Sunday, December 16, 2012

Mike Dickinson - Forever A Hero

I borrowed/copied this post from my Sister In Laws Blog. She has done an amazing job at capturing the amazing man and memories of my Father In Law. I want to keep these memories for my kids to know what an amazing grandpa they had, and will get to know when we are reunited with him. You can find more of her posts at joshkristintaylinhatch.blogspot.com

My Dad: My Superhero

This post is very personal to me and my family!  I have struggled with what to write and what not to write, but because each year I have my blog printed into books, I have decided to include everything that I want in my personal family history!

December 16, 2012 started off like any other Sunday morning as we got up and started getting ready to go to church.  But just before I jumped in the shower, my Mom called to tell me that my Dad had passed away!  My heart sunk as I tried to make sense of her words!  I got off the phone and told Josh that my Dad was gone, he grabbed me and held me as the tears came and I cried into his shoulder.  After a few minutes, Josh went to wake up Trenten and tell him the news.  Trenten then came in, and we held each other and cried.  We soon came to the agreement that we would spend that day doing laundry, and packing (with all the Christmas stuff too) and then plan on leaving the next day!  Taylin decided to stay the week at home with Josh, as he finished up some work, and Taylin finished school, clogging performance, and school Christmas party!  So I also had to work that out!  Thanks to some really great friends who were willing to help us out and pick Tay up from school and keep her until Josh was done with work in the evenings!  

My Dad was always a pillar of health for the most part, other than the fact that he was diagnosed with diabetes in his very early 20's, which he kept pretty good control of most the time!  About the time he turned 50 he had a couple strokes, which was when they found out he had a blood disorder, called Factor V Leiden.  And it seems from that point on he started to have more and more problems with his health.  I would say in the last 2 years or so, he aged about 40 years!  In September of 2012 he began going to dialysis for kidney failure!  Unfortunately the dialysis was not helping him as much as we had hoped, and he was in too bad a shape for a transplant!

Throughout his life he was extremely active, hardly took time to sit still for even a few minutes!  He always had something to do, whether it was kicking, hitting a ball, or cutting down a tree...he was just always on the go and in very good shape!

Enjoy some pictures of our memories...let's start at the beginning:



 High school days








 A Mountain Man at Heart











Taylin and Jordan were his absolute pride and joy!  I know he wanted so bad to get out and do so many things with them, and he was so discouraged that he couldn't!  I know, without a doubt he would of been the funnest Grandpa EVER...the type that would wear the kids out long before he was tired :)

 Grandpa and TayTay
 Jordan's blessing day
 Tay's 1st Birthday

So Trenten, Jordan, and I loaded up and headed to Colorado on December 17th, 2012!
It was so good to get to Gunnison and be with my Mom, brothers, and the rest of our family!  
I was absolutely blown away by the out pouring of love and support from family and friend in the days to follow!   It was truly unbelievable!  The kitchen was overflowing of food and flowers, and visitors coming all the time bringing food, hugs, and memories of my Dad!  I can't thank everyone enough for all the love and support shown to us in this time of need!  And it was not just at this time, but for months even years as my parents were going through this hard time!

The week seemed to fly by and at the same time crawl by...as we all knew that Saturday (the day of my Dad's service) was going to be really tough!  But I have to say that it was a great week, as we spent lots of time together as family!  There was an amazing feeling of closeness as we shared memories, tears, laughter, and lots of hugs!  There were several nights when we stayed up into the wee hours of the morning just enjoying being together!  One night my brothers and I stayed up until 3:30 AM laughing so hard, I don't  even know what was so funny!  But it was great and something I will always cherish!

