February 11, 2015

Aloha ‘Oe To The Heroes In Our Lives

Today one of my heroes, Normy, went back to live with our many family members in Heaven. It has been a day of emotions and I am sure that it will continue to be. Yes, it is sad to see that a member of our family has returned to our heavenly home and we will not see them again until we too have joined them there. However, I know that we are families forever and it is not a goodbye—only a ‘see you later.’ I think the hardest part of it all, for me, is not being able to be there. Not having a chance to say goodbye one last time, or to hug my saint of a Grandma, Ginger, as she says goodbye to her lifelong companion. And that is why this post is dedicated to two of my heroes.

I have many people in my life that I look up to and have learned from, loved and benefited from them being in my life. I want to tell you about two of them. The first is Normy. He was the thirteenth child in a family of fifteen kids and was the patriarch of our family. While he was not a perfect man, we all had memories about him that are both personal and emotional. It was with Normy and Ginger that I would spend my summers, winters and many days after school. They were like second parents to me. It was with Normy I learned to drive (at age 6), it was with Normy that I amputated my fingers when I was 10, it was with Normy I would laugh and sing along to his made up songs as we drove through the fields.

I will miss his tough love and his tender heart. I will miss hearing him tell Tiger Woods and whatever BYU team is playing on TV how they could do better. I will miss him calling to tell me to be safe and then have to pass the phone off to someone else without saying goodbye because he was choked up (yes, having a cry gene was something he passed on). I will miss the chance to laugh when he would see a mouse and my big rough and tough grandpa would run away scared! I will miss all of his advice—about anything—freely given even if not sought. Most of all, I will miss the big bear hugs he would give when he had not seen us for a while or the kiss on the cheek as he said goodbye.

He always wanted the best for all of us and was so proud of everything that we were doing. I am glad that he can be at peace, this last few months was not easy on him or Ginger. But it was a blessing he was able to tell us all how much he loved us and how much he loved the Lord. It was tender for us all.

The second hero that I want to tell you about is my younger brother Beau-D. He is the quiet spiritual giant of our family. I was thinking today as I was sitting on the other side of the world and he was texting about was going on. It reminded me of the day that I was again on the other side of the world and he was spearheading the effort to find our brother that had gone missing. With all the maturity of a wise man, he bravely represented the family on that dark day. I recall telling him on the phone that he had to find Trevor. It was something I was not there to do myself and Beau-D willingly accepted the burden. Again when Kell had a car accident and over this past few months with Normy, I have seen my little brother, who has more loyalty and love than I could ever hope for, literally give all that he has to help those people we love.

Never once does he complain. Never does he ask for anything in return. Never do many people even realize all that he does—he quietly goes about his service. While I cannot be there to help him or to do what I would do while I am there, it makes me so thankful I have a hero several years younger than me who makes up for where I lack.

Today may be a day to say Aloha ‘Oe, but it is also a day to celebrate families and the precious knowledge that death is NOT the end and we have the ability to be families forever.

Here is a YouTube video that talks about Normy--he truly touched many people's lives:


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