Monday, January 26, 2009

May I take your order please?

This is a picture of my beautiful niece, Samantha. I have always loved this picture. Her cute little dress is so adorable. I just love how she has her hands and fingers positioned.

I am all packed and ready to leave for England. I am really looking forward to seeing my nieces and enjoying my short time with them. I wish they all could have had more time to spend with their Grandad, but the time will come when they will be able to spend ALL time and eternity with him.

I am so very tired as I have made lots of cute things for my Mom. The one thing I am looking forward to is enjoying a good chinese take away. Chinese Resturants in the US are just not the same as they are in England. My absolute favorite is "Prawn Curry". Dad and I would always share and as he didn't like prawn I would order Chicken Curry. He could never eat a full portion, even before he got ill.

I am just reminded now of Dad's joke he used to tell. Click here to read the post.

I really miss hearing Dad's jokes. He always loved telling them, even if we had heard them so many times before :)

It's no joke I really miss him and love him so very much :)

"We love and miss you Dad"

Sunday, January 25, 2009

In memory of Lewis Preston

My dear Dad,
I love you more than words can say. You have fought and suffered so long now. You have been so brave. You have fought a good fight and you came off conquerer. Cancer killed your body but not your spirit. Your spirit is now free of all earthly pain and sorrow.

Thank you for being such a wonderful Dad. You have been such a good friend to many and a fine example to all.

I will forever keep my promise to you and look after your beloved wife Val, our Mother.

'Til we meet again dear Dad

Your loving daughter

This was the tribute I paid my Dad online in his local newspaper. I am just so thrilled I am feeling his presence. I hope it continues always.

I was chatting with my cousin Tina today and we talked about life after death. Her son, Lewis died in a tragic accident and she knows the real pain and sting of death. I remember when I heard this devasting news. I had just recently moved to the US. I just can't even imagine how my cousin felt when this happened. She has been so strong.
My Dad would often talk to me about Lewis and tell me how he knew Tina and Phil would see their son and live with him again. Tina told me my Dad wrote them a letter when Lewis died and he explained this in the letter. Dad was very open with his belief on a life after this one and I honestly know that the reason I am coping so well now is because he passed that belief on to me.

"We love you Dad"

Saturday, January 24, 2009

"You'll be in my Heart"

Today I got to chat with my Mom (as I do every day) and all my siblings. We are all suffering in our individual ways but we all have a knowledge of the resurrection and the fact that we will live together one day. It has been 8 days since Dad passed away. What a legacy he has left behind. I am so proud that he was and is my Dad. He was a great example to me and as my older brother Mike said today "I feel as if I can't do a thing wrong as I know Dad is watching me". Yeh how true is that. This has made me want to do even better, to try even harder so I can one day get to be where I know he will be.

I am busy packing my case and getting things ready for our upcoming trip across the pond :) It will be a very emotional one, but it will be a great one too. Great in the fact that I know Dad will be watching over us.

I was looking at some pictures of Dad as Olivia was watching Tarzan. Suddenly, I felt very emotional and tears streamed down my face as I heard these words sung by Phil Collins

Come stop your crying, it will be all right
Just take my hand, hold it tight
I will protect you from all around you
I will be here don't you cry
For one so small, you seem so strong
My arms will hold you keep you safe and warm
This bond between us can't be broken
I will be here don't you cry
And you'll be in my heart
Yes, you'll be in my heart
From this day on
Now and forever more
You'll be in my heart
No matter what they say
You'll be here in my heart Always

Why cant they understand the way we feel
They just don't trust what they can't explain
I know we're different but deep inside us
We're not that different at all
And you'll be in my heart
Yes, you'll be in my heart
From this day on
Now and forever more
You'll be in my heart
No matter what they say
You'll be here in my heart always
Don't listen to them, cause what do they know
We need each other, to have and to hold
They'll see in time, I know

When destiny calls you,
you must be strong
I may not be with you,
but you gotta hold on
They'll see in time, I know
We'll show them together cuz...
You'll be in my heart I believe, youll be in my heart
I'll be there from this day on
Now and forever more

You'll be in my heart
No matter what they say
You'll be here in my heart always
I'll be with you I'll be there for you always
Always and always
Just look over your shoulder Just look over your shoulder
Just look over your shoulder I'll be there always

Click here to listen to the song

"We love and miss you Dad"

Friday, January 23, 2009


This picture was taken in December 2007 in Utah.

Lance was taking my Mom and Dad to see Jerry Bott (the missionary who baptized my Dad) in Castle Dale, Utah.

I often imagine what my Dad was thinking as he suffered so long with cancer. I am sure he was wondering things like "How long do I have left?", "What do I need to get done before I go?", "How will my family cope when I am gone?" I do know his greatest worry was my Mom. He knew all his children were married with children and they were happy but he was always wondering about my Mom. He told me on many occasions she was his greatest worry and made me promise to look after her. I made that promise and intend to keep it.

He never asked the question "Why me?" In fact he would say "Why not me?" He never complained. He knew that whatever he would go through would be for his own good and God would never give him anything more than he could bear. I on the other hand did ask the questions...."Why did my Dad have to get the cancer?" "Why did he have to suffer?" I have come to the conclusion that "WHY" questions always lead to more and more questions and we don't have the answers. I like to focus on "WHAT" questions. "What if Dad had passed away when I was much younger?", "What if Dad had not been the great man he was?" "What am I going to do continue his legacy?" and finally "What am I going to do, to get to where he will be?"
These questions can be answered much more easily.

