Friday, October 31, 2008

Save the last dance for me!

My Mom will for sure be having words with me when she sees I have posted this picture, but just look at Dad:)

I think this is one of the very best pictures of him smiling. I want to always see this smile in my mind. This was one of the many dances they went to. They have always enjoyed their association with the church and its members. It looks as though this was the end of the evening with just another couple dancing by them. My Dad was always happy as long as 'his' Val was with him.

(Gary, wearing his 'Hull Kingston Rovers' shirt. Picture taken in Hull City Center, May 2008)

I was chatting with my brother in law, Gary this past week and he shared one of his funniest memories of my Dad with me. As soon as he told me , I started to laugh as I remember my Dad telling the story.

One day they (Gary and my Dad) were driving home from somewhere (maybe it was Car Boot :) They were looking at the registration plates on the cars around them and making up names from them. They did this for quite some time that they were laughing so hard at the names they were coming up with. Laughing so hard that my Dad bumped the car in front of him whilst in traffic. Even that did not stop them laughing. The guy in the car got out and walked over to Dad's car. All the while, Gary and Dad were still laughing. The guy pulled open the door and Gary told me my Dad was laughing so very hard he practically fell out of the car. Still laughing, he told the guy there was nothing wrong with either car and everyone was fine. The guy walked back to his car and STILL Dad and Gary were laughing helplessly.

Although I wasn't there, I can only imagine the whole thing. I have seen my Dad many times laughing so much he has tears streaming down his face. I know we will all be smiling, laughing and have tears streaming down our faces when this life is over and we all see each other think of living together forever makes my little heart sing.

Laughter! It's the best medicine!

"We love you Dad"

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Rugby League - Up the Robins!

I love this picture! Of course I think my Dad is the best looking :) He is on the back row, 5th from the left. I have always remembered his motto from his rugby playing days. "The bigger they are, the faster I run."
Here is super story and memory!
This past May when I went to England to visit my parents I flew from Salt Lake City, UT to Atlanta GA. I cannot tell you how excited I was for this trip. Neither one of them knew I was going. I wanted to completely surprise them. It was my Mom's 70th birthday and although she doesn't like it when I tell people this, I do! I am so proud of how she looks for her age.
I was in the Atlanta airport catching my connecting flight to Manchester when I took a seat at the gate. I heard this guy chatting with his wife and as soon as he had finished the call, I said to him "It is so nice to hear that British accent". He told me he was from Bradford and had been on a business trip and was heading home. He told me the one thing he missed whilst on his business trips was Rugby League. Oh boy did this get me interested.
I told him that my Dad always said that when he visited us. I also told him my Dad used to play for Hull Kingston Rovers. The guy asked me what my Dad's name was and I proudly told him "John Sims". With a grin on his face, the guy said "I know Johnny Sims. He was the fastest man on the field. He ran like lightning!" I was so shocked to think that all these many miles away from home, I ran into a guy who KNEW my Dad. He was sorry to hear of his illness and said he would mention him on the radio. This guy used to play for Bradford Northern and was now a commentator for the radio station in Bradford.
He mentioned many familiar names to me such as Len Casey, Roger Millward, Flash Flannigan and Steve McNamara.
I personally don't believe in co-incidences. I believe 'things happen for a reason'. Although I don't fully understand the reason why my Dad has had to suffer now or why he has to continue to suffer like he is, I know it is for a reason. A reason that God knows and that reason, whatever it may be good enough for me.
"We love you Dad"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

God save the Queen

This was the year that Queen Elizabeth was crowned Queen of England. (My friend Deb, will be very proud of me for posting something about the Queen. )

(Taken from the picture above)
Children enjoying themselves at the Pelham Street, Drypool, Hull, 1953 Coronation Party are seen in this photograph.
In the black cap, off centre, is John Sims and third left from John is David Sims. Norma Sims is at the front, fourth right.

I spotted my Dad right away in this photograph. He was 13 (14 in Nov). What a wonderful man he turned into.

I am sure many of you are wondering how my Dad is. Thank you for your concern, your love and prayers. The Doctor was very shocked that my Dad was still alive this morning. He said it was a miracle. I was convinced I would have been on a plane heading for England today. Dad has a body as weak as my bank account and a spirit as strong as an Ox.

