Sunday, September 13, 2009

You Say Goodbye...

Today on her blog, Amber has posted the full story of her experiences with being excommunicated and then coming back into the church. Please go over there and read it.

She tells of a conversation she had with our dad, wherein he expressed to her his desire to see her rebaptized before he died. He had had a heart attack just a few days earlier, and as such was reminded that life is short and known to take unanticipated turns.

Amber was rebaptized on July 11 of this year. Our dad baptized and confirmed her, and it was a wonderful occasion.

Quite unexpectedly, our father died yesterday, September 12. He was just 66 years old, and in the best health and spirits he's been in in years.

While this is devastating news for our family, I can't help but see the hand of the Lord in all of this, and the "tender mercy" granted our father in seeing Amber come back.

I'm so proud of Amber, and she knows that.

May I just take this opportunity to encourage all of you to take a moment to evaluate the state of your relationships, starting with that between you and your Father in Heaven. While He is infinitely patient, the truth remains that time does eventually run out, and it is rarely when we expect it.

Thank you all for your kindness and friendship, both to me and to my sister. The last thing I expected from the blogging world was this level of genuine support and a few lasting, eternal relationships.

We'll be back in a week or two, with an even deeper testimony of and gratitude for the plan of salvation that seals families and holds them together beyond all the heartache and loss of mortality.

God bless you all, dear friends.

35 comments:

Kristina P. said...

Oh my goodness!! DeNae, I am so sorry for your loss. It was only a few days ago that we were laughing about your mom and dad and you guys were telling amazing stories about him.

My heart and prayers go out to you. Love you lots.

TheQueen@TerrorsInTiaras said...

I am so sorry for your loss, though grateful for your testimony of the plan of salvation. Thanks for sharing with us.

Annette Lyon said...

When I first read her story at MMB, I was so touched. What a blessing that that blank line got filled in before his time was up. I'm so sorry for your family.

KC Mom said...

I'm so sorry for your loss and touched at the lessons you and Amber have shared. Life is short. You have reminded us of that today. May you have the Comforter with you and your family.

Brooke said...

I'm sorry about your dad, DeNae. I'm sure he was a very special person, as are his daughters.

One of the great things about the gospel and our eternal perspective on life is that we can actually enjoy funerals. They are sad, of course, but also a time to get together and share memories and stories and look forward to being reunited again someday.

I, for one, am very much looking forward to the stories that are sure to come out of a gathering of your extended family. :-)

Lara said...

Oh, DeNae! I am so sorry to hear about your dad. He obviously was a great man to have raised daughters that are clearly amazing.

Amber's story really touched me when she posted it on MMB, and gave me a lot of hope for my two brothers who have left the Church.

It makes me cry to hear the tender mercy that the Lord gave both Amber and your dad regarding her return to the Church. Really amazing.

Hugs to you.

Chief said...

What an inspiring story of faith, patience, a father's love and the Plan of Salvation.

Please know that I am thinking of you and your family and praying for you to have continued peace.

Melanie J said...

It doesn't seem right to say I'm sorry for your loss. Maybe...I'm sorry for this temporary separation? I read Amber's story on MMB and was deeply touched by it. This could have been me a few years ago, and like you, I'm so glad that when my dad died a couple of years ago (age 60) that he had peace in his heart knowing that I was six weeks away from being sealed to a wonderful man. I know it gives me peace of heart that that piece was in place.

I know all will be well for you and my prayers and sympathies are with you.

Bloggin Betty said...

I am so sorry for your loss! It is so great to have the gospel to help us during these sucky times in life.

Brittany Ann said...

What a huge loss for you, I am so sorry. Please know that my prayers will be with you and your family. The church is such a wonderful thing to have at a time like this, to know the truth about eternal families. I hope you find lots of peace.

Cherie said...

Oh so sorry for you loss but at the same time so happy for your sister coming back into your eternal family fold as a member again.

God is in control and sometimes works in ways we do not expect.

I needed your message today about examining our relationships. Thanks and peace to your family at this hard time.

JBSquared said...

So sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing a part of your grief with us, so we can all be reminded of a valuable life lesson.

M-Cat said...

Blank line no more. Tender mercy indeed.

Sending love, hugs and good thoughts your way.

xoxoxox
M

Kazzy said...

I am so glad for Amber. The feelings of guilt and regret can be so devastating when things are put off until it's to late. So glad she was able to have that experience with your dad.

I am so sorry for your loss. Best wishes over these next weeks as you all are healing.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

DeNae, I've never met your dad (or you) in my life, but my eyes filled up with tears when I read about his passing. Despite all we know, the separation still hurts, but like you said, the Plan heals. Prayers for you and your family. No really, I'm going to say one right now.

Erin said...

I am SO sorry for your loss. I am a blurker on your blog, but I wanted to let you know I have been thinking about you today, and I will be praying for you and your family.

Rachel Sue said...

I had to leave a little note and tell you that you will be in my thoughts.