I realize there are questions that cannot be answered just now but one day I know we will find out all the answers to our questions. I am just so grateful for the knowledge I have that I will see and live with my wonderful Father one day.

My Dad himself answered that question for me.

"We love and miss you Dad"

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My promise to Dad

This picture is our son, John. It was taken at one of Lance's birthdays celebrations, I just don't remember which one :(

The reason for this picture today is because it reminded me of how I gave up caffeine 'because my Dad asked me to.' It always bothered him that I drank caffeinated drinks. The fact that I drank 8 32oz Dr Peppers per day did not help. He would often tell me how he wished I did not drink it. During his last visit to our home, he was really getting weaker and weaker and he asked me again if I would give it up.

This time I decided it would be for real. I was willing to do it. I would have literally done anything he asked of me at this point. Why didn't he ask me to give up all the fattening and tasty food........? ;)

On January 7th 2008 I drank my last caffeinated drink. I can honestly say I have not had even one sip of one since. I was so worried that I would suffer with the caffeine withdrawals and wouldn't be able to keep up to my promise. I didn't get one single headache. He told me the best way to give up any habit was to 'just do it'. I wanted to cut back to maybe 4 a day instead of 8, but that wasn't the deal. I had to do it NOW.

I know the fact that he asked me to give it up is what made me do it. Had anyone else asked me, I don't think, ok I wouldn't have been so accomodating.

When I saw this picture of John today, it reminded me that Dad has passed away knowing that I had done what he had wanted me to do for years. I smiled as I remembered the promise.

"We love and miss you Dad"

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Beautiful Vista

This picture was taken at Capitol Reef, UT, USA in 2007.

Dad really enjoyed the outdoors. He was at his happiest when he was out and about. He loved the scenery. He enjoyed walking (obviously before he got ill). He would always look at something and say "Look at that vista Val". He loved to tell me that it wasn't as beautiful as Hull. :)

I am reminded of a memory that happened in the 90's. My Mom and Dad, Rebecca and Jared lived in Loa, UT when I lived in Dallas, TX.

Dad was in his car and asked Jared if 'it was clear'. He was wanting to back up and wanted to know if there was anything behind him. Jared saw that it was clear and said "Yes". Dad backed up ..........right into a rock. He got out the car to investigate and couldn't understand why Jared had said it was clear. They were in the 'middle of nowhere' and Jared didn't think to let Dad know there was a rock there, he was looking for cars.

We didn't let Dad or Jared forget it. We loved that memory and always had a good laugh talking and thinking about it.

I am so grateful I am feeling my Dad's presence. He has always been a great man and has helped me with many things in my life. My friend Krista, cut my hair this morning and we were talking about our Dads. Her Dad is suffering with Alzheimers and we were both sharing memories and thoughts. It is such a peaceful feeling to know that there is a life after this one and one day we will all be reunited.

Today has been the first day I haven't spoken to my Mom in a L-O-N-G time. She didn't answer the phone so I knew they were most likely running errands. Jared and his family flew to England from South Africa. I am so used to my Mom answering the phone every time I call. I really missed speaking with her today. My heart aches for her. I am missing Dad so much that I can't even bear to imagine how she must be feeling. How I look forward to seeing her next week.

"We love you Dad"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The best Mom and Dad there is!

This picture was taken in May 2007 in York, England. Look how tiny the road is... I love it!

We were having a fun day. The best part of it for me was simply being with two people who have brought so much joy into my life, my Mom and Dad. We shared memories and talked about life in general. Dad was feeling ill but he never complained. He loved the outdoors and really lived life to the full.

Oh how I miss him! I am trying to be strong and remember where he is and what he is doing, but it is painful. I am sure you can tell that we are a close family and spent so much time together. During this visit to England, I spent every minute of every day with Dad. Wherever he went, I was right there with him.

Whilst I never would have wanted him to suffer, I have been so grateful that we have had these past 2 years to really get to know each other well. I have always loved my Dad but during these past 2 years things have been so different. The things that seemed to bother me before, didn't bother me. I have got to know him so well by asking questions and generally wanting to know about his life. He told me on many occasions that my Mom was his life. If he didn't have her, life would be too painful for him. He joked around by saying how blessed she was to be married to him, but would soon tell us he was messing and that he was the blessed one.

Personally I think they were both blessed. I think my siblings and I were too. We got the best Mom and Dad there is.
"We love you Dad"

Monday, January 19, 2009

Missionary Monday

What a wonderful surprise to receive this message from a Missionary who served in Hull way back when I was 7 years old :) This is a picture of Elder & Sister Wright.
Elder Wright wrote:

"I had the privilege of knowing John when he was in his prime. He was Bishop John Sims to me......and his counselors were Brother Stan Metcalf, retired from the fisheries..... and Brother Roy, from Scotland. I served in 1975, living above Pramland and Mr. Moxin's for the six months I was honored to serve in Hull East Ward. Your son Jared got me to the blog site that your daughter Maxine has been running and I went through it all. I had some priceless thoughts as I went through it. I remembered many memories, and I must be one of the old ones, as it seems like just yesterday ......when I saw the picture of Bishop Sims and President Ian Swanney in active leadership in Yorkshire, attending to general conference.

