Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March 31st 1962 - Eternity

47 years ago today, my beautiful parents were married. In the talk I gave at Dad's funeral, I expressed my gratitude for him remaining faithful to my Mother. My Mother was his world and the fact that they remained faithful to each other is something to ever be grateful for.
Here are a few pictures of the most wonderful couple I am proud to call 'Mom and Dad'.

I want to publicly thank our God for sending me to two wonderful people, John and Val Sims. What an eternal blessing to be grateful for.
"We love and miss you Dad"

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Visit to Hawaii

Lance and I just spent a fabulous week in Hawaii. It was a total dream of a holiday. It was an all expenses paid trip from Stampin' Up! I am a demonstrator and earned the annual incentive trip. The whole week reminded me of 'Paradise'. I have not visited such a beautiful place in all of my life.

The whole week I thought of Dad. I always think of him but whenever I am near water it triggers memories. Dad loved the water. Whenever there was the opportunity Dad would be in the water.

He never got to see or swim in the Pacific Ocean. I wish I could have made that happen but I do know he is happy where he is. I totally understand he is closer now than the 5,000 miles which seperated us whilst he was on the earth.

How thankful I am for the knowledge of life after death :)

"We love and miss you Dad"

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Back to posting!

I have not posted for a while due to internet issues but mainly due to emotional issues. I can never get through a post without sobbing. Oh dear, I so miss my Father. You know many people say "At least you know where he is" or "He is in a better place". Whilst this is true, I know where Dad would be if he had been 98 when he died.
Today is my birthday and the first one I have never heard 'Happy Birthday' from my Dad. In fact, I cried when I opened the birthday card my Mom had sent me and it didn't have his name in it. I do know he will be sending his love from above and that he wants me to know this everyday.

In every prayer I say, I always thank God for sending me to two wonderful people, my parents. They have done so much for me and been there for me every step of the way. Although Dad is not physically with me now, I can feel his presence and although I really didn't want to go to church today as I was so jet lagged and tired from our week in Hawaii, I could hear my Dad's voice in my mind telling me to get up and go to church. I know that he smiled when I eventually gave in and got up, got ready and went.
I am going to get back to posting daily as I know many of you really enjoy reading our memories and learning more about Dad.
"We love and miss you Dad"

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Internet issues

Hello Friends,

Just an FYI! We are having issues with our internet and as soon as it is fixed, I will be back to posting regularly.

I KNOW many of you will think I am too busy having fun with my new camera but now, just as when Dad was alive, nothing would be more fun than being with him nor talking about memories :)

See you soon!

"We love and miss you Dad"

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Always look for the good

As soon as I looked at this picture for todays posting, my eyes welled up right away. I cannot even see my Dad's face but just looking at even the back of him brought so many memories. Personally I think it's because he has his hand raised :)

Looking back, I did cause my Dad many stressful moments. He was so forgiving by nature that he would often tell me he didn't remember many things I would often remind him of from my past. (PHEW!)

I am so grateful that I had a wonderful Dad. I have received many e-mails and phone calls, amongst one on one conversations face to face from people who have so wished they could have had a special relationship with their Dad. I miss him so terribly. Just to hear his voice used to make my day.

I was able to share an experience today about how Dad always looked for the good in people. No matter what they did or what they said, he always saw the good and the potential. He didn't bear grudges toward people and did not like backbiting and gossip. There were only a couple of people that for reasons we did not know did not speak to Dad. He tried to drum up conversations and to no avail. When he told me about this, I told him not to worry about it, that these people were not worth it and they were boring people anyway who had no clue how to interact with people. Dad would remind me that we needed to look for the good in them. Never ceased to amaze me how much he 'did' look for the good. (and he always seemed to find it!)

A request! Please keep my Mom in your prayers. She is struggling! She has such a tough spirit but she is obviously missing Dad. For me it is getting tougher so I can't even imagine how hard it is on her. If you have a moment to send her a card, I know she will truly appreciate that. E-mail me at maxbritchick@yahoo.com for her address.

"We love and miss you Dad"

Saturday, March 7, 2009

My new 'Baby'

Today I bought a new camera. You may be asking why would I be posting about my new camera and include a picture of the camera on my Dad's blog.

Well...........today was a big reminder of Dad. If Dad were to know how much this camera cost (and I know he was watching me, as I could hear his voice ;) he would fall over laughing. He would have told me how long it would have taken him to earn the money back when he was my age to buy a camera like this.