During the week I was blown away by the tremendous love and support we felt by everyone!  Even quick trips to the store to get a bag of diapers I was greeted by numerous hugs!  I would like to share on visit we had by a young man in the church there, who would come and spend time visiting with my Dad several times a week during the last few months!  He brought us all a copy of some of the things him and my Dad talked about, which has become something very special to me and my family!  I would like to add what he gave us now:

BROTHER MIKE DICKINSON
I was very blessed to have spent many hours with Mike in his last couple of weeks here in mortality and feel that writing some of the things we discussed will bring comfort, peace, and love to both myself and all his loved ones.

Our conversations over the last couple of weeks were honest, deep, and also  full of love.  We discussed faith, trials, death, life, the next life, trust, love, and family.  We read scriptures, listened to conference talks, and prayed together strengthening each other's testimony and faith.

He recounted with joy marrying his high school sweetheart Frances, his football playing days and subsequent RMAC championship in 1978, his conversion to the gospel and discussions with Harry Heil, and many other memories.  He looked very much forward to Christmas where all his family would be together for the first time in many years.  We talked about making this Christmas the most memorable out of all the Christmas' his family had ever experienced.  He looked forward in sharing with his children his memories and his outlook for the future in an honest and sincere way.  Interesting just days before passing we read section 122 of the Doctrine and Covenants about the trials Joseph Smith.  We discussed the last verse in detail which reads, "Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever."

His hope was to have a family testimony meeting on the first day everyone was together so his children know his testimony, something which should still happen as a family.  He expressed to me his love for pure testimony.  He defined pure testimony by telling me, "A pure testimony is based on our Heavenly Father, Our Savior Jesus Christ, and the Restoration."

He was very grateful and happy that Brother Barrett was able to bring the sacrament to his home last Sunday.

I know he prayed a lot in his final weeks.  He told me on Thursday during our last visit together that the day before he was in a lot of pain and that he prayed all day.  Although he was in so much pain during that day he had promised that he would keep fighting.

We had listened and read President Eyring's talk 'Mountains to Climb' in which he had told me he had re-listened to it.  He remarked that it was like he was talking right to me.  He had come to realize words which we had also read together of Elder Neil L. Anderson's, "With faith come trials of faith, bringing increased faith."  And I know his final days he had definitely increased in his faith and had become submissive to his Heavenly Father's will for him.  He also expressed that he was not afraid of death but was at peace.  He understood that good people have trials- he reflected on the Savior's life and also Joseph Smith's life.

Most important to Mike was his family.  He worried about how his family was coping with his illness emotionally.  He wanted to give Sister Dickinson a blessing of comfort on the Thursday evening before his passing.  His lights lit up with love and satisfaction when he told me of his talk with Bryten, where Bryten had told him that he loved him and whatever happens he will be ok.  He was proud of his children and loved them so much.  He loved Sister Dickinson with all his heart.

Here's an experience of President Eyring we had read:

"My mother fought cancer for nearly 10 years.  Treatments and surgeries and finally confinement to her bed were some of her trials.
I remember my father saying as he watched her take her last breath, "A little girl has gone home to rest."
One of the speakers at her funeral was President Spencer W. Kimball.  Among the tributes he paid, I remember one that went something like this : "Some of you may have thought that Mildred suffered so long and so much because of something she had done wrong that required the trials." He then said, "No, it was that God just wanted her to be polished a little more."  I remember at the time thinking, "If a woman that good needed that much polishing, what is ahead for me?"

Brother Daniel C. Leeworthy
-He also included a copy of President Eyring's talk 'Mountains to Climb'

I can not tell you how much comfort this visit form this Brother in the church brought me.  And I will forever cherish the things he wrote down for us and shared with us!  He was there taking the time to visit and share thoughts and feeling with my Dad when I couldn't be, and I will forever be grateful to this young man for that!


Friday rolled around and lots of family friends arrived in town for the services the following day!  As well as Josh and Taylin!  I was so happy to see them!  It had been a long, hard week and I was happy to have them there finally!  During the week back home Taylin had a clogging performance, the first thing I had ever missed, but thankfully Josh face timed me so that I could watch her dance :)  We actually all huddled around Presten's computer at the kitchen table and watched her dance!

