Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Butcher's life for Dad!

I am really looking forward to the weekend. I have been working long days to make up hours so I can take off Thursday and Friday. I have been invited to a Retreat with my friends in St George (Southern Utah). I am really looking forward to it.

I MISS MY DAD SO TERRIBLY!!! I am so heartbroken that he is no longer with us and some days just seem so painful to bear. I thought of how hard he worked during his life. He worked hard to provide for his family and he worked even harder to serve God. The word lazy would never ever be a word to describe Dad. He barely ever sat down. He loved to work hard and the pleasure in his life came from serving God and his fellowmen.

Dad spent many years as a butcher. We were very fortunate growing up as we ate a lot of meat and it was cooked by our Mom who always made great meals. . I remember going into the butcher's shop one day and he was cutting up a pig. As a young child I was just so mesmerised at this. On another occasion when I went in the shop, he had put a pigs foot up his sleeve and went to give me a hug. I about fell over.
As I got older, I would often call him to ask what meat to buy when I was at the store. He loved it when I asked his opinion.

He was such a good Dad. I simply cannot wait to see him again ;)

~John Sims- "Never to be forgotten - Always to be Remembered"

"We love and miss you Dad"

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Special Blessing

Life without a headache...still puzzles me :)

I wanted to share a very special experience. I don't often talk about this because it is something very special but I want to write it down so that one day when John is old enough he will be able to read this and appreciate this special blessing.

In 1993, I was just starting one of the hardest parts of my life. It was the beginning of a divorce. My Dad was always good at asking his children if they would like a blessing when we were sick or 'just because'. Dad came over to my house one day and said he would like to give me a 'Father's blessing'. In this blessing, he told me that my Heavenly Father wanted me to know that a son was waiting in heaven until the time he could be born into our family. Now I thought this was a very strange thing to say, especially considering the timing. As soon as Dad said "Amen", I immediately asked him why he had said that. He told me he did not remember saying it and seemed somewhat sad as if he had offended me. I knew why he did not remember saying it.......it was something he had not himself planned to say.

When I was pregnant and went to the Doctor for the ultrasound, I told the technician, I knew I was having a boy. I told him it would be my parent's first grandson. (They had 2 grandsons, but this would be their first biological grandson). Brad, the technician asked me how I knew and I just smiled. Sure enough the ultrasound proved I was carrying a son. There was no denying it ....:)

The blessing my Dad gave me was TEN years previous to this. This has been and always will be a very special experience for me.

~John Sims- "Never to be forgotten! Always to be Remembered"

"We love and miss you Dad"

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Migraine and a Scripture

If you have been following this blog closely, you will remember I posted a while back that my Dad NEVER ever had a headache. I just can't believe that. Not for one minute do I think my Dad would not tell the truth but I just cannot imagine a life without headaches.

Today I have had the nastiest migraine. I am going to go to bed and hope that tomorrow will be much better.

For now, I will share my favorite scripture, Doctrine and Covenants 14:7

"And if you keep my commandments and endure to the end, you shall have eternal life which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God"

~John Sims. "Never to be forgotten! Always to be remembered!"

"We love and miss you Dad"

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Way to go John Jr!

I was so proud of my son John this morning. He loves to play soccer and I am thrilled about that. His team won 7-0 and John scored 5 of those goals. One of those goals was from one goal to the other. Gene Horne, his coach was very pleased with him.
I am thinking of looking for a little rugby team for him to join but I would be worried he would prefer that to soccer :)
I often wonder if Dad can see all our fun things we do and see our accomplishments. I like to think he can but then I sway to the thinking of how busy he will be. Thinking about it even more, I am pretty sure he can see us and takes delight in seeing us doing good things. I can just imagine him shaking his head at his only grandson playing soccer and not rugby :)
I watched Chelsea defeat Arsenal today for a place in the FA cup final. John enjoyed watching it too. I am now watching Hull City play Sunderland as they fight to stay in the Premiership.
How happy I am that I have been blessed with a son. I will share a special memory tomorrow of a blessing my Dad gave me back in 1993.
~John Sims - "Never to be forgotten! Always to be Remembered"
"We love and miss you Dad"

Friday, April 17, 2009

Joke of the day!

I made a decision this evening. I get so tired and emotional as I post to this blog and I realized I need to do this during the day. Not that I won't get emotional then but you know how it is when you are really tired and emotional at the same time :)

Until then, my Dad's exact words:

"Why do women live longer than men"

Because they don't have wives......sorry about that! ;)

~John Sims "Never to be forgotten! Always to be Remembered"

"We love and miss you Dad"

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Three months ago today!

