I have been blessed by so many great women through out my life. I have always looked up to these women with such a deep respect and have a deep love for them. I want to be just like them in so many ways and live up the legacy that they have left for me to follow behind. Bishop Bourgeous said that one day I will stand in Heaven with all the Women that went before me and I will find myself worthy to stand among them.
First and foremost I love my Mother. She has worked so hard and dedicated her life to raising a good family. My Mom has always been there whether I was making good or bad choices. She always gives me unconditional love and companionship. My Mom has been my rock and has taught me to never give up on the Lord and to endure to the end. Mom I could not do this without you. I love you Mom! My Mother has taught me to walk and hold onto the Iron rod. My Mom has been married to my Dad for 30+ years trust me when I say that has not been an easy road to walk down!
Brenda J. Eldredge, is my dear sweet mother in law. I love this woman dearly. She is a wonderful and caring mother to 10 children. She has dealt with a hearing disability most of her life that has caused her many years of hardship. She goes to church every Sunday, but never hears the lessons being taught. October of 1998 her son Kenny was killed in a terrible automobile accident. Brenda has stayed true and faithful to our loving Heavenly Father and her testimony has never wavered from his great plan of happiness for us. I never hear this woman say a bad thing about any one and she is always striving to help others. Thank you Brenda!
Sharron Huish is another women whom I am striving to be like. I have known Sharron since I was a little girl and she has watched me grow into the Woman I am today. Sharron has many qualities that I love and admire. When Sharron, was in her child bearing years she had a total of Nine pregnancy’s, she has 6 angel babies and 3 surviving children. The day Sage passed away she told me to cleave unto Spencer and just hold each other. This advice has gotten us through some really hard times. Sharron helped my Mom sew Sages burial clothing this is something that I will always hold dear to my heart. She also sewed the satin blanket that wraps my baby's body until I see him again. Sharron has instilled in me a great desire to gather my food storage and be prepared! Thank you Sharron for being an example to this little girl!
Ione R. Rogers is my Grandma Reidhead’s mother. Even though I did not meet her in this life time she has left her journals behind for her posterity to read in our times of sorrow or joy, to lift us up and give us strength to face life. Remembering, as she did that there is a true and living God who listens to our needs, and gives answers to our prayers. Grandma had 11 children. When Dean was about 15 months old he contracted polio, after 10 days he was paralyzed and on August 26th, 1923 he passed away. Her husband Lowell always said to her about raising all of their children, “We’ve got a big job ahead of us for the next 20 years”! Grandpa Lowell fell out of the back of a truck on his way to work one morning and hit his head, he passed away on October 28th, 1937. They had only been married 19 years. Grandma would say that “The Lord knew best he must go on”. Grandma Ione raised her 10 children for 22 years alone before she remarried. She taught school in Linden and took over the ranch/farm after her husbands death. Grandma said it is really easy to feel sorry for your self. She said every time you have a negative thought you need to turn that thought into a positive one right away! I am thankful for her journal and the faithful life she led.
Mildred Jordan is my Papa Pats Mother. She was a strong woman from Southern Mississippi. I do not know much about her. I have heard lots of stories about how terrible my grandpa and his brothers were to their Momma. They burned her house to the ground! Grandma Jordan used to nail railroad spikes into her rafters and hung those naughty boys up in gunny sacks while she waxed her hard wood floors! All five of her boys grew up and served our country in time of war. They served in the Korean and Vietnam wars. Grandma Jordan buried her first child, a boy, Fred Jordan Jr. She fell asleep nursing him and when she woke up her son had died in her arms. She always wondered if her breast had smothered him or if he simply passed in his sleep . Then she had 3 boys - Ted, Charlie and my grandpa Pat, then she had twin sons that died shortly after their births. She had John and then lost another child. Then she had Barbara and Mildred and then lost another baby. They performed a partial hysterectomy after that and she thought her child bearing years were over when she was blessed with one more baby a son she named Howard or Buddy. I can honestly say that I have heard the voice of a woman with a deep southern accent talking to me and helping me during those first couple weeks after, Sage had moved on. How could she continue on after burying 5 babies? She had to have a very strong faith to continue on and endure to the end. My grandpa said that his mother was happiest when she was pregnant or nursing and that his mother loved being a mom. Thank you Grandma Jordan for all that you have done for me.
Shirley Davis is a woman in my Mother-In-Laws ward. She wrote us a very heartfelt letter a month after Sage passed away.