Even if you didn't know my Dad but have been reading the posts you will know that he never was a monetary man. The camera he owned was not even a digital one. It was the 'old fashioned' one with the 35mm film. He never really was very good at taking pictures. He would normally end up with a bunch of "What on earth is that?" questions as we would look through them. He loved to take pictures and I really wish I had spent some time with him showing him how to get the person in the center of the picture and not right at the very edge :)

Which brings me on to part two of this post. Once I got home and took this 'baby' out of the box and packaging, I came to the conclusion, I may have a better chance of flying a Boeing 737 than handling this piece of equipment. There were 2 DVD's and a HUGE book enclosed giving me full details on how to take wonderful pictures and how to work this 'thing'.

Dad would look at this and want to know where ONE thing was. The button you press to take a picture.

I have a friend at work named Dirk and he is the official Stampin' Up! photographer. (I am a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator. Click here to visit my blog). I am going to ask Dirk for some tips and advice. I know I will be able to bribe him with McVities Hob Nobs ( the chocolate ones of course).

I am planning on putting this 'baby' to good use so keep tuned as Lance and I will be going to Hawaii in two weeks. Calling Kimberly Van Diepen from Colorado : "I may need your help sista!" ;)

"We love and miss you Dad"

Friday, March 6, 2009

Never Ready to Say Goodbye

We're never ready to say goodbye

To someone we hold dear.

If it were up to us, dear Dad,

We'd always keep you here.

But God has reasons of His own

And plans we cannot know,

And these are always for our good,

Though it may seem not so.

Our arms are empty and our hearts

Are filled with tears and grief,

For we who loved each day with you,

Now find those days too brief.

Yet if we could only heaven see,

We'd know you're happy there,

And we would never call you back

When such great joy you share.

And so we'll trust you to God's great care

And know some day, once more,

We'll hold you to our hearts again

When we reach heaven's door.

"We love and miss you Dad"

Thursday, March 5, 2009

What cancer cannot do!

It cannot cripple love
It cannot shatter hope
It cannot corrode faith
It cannot eat away peace
It cannot destroy confidence
It cannot kill friendship
It cannot shut out memories
It cannot silence courage
It cannot reduce eternal life
It cannot conquer the Spirit.

"We love and miss you Dad"

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Families ARE Forever

What a fabulous evening I just had. I went to our Ward Relief Society birthday party. It is so fun having an 18 year old daughter (Natalie) who got to attend too. Kayleigh, being a Laurel (part of the Young Women program) was invited also. So we got to spend a fun evening together.

We ate fabulous 'Cafe Rio' salads and cup cakes. The food was fabulous and was made not by Cafe Rio but our very own fabulous sisters/friends. Each table had a 'scripture in a frame' as the center piece. One of my friends, Nancy made them. She cut out each cup cake and added them to a matted page. (I will upload it for you to see real soon.) My favorite scripture is in Doctrine & Covenants 14:7 "And if ye keep my commandments and endure to the end, ye shall have eternal life which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God." Each table had a scripture which was chosen by certain sisters in our ward.

After we had eaten, we were in for a real treat. Patti Epperson (a sister in law of our friends Andy and Jenn) came to speak to us. I orginally thought she had been asked to speak to us about her husband dying as a result of cancer, but I was surprised as I realized she spoke to us about dealing with trials using the scriptures (or at least that is how I interpreted it). I must tell you that I could have listened to Patti all night. It was one of those evenings you just didn't want it to end. It was truly remarkable.

Due to the fact that Dad has just recently passed away as a result of cancer also, I was a little hesitant if I wanted to go. Our friend Jenn told me she was happy to see that I had signed up to attend. (as I have been a naughty girl lately and have not been attending these fabulous get togethers). I am so thankful I did choose to go.

Here are mental notes of Patti's comments. I did not make notes. (One of those times you REALLY wished you had taken a pen and paper - My Dad was known for carrying a pen and notebook with him everywhere he went, to take notes)

Patti and her husband Robbie married in 1995. They had 5 wonderful children. 4 boys and 1 girl. The youngest are twin boys. The thing I was so pleased to see was Robbie was a soccer player. :)

In December 2007, Robbie complained of a headache. He went to the doctor and they couldn't pinpoint what the problem was. He had several tests and then it was revealed that Robbie had cancer.
Feb 14th, 2008 Robbie and Patti went to the Portland, Oregon Temple. I was touched that as ill as he was and looked, they spent their evening at such a wonderful place. Robbie was in a wheelchair now. He passed away on March 6th 2008 just eleven weeks after being diagnosed.

What I saw this evening was a woman of great faith. A woman who was a widow with 5 children at the age of 32. Patti shared scriptures with us which helped (and still help) strengthen her. What a wonderful example she is of overcoming trials. I cannot help but think of how blessed her children are to have such a wonderful Mother.

I remember Dad saying many times to us that he was so grateful that he had seen his children grow up and was able to see them have children of their own. I feel so sad that Dad had to suffer for as long as he did (two years +) and then I think of how Robbie was gone in 11 weeks. All I keep thinking now is I am sure that my Dad has already had a conversation with Robbie.