I love John. I know he loved me. I am now on a proselyting mission in Hawaii with my wife Sandi. We work in a ward on the Big Island of Hawaii on the south point of the island for an 18 month assignment. John would love it here and he would just love the people. They are his type. My heart goes out to you. My heart goes out to John. He is a good man. I remember his firm handshake; his jokes; his zeal for the work; his love of what was right; his mischief; his laughter and his ear to ear smile; his passion for everything he did; his testimony; his rugby. I will always hold a special place in my heart for him."


Elder Jeffrey Wright
England Leeds Mission

This message was written whilst Dad was still living and was sent for my Mom. Thank you for sending this to me Elder Wright. It amazes me how people remember my Dad from years ago for his many attributes. He truly was awesome. (and still is ;)

"We love you Dad"

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Touching Messages

This picture was taken in May 2008 in Hornsea, England.

Today at church our friend Byron announced the passing of my Father. He mentioned ward members had enjoyed my Parents company and their testimonies. How he would be missed and how he knew my Dad had gone back to live with our Father in Heaven. Our Stake President also mentioned in his talk how my Dad was the most friendliest person and how he enjoyed his presence in meetings. Elder Fife, a missionary from our Stake who had served in my Parents ward (Hull 2nd) had told President Mills that my Dad wanted to be remembered to him and to say Hi and ask how he was doing. It was very touching.

I was wondering what memory I may share with you today. I have really felt my Dad's presence and I have been reminded over and over of the legacy he has left behind. I have been inundated with the most wonderful messages and I want to share some of them with you. These are all messages from friends in our neighborhood. Dad was always so happy that I had such good friends.

Maxine, I'm sorry to learn about the passing of your father. He's an amazing person with a heart dedicated to your family, our families and our eternal family. We will miss his testimony of the Savior. I, for one, am assured that he is making preparations for the rest of us on the other side. Thanks for sharing your father with the rest of us. Our thoughts are with you at this time. With much love
~Byron Montgomery (Neighbor and Friend)

I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. He is a lovely person and heaven will be blessed to receive him. Our prayers are with you, your mom and your family, Maxine.
~Linda Petersen (Neighbor and Friend)

Oh, Maxine - I'm so sorry. Please know we love you and send our thoughts to your mother. Your blog makes me cry. It's beautiful. I'm sorry he's gone. I love you.
~Marla Radeke (Neighbor and Friend)

Maxine I am so sorry to hear about your cute little dad. Your love and adoration for you dad is inspiring. If only all children could honor their parents the way you do. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your mom!
~Cindy Morrey (Neighbor and Friend)

Dear Maxine, Dave and I are so saddened by the passing of your wonderful father whom we enjoyed so much when he was here. You have our deepest condolences as we keep you in our thoughs and prayers.
~Karinne Westenskow (Neighbor and Friend)

We are so sorry for the passing of your dad. It was wonderful to get to know him when he came to visit. Let us know if you need anything.
~Sara Douglas (Neighbor and Friend)

Max I am so sorry. You and your family are in my prayers. :(
~Anthony Medici (Neighbor and Friend)

I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. He was an amazing man and your memory pages were beautiful. He is in a better place and it is so comforting to know that he is no longer in pain, but somehow it is still hard for us down here. I love you and have a shoulder any time you need it. You are also an amazing person.
~Valerie Kempner (Neighbor and Friend)

Maxine, I heard the news this morning about your dear, sweetheart, of a Father. what a wonderful, kind hearted, man. He was such a ray of sunshine and example of the love of Christ. I so enjoyed the opportunity of getting to know both your parents. through their shared testimonies and endearing personalities. Tell your Mother people in Riverton think kindly of her and wish to send her and you and your family comfort and love.
~Allison Schaerr (Neighbor and Friend)

Hey Max--I left some flowers and a card on your porch for you. I hope you got them inside before they froze! :) I chose Easter Lillies because it represents the resurrection and new life. What a glorious day it will be when you can reunite with your dad and other loved ones who have gone before. We love ya tons Max! Let us know what we can do to help your family and give your mum a big hug and kiss for us! xoxoxox
~Karen McCabe (Neighbor and Friend)

Maxine- You were truly blessed to have such a wonderful father and mother! All of our love and prayers go to you and your family. Let me know if you need a friend to 'chat' with or one who will just listen... Love you!
~Vicki Morgan (Neighbor and Friend)

Dear Maxine I am truly sorry for your loss. I am a big fan of your Dad's. I see his strength in you so his legacy lives on....Let us know if there is anything we can do. We sure love ya.
~Shaun Covington (Neighbor and Friend)

Love him! Love you! God bless!
~Gene & Cyd Horne (Neighbors and Friends)

Max, I am sorry for your sense of loss . . . you could not have said it better than you did on the blog, "Earth weeps and Heaven rejoices!" He will have plenty of work to do there and he will now be able to do it without the distraction of the pain he has endured for so long. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers. May the Holy Spirit and our Lord's angels lift and comfort you through this season. Your Brother and friend,
~Joseph Irvine

Maxine Thank you for sending the blog link to me. I send my condolences to you and your family. Many have been influenced and many will feel the loss. Know that my prayers are with you to help you in the days ahead. He has completed his mortal probation as a valiant servant of the Lord and has gone home to many who were waiting to welcome him. Our love to you.
~Dennis Stuart and Family (Family Friends)

Aren't these messages so wonderful? I have plenty more to share. As my Mom is not on Facebook, this will be a great way for her to see these messages and for us to keep them for years to come :)

Thanks to all of you who are making this very painful time bearable.

