know more.

How's the weight loss coming? I have some new pictures to post soon. I'm only one pound away from losing 100! Feeling great and looking better!

Thankyou for you prayers and love. I've felt them!


Butternut Sage Designs said...

my dear, thank you for your wonderful post. One thing that struck me were the pictures. Why we have never taken pictures commemorating a "graduation" of a loved one makes me pause. Thanks for the permision! Your family is beautiful inside and out, and your dad is so darling. I cannot imagine the feelings you had watching him drive away. You got me there thank goodness the kleenes was handy. You are amazing.

side note: You look so wonderful, that brown dress was gorgeous on you. Good luck and many blesings in your new chapter of life. Hugs~Donna

Terry Molineux said...

Omgosh Linda I was already crying because my life is in shambles but your wonderful post made me cry more. I love your pictures. It is so nice to see such a loving family and what a thought to take pictures so you can cherish that day. Even though it was sad, your MOM is with GOD now and in a better place. At least she isn't suffering with pain anymore.

CONGRATS on the new job. You will do beautifully as you are inside and out! Your weight loss is amazing and I truly wish you all the best.

You and your family are in my prayers!

bcyhand said...

Been thinking and praying for you since I heard your news....God really is so good! Healing will come......Best wishes for all you do! Love you.....Deb

The Peton's said...

Good blog, Mom. So sad to see Margie's car drive down the driveway. And you were already sad because WE left that morning TOO! That was the best trip to Utah EVER! I've returned home feeling so full, and resolved to enjoy every day of being a wife and mother. Just like grandma did best.

Shelly in the NW said...

i'm so glad you updated your blog. i've been wondering how your dad is doing - we are in the same situation and i think the spouse (in my case it's my mother-in-law) is a little lost without her other half :(

i can't wait to hear about your new adventures.

your photos are awesome - everyone seems so happy - your mom must be so proud to see such a beautiful family.

Jake and Emily Hutchings Family said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jake and Emily Hutchings Family said...

Loved your comments about the funeral . . . it was in deed one of the best I have attended (and I have been to lots in my lifetime coming from large families on both sides!). You did a fabulous job on your singing and your talk. I know it was hard for you to say goodbye to your dad, but he will be back in a few months!
I can hardly wait to hear more about your job . . . remember to keep me in mind, okay?
Good luck!
love you! Connie J
(I'm using my niece's computer to post this :) )

Kristin Markus said...

You've been in my thoughts and prayers the past few weeks. I know it must have been such a bittersweet time - missing your mom so much yet happy that she has no more pain or suffering. The pictures are wonderful - the one of you and your dad crying made me cry too. We, too, took pictures when our sweet daughter, KaraLynn, died. And she, too, was blessed with more flowers than I've ever seen at a funeral.
You will continue to be in my prayers as you begin your new job and adjust to all the changes.
So many hugs to you,

Adrian's Crazy Life said...

What an amazing funeral. You are handling a difficult time with so much grace and positive attitude. I'm sure your mother would be so proud of you! And what an amazing job for you. I would love to do work like that some day.

Hi, I'm Lee Conrey! said...

Oh Linda!
You have told an amazing story as only the Linda Hansen we all know and love could tell. What a wonderful tribute to your Mom and Dad. You're family is amazing as are could they not be?
Thanks for sharing this special part of your life and journey with all of us.
You are such an inspiration to so may of us.
God Bless you and your family and remember those wonderful memories.

P. S. You look amazing!!!!

Sue said...

Your whole post was so uplifting. You sure know how to share your heart dear Linda. I am so happy that the Lord has led you through everything the past month and now onto a new job or ministry I should say serving Him. I feel so much better now. I have been devastated over your loss at Stampin'Up! and I will always believe that it was their loss.
You look fantastic girl!!!!! So happy for you. You deserve all of the blessings and happiness in the world. You have touched me and I know you touch many others every day.
God bless,

Chris said...

Linda, thank you for a wonderful update on a very personal event. You are so blessed to have such a wonderful family. I am a convert and my biggest sadness is that when my parents "go". There funerals will be mostly devoid of anything "religious. We are so blessed in the church to have such an eternal perspective at funerals aren't we??

You look fabulous. I just got back from Leadership and there is still a huge hole where you and Jaron used to be!! Will you be attending any SU functions in the future??

Chris said...

Linda, I was just playing a old video that had you demonstrating on some tv talk show. It was pre surgery. .... WOW what a change. I love you at whatever weight you are but... wow. I recently lost 102 lbs and have kept it off for a year. I'm kind of used to how I look now, then I see an old picture of myself and.... wow. Isn't it a great feeling!!!
Chris Gallacher, California

... said...


Thank you for sharing the journey with your parents and weight loss with us! My heart goes out to you--losing a parent, starting a new job--moving into the next step in your life. God bless you!

Bev Dahl said...

Oh, Linda. I have not been checking my blog fav's for several weeks. Life just gets in the way during the holiday's sometimes. I was so sorry to hear of your mothers passing but amazed at the wonderful way you were able to take pictures and share this final journey for her here on earth. Isn't it wonderful that by our obedience and enduring to the end that we will be able to join those that we loved so much here on earth when our time has come.
You look absolutely awesome! I saw an old video on the SU website the other day and the difference between then and now is amazing! You look soo many years younger!

Tracy Komito said...

Linda, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. The picture of you and your dad at her gravesite brought me to tears. I felt like I was looking in a mirror and I want you to know that I completely understand your pain.

My mother just passed away on December 1st, suddenly and unexpectedly from a massive heart attack. She was my very best friend and I've spent alot of the last 10+ years "looking our for her" after my dad died. I have never experienced such incredible pain and while each day gets a little easier, there is such a big hole in my day-to-day activities.

We talked daily and saw each other 3-4 times a week. My children absolutely adored her too! And our favorite thing to do together was to stamp!

Anyway, the point of my rambling is that I understand exactly how you feel and am thinking about you and sending you a big hug!! There is nothing like the love of a mom or the friendship of a best friend.