Sunday, June 16, 2013

Germans, Moab, Work, Fathers Day, and Some Random Thoughts and Experiences

I have been trying to write a blog post for a while now and haven't been able to collect my thoughts and make sense out of them, so I decided that it was better to just post anyway and hope it makes sense. Sorry if it's scattered, but this is how my brain functions lately ;-)

We had the rare opportunity to get to know people from far far away over the past year as we were a host family to Anna Bahss for this past school year. Anna is from Germany. Her mother Sarah,  is an American, raised in Connecticut, but went to Germany years ago after she met and married Anna's father Christian on an exchange in Italy.  Over the past year or more we have emailed, and skyped and messaged them a lot. Sometimes for reasons of taking care of Anna, and sometimes just as friends supporting each other. All of this led up to June 2nd, when they arrived here in Utah to reunite with Anna as it was the end of her exchange. We were excited and nervous, as we know we are unique individuals and hoped they would like us. Especially since their daughter had been living in our home and as part of our family. We were pleasantly surprised and thoroughly enjoyed our time together. We went on the boat on Utah Lake, we went to Temple Square and the State Capitol. Then we took a trip that was 10 months in planning to Moab. The Bahss' graciously rented a beautiful condo for all of us to stay in and we went to Dead Horse Point and to the Arches.  It was a wonderful trip with great people. It was an experience for them to see the grandeur of that area and they commented on the mountains and other things of beauty around Utah that they would never forget. 

The picture 2 above hold special significance for me. Sarah, has MS and is phenomenally strong. She hiked to that arch and many other places and never once complained. She is a shining example to me to keep trying. We have very similar health issues and the fact that this image was captured of the 2 of us sitting in the shadow of that arch is at least on my part nothing short of a miracle. I used a cane to make it and my leg was not happy with me, but I accomplished it! These are Anna's mothers sitting there together. A picture that will not be forgotten, at least not by me. I have not stopped thinking about Anna and her family for 2 weeks now. They left a week ago and took Anna with them. They are where they should be, together, and with family. Our experiences having Anna here were many and many life changing. She surely doesn't know the impact she left for life on us and we are very badly missing her, but happy that she is with her family again and hope she has a wonderful, happy and fulfilling life. With any luck, she will keep us informed of things in her life and maybe we will even see her again someday. And her parents as well. We have grown close to them and consider them family as well. As I type, the emotion is taking over again. I had hoped it wouldn't be this hard, but I guess this is what saying goodbye to some one you love feels like. 

We had a going away party for Anna on the 2nd. It was also our monthly FHE with the extended family. The ENTIRE family (That's the whole enchilada) loves her and misses her and wishes her well and this party was so many of them could say goodbye. 

The last post on this blog was announcing that I had decided to go back to work. This decision was not something that was taken lightly. Seven years of sickness and other issues was not and is still not easy to overcome, but I am working on it day by day. The job, for the most part, is not greatly challenging. I have excelled much more than I thought I could in most places there. The past few weeks have been challenging as I am being trained on more things and having a hard time remembering things I need to. If I can't remember them, I can't use them to learn the new things I'm trying to learn. It is very frustrating and causes a lot of stress, because I know I can do this, but it's not coming easy at all. I am a perfectionist and like to do things correctly, so you can see how this is not easy for me. I really do like my job most days, and it really is a good job at a good place. I just need to get past this hurdle. Please keep sending good thoughts my way. 

This fathers day has been very emotional for me. As I think about the fathers in my life and all of the men I know. I am in awe as to how lucky I am to know these men. I have always held my dad in high esteem. Even when I didn't see eye to eye with him, I have always known that he loves me and would not leave me on my own. He has known when to step in and when to patiently watch from afar. This is one of the reasons I have had such an emotional reaction to this day this year. 
On the 4th of June, my nephew and his wife took out their endowments in the Salt Lake Temple. We had attended the adoption proceedings for Dan's brother Pete and his family for their new little son Ryan earlier in the day and were waiting outside the temple after their sealing. We stayed and met my nephew and family after their endowments. I watched my dad suffering in pain and having a hard time walking that night. I have never seen him like this before, and it hit me extremely hard at that moment that he isn't a superhero and it could quite possibly be coming close to the time I won't have him here around me. I cried all of the way home that night and have felt very emotional today with the thoughts that this Fathers Day could be one of if not the last one for him. This is a time I have dreaded and hoped would never come. I'm not sure I know how to deal with it. 

I think that what I have said in the previous paragraph may be the answer as to how I managed to find Dan. I knew what I wanted my kids to have in a father and somehow managed to find him. He is a wonderful father who loves his kids. He works himself sick and makes sure to attend and support everything they do, even when he may not agree with them. I may not always know the best ways to show it, but I could never have dreamed of spending my life and my kids getting such a phenomenal man as him. I love you Dan and I am glad that my kids have you as their father. 

There are so many great men in my life that I cannot possibly name or say things about them all. Just know that I love and appreciate all of you for the examples of love and endurance and dedication you show. 

One random thing. I have been attending church with Jake, because he asked me to and I promised my kids I would support them in their good decisions. My thoughts have not changed, and after some actions of today, maybe even more solidified. Some one walked up to me to today and asked me to fill in for their calling for the next 6 weeks. I said I could not do it and suggested someone else. They said, "Oh, I guess you weren't in choir last week, are you feeling OK?" I said I was feeling fine and haven't been there for close to a year. They said, "Huh, that's weird, I didn't even notice."  Now I know that I don't need to be noticed by everyone all of the time, but people keep trying to tell us that everyone misses us and that us being gone leaves a giant hole in the ward. So who do I believe? Honestly, it feels more like the person today was at least honestly saying they didn't notice, rather than lulling us into a false sense of love and security. This isn't the only thing, but that was what happened today.

I guess I should end this post as it is turning in to a novel. Hopefully I will have some more to post soon. Thank you all for your love and support for us. It is not lost and not unnoticed.