I love this picture of Frenchie (Papa) with 5 of the 7 grandchildren–the joy on his face was priceless. Most of you have probably heard this “Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.” I think this is a…
To say it’s been a whirlwind of emotions the past 6 weeks would be an understatement. This is Shane Wright, his son Brian is married to my daughter Kaitlyn. Shane celebrated his birthday on May 24th with his wife children and nine grandchildren; two of which we share grand parenting with. Kaitlyn said his birthday was so fun, they played and danced together ate pizza had ice cream and cake. Shane sat watching his children and grandchildren laugh and play together from his own words “We’re told by Heavenly Father we may have joy in our posterity. Nothing compares to the joy that I feel when our family is all together. It’s the purest joy a parent can have. My heart is full” On Wednesday May 30th this giant of a man left this life to live with his Heavenly Father.
The first time I met Brian I knew he was a special man; most parents think their daughters are too good for most men but Eric and I are were so impressed with Brian we were afraid Kaitlyn would scare him off. When Brian asked Eric for Kaitlyn’s hand in marriage, he actually told him no twice. Poor Brian was living in Utah and chose to drive to Arizona twice to get Eric’s approval. I explained to Eric it is always hard on father’s to finally hand their daughter’s over to another man for them to care and love for, but it was time. We had the opportunity to meet Shane and Dee Dee Wright before they were married and immediately our hearts were bonded to them. Kaitlyn and Brian were married and had their wedding reception in our backyard in November of 2009. I was diagnosed with cancer during their engagement and started chemo therapy just two days after their wedding; I will never forget Shane and Dee Dee’s constant prayer’s on my behalf.
Over the years and two grandchildren later we grew to love this man and were so proud to have the opportunity to co-grandparent with he and Dee Dee. Shane was a stone mason, he had an eye for perfection when it came to his profession. He also raised his children to have respect for other’s and to share the knowledge they had of the Gospel of Christ. The last time I spoke to Shane he was visiting in Arizona and had helped pick out stone for a fireplace in Haleigh and Scott’s home. We stood outside next to his truck while Phoenix played and ate snacks from his granddad’s truck.
He asked me how I was doing and told me he never misses a day of praying for me. Then he looked at me and said “Perspectives change when you know you are not going to be on earth forever, we have truly been blessed.” Shane knew he had some time left but was also realistic enough to know what he was diagnosed with was incurable and unless he was struck by lightning or hit by a car, he would definitely die from his diagnosis.
It was evident when I sat in the Chapel at his funeral and watched over 300 people sit and listened to his family speak of Shane and his incredible accomplishments in life; and when I say accomplishments it had nothing to do with money. Shane helped youth, many young boys grow and become fine men, husbands and fathers. They testified of Shane’s undying sacrifice’s as he served others unconditionally. I don’t believe Shane had an enemy’s, everyone loved him. His smile and attention to details lit up any room he entered. Each and every time Eric and I saw him he looked at us in the eyes and asked about us, how we were doing, how each of our children and grandchildren were–simply put he cared genuinely for people.
When Brian spoke at the funeral, he was speaking about his father but was describing himself in every way. I love Brian, I love everything about him we are blessed to have him in our family and know he will miss his father deeply but will carry on the traditions of his father and pass down his work ethic and compassion for other people to his own children.
I will miss Shane and still have a hard time believing he is gone from our lives for now; so until we meet again I will do my best to be a good person, share memories with Phoenix, Archer and their future children about the amazing grandad they had. I never say good-bye so see you later Shane
I’ve heard that the happiness in your life depends so much on the quality of your thoughts. I believe this is so true. For many years I was fed negative words I felt worthless and unimportant. The damage was incredibly damaging, I’ve taken the past seven years to transform my thinking by listening with my heart and acting on impressions I receive to help other people.
The brain is such a powerful organ, everyone likes to hear they are wanted, needed and important. I feel like I’ve been given a second chance to change my thoughts not only towards myself but to reexamine why people say and do the things they do.
I realize now if we all knew just how powerful they are we’d probably never think a negative thought again. I think the primary cause of un-happiness usually has nothing to do with the situation but more about your thoughts about it.
Recently Eric and I visited a few countries Italy, Croatia, and Greece. The day was absolutely beautiful, as I waited for Eric I watched a young girl (maybe 4 or 5) she played joyfully with a small souvenir her parents had bought for her. The look on the girl’s face was priceless as she counted in her cute English accent’ the times she was able to flip the ball into it’s carriage. Suddenly a grumpy old man walked passed just as she flipped the ball into the air, it happened to hit the man on the arm. He quickly turned to the little girl and said “You brat, how stupid are you?” What came next was amazing to watch. She turned and said “Sorry to have bothered you, I hope the rest of your day is better.”
In my opinion this little girl was taught very well, manners matter and she knew it. What the man said to her didn’t seem to penetrate her brain as it did mine. She continued on with a smile
she wasn’t hurt in the least by this immature, ignorant man. She realized it was his problem, she apologized and went about her business.
Changing thought process’s is very difficult, but it can be done. I’m working on it, everyday I watch and learn by the experiences around me. Is the situation really the problem? Or is there an opportunity to learn and grow? Thoughts lead to purpose–with purposes it helps us go forward with action–we know actions turn to habits–most habits decide our character, and character helps define our destiny. One thing I try to do everyday is for every negative thought I have I put money in a container, then at the end of the year I will give this to a charity of my choice. I am getting really good at releasing those negative thoughts before they enter my head and replacing them with positive ones, soon I will be replacing the negative thoughts with the positive and have a much larger amount of money to give.
I watched as Weslie (my grandaughter) took the first couple of steps then fell down, the beauty of this small and simple task is what happened next–she got back up and tried again. There are so many lessons in this mundane act of learning to crawl before we walk, learning to walk before running.
Small steps toward something, anything worthy of having add up-just keep wishing, dreaming–just keep walking. Achieving dreams is not passive-there is work to be done-that first step has to be taken. No matter what age you are at, or what circumstance you are in–you do have control over making that first step toward something different, something extraordinary, something life changing.
Start slowly if you need to, start with uncertainty, start without a roadmap, start without even knowing when you will arrive. Faith without works is dead–so go forward with faith and hope-look forward and live intentional. Do it for yourself, do it for the thing you long for, the thing you fall asleep dreaming of, and wake up wanting. Remember WHY those things you long for are worth taking those baby steps for.
It is completely possible for one small spark of action on one completely ordinary day to alter the shape of everything that follows-just don’t give up–never stop taking steps forward. Your life will thank you for it.