We had lots of wonderful visits from close friends as they arrived in town Friday!  Like I have said, the love and support we felt was truly amazing!  My family and I have been so blessed with absolutely amazing friends and family!

December 22, 2012
Day of my Dad's Service

Saturday rolled around and I can't say that I slept any that night.  I was up thinking about my talk for the service and all the things I had not included and wanted to make sure I added!  It was a day that had lots of mixed emotions for me.  I looked for to being able to honor my Dad and at the same time I wanted the day to be over, as I knew it was going to be the hardest day of my life.
When we got to the church we were greeted by many loving friends and family!  One of the hardest parts for me, and I knew it was going to be, was walking into the chapel and seeing the casket.  It all started to become real at that point, and my emotions took over!  Before the service all the family met together and Josh did the family prayer, we all then walked into the chapel for the service!








I have to say that the service was absolutely beautiful, the best one I have ever been to!  Everyone who spoke did a wonderful job and the musical numbers were perfect!  Everything was exactly the way my Dad would of wanted it!  Everyone that spoke hit on exactly who my Dad was...a mountain man at heart, very athletically talented, loved his family, and serving others, and being spiritually in tune!  My Uncle Steve started it off with the life history and did a great job of describing my Dad!  Then my Aunt Debbie talked about "little Mike" who she had grown up with!  She also did a great job!  Then there was a special musical number done by some friends, who sang "Did You Think to Pray"...which was a favorite of my Dads!  Then it was my turn... this was something that I wanted to do for my Dad, to be able to honor him in this way!  I told my Mom the day my Dad passed away that I would like to speak at his service, even though I knew this would be one of the hardest things I would ever do!  And I was so glad I had the opportunity to share some of my experiences and love for my Dad, and the man he was with all those who cared so much for him as well!  (I will include my talk in just a bit)!  Then Presten was up, I was so very proud of him and the amazing job he did!  He also read some things that Trenten and Bryten had written, which were also very good!  I was and am so proud of all my brothers, for the men they have become, for the love and caring they showed each other and especially to my Mom!  I am very proud to be their sister, and love them to pieces!  Then Kevin Nelson, a dear family friend spoke and shared some great experiences he shared with my Dad!  The closing remarks were done my the Stake President, President Taylor, who I thought did an outstanding job!  The spirit was sooo strong as he spoke and I could feel my Dad's presence right there with us!  There then was a instrumental number, "God Be With You Til We Meet Again."  After the closing prayer we all followed my Dad and the Paul Bearers out and took off to the cemetery.  There were a couple special things that took place that  showed us all that my Dad was right there with us!  for those of you who knew my Dad, you know tat he was an outdoors men!  He loved being in the mountains, hunting, fishing, or just enjoying nature!  He absolutely loved it!  Just outside the church as we all were getting in our cars to head to the cemetery, right there in the parking lot was a big bull elk passing through.  And then as we made our way to the cemetery, right there next to my Dads resting spot stood  a whole heard of deer!  It was as though they were there to bid farewell to my Dad as well, reminding us all of the special connection my Dad had with nature and the outdoors!  At the cemetery Grandpa Cook did the dedicatory prayer!
 Grandpa Cook and President Harvey
 Me and my brothers 
 Madie and Stevie
Uncle Steve and Mom
 Nevin, Nick, Uncle Mike, and Tiffany
 This was a special moment out at the cemetery!  After the dedicatory prayer, my Mom, my brothers, and I had a family hug next to my Dad!  Not sure why it was so special to me, but it is something that I will always remember and cherish!


 A couple of the deer out at the cemetery!

The family and close friends then headed back to the church for a wonderful dinner!  During the dinner we listened to cowboy music and the Nelson's entertained us with some songs as well!
 Jordan and Uncle Trent
Mom with her boys!