Dad is hanging on for something. He is the birthday boy on the 28th of next month. Wonder if he is waiting for that. :)

"We love you Dad"

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The time is near

Dear Friends,

I received a call this evening from my Mom. She called me at 1:30am (Time in England). My Dad has had a rough evening and she called the Doctor to pay a house visit. The Doctor told my Mom it is likely my Dad won't make it through the night.

One thing that will make it through this night and many more to come is his love for his family and their love for him.

"We love you Dad"

Monday, October 27, 2008

Missionary Monday

Facebook! What a wonderful internet site. For those who are not familar with it, it is a fabulous way to connect with people. This is how I found (Elder) Aaron Ravonsheed seen in the picture above standing up. I sent him a message asking if he remembered 'John Sims' of which I KNEW the answer. I asked if he would e-mail me a memory of Dad so I could share it today. He did it right away. This is one fine attribute. No questions asked, no excuses! This is an attribute that my Dad possessed.

Here is what Aaron wrote:

"What I remember about John is his never ending questions about what I thought about rugby league!
He never tired telling us about his days playing for Hull KR and he always made sure we knew he loved his wife!
I really enjoyed talking to John about Doctrine and hearing his quotes as well as all his book recommendations. I bought about 20 books from him:)
John uses jokes to keep life bright and funny. He was real picky about the temperature in the house and he always wanted to have control over the remote for the TV.
John has a kind spirit and was generous with what he had.
He got really jealous when I hugged and kissed Val after my mission:)
John's a good guy and a good friend.
Miss you man, love you Val"

Thanks Aaron for sharing this special memory. I did get a chuckle when I read about Dad being picky with the temperature of the house. This is how I got to know my Dad so well. I would sit in the family room with Dad, whilst Mom and Rebecca would sit in the front room with the fire so high, you felt like you had walked into a furnace.

"We love you Dad"

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Send me an Angel

This picture was taken just after Dad had his surgery for bowel cancer. (2000) What a cute couple.

Every single Sunday without fail, my parents have gone to church. Unless they were ill, (and I mean ill/sick) they never missed. Fortunately, my Mother has always enjoyed good health. She has had aches and pains but has never had major surgeries. I am actually quite surprised she didn't suffer any heart attacks when I was a teenager ;)

I have a memory to share with regards to Dad's bowel cancer surgery. One particular day, I had gone to Castle Hill hospital to visit. I always visited him during the early evening after work ( I worked as a Dental Assistant). Today was a little different.

I had just attended a funeral and asked my friend to drop me off at the hospital so I could visit with Dad. I was so excited to get to go in the early afternoon and asked the Nurse if I was able to visit with him even though it was not the scheduled time for visitors. She was kind enough to say 'Yes'.

I walked in the room (it was a ward he was in and so there were several people in one area, not a traditional one or two person room). I fought back tears as I saw him laying there and walked up to his bed. "Hi Dad" I said. He looked at me, reached for my hand and with tears streaming down his face, he said "Oh Maxine, just this very minute I prayed to God and asked him to send me an angel to help me through the pain and to sustain me and the minute I said Amen, I opened my eyes and saw you.

This is a memory I will NEVER forget. It was a very special experience. He felt so weak and depressed and was obviously uncomfortable enduring his pain. I hadn't planned on going to the hospital at that time. I didn't know how bad he was feeling. I certainly didn't know he was praying for an angel, but the Lord surely did and knew I was going to be the angel for him.

I certainly know that there are angels who help us and bear us up during our trials. Even the Savior himself was blessed with an angel to bear him up in the Garden of Gethsemane.

I am so glad I could be the angel for my Dad that day. He has often called me an angel since and we have talked about that special experience on many occasions.

The true angel is the one who he is stood next to in the picture shown today. She has been there and continues to be there for him every step of the way and I know an eternal crown of glory awaits both of them in the hereafter.

"We love you Dad"

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Loving Life

This picture was taken in May, 2006 in Las Vegas. We went hiking in the red rock mountains. Look at the beautiful background. It was a very hot day. Dad loved wearing his 'England' hats and always struck up a conversation with everyone wherever he went. He loved to talk about his country. He was especially proud of the city he was born and grew up and has lived most of his life, 'Hull'. Dad would talk about his church, his family, his friends and simply LOVED talking to people.