Dear Brenda and Larry,
I wanted to let you know how much I relate to your Heart Break over your tiny grandson's passing. On 16 Jan 1956 at 6:30 A.m. I went to get tiny Baby Billy out of his carriage so Bill could play with him a few min. He was dead, a cruel sight I'am of Crib death. We were alone, 7 miles down in canyon at Horse Mesa Dam. that makes Apache lake. we had to bring him to Mesa on the back seat of our car. Our 12th ward stepped in and we could never have made it without them. There are no words that can rid of the pain. My grandmother who lost a 18mo old girl said it is only time that helps. I have gained a few tidbits of knowledge in the past 52 yrs. Billy was loaned to us for a short time, I think I knew I'd never keep him when he was born. He could sit up a 2 months and could reach for things and had said Da. I know now, all he needed was his body. His mission was on the other side. His short life here was only to fulfill the letter of the law.
How thankful I am to this perfect stranger Shirley Davis. I know that even 52 years from now my heart is still going to hurt but, that I can do this for the next 52 years. She has a wonderful testimony of the Millennium and Eternities, where there will be no such thing as crib death or war.
Emma Smith is the wife of our past dear Prophet Joseph Smith. Emma and Joseph buried 6 children most of them while in infancy. Even though I have never met Emma how grateful I am for her and her life. She had remarkable compassion, courage and dignity. Emma had an unwavering testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ. I heard a song written about Emma and these words ring in my mind and thoughts “She buried her husband and children with a Queen’s grace”. I pray that I can live up to her example and carry on in faith and righteousness. I pray that I will be able to have the grace and courage that she had to have to face such hard trials.
Shirell Allan is in my ward, she buried her little boy Brandon five months before we buried Sage. This woman has taught me so much. She is beautiful and always has her head held high. She did something for me that I will never forget. Something that I will hold very close to my heart for eternity something so special that I will not share it as I hold it sacred. I want to thank her for going to church each Sunday and bearing her testimony of Gods love for each and every one of us. I need to know that God loves me and is not punishing me. I am heartbroken that Shirell and her family know this heartache that we are facing but, I am thankful for my friend. She is a beautiful woman and I love her.
Debra Polamo is another woman whom I love and admire. Three years ago on Fathers day an airplane crashed near Payson Arizona. On that plane her husband passed away - 4 women became widows - 2 people lost both their husband AND their child - 16 kids lost their fathers... and all of it was to the same plane crash. Debra is raising her 2 little boys on her own and she is doing a wonderful job! She is always at church and is always happy and willing to help others! Debra has an unshakable testimony of Eternal families.
Kathy Bourgeous is my Bishops wife. Kathy is the loving Mother to 11 children and she always makes sure that I get a hug at church. Kathy is a fun person to be around and is always making me want to be a better person. She has some built in radar that lets her know when I have storm clouds in my eyes! I am thankful for her and her sweet spirit that she has. I am thankful for her and her ability to light a room! She is a good wife and mother! I feel blessed to be her friend.
Becky and Tommy Norris, members of my parents ward, were blessed to be pregnant with their second child. Shortly thereafter they learned that they were going to be parents to a little girl, but the probability of their daughter living for very long was extremely low. Their daughter was diagnosed with a condition called Dandy-Walker Cyst. The doctors believed that the Norris’ baby would deteriorate and pass away during pregnancy, but much to their surprise DeLanee developed until 28 weeks gestation when she was delivered and lived for three hours. As you can imagine, these 3 hours was precious time that they spent as a family with their daughter taking pictures, bathing, dressing and holding her until she passed away in their arms. Becky has been so sweet to me. Becky is an inspiration to me. Because of her I have seen that life will and can go on with joy and happiness! Becky is making the best out of a bad situation and is striving to help others in their time of need. She makes Memory/grief boxes and donates them to the hospital DeLanee was born at.
These boxes, either blue or pink, are given to mothers who’s babies pass away. She has found a way to remember her daughter and to serve others in their darkest hours. Stop by Becky’s blog and read about the wonderful things she is doing in DeLanee’s honor. http://www.laneeslegacy.blogspot.com/
As you can see this list can go on and on forever. I hope to not offend anyone that I have failed to mention. I know of other women in my ward who have lost children and they keep on moving forward with faith. Many others have severe health problems, divorce and so many other things that make this life so hard. My point is this - I have been blessed with so many strong women around me and that came before me that love and care for me. Heavenly Father does let bad things happen to good people but he has a plan for all of us. Heavenly Father loves us and has provided a way for us to be happy again some day. I pray that one day when I am in heaven that I will be found worthy to stand with all of these faithful Women and know that I belong with them! I don’t want one of my grandchildren to think that their Grandma was unfaithful and disbelieving! Lucy Mac Smith said “ We must cherish one another, watch over one another, comfort one another and gain instruction, that we may all sit down in Heaven together”. I know that the experiences we have while here on earth are for our good and give us experience to strengthen us and increase our faith. I pray that this will not break me but stretch me and mold me into the woman that Heavenly Father needs me to be!