Dear Dad

You passed away three months ago and time slowly passes by
There is not one day that goes by when I don't sit and cry
I love you! I miss you! I wish you were back here!
Whilst I know that is not possible, I know that you are near

I miss our chats! I miss our talks! I even miss your jokes!
I remember how kind and compassionate you were to many many folks
How I would love to see you now and embrace and hold you tight
I will continue to do as you taught me and always choose the right

I think of my sweet Mother, your faithful loving wife
and how she has to cope, without you in her life
Your dear Val must carry on and live life the best she can
One day she will be with you again, her sweet and loving man.

Dear Dad, you are missed more and more each day
I cannot really put into words just what I want to say
Thank you! Thank you! from the bottom of my heart
For everything you did for me before we had to part.

~John Sims "Never to be forgotten - Always to be Remembered"

"We love and miss you Dad"

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A very sad day

This will be a very short post. Today has been a very sad day. The Company I work for announced lay offs a month ago and today was the day a bomb dropped.
Many of them were my very good friends. I will miss them tremendously being that I am a demonstrator and an employee.

My heart goes out to all of them and their families.

Tomorrow will mark the 3 month date of my Dad's death. I feel like it has been 3 years.

~John Sims - "Never to be forgotten. Always to be remembered"~

"We love and miss you Dad"

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Stampin' Up!

Tomorrow (Wednesday) is going to be rough on me. I work for a fabulous company "Stampin' Up! I signed up to be a Demonstrator with them back in 2004 and became an employee in 2007. It is the best job I have ever had. Layoffs were announced this past month and it is heartbreaking. We don't know who is on 'the list' until tomorrow. Whether I am or not, there are going to be many tears. Being that it is such a fabulous company makes it just so hard.

Check out www.stampwithmax2.stampinup.net and www.stamptothemax.blogspot.com

Dad was one who always taught me that things happen for a reason. Sometimes in life things don't always go as we would like or would have planned. I am optimistic about tomorrow and I know that I get those genes from Dad. He wasn't easily bothered by things. Life was meant to be enjoyed and we must make the best of whatever situation we were in.

Whether I have my job or not, after tomorrow I will always love the company. I will love the products and the most wonderful friends it has brought into my life.

I have lost the very best friend I have had my whole life. Dad has moved onto much better and greater things and no more has to feel the pains of life.

~John Sims. Never to be forgotten! Always to be remembered!~

"We love and miss you Dad"

Monday, April 13, 2009

He is Risen!

He is risen! He is risen!
Tell it out with joyful voice
He has burst his three days prison,
Let the whole wide earth rejoice
Death is conquered, man is free
Christ has won the victory

Come with high and holy hymning
Chant our Lord's triumphant lay
Not one darksome cloud is dimming
Yonder glorious morning ray
Breaking o'er the purple east
Symbol of our Easter feast

He is risen! He is risen!
He hath opened heaven's gate
We are free from sin's dark prison
Risen to a holier state
And a brighter Easter beam
On our longing eyes shall stream

~John Sims~ "Never to be forgotten! Always to be remembered"

"We love and miss you Dad"

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Choose the Right

Today I took my van to get the safety and emissions (MOT in England). Whilst waiting, Natalie, Kayleigh, John and I went to a book shop Dad loved to go to when he came to visit. We were sad to see it was closing (rather typical to see these days). Due to the fact they were closing, all the books were 50-75% off. Dad would have loved that. We bought quite a few books and I bought a cute frame which had this saying on it :

"Choose the Right" -------it's more than a hymn title, more than a slogan. It's the only path to happiness" - L. Tom Perry

I have been thinking all day about this (so glad I bought it) and just how true it is. Dad taught his children all his life that "Wickedness never was happiness". He taught that the only way to be truly happy was to do good. I have seen both sides of this. I look back on my life and see how miserable I really was when I was not doing good, although at the time I 'THOUGHT' I was happy.

Thinking of Dad makes me want to be good all the time.

~John Sims~ "Never to be forgotten! Always to be Remembered"

"We love and miss you Dad"

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Easter

Happy Easter!
Today is a very significant day for everyone. It is to be remembered as the day Jesus Christ, our Savior suffered and died for humankind. I have always been grateful for this but ever since Dad passed away, this has meant much more to me. It is because of the Savior's atonement that I can not only see Dad again but live with him forever. That used to be a hard concept for me to grasp, but not anymore.

Dad has taught us all our lives how important it was that Jesus died for us but more importantly that he was resurrected. Some of my friends would often ask why our church did not display a cross either inside or outside the church. I let them know that whilst we believe and are grateful Jesus died for us, we dwell on the fact that he rose from the dead and we celebrate a 'Risen' Lord.

Our tradition for Easter growing up always involved Easter Eggs, chocolate etc. but more importantly, we were taught to remember what Easter was really about. Dad had a firm testimony all his life of the Savior and his mission.

