Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Blessed to have a mother and grandma like Joyce!

I'm not sure how I even begin to write this post? 
I mean, how do I even try to describe the tremendous love that I have for my mother
 or try to share the wonderful memories that I have of her, and thank her for all that she has done for me, 
the sacrifices that she has made and influence that she has had in my life?
 I've always loved this quote by President Abraham Lincoln because it really does best describe my mother,
“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” 
She truly was an angel.  
I can't tell you how many people shared story after story about kind words that were said
 and thoughtful deeds that were done to those in need by my mother.  
She never spoke ill of anyone, never ever judged another person, and was always doing for others.
Her angelic influence was felt by all those who she came in contact with.
She was kind, genuine and always concerned about others, never putting her wants and needs first. 
How grateful I am for her wonderful angelic example!
Together with one of my best friends from high school, Suzanne, at the viewing.
I can't tell you how comforting and sweet it was when she walked in the door.
I am so grateful for the way she threw her arms around me and just held me as I broke down and cried.
She knew my mother as well as any of my friends did,
 having spent so many hours in my home during those high school years.
Suzanne lost her mother a few years ago and she knew exactly how I felt.
We laughed and cried together, sharing wonderful memories of my mother,
 and by the end of our visit, we were mostly laughing.
I will ever be grateful for her love and support.
Another dear friend, Ruth Bushman drove from Southern California to attend the funeral.
The Bushman family moved across the street from us when I was in the 2nd grade.
They had the same number of kids in their family as ours and most of us were exactly the same age.
Our families were the best of friends, spending so much time together during those years.
I so appreciated Ruth's support and the great effort she made to be there that day.
She said that she wouldn't have missed it for the world, because my mom "was like a second mother to her."
Ruth also worked all day, helping in the kitchen, providing the lunch for our family after the funeral.
I was so touched by the kind things that she said and that she would drop everything to be there that day.
There were so many others that made such an effort to be there to support me
and I do appreciate all the hugs, tears, wonderful memories shared
 and loving things that were said about my mother.
The beautiful "Mother" and "Grandmother" bouquets.
My dear dad as he arrived at the graveside, visiting and greeting family members.
My dad was so cute and sweet with my girls and my girls absolutely adore him!
He was so grateful that Ashley was able to sing at the funeral and thanked her over and over.
For years, Grandpa talked about Ashley singing at Grandma's funeral.
He had a favorite song, "How Will They Know?" that he requested Ashley to sing.
Ashley was so strong and did an amazing job keeping her tender feelings about her Grandma at bay.
Her song was amazing and set the tone for the funeral!
I was so proud of her! She did such a beautiful job!
One of my favorite photos of me and my dad as we arrived at the cemetery.
Brooke flew in that morning, right before the funeral so this was the first time that he was able to greet her.
He is so happy to see her, and I love the way they are looking at each other.
She wore her favorite shirt that has birds on it, because my mother loved birds.
Grandpa loved that!!
The pallbearers included all of the grandsons.
Isn't this picture tender of Allie comforting her little cousin?!  So cute!
All the grandkids took the flowers from the "Grandchildren bouquet"
 and placed them in the bouquet on her coffin.
A sweet moment caught on camera with all of our darling children at the cemetery!
Our attempt to get a family photo with my father and all of his posterity.
My dad and all of his eight children.
Our family with my father.
And my favorite photo, my dad with my dear children, who love him so much!
Megan and Molly, my other "little girls."  Aren't they adorable!?
There is nothing better than being together with the whole family,
unless it's being together with the whole family at In-N-Out celebrating Tyler's birthday!
Look how happy Tyler is with his double-double burger!!
Apparently, I didn't get the "wear mint today" email but these kids did 
and so I had to get a photo of all of them matching outside of Grandpa's house.
On Saturday, we watched general conference together
 and then we all went to one of our favorite restaurants, Tia Rosas for lunch.
It was a gorgeous setting, with beautiful weather, delicious food and lots of good company.  
We took over the whole back patio and had a wonderful time just visiting with all the cousins, aunts and uncles.
The "little girl" table!  Aren't they adorable!?
It was so heart warming to watch dad walk around, stopping at every table
and visiting with all of his kids, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Allie with Greta, darling Greta.  She is seriously the cutest little thing!
David Michael and his son, Dallin.
Kimber and Brett at Tia Rosa's.
 That night Dad and his boy went to Priesthood session of general conference together.
 All of my father's sons, son-in-laws, grandsons, and grand-son-in-laws 
went with my dad to the church to watch conference.
 What a good looking group of men that gathered together after the Priesthood meeting. 
