Grief and Solace

We spent time at Bunker Funeral Home today making burial arrangements for Amos.

There will be a viewing at the funeral home Tuesday evening from 6 to 8pm at 33 N Centennial Way Mesa, AZ 85201. Flowers, etc. can be sent to that address.

The funeral services will be held 10am Wednesday, September 13th at 1521 E Bella Vista Rd San Tan Valley, AZ 85143 with a viewing at 9am.

Stages of grief have been apparent in all of us since Amos passed away yesterday. It comes in waves and moves between sadness, anxiety, grief, apathy, anger and love. We take turns comforting each other and breaking down when we are triggered by sentiments. We love him so much and are having difficulty defining our new world without him physically in it.

I found solace in the temple tonight with my sisters Phoebe and Sarah and my friend Rebecca. The blessings of the temple helped broaden my perspective and help me realize that we will have an eternity together. Right now is only a small moment in that big scene.

We ran into a teacher from the kids’ school at the temple who told us they had a moment of silence for Amos today and everyone was so emotional. We love our community and have been flooded with love and support from everywhere.

We need to apologize to Darin and Greg. There were two local radio spots we had planned. We couldn’t make them happen today but I’m sure things will get easier for us to talk about.

Tomorrow’s Decision

Tomorrow is the big day for Amos. We will finally have his CT scans and labs then sit with Dr. Kundranda to decide on a new plan for his treatment.

Tonight Amos is at the temple so maybe he will get some advanced help with his decision tomorrow. We are hoping for a clinical trial that will work for him. #teamamos

Porter rode his bike all the way to seminary this morning for a young mens’ activity. He has such great leaders and I’m so grateful they kept him mostly safe. He only fell off his bike once.

My family members are starting to trickle in from out of town for my nephew’s wedding. I think my dad arrived today and others will be coming over the next few days. I am so excited to see them.

My cute niece Kimmy just got back from her mission in Russia and we are all so happy to have her home safe.

So the door on our old minivan doesn’t stay closed anymore today. That constant beeping is driving me crazy and it isn’t safe to transport kids because it randomly slides open while driving. This means I might actually get Amos to agree to trade it in tomorrow after we are finished at the cancer center. Last time it broke down he said it was time for a new car but then Josh had to go and fix it. Haha. We love you Brother Pearce.

I don’t want to talk about my sugar withdraws because I might jinx my diet again. #noeastertreats

One Year as Bishop

Today marks one year since Amos was set apart as bishop and this was us one year ago. We look pretty carefree.

Yes, life has taken its toll on both of us this past year, but it has also been the best year I can remember in many ways. It is apparent to me now why the Lord selected Amos to serve as bishop in this area at this time even though he would find out 3 months later he had end-stage cancer. I’m grateful that we aren’t always given what we want but are often given exactly what we need to grow.

Amos is slowly recovering from his last chemo round and feeling a little better today. He has one more round to go for this treatment plan.

The kids were back at school, Amos was back at work and I was sick. Thankfully I had Toby and Tiberius to take care of me.

My mom always let me watch TV when I was home sick as a little girl. I love period dramas so I watched Charles Dicken’s Bleak House on Amazon. I thought it was very well done.

We thought Kirra’s district spelling bee was tonight but it’s Thursday which is better so I can have time to get well and Amos can go to the temple with his priests for mutual. He came home for dinner then ran back out the door.

 

 

Tournament

Amos woke up early to go to the temple with the youth. He can’t do baptisms so he does confirmations but he can’t feel how hard or soft he is putting his hands on someone’s head so he struggles with that too.

Amos then spent the rest of the day at Porter’s wrestling tournament. I worried about him but he seems to have good energy back.