"We love you Dad"

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Test

This picture was taken in May 2008, at York, England.

During my surprise trip to England, we went to York. It is a great place for tourists. Click here to learn more about this historic place.

Dad was so tired from all our walking, he just HAD to take a rest. It was a pretty nice day and he did so well and as usual there were no complaints. He really made the most of his life right up until the time he was unable to physically get out and about.

Dad told me that many years ago (in the 70's), a General Authority (LDS) took my Dad to a meeting in York. His name was Bernard P. Brockbank and he was from the US. My Dad said he had the fright of his life when his American friend decided to drive on the wrong side of the road. (Brits drive on the left) Dad shared that memory quite often and we reminded him of the time when he drove on the wrong side of the road in Las Vegas. :)

Look at his smile in this picture. Today I have been focusing on all the happy memories I have. We did so much and had so many fun times together that it has made me realize how precious life is. We really made the most of life and kept so busy.

I would love more than anything if Dad had not suffered and died due to the disease we know as cancer, however I know that Dad has passed the test. It reminds me of a song written by Janice Kapp Perry:

(3rd verse)
Tell me now, why must you die?
Why must your loved ones stand with empty arms,
and ask the question why?
Help me know, so I can go on.
How when your love and faith sustained me, can the precious gift be gone?
From the depths of sorrow I cry, though pains of grief within my soul arrive.
The whisperings of the Spirit still my cry.

Didn’t He say, He sent us to be tested?
Didn’t He say, the way would not be sure?
But didn’t he say we could live with him forever more,
well and whole, if we but patiently endure.
After the trial, we will be blessed,
but this life is the test.

"We love you Dad"

Friday, January 16, 2009

True Love

This picture was taken on March 31st 1962 in Hull, England.

My little heart is breaking. Today has been a bitter sweet day. Since the phone call at 2:30am this morning, Lance and I have been awake and we are both pretty worn out. I called Julia, my supervisor this morning and told her the sad news and let her know I would be going into work. I knew it was the best thing to do. The day would have been much tougher had I decided to stay home.

I called a good friend, Ruth who lives in CA. She has one of those voices you could listen to all day and a face you could stare at all day too. She is beautiful. What a blessing it is to have such wonderful friends.

I called my co-worker and good friend, Beth. She asked if we could meet up for lunch. FOOD! I hadn't even thought about eating. That's what friends are for, to remind you of the simple things. It was exactly just what I needed. I think she is in the wrong job....I seriously think she needs to be in the field of Therapy. She helped me more than she will ever know. It was her day off and she took the time to care. Beth even drove to work to make sure I got settled in ok.

I was greeted by hugs and warm words from such caring friends. I seriously spent the day with my second family. I work at such a wonderful place that that is how it feels, another family. I was so tired that I didn't think I would even get through the day.

Last Christmas, when my Parents were here visiting us they gave me a gift on Christmas morning. When I opened the gift I saw a copy of the picture shown today in a beautiful white frame. Instantly, my eyes welled up. I said "Dad you were so good looking" He answered "What do you mean, WERE?" ;) He often told us that. It sits right on my piano and I look at it so often.

I have felt their love for each other all my life. Of course they have had their problems and issues but I have never ever known a couple to love each other so much as to want to spend every minute of every day with each other. I told my Mom today that had it been the other way round and she had been sick with cancer, I would have been in England a lot sooner. My Dad could simply not cope without her. My Mom has been so brave throughout all this. When she called to tell me the news this morning, I was in awe at how composed she was. I cannot imagine being married to somebody for 47 years and to look at him and see him being taken out of the house in such a manner. I have spoken to my Mom many times today. I called Michael, Rebecca and Jared and the love we have for our Husband and Father is so apparent.

I was so concerned for my Mom that I had her call me at work just to hear she was doing ok. She sounded so tired. I joked with her and told her she would more than likely sleep for a whole week due to all she has gone through. It is 8:30pm for me just now (3:30am for her) and I can't help but wonder how she is doing and how she must be feeling.

Dad has passed the test. He didn't need to endure anything anymore and has been called home. He must be so happy now. He has been sick/ill for so long now that he must just be feeling wonderful. I can only imagine him wanting Mom to join him.

THANK YOU to all of you who have sent messages via facebook, comments to this blog, e-mails, phone calls. I am going to print all the messages and save them in a memory book. I have been working hard during the past months to get together some books in his memory.

One of our very good friends arranged to have some flowers sent to us from various friends. Another very good friend brought dinner over to us. I probably wouldn't have eaten anything hadn't it been for my friend Beth taking me to lunch or my friend Debbie bringing dinner to us.