I would like to share the talks that both Presten and I gave at the service!  And also the memories that Trenten and Bryten had Presten read!  There were some great memories of my Dad shared in these and I would like to include them so that I may always be able to have those and hang onto these precious memories!

I will start with my talk:
All week I have prayed for the strength I need to do this today, but you are going to have to bear with me because when it comes to my Dad I am a big baby!  I was his only baby girl, therefore I can say that I was his favorite little girl!

I wanted to be able to share a few of my memories of my dad that I will always cherish!  There are so many and I could go on forever, but I will try to keep this short and sweet, because that is how Dad liked things!

As a little girl, my Dad would tuck me into bed every night…he did it in a way that made it fun to go to bed!  He would come in and bounce the bed making me jump around all over and I would giggle every time!

He did the best impersonation of the lollipop kids from the wizard of oz!  I remember my cousins and I asking him quite often to sing that song and do the lollipop kids dance!  He loved to see us laugh and smile!

He always had a way of making holidays so much fun!  I remember  every holiday waking up to him cooking breakfast while he whistled and danced around the house!  But it wasn’t just holidays, he had a way of bringing laughter everywhere he went!  He was always making jokes , being silly, and laughing!  He seemed to share his happiness and enthusiasm for life with everyone he came in contact with!

We use to joke about going on vacations with him…it was anything but relaxing, it was always go go go!  And the rest of us had to keep a jog just to keep up with him!  This was the same way any time I would go into see him at work!  He walked around that store 100 mph, and if you wanted to keep up you better have your running shoes on!

Several years ago after his shoulder surgery, while he was still in his shoulder brace.  My brothers, husband and I were sitting around in the living room talking and here comes my dad running full speed into the room and pretends to kick a football…well he had a little to much momentum and both feet came out from under him and he landed flat on his back and his bum arm!   After he started laughing and we knew he was ok we all about died laughing!  This is how he was all the time…always kicking or throwing a ball…which rubbed off on all us kids as well!  My parents use to always joke about how they should of built a gymnasium instead of a house!

There are countless camping trips and weekend trips to his softball tournaments that fill my childhood memories!  I remember watching him play softball as a little girl and thinking my dad was the best ever, I still believe that!  And I wanted to be just like him!

Then came my high school years, were I had the privilege of having him as my coach!  He was an awesome coach!  I remember him right there with us when we were doing conditioning running!   Like everything in life he had a way of making softball a blast!  There are so many softball trips that I remember him doing silly things just to keep us girls laughing!  At a few stop lights I remember him blasting up the music and doing Chinese fire drills, or going round and around and around the round abouts!

There were times of course when he made me mad…but looking back, every time it was because he expected the absolute best out of me, and knew I was capable of more!  Now that I am grown with a family of my own I am so glad he expected so much out of me and pushed me to be my best…being my biggest fan the whole time!

I would like to read a poem shared to me this week by a dear friend and coach:
Its called: How Do You Live Your Dash
I heard of a man who stood to speak at the retirement banquet of a coaching friend.   He referred to the dates of the  coaches career from the beginning to the end.  He noted the first and the last day of the coaches  times and spoke the dates with tears.  But he said what mattered most of all was the dash between the years.  For  the dash represents all the time that he spent coaching on earth.  And now only those who loved and played for him know what that little line is worth.  For it matters not how much we win, the trophies, the records, the cash.  What matters most is how we live and love and how we spend the dash!  So think about this long and hard, are there things you’d like to change?  For you never know how much time is left, that can still be rearranged.  If we could just slow down enough to consider what’s true and real and always try to understand the way our players feel.  And be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.  If we treat our players with respect, and more often wear a smile, remembering that this special dash might only last awhile.  So when your coaching career comes to an end with your life's actions to rehash…would you be proud of the things your players say about how you spent your dash?
I know my dad spent his dash well!  