How grateful we all should be that the babe who was born in humble surroundings, who suffered, bled and died for us was resurrected so that we could live eternally one day. I look forward to that day very much.

~John Sims. "Always to be remembered! Never to be forgotten!"

"We love and miss you Dad"

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Rebecca!

Today is Rebecca's birthday. She is Dad's favorite daughter! Well favorite youngest. I am his favorite oldest daughter :) We both are very blessed to have a wonderful Father. We both wish we could have had him with us much longer than we did, but we know that Dad is in a much better place and is looking just as forward to seeing us again as we are him.

I remember so well the day Rebecca was born. I had just turned 5 years old when Dad told Michael and I that Mom was in the hospital and had just had her baby. Michael was wishing for a brother, I was wishing for a sister. My wish came true.....Michael's wish would come true 2 years later. ;)

Rebecca was born in Ferriby(the outskirts of Hull). I remember feeling so excited when I saw her. Up until this time, I had been the baby of the family but now I was the BIG sister. "Daddy let me can" and "Dubadubadee" are a couple of Rebecca's most famous sayings.
Here are a few pictures of Rebecca

Happy Birthday to my favorite sister....(I can say that as she is my only one!!)

I love you Rebecca and hope you are having a wonderful day. Wish I could be there with you. ;)
~John Sims. "Always to be remembered! Never to be forgotten!"

"We love and miss you Dad"

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Fun in the sun AND the water

This is Lance and I in Hawaii. We had so much fun this day. We drove to the beach and a guy asked us if we wanted to hire a kayak. As we paddled our way 2 1/2 miles across the ocean to Captain Cook's monument, I couldn't help but think of Dad. As I have said before, he loved the water and I knew he would just love it in the kayak. The sun was beating down on us and I told Lance that our marriage relied on him keeping me upright in the kayak. :) He did a good job. Look how beautiful and clear the water is. You could see all the fish. I got 'spiked' by some sea creature on the shore and it stung like heck. We paddled back and the sea was much more choppy on the way back. It was much harder to paddle. As we approached the shore, the waves were smashing against the rocks. I thought for sure we would end up in the sea at this point, but no we were just fine.
We spent lots of time in East Park (Hull, England) growing up. We never had a lot of money, nor did we need any to have a fabulous time together. We would often go in a rowing boat, or a motor boat. Dad loved for us to relax whilst he oared his way around the lake. We even went in the sea on our days at Bridlington. This was a little more scary than a lake :)

This is an 'old' picture taken of East Park. Lots of happy memories!

~John Sims ~ Always to be remembered! Never to be forgotten!

"We love and miss you Dad"

Monday, April 6, 2009

Olivia is 3

(This is Olivia shortly after she was born)

(This is Olivia on her first birthday)

Dad loved all his grandchildren. He treat everyone of them equally. He didn't get to see or spend as much time with Olivia as I wish he could have. I remember his last visit to the US, (Christmas 2007) he really didn't have much energy at all, but he loved to sing and dance around the room with his grandchildren and Olivia seemed to remember this for so long. Whenever she saw 'Grandad's' framed picture on the TV stand, she would pick it up and sing lalalalalala and swing it in her arms as she danced around the floor.

Olivia had to be born by c-section due to complications during labor. She has been a wonderful addition to our family. I must record her singing "You'll be in my heart" by Phil Collins. Oh my gosh she is amazing.
Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

It was at the time she was born that I got a greater insight into Dad's suffering of his many surgeries. After being cut open and stitched back up and feeling like I had been run over by a train afterwards, I had a greater love and appreciation for the man I knew as my Father who had suffered so many times. He was to have another surgery that proved unsuccessful 10 months later. At this time we did not know about his tumor.

As I looked into Olivia's eyes today, I saw my Dad. I pray that she will grow up to be like him. He left a legacy of love, service, faith and dedication behind.
Here is the new tag line that will appear on all posts now -

John Sims ~ Always to be remembered! Never to be forgotten!

"We love and miss you Dad"

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Dad's never failing testimony

(Beautiful sunset in Riverton, UT)

Today I listened to some wonderful talks from Leaders of "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints". I really appreciated the talks about Jesus Christ and his atonement, death and resurrection.

I reflected on the testimony borne many times by my Father. He loved when Fast Sunday came around and he had the opportunity to bear his testimony. (For those not familiar with our religion, on the first Sunday of every month members of the church are given the opportunity to publicly bear their testimonies in Sacrament Meeting.) Dad loved to share his. He would always speak with conviction and great faith. Even when he was really sick/ill, nobody could stop him getting up. It was a part of his life. He didn't even need to get up on the stand at church to let people know the divinity of Christ, the life of Joseph Smith and would always give God the honor and the glory. Dad would ask everyone to "Endure to the End" on several occasions. He truly practiced what he preached as he most certainly endured to the end. "I am so grateful that he NEVER EVER lost the testimony he shared for 40 years.