Most of you know that Lance and I named our son John after my Dad. This morning he gave me the usual good morning hug and I looked like I had just finished ten rounds with Mike Tyson ;) I told John how Grandad had gone to Heaven to live with Jesus. This little innocent child looked right at me and said "Why? Doesn't he love Grandma anymore". Awwww, how cute! He saw my suitcase half filled and then asked "Did Grandad take his case to Jesus' house?" I explained he didn't need a case and one day I will explain how Dad did everything he needed to do to get into Jesus' house.

I don't know whether my Dad realized how much he was loved by so many people, but as his daughter, it is a terrific feeling to know that you can now carry on his legacy.
This picture was taken outside the same church.........45 years later (2007)

"We love you Dad"

Earth Weeps....... Heaven Rejoices

My dear friends,

I received a call from my sweet Mom this morning at 2:30am. As soon as the phone rang, I knew what had happened. My dear Father, John Sims passed away at 9:10am (GMT).

What an amazing and wonderful Father he has been to me during my life. I have only been fortunate to have spent just 40 years with him. Some have spent less with their Fathers, I realize this, but 80 years would not have been long enough for me.

Dad found out on November 28th 2006 (his birthday) that he had a cancerous tumor on his liver. When he called to tell me, I was devastated. He had already gone through surgery for bowel cancer and all I could think was NOT again. He had surgery in the hopes the tumor could be removed, but it wasn't possible due to the tumor being on his diapraghm. He suffered for over 2 years. He died peacefully at home and that was his wish as it was all of us. I remember once asking him if he was afraid to die and he looked at me and said "Nooooooooooooo". He knew without any doubt that he would be going to a better place where he would wait for us to join him. All he was worried about was 'his Val'. I assured him she would be taken care of.

I have learned many wonderful things throughout my life. Dad has taught by example and has done an excellent job in raising his children. He has taught us all to love, to care, to be a friend, to forgive and to endure to the end amongst many other fine things.

I KNOW where he is now. I KNOW he is free from pain, from trial and sorrow and he is being reunited with his loved ones. Amongst the many to welcome him 'home' will be his dear Mother and Father whom he loved with all his heart. He would often tell me how much he missed them and looked forward to seeing them again. He will be with his brothers, Alan and Dave and his sisters, Joyce, Barbara and Janet. He loved his Aunt Ada and all of his other family members. He will be with Lewis and Leah (my cousins children). I am now thinking of how he will meet my Grandmother (Mom's Mother) who he never had the pleasure to meet here on earth as she was just 39 when she passed away from cancer.

My Dad has lived a good life. He has fought a good fight and endured to the very end. He never complained nor questioned and has struggled with cancer since 2000. I have so many memories to share of this wonderful man who touched so many lives and was a true disciple of Christ.

I have saved this picture to post today as it is through Jesus Christ that I now live in hope. I KNOW I will see my Dad again and live with him and my family forever. What a wonderful blessing that is. I KNOW Dad will be with us in our hearts, I can already feel his presence. I can feel his love and will always think of him and the truly wonderful memories. I thank God for blessing me with a Father who has led a good life, who has been true to his covenants, to his God, and his wife. My Mother was his life. He wanted to spend every minute of every day with her.

My Parents would have celebrated their 47th anniversary this March (31st). My Mother has been so wonderful in taking care of his every need. She is a true angel. What a blessing to have such wonderful parents and to know they can live together forever. I love Michael, Rebecca and Jared and know they realize just as much as me what a wonderful Father we were TRULY blessed with.

Please continue to join me as I share fondest memories of my Dad, my Hero and Friend. If you have a memory or a comment you would like to share, please e-mail me at I would love to post them.

Even if you did not know Dad, I am sure this blog has touched your life.

Please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers.

"We love you Dad"

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Beach Boys (and girls)

This picture was taken in Aug 2007. John and Brooke, Dad, Jared and Caitlin.

It was not a very warm day and the water was pretty cold. It didn't deter us from going in the water and having fun. Due to the fact that we live in Utah, John does not get to see the sea! The only water we play around in is in the rivers, lakes, the swimming pools or the bath tub. :) He really enjoyed going to the beach.

We always loved going to the beach and having fun. As a child, I remember very vividly Dad just running in to the sea and diving right in. He used to tell us we would feel a lot warmer once we got wet and always encouraged us to go under the water. How I miss those days! We would always enjoy fish and chips and Mom would always tell us to save room for ice-cream. She used to love a 'Knickerbocker Glory' (I still wonder where they got that name from). We would love to smell and eat the hot sugar donuts and never came home from the seaside hungry.

We used to love going on the boats. Whether it was a larger boat to Flamborough Head or a rowing boat, we always had a blast. I remember on one occasion, Mom, Dad and I went on the larger boat and it was a pretty cold day. Mom and I had bought cups of hot chocolate and I got pretty fed up of mine, so I attempted to throw the hot chocolate into the sea. The wind blew and the drink went in the opposite direction and splashed this woman on her back. She had a white shirt on and Dad was amused by the chocolate stains down her back. He looked at me and I just looked the other way as if I had no clue as to what just happened. He often reminded me of that, especially on our future trips to the seaside.

