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"