This week I have had many of you share your memories of my dad with me!  I have loved receiving these and would like to share some of those with you…because it is in the memories that he will continue to live!
Coach Dickinson was an awesome coach and a wonderful man.
He truly represented what a man should be. Faith and Family foremost!
He was a great man, father, coach, leader, mentor, and friend.
He was a positive influence on me in college just by the example he set!
Mike was a lot of fun and a good friend to so many.
He was a very sweet man!
I’m so glad I got to be on a softball team he helped coach and a nice man.
He taught me so much about softball, hard, work, life, the gospel, integrity, and fun…so many wonderful lessons and memories!
He was so special and touched so many lives.
He was an amazing man. He was a great teacher and a wonderful man to look up to. Not only did he teach me about reading a ball, but also taught me how to read life.
He showed me at a very early age what it means to be a loving uncle and father.  It was his sage advice and guiding hand that helped develop the interests that play such an important role in my life today! His love, guidance, and support  has always meant the world to me!
He made my love for the game so much more powerful. He believed in me, encouraged me and made playing so fun!  I will always hold onto these memories. I hope you are running bases and chewing seeds coach. Eat my dust…
Coach Dickinson made the game so fun…he always had such good energy!
I remember so many good times back in the day with your dad, what an awesome guy he was to be around!  I will never forget the rootin’ tootin’ scootin’ scout!  He was so proud of it!
He had a great smile!
He was such a sweet, kind and gentle person and always had a good word for everyone.
Mike was always the strongest, most kind hearted person.
When we moved to Gunnison, your mom and dad were the first to come for a visit and make us feel welcomed. Your dad was always a great friend.  We moved away but only to Montrose, at stake events he would always find us and give us Gunnison warmth!
I loved your dad he was an amazing man. I loved him as my best  friends dad and as a coach. He was so much fun and always had us laughing, it was so contagious!

Thank you for sharing your memories with my family and I, it has helped carry us through this week!

He was the proudest Grandpa you will ever see, even though he wasn’t quite ready to be called Grandpa!  This summer my kids renamed him to Pom Pom…which I know he loved!

My Dad was really looking forward to Christmas this year…as our whole family will be here!  This has been hard for me this week as I have struggled to understand the Lord’s plan and why he couldn’t waited just a little bit longer before he took him home!  We had a wonderful visit form  a sweet friend this week, someone who I consider an angel among us!  And he shared this scripture with us from the 122 section on the Doctrine and Covenants, which says, “Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.”  This has been a huge comfort to me this week!  And I am so thankful for the knowledge I have that families are forever!  As I think about Christmas this year I think it will be the Christmas my Dad was dreaming of!  All of us will be together, and he will be with us in spirit free of all the pain and suffering!  He will truly be able to enjoy it!

Thanks Dad for always being there for me, for believing in me, expecting the best out of me, for teaching me what hard work and dedication meant, how to live your dreams, to work hard and play hard, to laugh and enjoy life to its fullest, for always having the best down to earth advice, for teaching me the importance of the gospel, for being my coach and my biggest fan, and most of all for being my Dad and superman!  I am sure you are up there in heaven testing out your legs again, running bases and kicking field goals! Like a friend said this week…”Don’t  you know he’s hitting one over the fence, cruising bases and chuckling as he slides into home!” 

I would like to close with one more quote from a friend this week, I think it describes my dad perfectly and he would like us all to remember him this way!  What a great dad, terrific husband, super athlete, exceptional son and son-in-law, and quality friend with Hollywood good looks and lots of swag!”