What fond memories we as a family have of our many, many days spent at Bridlington :)

"We love you Dad"

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A reminder that Families are Forever

This picture was taken in August 2007 at the Preston Temple in England.
I have this picture as my screen saver on my laptop. I always chuckle as I look at how tall Lance is. I get a tear in my eye as I look at Dad and think of the happy memories and how I wish we could have time for more. I think of all that my Mom is doing for him. She told me today that it is getting much harder for her. Not so much the physical part of it but emotionally. I can't even imagine what she is 'really' going through and my heart is heavy as I think of what it must be like for her as she continues to 'endure to the end'. The Doctor has given my Dad just weeks to live but this doesn't mean much to me as I have been hearing this for so long now.
It was the last time I went to the Temple with my Parents. It will be a very special memory for me. Dad really was not well this day but as always he made the effort to go. I remember during this visit how I would look at Dad and just pray that a miracle would happen. That somehow he would be made whole and well again for the sake of him, my family and all the people who benefitted from the life he led. I was reminded how families are forever and that one day he would suffer no more.
At this point, Dad had lost a lot of his normal humor. He used to love to chat and talk about his memories but he was feeling so ill all the time that he just did not like to do the normal things anymore.
Right until the very end, he has always done what was expected of him and has spent a good life serving God and his fellowman. I know one day we will all understand why he has had to go through. He has always taught us to have faith and I am so very grateful for the example he has been to so many people throughout his life.
Tonight Lance and I had a visit from two of our friends. I shared some special memories with them about Dad and read them one of the many letters he has sent me. One of the friends, Darren mentioned how grateful he was for Dad's good example and how he had always enjoyed listening to Dad's testimony. It never faltered. It never failed. His testimony is as strong (if not stronger) now than ever.
"We love you Dad"

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Fun in the sun

This picture was taken at Bridlington in July 2007.

Dad loved his days at the beach. Whenever we could, we would be in the sun. So many memories of the seaside. John and Brooke loved the sea and Grandad loved seeing them run in the water and splash. I was amazed how John Jr would just run in the water and give no care of the waves. He has always been a water baby. He kept asking Brooke why she had her 'floaties' on. Dad had so much time for his children and grandchildren. He loved spending time with us all.

Many years ago I remember one particular Sunday whilst on one of our vacations, Dad insisted we go to church. We did not have a car and we did not know the bus schedule. I simply remember him telling us the Lord would provide a way for us to get to church. We put on our Sunday clothes and headed out of the caravan site for the main road. We were in Primrose Valley and the nearest church was in Scarborough. More than 10 miles away. We had been walking for what seemed forever (but really it was not a long way) when a car pulled up and it was someone heading to church and noticed us dressed up for church and figured we needed help.

Dad was so right! He had said that the Lord would provide and he surely did. Not only did we get a ride to and from church, the family made us a wonderful dinner too.

Dad always had great faith. He taught us that if we did what God wanted us to do, we would be blessed.

All his life he has taught us to endure to the end and if anyone has practiced the words they preached it has surely been him. He has and continues to 'Endure to the End'.

"We love you Dad"

Monday, January 12, 2009

Missionary Monday

I am sure you have missed my posts. I sure have missed posting them. This past week I have been in Florida and did not have internet access. I am now back in full swing.

Today I am going to post about the greatest missionary I have ever personally known. His name is John Sims.
I thought it would be significant to post a picture with my Dad standing by his car. I couldn't begin to even try to work out how many miles he has driven picking up missionaries and dropping them off but whenever they needed his help he was there. (Reminds me of a song "When I needed a neighbor, were you there, were you there?)
Ever since Dad joined the LDS church in 1968, he has been a missionary. He has done his utmost best to share the gospel with every one he has come in contact with. Many times he would tell us how he wished he had joined the church earlier in his life so he could have served a mission and many times many people have told him how he has served his mission for 40 years.
Dad loved to go to appointments with the missionaries. He loved to bear his testimony and tell them how much he loved the church. He enjoyed telling his jokes and had so much fun with the missionaries and the people they were teaching.
I remember back in the 80's when Dad played his well known joke on one of the missionaries in Hull. 'Elder Perkins' was arriving in Hull, his very first area. He had just left the Missionary Training Center where he had spent the last 3 weeks learning all about the British culture. A taxi dropped him off in Ceylon Street, Hull and who should walk up to the taxi to welcome him but my Dad.
My Dad introduced himself as 'Elder Sims'. He told Elder Perkins that he had come out on his mission late and was sorry he had not had time to shave but would take care of that right away. He picked up Elder Perkins cases to take them into the flat/apartment and had a smile on his face as a very puzzled missionary followed him. Once inside the flat/apartment his 'REAL' companion introduced himself and they all just laughed and laughed. Dad told that story for many years afterward.
Not only was Dad a wonderful missionary, he did more for the Missionaries than any person I know. Whenever they asked him for anything, he would do it. He was always at his happiest helping others and especially them. He served many years as a Ward/Stake Missionary and as Ward Mission Leader.
I KNOW exactly what he will be doing when the Lord takes him home. Teaching others the gospel of Jesus Christ.
"We love you Dad"

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Missionary Monday ON Tuesday

It is not unusual for me to wake up in the night thinking of Dad and worrying about both him and my Mom. When I woke up in the early hours, I realized I had forgotten about Missionary Monday. I will post pictures of Craig and his family soon.

Craig Brewster is one of our most dear friends. He has known my parents since 1969 when he went to England to serve his mission. He is so humble and such a very good person. He has a wonderful family and we love them. My Dad has spoken so highly of Craig over the years and really loved seeing him when he came to Utah to visit.