Today, like all days, I have been thinking of all the wonderful things Dad has done for his family. Nothing was too much to ask! Nothing was too much to give! Whatever he could do would be done with a giving heart. This morning our son John had his last soccer match of the season. He has really loved playing and has shot some awesome goals. I was planning on going...UNTIL......I turned on the TV to find Manchester United was playing Everton. I decided to stay home. During the game, I started to feel really guilty as I knew I should have gone to see John play his last match. This was especially fun, as they were able to play in their halloween costumes, so SPIDERMAN was there in his glory! The fact that Man Utd drew 1-1 with Everton made me feel even worse :)

So I got to thinking how Dad as much as he loved his beloved 'Rovers' always put us first. Granted he would have his walkman or his car radio on if they were playing but he was with us and that was all that mattered. Wherever we wanted to go, whatever we wanted to do, Dad would do it. NO QUESTIONS ASKED.

John said it was 'Okay' that I stayed home and Lance recorded the game, but still I felt I had let my family down.

This is one feeling my Dad would never ever have felt in his life.

"We love you Dad"

Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy faces on a sad day

This picture is Dad and Savannah (Rebecca's and Gary's daughter). It was taken outside Castle Hill Hospital. Dad has spent many hours, days and nights at this hospital.

This was the day my Dad found out his cancer had returned. He was told that he had a cancerous tumor on his liver. The day just happened to be his birthday, November 28th, 2006.

I remember as clear as day when he called to tell me. I was heartbroken. After knowing and seeing what he had previously gone through with bowel cancer, I really didn't want to believe this was happening all over again. This time I was 5,000 miles away. This time, it was the liver. I wondered how his body could take any more surgery, any more pain. How could his mind take any more of this?

It was a normal phone call. Dad was solemn. Not emotional, not doubting, not questioning just simply stating the fact. I was just getting ready to have my monthly card class when he called, so that day must have been a Tuesday. I didn't think I would be able to hold the event, but knew it was probably for the best as opposed to cancelling and crying all night. Most of my class members had met Dad so it was a teary evening.

How could I not say anything about Savannah? She is just so cute. I love all my neices but I have a soft spot for Savannah, due to an experience that both my sister, Rebecca and I faced together. It is very special and one of those things shared only with family. When I was in England in May, I just loved being around this sweet girl. She is so full of life, chatty and energetic (just like me). I just love the way she says "Aunty Maxine."

As always, how wonderful to know "Families are Forever"

"We love you Dad"

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's a small world!

I don't know when this picture was taken. What a lovely picture! What a lovely couple!
I am so grateful I can call this lovely couple 'Mom and Dad'. (I am sitting here telling myself to type fast so the picture will scroll out of view, this is torture).....My Dad looks so healthy and well. I believe this was his favorite tie. It is his rugby tie. He wore it proudly.
Today, I had the pleasure to talk to an amazing woman from California. We are both demonstrators for Stampin' Up! and I work for them in their home office. She told me she liked my name. I told her I loved her name so much I called my daughter after her. :) Natalie knew I was from England (it must have been the accent :) and she asked me whereabouts in England. I told her near Leeds. She then proceeded to tell me all about her son, Elder Travis who was serving in the England Leeds Mission.
Natalie told me how her Mom had just passed away from breast cancer and I told her about my Dad's suffering. I also told her about the fact that my Dad had been a missionary for the past 40 years. :) I hope Elder Travis has the opportunity to serve in Hull.
I spoke to Dad very briefly today and he all he had the energy to say was "I love you, God Bless". I really miss our chats. I never thought I would say I would miss him talking about rugby or telling his jokes, even if he told the same ones over and over and over and over. :)
'Why do women live longer than men? Because they don't have wives!' (Sorry about that)
"We love you Dad"

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I'll get by with a little help from my friends

This is a picture of a wonderful family friend, Gill Hanslip and my son John.

I have heard many times how much Gill and her husband, Colin have rendered acts of service and kindness to my parents. When my Mom told me today during our daily phone call how Gill had made and taken a dinner over to her, I just simply had to call Gill and let her know how deeply grateful I was. On many occasions I have thought how wonderful a person she is and have even thanked God for blessing my Parents with such a wonderful friend. Today, I KNEW it was time I called her to tell her to thank her personally.

