Monday, June 18, 2012

Eternal Families

I would like to start off by saying how blessed I am to be sealed to my family for all eternity, to have a husband that I am sealed forever to and for an AMAZING family that is always there when any of us are in need of any kind of love or support. 
So as some of you may have heard my Uncle Brett, after a long 4 year struggle against cancer, passed away on June 5th, 2012. Even though we had all been trying to prep ourselves for it and had an idea that it was getting closer it's still hard. There is no prep work that you can really do that will make losing someone so dear become easy or less of a heartache. All I can say is how grateful I am to know that he is in a better place. When I found out that he had passed a calm feeling came over me and I was really grateful that all of his pain and suffering had been over. I felt like I was doing ok and I knew everything was the way it needed to be. Presten and I had a 17hr drive from wyoming to Cali so we left wed. night and drove to Orem. From there we took my Uncle Bryan with us and finished driving to cali on Thurs. Once we got there we had a lot of setting up and prep work to do for the funeral. Each of the girls made a display board with a letter or a poem in the center for their dad and pictures all around the board of them with him. My Aunt Laeni, Aunt Katrina and Mom all built a board for Aunt Mori and Uncle Brett to go along with the girls. We spent the evening at the park with cousins and friends playing kickball, eating some BBQ and just enjoying one another's company. As sad as the circumstances were it was such a blessing to be able to have the amazing family that we do that could come together and support each other.  
Tianna and Teddy

Me with Baby Landon

Park Time! ha so uh I planned our outfits to match head to toe one day and Pres wore it for me but informed me that this would be the one and ONLY time, he said he felt like we were in Kindergarten again hahaha what a good sport he is lol 

Uncle Bryan & Tio Oscar

Tia Sonia, Aunt Mori, Her Friend, Mom
Tanessa, Miranda and Miranda's Friend 

Gabri is SO strong, she's holding Tianna and I up

My Mom taking Casper (Aunt Laeni's puppy) to the bathroom. Let me tell you that is the SOFTEST most WELL behaved dog ever! he is SO good!

Saturday was the funeral services. My Uncle Brett was a HUGE Lakers fan, so the Whole family wore Purple and Some wore Gold to represent the Lakers. Aunt Mori told everyone that he was probably smiling down on us so proud that we supported his team hahaha. Everyone got to say their last goodbyes and then we began the talks. Shauna, Brett's sister gave a wonderful talk about his service and some fun memories of him growing up. She was followed by Uncle Brett's Girls Jessica, Marissa, Miranda, Emma and then Aunt Mori. Each of the girls read the letters that they wrote to their dad and they were BEAUTIFUL! And Aunt Mori...I was SO proud of her! She did such an amazing job and you could feel the spirit so strongly in that room. Aunt Mori discussed Uncle Brett and what an amazing father and example he was to all those around him. You could def. tell that that was true by how many people were there to support the family. Uncle Brett had touched so many lives and was such an amazing man. It was an amazing time and you could just tell that everyone in attendance could feel the spirit just as much as we did. After that the family went to the grave side. At the grave side the girls placed a yellow rose on his casket and then we brought 12 balloons for the immediate family to write lil' notes on and to release in the air to send up to heaven to him. It was such a wonderful moment yet so hard to say goodbye. I had a harder time than I thought I would. The hardest part for me is not that he is gone, because I know that he is in a better place and that he is needed there but my heart aches for the rest of us that have to go on without him. The more I think about it though, the more I know without a doubt that this gospel is true. I know that Uncle Brett has a greater calling with the Lord and that he needs to be there and that the Lord will take care of Aunt Mori and the girls and that they are not alone. Having events like these just make my testimony grow and increase my faith in the gospel and in Jesus Christ. Here are some pics from the services...

Gabri Tianna and Tanessa

My Mom and Dad

The board for Aunt Mori & Uncle Brett

Tia Sonia, Aunt Julia, Uncle Erik Aunt Thali & Kelek (in the blue)

Aunt Laeni with McKay & Kelek behind her

LtoR: Kelek, Tia Yanin, McKay, Aunt Katrina & Uncle Bryan

The bearers

Aunt Mori

Missy & Emma

Jessica & Miranda

Writing notes

The Balloons in the air

Shauna and the Barnards releasing their balloons

Missy & Emma
12 White Balloons

Flowers that Aunt Julia put together

After the services we all went to Uncle Kevin and Aunt Anita's house. They held a huge luncheon for the family where we could eat, swim and talk. Aunt Mori had her hula friends that she danced with come and perform a dance for us and then Uncle Steve pulled out his guitar and started playing songs that we remembered from when we were younger. Everyone sat around and sang along and listened to him play. It was so nice to be together as family and to enjoy the sacredness of that day.

Tianna pretending to be Michael Jordan lol

Dad & Tio

Uncle Dennis and the Fam

The Withers Fam!

Tia Blanca & Tia Beatrice

 So we spent the rest of our time in cali keeping busy, from shopping, to Laser Tag to Emma getting dunked in the pool to the beach lol

Laser Tag! oh and ya i wore a neon yellow shirt so basically i GLOWED! needless to say i got shot more than i was able to shoot lol

Emma got dunked in the pool. The initiatory of being loved by Uncle Doug...Tianna Tanessa and I have all had to endure that MORE than once lol

Dad jumping the fence to go around cuz emma wouldn't let him in the house ha

Baby Landon's Bath Time!

On Thurs we all decided to go to the beach as a family and we went to Laguna Beach for the day. We had such a fun time there exploring and checking out all the fun shops. Here are some pics from the beach that we took. 

View from our restaurant where we ate lunch

Gabri & Tianna

Aunt Mori decided that all the girls were going to get toe rings as a token to Uncle Brett. We got what is called a Love Knot. So here are our toe rings.

Aunt Mori, Jessica & Landon

A fatty Sand Crab

Digging for Sand Crabs

Tanessa Chasing Pres with a sand crab...he wasn't too fond of them lol

Feeling the sand crab...his response, "EWWWW" hahah



We found some big crabs in the rocks

While we were out exploring dad was getting in some sleep ha
Gabri with a tree that had been knitted and crocheted all over

Mom putting sunscreen on our sleeping dad...he still got burnt ha

Eating Lunch! this place was DELIC!!! WE got crab nachos and sandwiches and MMMM!!!!

Mom pretending to be mean like the HULK lol
Dad letting Emma dress him up all pretty like

Cute Cute!

Keti & Lome came to visit! What a fun treat!

Max, Kelek, Jelaeni, Sophie, Gabri, Lily & Mack

Presten's New Neon pink shirt i got him. 

My dad got a neon green one for father's day! Happy father's day to the most amazing dad ever who has taught me to much and has been a wonderful example in my life! I am grateful for all the lessons he made me learn, even when I didn't want to learn them and for teaching me how to be a better person and to cope more easily with life. I Love You Daddy!!!!!

Well that's our latest events. Now everyone is back home and back to the rat races lol Pres and I are back in Wyoming and Mom, Dad, Tianna and Tanessa are back in Colorado. Before I end this post I just want to say to all of you that you never know when how long your life or someone else's life is. Cherish every moment and make sure that your relationships with your siblings are wonderful, if they aren't then mend them! Life is too short to let grudges and silly things get in the way. Forgive those that have done you wrong, forgive yourself and try to be a better person. Be selfless and think of others and most importantly hold your family dear and tell them that you Love you them each and every moment you get. I don't say that enough to my family but I'm going to start now. I love you all so much! Thank you for all you do and for the special place you hold in my heart!!!!
Love Presten & Natasha

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