I remember taking this picture in 2015, just a year after being diagnosed with facial paralysis. Frenchie took me on a trip between surgeries; funny I can’t remember where we were. We’ve been on so many trips together trying hard to mark everything off…
Tag: Heavenly Father
This is Ray Williams, my father in law on his graduation day from Mesa High in Arizona. Oh how I love him, he passed away October 1st 2008. Today I sat in church holding Frenchie’s hand, listening intently to the speakers who gave incredible tributes to the father’s in their lives. I teared up thinking about how blessed I have been to also have men in my life who have been great examples.
Thinking back I remember Stan Johnson was one of the most influential men in my life during my teen years. He was my seminary teacher, no matter what was going on at home I always knew for one hour a day Monday-Friday I was able to get away from the stressful life I secretly lived and listen to things that were good and wholesome. I will always be grateful to him for his soft, kind demeanor and for helping to ground my testimony of Christ.
My brother in law Greg Watkins, another incredible man but often misunderstood. I always felt protected by him and knew he would do anything to support and love me in all my decisions. Sonya and Greg took over important roles in my life as I stumbled through difficult times of life.
Bob Turner was my bishop when I decided to speak up and tell about my abuse. He was gentle, patient and compassionate. Bishop’s are not trained to be psychiatrist’s or paid to give advice on the troubles that some people, like myself have gone through or are going through. They are not marriage counselors, no Bishop’s are called by God to guide and sometimes discipline those who come to them with undeniable problems. Bishop Turner suggested books for me to read, kept close touch with me weekly and referred me to a well trained counselor. I will always remember how sweet he was with me before and after I faced the stepdad–Bob is a good man.
Stephen Phelps, is another source of light in my life. I watched as a young mother not exactly knowing how to do this mother thing–I wanted to do it right but had no guidance. I watched many men an women in our church congregation raise their children Stephen and his wife Carolei are amazing parents I wanted to immulate many of their traditions and parenting skills. Interesting enough I found out later Stephen knew my mother and father in law Viola and Ray Williams. He had so many nice things to say about Viola. When I was diagnosed with cancer so many people were praying for me, Stephen wrote me a few emails that I will treasure forever. I love this man, he is an example of strength and humility. I cherish our talks and his ability to always lift me up when I know he is the one who needs to lifted during his battle with extreme back pain.
Ray Williams, was one of the most influential men in my life–He loved me and he showed that love by not only telling me but with words. Often times he would call me and ask “How’s my oldest son treating you?” There is no doubt he changed after Vi died, still he never forgot to let his family know they were loved–I loved having him as a father, he’d softly put his arms around me and whisper in my ear “thank you, I love you” I learned to love freely and unconditionally from Ray. Recently a dear friend of ours shared a story with me about Ray and Vi that didn’t surprise me knowing them, but it reaffirmed what I’ve always thought about them.
He said “Ray and Vi were the BEST parents I know. So loving and caring. They had the perfect amount of balance in their parenting and lived the gospel of Jesus Christ with so much vigor and quiet dignity.” He continued by saying ” I’ll never forget a seminal moment in my life in regards to the relationship I had with them. A teacher at Mesa Jr. High told Ray and Vi “You should be wary and careful of that boy Kurt hangs out with. He’s not a good influence and may lead Kurt astray.” He said “Despite the fact the teacher was friends of theirs Ray and Vi took this man to task and defended me. The thing is, I wasn’t a good influence on Kurt. But when I learned of how Ray and Vi had stood up for me I decided right then and there I would NOT disappoint the ‘Williams’ and I straightened up. They raised the bar for me and I instinctively raised my character to match their sentiments of me. Being Tongan many adults were suspicious of me because of my upbringing and being so poor. Ray and Vi treated me like I was one of their own son’s. I could eat whatever was in the fridge and sleep in their home anytime. I became a better person because of them, I owe them such a debt of gratitude…I LOVE Kurtie, Doran and Eric for always treating me EXACTLY as their parents had taught them. Those boys exhibit so many of their parents best characteristics. What a legacy!!”
One of the interesting facts about this story is the young man went on to play in the NFL, marry a beautiful woman and raise some amazing children. I was in tears hearing this story, it was so moving and true to the character of Ray and Viola Williams, everyone loved them.
Finally, my husband Eric aka. Frenchie has been the father I always dreamed of having for my children. He has a good mixture of humor, kindness, hardworking, and goofy. Many times I know he has not understood why I do some of the things I do, but he is still here.
Kaitlyn and Phoenix- so dang cute Kaitlyn and Brian’s little guy Phoenix is incredibly sweet, inquisitive and loving. This week I was sitting with him watching old pictures of our family pop up on the computer roll. Phoenix took my hand and said “Chair” so…
|Recker had a hard time leaving his mom at the hospital|
May 31st Kayla and Jeremy welcomed Theodore Arthur to the family. Theo is our 5th grandchild, 4th boy 3rd boy for Kayla. Being a grandmother is still a little overwhelming. I look in the mirror and don’t see a grandmother looking back. Can I be old enough? Am I good enough to be blessed with such beautiful children? It’s strange…. getting older, thinking about the days when my children were little and I thought it would never end. We had 4 children in less than 6 years, those were both joyful and hard years. I think I took so much for granted, we all do. I remember being so tired thinking I would never have a full nights sleep again–an older woman said to me one time “This too shall pass” I remember thinking I wanted to punch her in the face…This was not going to pass, at least not quickly. Guess what? She was right, I was wrong those days are long gone however it feels like just yesterday I was rocking my own babies to sleep.