Here is what Craig wrote:

I have wonderful memories of your mother and father. My relationship with them was one of the reasons my 6 month stay in Hull was such a highlight for me on my mission.

I enjoyed your father joining me a number of times when I had a discussion to give. He joined me a number of times to simply go tracting. He has always been so missionary minded.

I enjoyed spending part of my first Christmas in England in the Sims home. Their kindness helped me enjoy my first Christmas away from home. My companions and I enjoyed many meals provided by Val during my Hull stay. John’s firm handshake was always a delight to receive. I regret not getting a chance to see him in his Rugby playing days. I just remember the story of how his ear got ripped off as a player.

Through the years I’ve enjoyed interacting with John and Val when they would come to Utah for a visit. It was a treat to have them over for dinner at our home. One thing you could rely on when John would come…..a good joke. He always had a good one. I loved the little gifts that he would give me when he would visit.

I was impressed with his voracious appetite for reading. He would pull out his wallet and produce the piece of paper where he would record the number of pages or books he had read. Once in awhile he would visit me at my office at the bank where I work and we would spend some time discussing gospel principles or laughing about memories of the past.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, John and Val Sims are two of the most favorite people that I have met in my lifetime.

To my friend John I say, gooday mate.

Craig, thank you for your kind words. My Dad thinks the world of you and has always enjoyed your company.

"We love you Dad"

Monday, January 5, 2009

The 3 women in John's life

I bet you didn't know Dad was a photographer did you? Look at this amazing picture of caravans and grass. Oh let's see there are 3 people at the very edge of the picture. I really don't know what we are wearing but please remember it was the 70's! ;)

We always had so much fun when we were on our family holidays/vacations. No matter what we did we enjoyed each others company and loved spending time at the caravan sites.
The 3 women in Dad's life, his lovely wife and our Mother Val, Rebecca and myself. He did all he could for us. No matter what we asked of him, nothing was too much trouble. He did it with a happy heart.

We went to Bridlington, Scarborough, Primrose Valley for our family holidays. One year we went to Mablethorpe. I will always be grateful for the sacrifices made for us. We think times are bad now with the economy etc, but we have a lot more now (all of us) and a lot better things than we ever did back then (including clothes ;) One thing we always had a lot of was LOVE. We were cared for and we were blessed with many things. Whenever I think of happy memories our family holidays always come to mind. I will always be grateful for the fun times we had.

Dad loved to take pictures and I can assure you he got much better with practice :)

Tomorrow I am heading to Florida for the rest of the week on a business trip. I get to play too and our company has rented out "Hero Island" at Disneyworld.

It will be a struggle for me going to the airport boarding a plane and not going to England......well not yet anyway.

"We love you Dad"

Sunday, January 4, 2009

In Memory of a special friend - Leslie Bower

This picture was taken on my most recent trip to England in May.

Today my Mom called me to let me know our special friend 'Les Bower' had passed away. He had been ill for some time and really suffered to the end. Les was always a very happy man. He loved his wife and family, after years of knowing them (basically all my life) I had seen on several occasions the love this family had/has for each other. Les always liked to tell jokes. He always had a smile and a greeting for you. He used to look like 'Bobby Ball' (Cannon and Ball) in his younger years.

Audrey is one of those people who you just loved to have conversations with. She is such a genuine lady and amidst her struggles of her own, she was always smiling and enjoyable to be around. Audrey has been a big part of my life, having taught me in my teenage years and I KNOW we weren't the best to teach. We were rather a rowdy bunch. However, we always respected Audrey as she made our classes so wonderful. I was friends with two of Audrey's nieces in school, Alison and Carol. I really liked their Mom, Joyce who is Audrey's sister.
As I was thinking of Audrey today, I knew my Dad would call her if he could to let her know he was thinking of her, so I picked up the phone and called her. She answered the phone in such a sweet voice (her usual mannerism) and I told her I loved Les and he had been a great friend over the years and would be missed. I told her I loved her too. She said "I love you Maxine". I shed tears as I thought how sweet it was of her to say that. She shared a special experience with me and I thanked her for that.
Afterwards, I called my Uncle Geoff in England. I wanted him to know I was thinking of him. He is my Dad's only living brother now and I just felt the need to talk to him. He is not well either and I got emotional as we were chatting about how brutal it was for my Dad to suffer the way he is. Uncle Geoff has always been my favorite Uncle. (Blood related uncle....Hey I have to mention that or Uncle Gordon would be upset with me ::)) Uncle Gordon is my favorite Uncle by marriage.

This is a picture of Gillian and Peter. Les was ordained a High Priest (in the LDS church) in May 2008 and his children were all there to support him. Steve and Paul went out the back door so I wasn't able to get their picture.

Have you ever smelled something that brings back a memory? For me, I always think of Audrey when I smell 'Timeless' perfume by Avon. She always smelled of Timeless and when I looked at the Avon book just recently, I told my friend Michell, I just HAD to buy some for a sweet friend in England.

My Mom and Dad have always spoken highly of Les and Audrey. My Dad used to tell me often how they were 'troopers'. He loved them and now Dad has yet another friend waiting for him.