I am so sorry for your loss.

Motherboard said...

I love you, DeNae. You are the older sister that I always wanted.

This whole experience has been a testimony builder for me of how miraculous God truly is. Tender Mercies are real.

My prayers are with you.

That Girl said...

I think I've stared at this comment box for a good five minutes, and all I can come up with is, "thank you."

So - thank you for sharing this with us. Thank you.

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

I am so sorry that you lost your Daddy. Please know of my tender feelings for you and your sister. I went to her blog and read her story. So tender and so faith promoting. I am so happy that your Dad had the desire of his heart. That's all we want, as parents, is that our children "make it." Everything else is insignificant. isn't it?

Please accept my sincere sympathy.

And please know of my love for you. Thank you for bringing laughter into my heart on so many occasions. You are a remarkable woman who has strong faith and a desire to do what is right. May God bless you.

AS Amber said...

Thank you to everyone. Blogging makes the already very small world, even smaller.

DeNae and I are "book-ends" to a very strongly bonded family. We will miss our dad so, so much. No one knew of our Father's plan better than he did.

We'll see him again, but until then it's going to hurt. Every day.

Thanks again! Your words of love are more appreciated than you'll ever know.

Loretta Valenta said...

I am sorry to hear about your father, DeNae. How profound that he led your sister back and was able to baptize her. What a beautiful example and testimony of a loving Father -- in Heaven and on earth.

brudcrew said...

Denae, I am so sorry for your temporary loss. We are praying for you and your family. I agree that it is wonderful to have those guardian angels watching over you. I have no doubt that your dad will be watching out for his family.

Homer and Queen said...

So sorry DeNae...prayers are with you and your family! Hugs@!

Beka said...

Been hiding in my own closet for a while, but I wanted you to know that you and your family are in my prayers and I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm glad you had the opportunity to share in that tremendous blessing before his passing. I hope it can be a treasured memory and comfort for your family.

Lisa Loo said...

I want to say something profound and comforting but am sure it would fall short. Just want you to know you are in my heart and prayers. I have read your stories about your family with lots of laughter and a little jealousy. Your family sounds wonderful. My dad is getting a little closer to his time to pass through the veil--I feel that I know all the right answers to my grief but that it is just the ---one less at the table ache--that will fill my days for awhile. Take care----

The B's said...

Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time. May you continue to feel the peace the gospel brings...

Kerry Stanek said...

I'm so sorry for your loss! I know first hand how much this hurts and that mere words can't take that pain away... but there is peace where there is knowledge. Course you already know that. Prayers for you and your family.

wendy said...

Oh DeNae, he was too young to go. You are so right that we need to "get our lives in order" as we never know what lay ahead and how short our time may be here. How wonderful however, that he got to baptise Amber and the joy he is carrrying with him over that must be wonderful. THAT IS JOYFUL. I am sure with the strength and love you all have for each other as a family, that even though this must be hard, you will all share so much love with each other ----and I can even see giggles in there as you tell your "family stories". love to you all

charrette said...

How did I miss all this? Truly, I feel like I've been living in a vacuum for the last two weeks.

I am so sorry to hear that you lost your dad, and at the same time so grateful for the timing of Amber's return and rebaptism. A tender mercy indeed. And the kind of sweetness and grace that often surfaces in the face of tragedy and grief. (I'm no stranger to this kind of thing.)

Sending my love your way...

L.T. Elliot said...

A most heartfelt congratulations to your sister.
I am so very sorry for your loss and so grateful that you had such a wonderful man to call father and friend.

Pedaling said...

the timing along with so many other things- just more testimony that God has a hand a personal hand in our lives.

Frosty said...

Sorry to hear of your loss. And ever joyous of your sister's gain! You're right, God definitely had his hand in the timing.

((HUGS))
Jackie

Designs By Mikel said...

I am very sorry for your loss, Thanks for sharing your story. I really enjoyed reading amber's story too.

Karilyn said...

well I'm a new one to your blog, I just 'tripped' over it yesterday, then fell asleep with my computer (it's a laptop) on... I woke up this morning to find it on the side of the bed on the floor, but still on! Here on your page, then I read this posting.

I have to leave a short note to say "hi", and try to express my sympathy and empathy for your family as they are going through what is a very difficult part of your lives right now.

I wish you comfort and peace, along with all the other wishes you've received here, and want you to know your dad is in a pretty marvelous place right now. I know, I've been there.

This life is just such a brief flash, you know, as the older we get, the quicker it goes, doesn't it? I'm happy for you and your sister that you were able to have A Magical Day with your dad before he went back Home to Father in Heaven -- and I hope you know you and your family will continue to be his priority, as he continues working for you on the other side of this very thin veil we have (at times).

Will include you in my prayers, and I hope you feel the comfort and peace which the Lord can send you - it's one of the most difficult challenges we have in this life, giving our loved ones up to Him who loved them first.

Take care, and know you are being watched over,