Monday, July 26, 2010

Oh, Be Wise...

  • bad things happen to good people
  • good people do bad things
Every now and then...
  • people do stupid things without getting caught
  • most people get "caught" when they choose to do stupid things
  • you can play with "fire"
  • the "fire" wins
My sister told me the father of her grandson overdosed on drugs this past weekend. He died. He was 25 years old. He was from a good family. He was a returned missionary. He was a good-hearted person. He was a loving father. Somewhere along the way he made some stupid choices and kept making them until they eventually killed him. He is gone. His son has lost his father. His father has lost his son. A family is shattered, now trying to make sense of it all.

Remember, every choice has a consequence.

Good consequences are those which we seek.

Be Wise in the choices you make.

I love you,
Mama B

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Paying the Price

Last night I took some of the Young Women on a hike to Ensign Peak. The internet assured me it was an easy hike, appropriate for all ages and fitness levels. I approached the activity with confidence that it would be a positive experience for us all.

Glancing towards the ridge we were going to ascend, I wondered if we had been fooled by an over-zealous reviewer of this supposedly easy trail. Our goal looked even more ominous at the trailhead, but, while ignoring the murmurs of some of the girls, we moved forward with a determination to get to the top!

My body (and spirit) responded to the challenge in positive ways. I felt invigorated as the trail required more and more from me. Eventually, we did reach the summit and enjoyed breath-taking views and cooling breezes.

A view from the trail

The hard work to get to the top was so worth it. Every one of us made the goal. WE ALL SUCCEEDED at what we had started out to accomplish! Each of us got to the top. Each of us enjoyed the the views and the breezes. It didn't matter that some of us got to the top sooner or easier than others. It didn't matter that some of us made the journey with smiles and positive attitudes while others needed a little more love and encouragement. We all made it to the top because we were all willing to Pay the Price to get there.

Life is so like that! The prize is promised to anyone willing to Pay the Price - to make the sacrifices, to exercise the discipline to do what needs to be done, to choose the right, to bless the lives of others, to be kind and loving and all that good stuff. We each have to make our own journey at our own pace. I can't make it for you and you can't make it for me. The attitudes we choose determine if the journey will be happy or not, or if we are invigorated by the challenges we face or not. But, regardless of how we choose to make the journey, sticking to the path and following the guideposts along the way - Paying the Price - assures us all eventual success!

Remember this, when you remember me.

Momma B

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Lessons Learned from Grandpa Merrell

A preface to any reader - My dad has cancer.  He had cancer a couple of years ago - pancreatic cancer.  He was miraculously cured.  It was a miracle because people just don't survive pancreatic cancer.  He was cancer free.  No sign of cancer.  Until this past spring, in a routine scan they found two spots on his lungs.  He is now on his second round of chemo. He is tired.  But he doesn't complain.  He doesn't let on that he is in pain or that things are bad.  But, he is, they are.  This is a letter to my children.

The point of this post is to let you know what a great man your Grandpa Merrell is.  If I can think of one word to describe him it would be generous.  He is generous with his time.  He is generous with his money (which he has very little of).  He is generous with his service.

Many years ago our family had part ownership in a couple of waterbed stores in California, when waterbeds were cool.  I sold the beds and Dad delivered them.  I remember he would do anything for a customer.  If they needed the bed set up that day, he would do it.  It was easy to sell beds because of the great customer service Chuck would provide.

When I was at BYU I knew I could call home anytime and he would send me money.  I was at the Western Union office picking up money orders so frequently, the guy who worked there eventually asked me out on a date.  My first experience at skiing - at night - Disaster!  But, I digress!  If I needed money Dad would send it.  I'm sure I abused his generosity as only children can, but he never complained.  Looking back I am certain it was a hardship on them.

Dad has always been ready to serve - anyone.  He has a happy, willing heart.  I'm grateful for his example.  

His positive attitude - even now as he is so seriously ill - has always been an inspiration to me.  I remember one time I was with a bunch of my friends.  I don't remember the details, we were on an outing and things weren't going well. Everyone else was complaining and whining.  I offered a positive outlook and one of my friends said, "You were just like your Dad just then."  I don't know why that one particular experience has stuck with me.  Maybe it was because I wanted to be like him so much.  

Dad comes from great, hard-working, simple Arizona stock.  I have always loved the heritage I can claim from his side of the family.  I wish you could have known his parents, his brothers and his sisters.  They were amazing people - just like your Grandpa.  

I would challenge each of you to spend what time you can with him while he is still here with us.  It's easy to get busy with our lives and I know we will see him again one day.  But, you can learn great things from him NOW.  You can learn to be generous from him NOW.  You can learn to work hard and be positive from him NOW.

He would love it.  I'm certain you would too.

I love you.