So Les, you better have the jokes at the ready! You will be missed. It was a pleasure knowing you. You filled many lives with love and laughter.
My thoughts and prayers are with the Bower Family.
"We love you Dad"

Saturday, January 3, 2009

On the Buses

This picture was taken in August 2007 on Holderness Road in Hull, England.

Lance had just flown into England this day. I had already spent 3 weeks there with our children. Lance had joined us for the last 3 weeks. Lance had been sat down for approximately 24 hours on planes and in airports and on a train. He is 6'4" so doesn't have the most comfortable time on planes. He wanted to walk. We decided to take a walk to ASDA/Wal Mart and Dad walked with us ALL the way there. I didn't think he would make it (Why on earth would I doubt that after our five and a half hour walk in Paris?.....Click here to read that post if you missed it.

On our way back home, Dad felt tired and decided he would take the bus. I offered to go with him, but he said I should walk and he would take a nap whilst we all were walking home.

Who would think to take a picture of their Dad at the bus stop? Again, the scrapbooker coming out in me, I carried my camera everywhere I went. I am so glad I took such a lot of pictures of Dad. I wish, I really wish, I had taken many, many more. I have been getting all upset with myself wondering why I didn't take a picture here, or take a picture there but I decided that even if I only had one picture of him, I had a 1000 and more memories which were more important than a picture. So one day it may get to the point where I am writing memories and I will use a 'standard' picture of Dad. I am sure you would be happy to still read the fun stories.

I remember one evening when Dad came over to visit me and use his famous line "Is there anything I can do for you love?", I was watching 'On the Buses'. I really miss the British comedies. This was a classic. It was a sitcom and I had watched the series before but I was watching "Holiday on the Buses" and it was awesome. Oh my gosh was that funny? Dad sat down and ended up watching the rest of it with me. I know he did not plan on it but he often just sat down and spent time with me. I know he felt sad that I was alone and always wanted to keep me company. He was just so good at doing that. He actually made it so funny to watch as he was laughing and I loved to see and hear him laugh.

Of course he would have to spend time with Natalie and Kayleigh (my daughters) and always had a bar of chocolate (usually a milky way) for them.

No matter how hard life seemed, Dad always made me see the good in it and often reminded me to think of others much less fortunate than myself.

"We love you Dad"

Friday, January 2, 2009

John's Angel

This is a picture taken of my Mother and daughter, Olivia in 2006.

Abraham Lincoln once said, "All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother..."

My heart is full of love for my Mother just now. Actually, it always is but even more so now. For the person who is sick, they don't mind staying home as they are so ill, they don't worry about going out but for the carer who has to stay with the 'patient' 24/7, it has to be rough.

Mom and Dad used to go out all the time. Dad never liked to waste time by sitting doing nothing. He was always so very active that he found it hard to sit still. They enjoyed many days out. My poor Mom has now been housebound since September. I call her everyday and I always do my best to talk about good memories and life here. In all the letters my Dad has written, he has always made mention how much he loves my Mom. Dad is known for always asking people what he can do for them. Even though he lived 5,000 miles away from me, he would always ask if there was anything he could do for me. I always told him: "The best thing you can do for me is to love my Mother". He would always tell me he liked asking me what he could for me, as what I requested was so easy to do :)

I did ask my Mom to share a memory and she told me when she and Dad were courting/dating, they had gone to Scarborough for the day on the train. They were enjoying themselves so much that they had lost track of time. Suddenly, they realized they would miss their train so they ran all the way to the train station and only just made it in time. I have been told many times they have spent wonderful years together. I am glad I was able to experience 40 of those years.

If you have a moment, I would love you to send my Mother a 'Thinking of You' card. I have been the recipient of cards on numerous occasions and they really do something for the soul. A simple message could really make her day just a little brighter. Need a card, let me know! I will send one to you :) Need her address, let me know! I will e-mail it to you :)

"We love you Dad"

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

This is one of my very favorite pictures of Dad. He was making me laugh and he was about to put the arm rest down......I couldn't resist taking a picture so reached into my purse/bag for my camera. (A true Scrapbooker carries her camera everywhere :) We had gone to ASDA (Wal Mart) and he preferred to ride around in this as most of you will understand, we women like to shop.

This was taken during our family vacation to England to surprise Dad in 2007. I have put up a few pictures of Dad in our home and this is one that I put on our table in the family room. I will always treasure this picture as one of those "Life is about being happy and ALL will be well" kinda pictures.

Oh my heart is breaking as I think back on the memories from that visit. Dad was just so thrilled to see us and we spent every minute with him.

Well against ALL odds, Dad has made it into his 70th year. If Dad could he would wish all of you, whether he knew you or not a very HAPPY New Year. He is well known for talking to anyone, no matter who they are, if he knew them or not. He was one of those who would literally give you the shirt off his back then ask what else he could do for you. He would always greet people with a smile and a kind word. What an example of a Christlike life he has led. What an example he has been to his family and friends and to many he did not even know.

I personally would like to thank you for taking time to read this blog. I am thrilled that I have so many memories of a wonderful Father. One who lived to serve others and especially his Maker. Whilst I sit here with tears falling down my cheek, I am filled with a peaceful feeling as I think of him meeting Him one day.

"Happy New Year" everyone! I wish you all the very best. Be sure to continue to join me for more memories as I honor my Father, John Sims.

"We love you Dad"