I don't think I had said more than one sentence when I started to cry. I tried hard to fight the emotions, but it was too much of a struggle. Gill shared some very nice thoughts with me and told me what a wonderful job my Mom was doing. How she was staying strong and how she would sit next to my Dad on the sofa and she and how they would cuddle up to each other. My Dad would lay his head on her and she would kiss his head. Gill also told me how you could see the love my parents had for each other.

It was really wonderful to hear such great things being said. My Mom used to work for Gill at a care home and she knows very well just how caring my Mom is. To see her care for my Dad as she does is very touching to many. Although I cannot see this, I KNOW she is doing her best and more to take care of him and attend to his needs.
When Lance and I took our family to England in the Summer of 2007, Gill and Colin invited us to their house for dinner. The food was so good. Look at this dessert. It was a choice of chocolate cake or strawberries and ice-cream. It all looked that good that we had some of it all.

Colin is the kind of guy you could sit and talk with all night. We were talking about memories and funny stories and it was really enjoyable. My daughter Kayleigh was enjoying her dessert so much, she really didn't care about joining in the conversation:)

I wasn't going to post this picture but couldn't resist when I noticed that Dad and I were both eating a strawberry at the same time and the strawberry was positioned in our mouths on the same side!! My husband, Lance always has a camera at the ready....even when you have a mouth full of food. I am so glad he captured this moment, however!

Gill was the perfect hostess. She saw to her every need and more! This picture shows how wonderful at serving she is and she has proven herself over and over with her tender acts of kindness and compassion.
Tonight, like every night, I will thank my Father in Heaven for blessing us with such wonderful friends. Friends who go above and beyond. Thank you Gill. May God bless for your kindness.

"We love you Dad"

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hey Good Lookin'

Well I know this picture has seen better days but I had to post it. If you are having trouble wondering which one is my Dad, here is the clue! He is the best looking! Wasn't he handsome?

We used to tell him 'Dad you were so good lookin' when you were younger.' He would respond, 'What do you mean WERE, I still am!'

He has told me many stories of his childhood, his teenage years and of his life in general. Many of my friends encouraged me to ask Dad lots of questions about 'him' when I was in England this past May. I did not have to do that as my Dad has told his children many stories about his life. I loved hearing them.

I used to laugh when he would tell me of all the girls who would flirt and hang out with him. I can totally see why. He has always told us how, Val (our Mother) was the one and only love of his life. He loves her so much and what a blessing to know that they can be together forever. Every year, Dad would send Mom a Valentine's card and he would ALWAYS write "To my VALentine."

'We love you Dad!'

Monday, October 20, 2008

Missionary Monday

This picture is my Mom and Dad with Elder Avery in between them and Jared, my brother sitting in the front. Elder Avery was leaving the area and had gone to say 'goodbye' to my family. This was ten years ago!
For those who 'follow the blog' notice the first memory Scott remembered and shared.

"So my first week at church in Hull this bloke walks up to me and says, "Hey, Elder, you got that tenner you owe me?" I was like wait what..? Have we met? and why do I owe you a tenner. But he said it w/ such confidence that I almost gave him ten quid right then and there, but he stopped me from reaching for my wallet.

He then proceeded to tell me about how he used to be scrum half for Hull Kingston Rovers. Knowing little to nothing about Rugby, who was I to argue? He said he was always getting recognized by adoring fans who want a picture and an autograph even though he played years ago...he was just that good.

Apparently, on one visit to America he was stopped by a few admirers at the airport who had to take advantage of this once in a life time 'Kodak moment' with the great John "Rocky" Sims from Hull, England. Upon which he presented me with a photo of himself and Elders Gordon B. Hinckley and Neal A. Maxwell. He then expressed with perfect faith that Gordon B. Hinckley was a prophet of God and it was a great honor to have met him. It was amazing how seemlessly the mood changed from playful to serious as he testified to me of this simple truth that he personally knew to be true.

An amazing test of faith he shared with me during my months of service in Hull was concerning a Poltergeist. I believe he was serving as the Bishop in Hull when he received a call from someone claiming their home was "haunted" and everyone got a creepy feeling upstairs like they were not alone and the dog wouldn't even go up there at all. They had called clergy members from multiple local religions to come out and exorcise the unseen guests. While they all agreed that there was evil present in the home they all left with no success. He simply said, "I'll come right over."

