Aug 22, 2011

Insipiration

Have you ever known anyone that had truly left an imprint on your heart? I have and it is quite a humbling experience to know that there are still amazing people around. It's actually a whole family! These are the Wilson's. Jerry and Lanea have done a magnificent job in raising their children to be respectful, loving and willing to serve in any capacity that they see might fit the needs of those around them.
{photo belongs to omiphoto.com}
When I moved to California a year ago this was the family that welcomed me with open arms in our ward. Let me share a little background history for you. For those of you that follow me know that my in-laws have known my dad even before I was born. My father in-law, Jerry and my dad have known each other for a long time and were good friends. Jerry continued to keep in touch with my dad throughout the years and the Wilson's live pretty close to my in-laws. There are so many ties that continue to keep us all together. I find it amazing. We all attend the same ward and Jerry continued to strengthen relationships by opening up the gym on Monday mornings for members and non-members alike to play basketball. Also my father in-law and Jerry shared their love of the game by putting together a very well organized basketball tournament for a scouts fundraiser.
The Wilson's attended baby Jack's first birthday party. We had Jack's party at Chuck-E-Cheese and I remember when the Wilson family walked in Jerry looked just as excited as the kids to play all of the games! I remember Jerry asking me if I remember coming to their old house in Sandy, Utah with my dad so my dad could fix their van. I found it a little odd I didn't remember because I usually remember everything. He also asked me if I remembered when he used to stop by our old house in Magna, Utah. I had no recollection. He also remembered little details such as certain photos of my parents. The ones that I liked to laugh at because they were so goofy. I had no idea this wonderful family was in my life for that long.
The one thing I knew though was that this family had left such an amazing impression on me.
Jerry's wife Lanea reached out to me and was always so warm and welcoming.
This family serves with all their heart and I definitely feel love when coming in contact with any member of their family.
When I would talk to Lanea I almost felt as if she was a kindred spirit! A little silly I suppose but ever since I read the book, Anne of Green Gables, I have felt that I've come in contact with a few kindred spirits.
I truly felt like the Lord has used Lanea as a tool of service for me and for that I am forever grateful.
When Isaiah left to North Carolina, I knew it was a good reason that I was staying behind but it still didn't fill the void that was missing while he was gone. I could feel myself trying to stay positive but failing at every attempt. On the surface I looked fine but inside I felt empty.
I missed him dearly and one day at church Lanea came up to me and asked how I was doing.
I couldn't help but break down and cry.
She was so great in comforting me and the next Sunday she brought a little gift for me. She knew that I enjoyed writing so she had given me a journal and on the front the words, "One Day at a Time" were written. She gave me a dvd that was about the Plan of Salvation and a really encouraging card. As I read the card I couldn't hold back the tears. It was exactly what I needed at the exact moment. It confirmed to me that the Lord knows me and that if people are susceptible to the promptings of the Spirit and listen to that still small voice, they can be the Lord's tool. I'm so grateful to have the privilege of knowing this family. They are faithful and strong and I hope that I can strive to have the traits they possess. They are definitely a little piece of heaven on earth.

On August 6, 2011 Jerry had a heart attack and passed away.
When I heard the news I was devastated. It didn't seem real and as I type this it still doesn't seem real.
He is an amazing man that put everyone especially his family before himself. He worked hard and more importantly he played hard.
He loved playing basketball every Monday with the guys.
He loved to joke and loved to keep in touch with everyone. He loved his family and always found ways to nurture his relationships with his wife and his children. He is so genuine.
I remember Hola's first Sunday this past summer. I walked Hola to class and we ran into Jerry in the hall. Jerry had this huge grin on his face and he looked so happy for me that I was able to finally have my Hola with me.
Family is so important to him that it made him happy that I was happy, it was evident on the great smile he had.
I was grateful that each time passing him in the halls at church he would ask how I was doing and would tell me to hang in there while Isaiah was gone.
He always wanted to know how I was doing and especially how Isaiah was doing.
He cared about everyone and he was so faithful in his calling.
My last Sunday in California was last week and it definitely brought me to tears when I looked up at the pulpit and didn't see him sitting there as he always did with the rest of the Bishopric.
I feel honored and blessed to have known him.
I love this family with all my heart and think that they are simply amazing.
As I sat in on the funeral services and listened to Lanea, I couldn't help but be grateful that families can be together forever. She is such a strong individual and they have inspired me to keep striving to find ways to build my testimony.
I am so truly blessed to have this gospel in my life.
I couldn't imagine life without it.
I know that Jerry has another mission beyond the veil to accomplish and that his family will have the strength as well as the comfort in knowing that they will be able to see their father and husband again.


{Jerry and Lanea, this photo belongs to omiphoto.com}

I know that this life is a probationary period and that tomorrow is never promised so I hope that you all continue to tell your loved ones how much you care about them and how much you appreciate them.
I hope that you hold no regrets or grudges.
More importantly I hope you take the steps to be of good cheer and serve those around you.
Forget yourself that you may know the true meaning of love through service.
You never know what kind of impression you might leave on someone.
Thank you Lanea for your Christlike attributes and for your willingness to serve.
There are no words to express my love and appreciation for you. I know that you will one day be reunited with your sweetheart and what a comforting feeling that is to know. Thank you Jerry for continuing to keep the friendship alive with my dad so that we could stay connected. Families are forever.


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