Today as I sat at the hospital and rocked Theo to sleep I couldn’t help but wonder what wonderful memories he will bring to our family. He is perfect, I simply love him. It’s interesting when siblings are born into the same family with the same genes but all turn out looking and acting so differently.
I had a hard time sleeping last nigh with only 3 hours before surgery I at least tried. I’m not anxious about the surgery or Dr. Lettieri. Again this morning doctors and nurses all had positive things to say about him. One nurse said “Oh My Gosh, I would not have any other trauma surgeon work on me. The anesthesiologist and his assistant mentioned him as colorful. I know he tries to come off as a hard butt, I’ve seen it with the residents when they make a mistake. However, I know Dr.Lettieri and know he wants to teach these young up coming Doctors how to do procedures the right way, the first time. He explained to a resident at Mayo if he had not known what I was going under sedation for or understand where I’ve been, my history, fears and anxiety this cute little resident could have cut off the wrong ear, or with other patients the wrong arm or leg. Yes, he was a little rough with him but respectful in showing him the correct way. At that very moment I knew he was the surgeon for me.
So he gifted Frenchie and I with his presence explained exactly what he was gong to do, then they talked real estate—blah blah blah. When he left for the surgery room Frenchie sat next me to and held my hand telling me how beautiful I was. Seriously, my skin has never looked or felt better. Several nurses hearing him talk about my beauty were so interested and rushed over to our little pod. He then told them how beautiful they were and how refreshing it was to work with such happy women and men today. All three of them were shocked, it was as if no man had ever told them. Frenchie snapped a picture with me and them for my blog.
One nurse said when I walked in, there was aura around me, she could feel my energy was one of happiness. This made me smile without hesitation, she was seeing past my own insecurities. She then asked me to go remove my make-up…very proudly I announced “I don’t have any on” she quickly grabbed by chart and sighed…”you are 53-year-old?” me “yep and proud of it” her ” I want to try it, and even sell it if I can.” me “Of course you can, I will get you a sample just as soon as I can get your phone # and email address. (email sent before I entered surgery).
She then asked me about my journey with my home based business, I told her the truth, my life, just like everyone else is full of trials, most we cannot see. I started in Network Marketing 2 months before the facial paralysis. I told her it was an inspired intervention, I’ve now had 10 surgeries with Dr. Lettieri and 31 total in the past 6 year at Mayo Clinic with some pretty special surgeons. I have never slowed down sharing everyday, magazine, bottles, videos, 3 way calls, etc.. The most important things she loved about me was the Happiness Movement and the Night Cream. I wish the person who told me “If I spent more time on my home based business than I did on #happyacts for the #marchtohappiness I would be making a lot more money, would have heard this conversation. Home based businesses graciously allows me to do all of them at once. I do, I am always prepared with samples.
I always do at least one #happact a day and feel uncomfortable sharing those on social media, I’ve always been taught acts of kindness should be done in quiet with a reverent heart. But since it was the challenge for March 20 being the international Day of Happiness–they asked us all to do an act a day and post it until March 31st. Surround yourself with like-minded people, I happen to enjoy sharing my business and sharing a cookie or two.
This reminded me of a story told in Church yesterday by a bishop who visits the men in Prison. This young man we will call him John made some mistakes as teenager, drinking, drugs etc, but was finally able to reconcile with God and be forgiven. He moved from where he lived to get a fresh start his brother and wife invited him to live with them in their barn until he could get a job. He did and was grateful to them. His brother’s oldest daughter told them that John had sexually abused her. This went to trial, but during the trial the little girl told her mother she lied, that it never happened. Johns brother and wife never told anyone, and John was sentenced to 65 years in Prison at age 22. He begged and pleaded with family to help, all of them including mom and dad, brothers and sisters wrote to him and encouraged him to forgive. He’s never heard back from his brother or sister-in-law. It took John 10 years in Prison to finally come to a place of forgiveness and allow the spirit to help him survive. Last month when the Bishop visited him, he asked the Bishop to lay his hands on his head and give him a blessing, but in this blessing he wanted the Bishop to ask the Lord to forgive his niece, brother and sister so that they could get on with their lives. I entered the Maricopa County Hospital this morning for my #31 surgery, as my husband and I walked, in front of us was a young boy probably in his 20’s coming from the prison. with guards and shackles on his arms, hand and feet. Tears rolled down my face, looking at Eric (my husband) he immediately thought I was anxious or scared about my surgery, I then smiled at the young boy, said “hello, have a good day” and my husband said “don’t talk to them” My tears were both for all of us who immediately judge, it’s a natural reaction, and for this young boy whether guilty or not, we are not his judge our mission it always to cheer up the weak and show compassion for the wounded. What if that were your child?