The family who had just moved into a new house had no prior association with the LDS church or John, but it didn't matter to him. Without question he selflessly responded to the call from someone in need without regard for his own personal safety or any prior knowledge of what he would do. John related that upon being invited into the house he walked straight upstairs and simply "commanded the spirits to depart, in the name of Jesus Christ!" The family dog immediately ran upstairs and nuzzled up to John when he had done so. He went down and knelt in prayer with the home owners to dedicate their home and they were more than satisfied with the result from his brief visit, since they had no ghostly problems after that.

I have no doubt that if the Lord asked John to move mountains he would do it. He expressed to me his true love for the Lord and adoration for his lovely wife, Val. "Eeza good lad." He has been an unforgettable influence for good in my life that I will never forget.

Thank you Scott! What a blessing it has been to find each other on Facebook. I am still in awe at how you found yourself such a pretty wife. (Just kidding ya bro, she is pretty but you deserve her!)
My Dad's famous (rugby) saying was "The bigger they are, the faster I run!"

"We love you Dad"

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A message from a friend

Manti Temple, Utah

Today has been rough for me. I spoke to my Mom and Dad is so struggling to even get out a sentence now. He said 'I love you' and that was good enough for me. It is amazing what those three small words can really do for your soul.

I was wondering what I might post on this blog today and when I received this very touching e-mail to pass along to Dad, I felt very strongly that I should post it here. I wanted to do so, so you could see what an impression my Dad has been in the lives of others. A big thank you to Brother Hill (a previous Bishop in my ward) for his kindness and his permission in allowing me to post this wonderful message here for all to see.

Brother Sims,

I was in the temple last week. The gentleman who worked there had the most pleasing English accent. My mind was immediately filled with the image of your face. I felt so close to you at that moment and wished that I could see you. You are such an inspiration to me.

I know that you are struggling but I also know that the Lord is mindful of you and your familiy. We will keep you in our prayers. I think that we must have known each other in the pre-existence. It seems like you have always been my friend even though we have not known each other that long. I admire the strength you have.

I only hope that I would have been humble enough to recognize the message of the gospel had I been born outside the church, and then strong enough to live and be the kind of example that you have been for others. I will always remember your cheerful countenance and your strong testimony.

Please know that there are many of us who love you and pray for you. Your name comes up often in High Priest Group. You have had a great influence on all of us. I am sure that you were a friend of many of the noble and great ones and that the Prophet Joseph knew you by name.

I hope this message finds you feeling well and you are able to feel the love behind this short note. Thank you for your wonderful example.

Your brother,
Jeff Hill

"We love you Dad"

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hopelessly devoted to you!

Here are my two youngest children, Olivia and John. (Olivia Newton John and John Travolta ::)

I told them to 'pucker' up so I could send the picture to 'Grandad' and let him know they were sending kisses. John decided to kiss Olivia just as I was taking the picture. It was too cute to not use. (Plus it is a great 'blackmail' picture to show at his wedding :) I will place a copy of this picture amongst other things in a 'treasure' box that I will place in my Dad's grave.

I have a picture of my Mom and Dad on a table in our family room and today John picked it up and said "Mommy, Grandad will be going to live with God and Jesus soon won't he?" I told him he most certainly would and we would all see him again one day. He said "That's good! He will be in the temple when we see him."

What a great legacy my Dad will leave with us.

We love you Dad!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friendship Friday/Dad and Uncle Steve

This is a picture of Dad with Uncle Steve. Steve is my Father-in-laws brother. The picture was taken at 'Leatherby's, a family owned ice-cream parlor.

Dad looks so well here. He and my Mom were visiting us to celebrate the birth of Olivia (our youngest daughter). It was 5 months before Dad found out about his cancer. For those who don't know, my Dad found out on his birthday, November 28th, 2006.

Uncle Steve knows only too well the pain of losing a loved one to cancer. Aunt Ruthie passed away in October 2005. She was an angel. Little did I know at this time that I too would feel similar pain just a few years later.
Uncle Steve and Aunt Ruthie have shown so much love to me since I moved to the States in 2001. I remember the first time I met them. It was at a Conrad family reunion in Provo, UT. I knew right away I would love being around them. Once Steve told me he had served a mission in England, we had a long conversation. We talked about trifle and he always looks forward to my Mom coming to visit as she always makes it. Elder Spencer W. Kimball (future prophet of the church) married Steve and Ruthie in the Salt Lake Temple.

