Saturday, January 3, 2009

Strength Beyond My Own

The Lord is a Lord of miracles.
As I have gone through all the experiences that December has brought, I have been able to stand tall and feel strong. Those that have shared my journey of grief with me this past year, can understand why I call this a miracle. Not only have I faced and endured my own emotional milestones, but I have been available for others to share in their grief and offer comfort during their time of sorrow and pain.

Keith Alan McDermott

David and I traveled to California for a Causey family Christmas party; when we arrived, we found out that a dear friend had passed away rather suddenly.
It was a distressing blow. This time last year, I was receiving comfort from Keith, after mom's passing ... I related acutely with his families suffering.
We extended our trip to stay for his funeral. It was a beautiful service that accuratley represented the respect and honor this man stood for.
Keith Alan McDermott
April 9, 1958 - December 19, 2008
It has been humbling to see The Lord's plan unfold before our eyes. Evidence that there is much work to do on the other side of the veil, for The Lord has taken another of his most valiant servants in his prime, for a great purpose beyond our mortal understanding.

In my youth, Florence McDermott was my Beehive advisor. She was very influencial in my life and the building of my testimony.
When my father passed away, they embraced me with love and helped soothe my pain. I often babysat their 4 aborable boys.
They remember me as the babysitter that made them watch Annie all the time. :)

Keith, embraced me like a daughter. Perhaps because he had all sons? He was always encouraging me and making me feel special.
A visit never passed without Keith pulling me aside and tell me how wonderful he thought I was, or how beautiful I am. It was an honor to be considered his pretend adopted daughter.
As I think about it, he probably did this with everyone. He had a special place in his heart for the youth and he wanted to lift all that he associated with.
This is a tremendous loss!

Keith was an LA County Police Officer for 25 years. At his services, there was a 25 motorcycle police brigade escort, in honor of the 25 years that he served as a police officer.
It was ahh stricking to see and feel the presents of these officer paying their respect to one of their own. He was so humble, I often forgot that he was an officer. He was never badge heavy.

On the way to the chapel. Traffic was stopped in all directions.

This was the largest funeral I have ever attended. This is a glimpse of the mobs of people that came to pay their respects.

The procession to the cemetry was even more impressive. It was a 40 minute freeway drive. It was one thing to see the officer stop traffic on the local streets. But on the freeway, it was just amazing to watch the officers so skillfully stop traffic ahead of us so that the procession could go on without interuption.

My soul aches for the pain his family is experiencing, as the learn to live again without their beloved husband and father.
He is loved and missed without measure!

Christmas 2008

Christmas this year was simple and sweet. Opened presents, loaded up the car and drove to Utah!


Our 1st white Christmas! In an effort to endure the holidays with the best possible emotional well being, we left town to visit my aunt and uncle in Utah. While we were there, we visited their ranch and went sledding. It was great family fun.

Lacey and her cousin Camilla

Dad and Jacob; our ninja, the dare devil of our family, did not enjoy the rush of sledding.

Mommy & Ammon

Ammon enjoyed just being held by his daddy!

Jacob doing what he enjoyed about the snow .... eating it!

Ahh, he's sharing the dirty snow with his brother.
What a good kid! :)

Then there was Noah. This boy loved the snow.
No hill was too big or steep; going up (lugging his sled) or slidding down he never complained,
he just loved every minute of it!

Noah with his cousin, Koby

Another memory making exerience!

More Heartache ...

While in Utah, I received a disturbing message from one my bestest friends, Aubrey. Her mom had had a sudden heartache, Christmas night, and was in ICU on life support.

I was hundreds of miles away and feeling helpless. Aubrey and I have shared heartaches in the past and have often times been the life preserver that helped each other remain afloat. I believe that we are spirit sister, she was sent to me by Heavenly Father to help me endure this lifes adversity. Now, my sister was suffering just as I had suffered so traumatically 1 year and 11 days earlier.

Pamela did not survive the heart attack. Her daugthers and other family were by her side for 2 very long days until she quietly passed away in the early morning hours of December 28th.

We returned home from Utah on the 29th and attended her services on the 31st.
What an exhausting end to a very difficult 2008!

This road of grief sucks! It is so very difficult and often times feels like it is too much to bare.