I really miss hearing his testimony, but fortunately, he bore it so often, I can still hear it in my mind. It was as strong as an Ox. There were no fancy words, or stories. He spoke fact and his belief of the gospel was solid. In one of the last testimonies he shared, he said "Some ask "Why me" when they have a life threatening illness. "I say Why not me?" What great faith he had.
Dad knew why he was here, he knew where he came from and he certainly knew beyond any doubt where he was going and that he would indeed be welcomed 'home' by loved ones and would await the day when he would see his family again. I simply can only imagine the day when my Mom leaves this earth. What a blessed reunion that will be.

In the meantime, I know there is lots of missionary work to be done. My Dad lived his life sharing his testimony, telling others of the gospel and serving others. I know he is busy. He will never tire of the work. He will never be sick/ill and I believe bricks are being added to his mansion, even now. (I even imagine him being his usual 'jolly' self and making sure there is a fireplace installed for my Mom ::))

"We love and miss you Dad"

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Not Important how a man died, but how he lived!

Today I listened to a wonderful talk by President Eyring who is the 1st Counselor in the General Presidency of "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." I was really touched by his comments. He spoke about taking care of the widows and of course I was touched (in tears) as I thought of my Mother.

I KNOW Dad would not want us moping around or even talking about him not being here. He would want us to be positive. He was such a good Husband and Father and that is why the pain is so unbearable. I miss his jokes, his phone calls, his visits and everything about him. I gave him a real hard time as a teenager and out of his 4 kids I gave him the real run around. I used to be really bothered about these years and now it seems like everything does not matter anymore. What does matter is he was the best Dad and his heart was always full of forgiveness and compassion for all. He always looked out for everyone and helped them whenever he could.

I wrote a quote down today that I will always remember:
"It isn't important how a man died but how he lived". This is so true about Dad. He died a terrible death in my opinion. He was ill for so long, but that is not important in th grand scheme of things. He is free from all his pain now and death was a doorway into the spirit world where he is free from all earthly care. What is important, is how he lived. I know he has no worries (and neither do we) about his judgment day. Doing good was an everyday part of Dad's life. He lived to serve others.

So to all my family and friends AND myself: Though we mourn our great loss and wish beyond anything that Dad was with us and never got ill to begin with, we really have nothing to worry or fear. I can only imagine Dad looking down on all of us and begging, pleading with us to win the race, to fight the good fight just as he did.

I simply cannot wait to see you again Dad.

"We love and miss you Dad"

Friday, April 3, 2009


Today I called my Mom as I do everyday. I told her how much I missed Dad and still couldn't believe he was no longer with us. We all miss him so much.

I also let my Mom know how sad I have felt for her recently. She has lost the man who meant everything to her. We all know we will see him again, even live with him again, but it truly is a 'loss' when a loved one dies.

I told my Mom how I really felt for her as she lost her Mother when she was just 17 years old. She has never got over that pain of loss.

I know I will never get over mine.

"We love and miss you Dad"

Thursday, April 2, 2009

What makes a Dad

A Dad is a person who is loving and kind,
And often he knows what you have on your mind.
He's someone who listens,suggests, and defends.
A dad can be one of your very best friends!
He's proud of your triumphs, but when things go wrong,
A dad can be patient and helpful and strong
In all that you do ,a dad's love plays a part.
There's always a place for him deep in your heart.
And each year that passes, you're even more glad,
More grateful and proud just to call him your dad!
Thank you, Dad...for listening and caring,
for giving and sharing,
but, especially, for always being you!

"We love you Dad"

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Like Dad, wish I was taller!

This is a picture of Lance and I in Hawaii this past week. I was laughing when I saw it as I thought of Dad always worrying about his height. He always wished he was taller. Lance is 6'4" and I am 5' 3" and a peanut ;)

Reminds me of the story of David and Goliath from the Bible. (Not that I am referring to Lance as Goliath or in any way that I would ever think of killing him! Knocking him out maybe, killing him No! :) Dad didn't fear any man and I think of David taking 5 stones and killing Goliath. No matter what was asked of Dad he would do it (providing it was for the good). He wouldn't question. He told us as his children many times to not question things that were for the good, but to just do it. He really was a wise and obedient man.

NOW I really did see Goliath in Hawaii : A fantastic basketball player, an awesome singer and a Stampin' Up! board member, Thurl Bailey who actually played the role of Goliath in a movie.

Thurl joked with his wife as she took the picture "Hey did you get Max in the picture?" I actually look 3'5" in this picture :) oh......and don't forget the peanut !

"We love and miss you Dad"