What a tender and sweet moment it was to watch my Dad,
 surrounded by all of his sons, son-in-laws, grandsons and grand-son-in-laws.
 These great men, who dearly love their dad and grandpa, 
and have such great admiration showed their love and support.
My oldest brother, Eric, offered to give my Dad a priesthood blessing.
With every one of these men laying their hands on my father's head, 
Eric gave one of the most beautiful blessings.
My brother, Eric is so eloquent and I wish that I could remember everything that he said 
because it was a such beautiful blessing and so poignant.
He blessed him to feel comfort through the Atonement at this time of sorrow and loss, 
to find purpose as he enters this next chapter of his life, 
to know that there is still much that he needs to accomplish here on earth,
 to remember that we are all here surrounding him with our love, 
that he will still have a great influence for good in all of our lives 
and that he will continue to play an important role as the patriarch of our family. 
There wasn't a dry eye in the room when Eric finished.
My dear dad, with tears streaming down his face, stood up and hugged every one of the men, 
he thanked each one and told them how much he loved them.
Then he turned and addressed all of us, again sweetly thanking us 
for the love that we have shown him and then softly he said, 
"I never would have thought that such a sad event 
would provide for so many sweet and tender moments with my dear family."
In deed, this was one of the sweetest and most tender moments that I have ever experienced, 
to feel the power that comes from a priesthood blessing, 
and watching my dad lean on his children for comfort and strength.
I'm so grateful that we took this photo of this good looking group of men
so that we could remember the things that were said and the things that we felt that evening.
After we took the photo of all the guys, my dad sweetly said, 
"If it's alright, I'd like to get a picture with the ladies in the room.  Can we arrange that?"
Of course, we were happy to honor that request!
What a fun photo of me, my girls and cousin Michaela with my dad.
I just wish all my other sisters and nieces could have been there to witness this special moment with dad.
Later that night, our family went out to PF Changs to once again celebrate Tyler's birthday.
We love celebrating birthdays in our family 
and we were so happy to all be together just days before Tyler's 26th birthday!
This is probably my favorite photo from this week.
It was a little bit of heaven on earth to all be together.
I want to thank my dear husband and children for all their love and support!
Having all of them together that day, gave me the strength that I needed 
and provided comfort that I was longing for.
One thing that everyone would agree is that my mom was the sweetest and kindest person,
 always thinking of others and taking care of others needs.
As I looked at my children, I saw some of my mother's sweet qualities,
 demonstrated in the way my children wrapped their arms around me, 
loved me, comforted me, and took care of me all week long. 
What a great legacy that she has left behind and 
how heartwarming it is to see my mom's sweet qualities and demeanor
 manifest themselves in the kind and thoughtful actions of my children. 
My dad was exactly right, our dear Olson family truly did experience 
some of the sweetest moments together.
How grateful we are that families are forever!
When I got home, my dear friend, Karen showed up at my doorstep with this beautiful rose bush.
Karen didn't know it but my mother loved roses and she had her own rose garden.
She gave special care to the roses, tending to them everyday, 
pruning her roses and then sharing them with all of her friends.
She gave that same kind of care and attention to all of her children and grandchildren, 
lovingly nurturing them and tending to their needs.
In turn, I believe that she found joy in how all her children and grandchildren grew, prospered, and blossomed.
Because she tirelessly labored in the garden of "motherhood",
 constantly tending to the individual needs of her children and grandchildren,
her posterity is growing, thriving, and one might say "is in bloom."
As I looked around at all my brothers and sisters, and their children and grandchildren,
I think my mother should be really proud of and happy with the "fruits of her labor."
I was so happy when my new rose bush was planted in my front yard.
It looks beautiful and will be a constant reminder of my dear mother.
Another quote that I've always loved and best describes how I feel,

"Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever."

Dear Mother, you will be in our hearts always and forever!

5 comments :

deb said...

Debbie...that was a beautiful tribute to both your mother and father. they raised an wonderful daughter and i'm so thankful for our friendship

deb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erica {let why lead} said...

I'm so sorry for your loss but happy for the many memories and sweet moments you were able to enjoy that week. It really is amazing that all of your children (and their spouses) were able to be there! What a blessing. Having grown up practically down the street from your parents, I've always wished I had known them, but I still feel a little connection. Love to you and the family!

vanessa said...

i'm so sorry about your mom! this was such a beautiful post and beautiful pictures. i'm glad you have so much support with your lovely family.

Brooke Holt said...

Aw I love what you wrote! You're the best mom!