Dad has touched so many lives and Uncle Steve always asks how Dad is doing. Just as I know Steve will be with his dear Ruthie one day, so do I know that my Mom will be with her dear John too.

He has been used to 'Dear John's' all his life! :)))

We love you Dad!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The wonderful world of Disney

Here is Brooke with Grandad and Sully! Brooke is wearing her 'Cinderella' dress.

Jared and Candace took my Mom and Dad with them to Disneyworld, Paris in 2005. In the almost 8 years I have lived in UT, 2005 was the only year I didn't see my parents.

Here is a picture of Brooke and Dad with Pinocchio. I am not 'lying' when I tell you that in order to see the bottom picture properly, you will need to turn your laptop upside down.

Brooke dressed up as Snow White in the top picture with Dad and Mom and then Mom, Brooke, Minnie Mouse and Dad in the bottom picture.
This was a full year before my Dad found out about his cancer. He has spent his life being with his family and doing whatever he could that would make them happy.

Speaking of fairy tales, princesses and Disney characters, I wish I could wave a magic wand, just like a princess and make him well. I wish I could be like Pinocchio and lie and say he was well again. (I can remember how my Dad said just as Jiminy Cricket said to Pinocchio 'always let your conscience be your guide'!!) I wish I could be like Minnie Mouse and always smile. Hey at least she is wearing my Dad's favorite colors. ;) (Up the Robins!)

There is something much better, much more powerful than wishing. It is called hope. It is called Salvation. HE is called Jesus!

We love you Dad!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The lion is NOT asleep tonight

I thought this would be a good follow up post to yesterdays. I have mentioned before and will continue to mention just how much my parents have been inseperable over the years. If one gets eaten by a lion, then the other one simply has to be too!!! :)

I cannot even comprehend how my Mom must be feeling now. She and my Dad have known each other for 50 something years. She is taking such good care of my Dad and I know she must be simply worn out, both physically and mentally. There will come a day that she will be emotionally worn out but for the time being she is hanging in there.

We have conversations daily and I am amazed by her strength. She is giving her all and truly is a wonderful example. She is living true to her marriage vows "In sickness and in health."
I always pray for her. I thank God for her selfless sacrifice and for taking such good care of my Dad.

The only time I have ever known my Mom to be ill was when she got salmonella (food poisioning) at a wedding reception.
It was whilst she was in the hospital that we truly realized Dad would never cope without her. We were all young at the time and I gotta tell you, my Dad is NO chef. We lived on cereals and sandwiches and take out food. The one time he did cook for us, he made us meat pies. He put them on a plate and we all looked at each other. I said "Dad, these pies are not cooked,they look a little 'pale.' He said "They are cooked, we have blessed the food so they will be ok." As a young child, I simply looked at him and said "Yeh and I bet they blessed the food at the wedding too." :)

I really believe if the situation was the other way round and my Mom was suffering with the illness, my Dad would want to be in the lions mouth for real!! :)

We love you Dad!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Terrific Tuesday

Dad really loved having his picture taken. He would pose anywhere for one!

In fact, just today I was wondering what I would ever do if I needed to start a blog for my Mom. She really does not like having her picture taken and thinks you have to be all 'done' up in order to have a pic. Truth be told, she looks better when she gets out of bed in the morning than most women who are ready for the day! (I have many pictures of her holding her hand or arm up in front of her face.)

This picture was taken in London. Michael (my brother) served his mission in London and my parents went to pick up when he had finished. The little girl in the picture was Linda Lotfian's daughter. Michael baptized Linda. Not quite sure what she is doing in the picture. ;)

I told Dad he should have looked all scared in this picture. He laughed as much as to say "ME! SCARED!" (Afterall we were talking to Rocky :)

Dad used to love watching nature programs. Anything with wildlife would really intrigue him. I spent many occasions watching the programs with him and really miss those times.

We love you Dad!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Missionary Monday

Elder Anthony Panek served in the England Leeds Mission and spent several months in the Hull 2nd Ward. When my parents came here for Thanksgiving and Christmas 2007, my Dad was so desperate to get in touch with Elder Panek. I had never met the guy nor did I know how to get a hold of him, but through modern technology, THE internet, I found him.
He came over to visit and spent time 'catching up' with Dad.