Another of our friends passed away from cancer the day after Dad. Her name was Darla Thaxton. She served a mission in my home city in England in the 70's. I saw her on a few occasions and she was just so sweet. We chatted about the food in England and she told me she loved 'Trifle', a favorite dessert of mine.

Again, I am reminded of the fact that families are forever and the knowledge we have a life after this one. I firmly believe these 3 people: Dad, Robbie and Darla all passed the test and are safely home no longer suffering from lifes ailments and infirmities. waiting for all their loved ones to one day join them and be reunited forever.

These 3 people have influenced so many lives and I'll bet my Dad has already told Robbie all about "Rugby League" and the fact that Darla served part of her mission in Hull , Dad would have let her know that Hull was the best place on earth.

"Families are Forever"

"We love and miss you Dad"

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

O Ye Mountains High

One of the most beautiful things about living in Utah are the mountains. I just love them. Whether it is winter and they are covered in snow or in the fall when they are covered in colorful leaves they are awe inspiring.

Dad loved the mountains. He would always comment on how beautiful they were. He would often talk about the Pioneers making their way to a new home in the west and all the hours and miles they traveled. He would often comment on what they had to go through and spoke about the dead that were buried along the way. Dad always thought that the pioneers amongst others suffered so much hardship that we should always be grateful for what we were blessed with and for not having to go through those particular hardships.

During all of Dad's illness, he never complained. He just told us all we need to endure to the end. What a wonderful example he was to us and all he came into contact with. I will never forget that example. I just wish I could live up to it :)

"We love and miss you Dad"

Monday, March 2, 2009

"The Faith of Mary"

I am not sure how many of you read the comments posted by viewers of this blog so I wanted to post the comments posted by our very dear friend, Alan. This is what he wrote:

Please know that you are in my prayers. I saw the item below, and it reminded me of you.

" The Faith of Mary"

The father, a well digger, strong was he,
And as loving and kind as a father could be.
And Mary his daughter, five years old,
Was very much dearer than millions of gold.
To Mary her father was big, grand and nice,
So each had a treasure, beyond any price.
One day to the well, little Mary was sent
To take daddy’s lunch, how gladly she went.
But when she looked down, not a thing could be seen.
The well, like a pocket, was dark as could be.
The father saw Mary and heard her voice, too,
But made not a sound, just to see what she’d do.
She dropped to her knees, the dear little soul,
And called down, “Oh, Daddy, are you down this hole?”
“Why yes Mary darling, I’m here at your feet,
Just drop my lunch for I’m ready to eat.
Just let it go easy, I’ll catch it alright.
“She did and she saw it fall out of sight.
“Why Mary,” said father, “There’s enough here for two,
Now this is the thing I would like you to do.
You jump down here to me and we’ll eat it together,
Down here in the cool and away from the weather.”
“Oh, daddy, I’m afraid, I can’t see you at all,
Be sure now you catch me and don’t let me fall.”
Then just for a moment she wavered in doubt,
Then closing her dear little eyes she jumped out.
In the darkness, yes, that was the test,
She trusted in faith in her father’s request.
And both were so happy he kissed her and smiled
Because of the sweet trusting faith of his child.
“Oh, sweet little Mary, you put me to shame,
How often my Father has called me the same,
But because it was dark I turned back in doubt.
Refusing the call, though his arms were stretched out.”

One day, Maxine, you will be called to take that leap into the darkness. You will have a dad there that will be there to catch you again.

With love,

Thank you for sharing this Alan.

"We love and miss you Dad"

Sunday, March 1, 2009

If you could get a glimpse.....

This picture was taken at the Preston Temple in England, Aug 2007.

This weekend has been really rough for me. I am finding it a little difficult without Dad at the moment. How I would just love to see him, to hear him, and to chat with him just now. I know this is impossible so I should not dwell on it too much but when you have had someone in your life for so long and then just taken away, it really is hard to deal with.

Taking a look at the flowers on the picture reminds me how each year these flowers bloom. I am then reminded that even though it won't be in a year that I see Dad again, one day I will. We as a family are struggling with our loss but we all have the same perfect knowledge of a life after this one.

I think of my Mom who has known Dad for 50 years and has spent almost every day of those past 50 years with him. I think of my siblings, who like me have known a good Dad, one who had time for us, no matter what we asked. I think of my own children and those of my siblings who knew him and loved his presence. How could this not be a loss in our lives?

I try to think on something Dad told me not so long ago "If you could get a glimpse of where I am going, what I will be doing and how happy I will be, you would never want me to come back." This gives me great hope and brings peace to my heart. Actually I am going to make a framed art out of that saying with a picture of Dad on it.

John Sims was truly a man who will be missed for the rest of mortality.

"We love and miss you Dad"