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My sweet boy doesn’t have the strength to win matches yet. He has lost every match this season, but he isn’t letting it get him down and he works as hard as anyone I’ve ever seen. Today is the first day Amos was able to watch him and coach him a little. He was able to help him learn how to improve. Porter wants so much to be a wrestler like his dad although he is built more like a basketball player. I think it’s ok to stretch ourselves to improve in areas where we may not be particularly talented. It builds character, teaches humility and helps our weaknesses become strengths.

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Now we just need to put some weight on this boy.

Evelyn cheered for Porter at the tournament while I cheered on my little girls cleaning the house. My favorite part of the day was Kirra making a spreadsheet to manage the housecleaning. She gave all of us assignments including me. I loved that she took on the role of taskmaster so I could be the kind mommy. I’m really getting a kick out of watching these fun kids grow up and seeing their potential for greatness. We got the house cleaned and we are ready for Sunday.

 

To the Pain

The temple session yesterday was a special experience for us.  Being there with so many family members was like heaven on earth.

After meetings today, church, and more meetings, Amos is now bringing the sacrament to a member of our ward who was not able to attend.  We are holding dinner for him.  His drink is sitting out on the table to get warmer since even slightly cold drinks are too cold for him.

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Amos experienced pain after his initial surgery but from the point he healed he has only had to deal with fatigue, cold shocks, numbness and discomfort, but not pain.

Today the pain is real.  I saw him rubbing his hands as he conducted sacrament meeting.  He told me his feet and fingertips are really starting to hurt.  I know the pain of neuropathy as do several of my family members and I feel for him.   I pray he can find some comfort as days go by.

 

 

 

Service Saturday

Before Dean (Amos’s dad) left, he financed a service project and recruited the young men in our ward.  Today that project happened and I have been on the edge of tears all day with feelings of gratitude spilling over.  We woke up at 5 am to the sounds of Brother Wheeler, the president of the young men in our ward, prepping for a concrete delivery.  Our home had a dirt backyard when we moved in.  We had grand plans for the backyard that have been placed on the back burner with his calling as bishop and the cancer diagnosis.  Amos put grass and sprinklers in the yard but hadn’t gotten to the sides of the house that were still dirt.  When we water the lawn, the dirt turns to mud which leaves a mud path on the side of the house.  Every week we had to bring the trash cans from the back yard to the front, tracking them through the mud.  Amos’s dad noticed the problem and set in motion a solution.  They decided on a cement path going from the front to the back then extending cement around the other side of the house. What an incredible service for these good men to do.  Thank you, thank you to all of you.

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My past two blogs have highlighted my magnificent, only son and his teenage follies.  Today will not disappoint.  Amos had the sentimental idea to do hand prints before the cement dried.  One of our little girls said, “Oh ya dad, Porter already wrote a message over there.”  Amos, wen’t in a panic to see what “message” he may have written.  Right in our front yard next to the garage he found carved in the cement “THE BODIES ARE HERE !” Amos hurried to ask if it could be erased before the cement dried.  Five more minutes and it would have been permanent! It’s a good thing I wasn’t home because I may not have been as patient with him as dad was.

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I was doing some service at the Gilbert temple.  Evelyn and I left at 6 am to meet The Piano Gal and her dad.  They helped us do some baptisms for my ancestors.  We then went for another service project at the recording studio for Julia Warren who lives in San Diego.  She is a member of our church who wrote an award-winning new primary song.  She found Evie Clair online and wanted her to record this song.  We agreed and recruited Sara Arkell for piano and  David Buhelr to play flute.  Amos joined us, virtually, on the live Facebook event we did from the studio.

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Next, I had a Relief Society activity at the church.  I didn’t realize one of the projects was a memory blanket for Amos that the women in the ward were quilting.  Once again the gratitude and tears came welling up for me today because of selfless service I was witnessing and the love of those around us for my family.

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Amos met me at the church and we went into the hospital to get his chemo pump removed.  I almost fell asleep on the drive home.  He was too weak to drive.  We are in for a couple of rough chemo-side-effect days but at least we’ve both gotten a nap in.