Here is what Anthony wrote:

I think more than anything what I think of most about John Sims is he never took himself or any situation too seriously. There were times when it called to be serious and he was, but I don't ever really remember a time when I saw him whether at their home, at church or out in the streets that the conversation didn't begin with a joke and I think that is something we could all learn from.

The second thing is that there was never one time that I ever questioned his faith. Not once. It didn't matter the commandment, the reason why or anything. He would do it the best he could and he believed it was right. It didn't matter what it was. It could've been that at general conference President Monson said, "the Lord wants us to wear green shoes always from here on out." He wouldn't ask for a reason or complain, he would just do it; not because it made sense to him or he liked the idea (green may have been his least favorite color for that matter) he would do it because the prophet of God said to and he knew if he did it he would be blessed. He knew what he knew and nobody was going to tell him different. He had the qualities of a true disciple of Christ and I, as well as countless others, am a better person because I was able to know, but even better, feel the spirit of John Sims.

Thank you for your kind words Anthony.

We love you Dad!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A great plan to honor John Sims

This picture was taken on the same day as the one from yesterday's post. We spent the morning in Hornsea. When I was in England in May, I spent every minute with my Dad. Wherever he went, I went with him. We had some great times. All happy memories for me. I truly am glad I went.

As soon as I took the picture of him (posted yesterday), he called Mom over to the bench so I could take a picture of them both. I teased him and asked him if he was missing her. :) If you know them well, you will know they are barely if ever apart from each other.

I am excited to tell you of a fun plan I have for this blog. There are so many memories. So many lives have been touched by my Dad that I am going to involve many people with the postings. Our friend Alan, posted a comment to yesterday's post that really got me thinking!

He wrote: 'You will probably be aware that your dad has asked me to speak at his funeral. I have spoken at funerals before where I have thought, "What can I say?" This time I am having to ask myself, "What do I leave out?"

I don't want anything left out here on the blog. I need everyone to share their memories with me. So this is my plan! Starting Monday!!

Monday - Missionary Monday! - So many missionaries have been touched by John (Rocky) Sims. He has helped so many. This day will be dedicated to posts from missionaries.

Tuesday - Terrific Tuesday! - Tonnes of Terrific things to post here!

Wednesday - Whacky Wednesday! - For those who know us well will know we have many whacky stories to share.

Thursday - Totally Awesome Thursday! - Lots of totally awesome memories to post.

Friday - Friendship Friday! - With as many friends as he has, we can keep this going for as many Fridays that this world has left.

Saturday - Super Saturday! - Lots of super memories to post here.

Sunday - Spiritual Sunday! - Many spiritual memories to post here.

For those of you reading this post, if you served in the England Leeds Mission, if you are a friend, if you have a memory or even something spiritual you would like me to post, please email me at I would love to feature you right here on this blog!

I have always known my Dad has touched many lives but during this past month or two people have shared with me memories that have really meant a lot to me.

We love you Dad!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


What a busy day! This morning started with the annual walk for breast cancer. 3 years ago, Aunt Ruthie (on Lance's side) passed away from breast cancer. The family and friends that I was walking with decided to 'finish' the walk after 2 laps of Liberty Park in Salt Lake City, UT. I wanted to complete the full 5 mile walk so walked the last lap by myself.

This gave me time to contemplate. As I walked and jogged and laughed and cried, I thought about my Dad (as I do all the time!). I asked many questions: "Why him?"/"Why when he is so young?"/"Why does he have to suffer?"/"Why when he is such a good man?"/"Who will be next?"

Having lost a grandma, a husband, three aunts, one uncle and numerous friends to cancer, I wonder why does it now have to be my Dad.

I don't know all the answers, but what I do know is that I have to put my trust and faith in God.

We love you Dad !

Friday, October 10, 2008

Mon Cherie Papa (My dear Father)

What a great picture. This was Dad's passport picture. He and Mom were going to Paris for their 25th (Silver) wedding anniversary!

What a courageous man he is. Dad is suffering so much and is so very tired of his illness. He really is ready to move on. We all know what life awaits him. One free from pain, sorrow and trials. He will be without his family here for a short while but will have plenty of work to do and plenty of people to visit with.

At this time, I would ask you to pray for his release from this life. I pray for that daily and finish with the words, "Thy will be done".

We love you Dad!