Love you Dad and look forward to the day when we will all be together again!
Amen

Presten's Talk:
As I think back on some of the memories I have had throughout my life with my dad I am drawn to the outdoors and sports.  I loved to go on trips as a family to watch him play in fast pitch tournaments.  I remember we were at one tournament and we played catch together and he made me fell like I was an equal, I don’t remember how old I was but I was pretty little, but he never took it easy.  He would through the ball hard or at least that’s what he made it look like.  He would always plan every trip out so carefully and would pack in as many things to do as he could.  We would do to garden of the gods, 7 falls, various ghost towns, wax museums, and so many other places.  He loved camping and he would make it so much fun.  We wouldn’t have to go anywhere far away we would stay right here in the south west corner of Colorado.  He would go and just look at the mountain scenery for hours at a time and go back the next day and look at the same spot.  I wonder if he was just thinking about what it would have looked like 200 years ago as a mountain man.  He was probably planning out where he would place his cabin.  He loved that kind of history.  I think all of us kids could almost quote the movie Jeremiah Johnson word for word.  He loved this time of year and would always take us to get a real Christmas tree.  That was always the best part of winter.  We would go up to Pitkin and search for hours for the perfect tree to bring home having fun with snowballs and joking around the whole time. 

The thing I have missed the most the last few years since his health-starting going down was just going out in the front yard and playing catch.  He and I at times would play catch on a daily bases, sometimes multiple times a day, either with a baseball or football depending on the time of year.  We would see who had the better curve and knuckle ball and he would tell me stories of him playing in high school and would teach me his slider.  There was no better coach to have he knew all there was to know about just about any sport.  We would all go down to the ball field and take ground balls and hit in the cages for hours, and he would always have his turn.  He was just like us kids once he stepped on a field.  He would run routes for me all the time and he was probably faster than any of my teammates and friends.  I bet if he hadn’t had his health fail the last few years I would have never been able to beat him in a 40 yard dash. 

Not only was he physically strong and active but also he was my spiritual leader and example, without his example and testimony this would be much harder for us all.  No matter what he was asked to do he would do whatever he could to help others and served faithfully in many high capacity church callings.  He didn’t just do what he was asked to but he loved the opportunities to serve.  I know its has been so difficult for him to be the one receiving service rather that providing it to others. 

I know he was really looking forward to Christmas this year as I know all of his family was because we knew it would most likely be the last one together.  I have heard many people tell me how he had so many plans for Christmas, many of which only he knew.  We will be doing the plans we know of and I know he will be there in spirit. 

I know we will one day be together again and I know he is now finally able to do whatever he wants to again.  I know he is somewhere now running into goalposts as he’s hauling in a pass and turning double plays, and I know when I see him again he will have a glove and ball ready for me so we can once again play catch in the yard.

Trenten's Memory:

Our dad loved telling stories especially funny ones. He loved making others laugh. His smile was contagious, and his laughter would fill a room. Dad made sure that love, and laughter came first in our home, and this has been instilled in all of us. This past week  has been spent remembering, laughing, and crying. A lot of laughing. There’s not a story I could share that would do my dad justice. What I want to share  instead is a way of living that dad exemplified, and I know I hope to emulate.  Dad was very passionate, very caring, fun loving, and proud (sometimes to a fault). He could laugh at himself. He was a joy to be around, and a great example to all of us. He understood and accepted his responsibilities whether as a father , at work, or in the church.  While he was quick to anger, he was also quick to apologize. I’m proud to call him my father and can only hope to act in a way in my life that would make him proud.  I’ll miss his smile his laughter his voice.  Until I see him again I’ll miss him and I cant wait to hear him laugh again. I know my biggest fan will be cheering me on from above.

Bryten's Memory:
Dad loved his friends and family, when one if his best friends bobby was coming to town he could barely contain his excitement. He loved to tell his high school memories, some stories he loved to tell so much a lot of us have probably heard them more then once, he would tell stories about going hunting or fishing. My dad was my best coach in every sport I have played or just in life, he’s taught me more lessons then I can remember all at once. I can not give any of my dad’s stories a good name as I have never been a good story teller but I can tell you that I loved to listen to them, my fathers stories would make my day even if I was having the worst day of my life he could tell one story and make it the best day. I’ll miss his stories and I’ll miss him but he will always be my dad.

Dad and Mom..the college years

 Dad and Mom..engagement picture
 Dad and Mom...wedding
 Grandma, Dad, Mom, and Punka

After we wrapped everything up at the church, we went over to Grandma and Grandpa Cooks and took some fun pictures...with most of the cousins there :)







 It was so good to see all the family, and happy all those that could make it were there on this day for us!  I know it helped me make it through this day!

Ok so after everyone left and we got back to my parents house, I had a very special gift that I wanted to give my Mom that night!  Knowing that my Dad's health was going down hill very fast and that his holidays with us were most likely numbered, I wanted to do something special for him this year for Christmas!  I wanted to give him something that he could cherish and look at everyday to remind him of my love for him and the fun times we have shared together!  So I spent quite a bit of time putting together a book for him, full of pictures and stories of the times we shared together, and the things I would always remember!  It turned out to be about 60 pages worth!  The day my Dad passed away, I was packing up all our stuff for Christmas and what not so that I could leave to Colorado to be with my family!  As I came across this book, my emotions took over, Josh took me in his arms and held me as I told him that I really wanted my Dad to have this book, and that I should of mailed it early so that he would of had a chance to see it!  Josh then began to cry and told me that my Dad would be able to see it and that as my Mom looked at the book and read it, my Dad would be by her side and that through her he would be able to enjoy it!  Josh told me that at this time he had a strong feeling come over him, and that he knew with out a doubt that this was true!  I am so thankful for Josh and his love and support, I am a lucky girl!  
So I wrote a note to my Mom telling her this and that when she read this book to read it to Dad as well! So as we were all sitting around together, I brought the book that was all wrapped up and told my Mom this was Dad's Christmas present this year and I wanted her to have it!  
The book I made for my Dad's Christmas present
My Mom opening the present
My Mom and Bryten looking at the book!

So after giving my Mom the book, Josh and I had one more surprise...
Josh had talked to me earlier in the week about doing something special and fun for my brothers!  A fun guy day that they could just get away from everything and just go have fun!  After a hard and emotional week, it was just what they needed!  So Josh gave all my brothers an early Christmas present!
They kind of look a little worried :)

Surprise...Broncos Jerseys!!!
And then... 
Josh told them they can wear their jersey to the Broncos game the next day!!
They were pretty excited!!
Here they all are the next morning ready to take off to Denver for the game!
 At the game!

Us girls and the kids spent the day relaxing and enjoying each others company!  That night we drove around looking at Christmas lights around town...something that my Dad always loved doing with us!  I know he was with us in spirit and enjoying every minute of it!
And needless to say the guys had a blast at the game!

I am so thankful for my amazing friends and family, for their love and support during this difficult time. I am truly blessed with amazing people in my life!  The spirit and love we all felt this week was incredibly strong!  I am so thankful for my Mom, her strength and example to us!  She is amazing.  I am also so thankful for my brothers, they are wonderful guys who teach me so much all the time!  I am thankful for my husband and my children, they make my world turn!  Thankful for all of my grandparents and all they have done and continue to do for me and my family!  I have 4 of the BEST grandparents around!  For my Aunts, Uncles, and cousins, they all are huge blessings in my life!  For Josh's family, I couldn't of married into a better family! And I am so grateful for the gospel in my life!  For the truth and light it brings to my life!  For the knowledge it gives us of the atonement and that families can be together forever through the blessings of the temple! 
And I am beyond blessed to have the Dad I have!  He was an incredible man who taught me so much about life, softball, the gospel, working, and having fun!   I love him so very very much!  Not a day goes by that I don't miss him, and I am sure that will never change!  But I look forward to the day when we will be reunited with him...what a glorious day that will be!  I can't wait to hear his laugh again!  

Make sure you go down to the bottom of the blog and turn the music off and turn your volume up so you can hear his laugh! (Sorry this video is cut down and you can't see very much of him...I am trying to fix it, just having problems doing it)

I love you Dad!

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