Mom’s letter to Grandpa

Here is a letter we have my mother wrote to her father.  It is very tender and sweet.  In fact, it is heartbreaking.  This shows the soft side of Mom so many do not get to see anymore.  Honestly, this is the Mom I miss.

June 14, 1984

Dear Dad,

Remember when I was 3 yrs old and got my finger cut off.  I can still picture how scared and afraid you were.  I think it hurt you worse than it did me.  Then to hear all the guilt in your voice when you said “How many times have I told you to stay away from the lawn mower”?  How you kept saying “I should have shut it off.”  I know when I lost it again 5 yrs later you were having flashbacks.  But it wasn’t your fault I just wanted to see the blade go around.  I guess I just got started in life on the wrong foot.

Do you remember the pictures that mom took of me cutting your toe nails.  I used to cut your toe nails and calluses off all the time.  You never got mad at me when I’d get too deep.  I was still cutting them even after we moved up to Idaho.

I used to love it when you and I went hunting and fishing.  I still have to grin when I think of the time when that fish slapped my face.  Or when we were up Ox Killer and you had got your deer.  I was watching you gut it.  I picked up this thing and was looking at it.  When I asked what it was and you told me they were its BBD’s.  I got so embarrassed.  You grinned and laughed.  You know I don’t ever remember you laughing out loud.  You always laughed on the inside.  I wish I knew why you did this.

I loved it when Uncle Spence used to call me Little Nor.  It made me feel so proud.  I loved you so much and looked up to you as my idol.  You were the perfect Dad and I wanted to be just like you.  You know I’m more like you than you ever knew.  All the times when you wouldn’t fix my car but made me fix it myself with you looking over my shoulder made sure I did it right.  I thank you for it.

It seemed every time I got hurt you would chew me out.  When I was in that wreck and got my face ripped up you told me I should have been home where I belonged.  When I got my hand hurt there wasn’t much you said but I knew you blamed yourself.  I knew you better than you think or thought.  Your face told the story.  I know why you never would come and see me in the hospital too.  It hurt you so much to see me in pain.  You just couldn’t handle it.  Mom told me that was one weakness you had.  That’s OK, I understand or understood.  I still loved you anyway.

I’m sorry when I moved back to Utah that I didn’t keep in touch with you as much as I should of.  I wished someone would have told me that you and mom separated a little sooner.  It used to kill me when I would come up and talk to you at work.  You totally blew me away the 1st time.  I had never seen you cry before.  We cried on each other’s shoulders.  I would always feel so sad because you always felt so sad.  You know Dad if I would of come up that weekend and seen you maybe you would still be alive today.  I’ve often wondered about that.

When you were killed I wouldn’t and couldn’t believe it until I seen for myself.  Once I walked into Payne’s I knew but I prayed.  I stood over you for hours staring, touching, holding and feeling you.  I wanted to open your eyes.  When I was holding your hand I wanted you to squeeze mine.  When I kissed you I wanted for you to kiss me back.  But you never did.  After a long period of time I started to hallucinate.  I seen you move.  But each time I seen you move I would reach down and touch your hand and it was cold and hard.  I knew that I was just seeing things.  Only in my mind you were moving.  I still didn’t want to believe you were dead.  At the viewing in Webb’s I knew you were trying to talk to me because your mouth had started opening.  I waited and waited hoping you would say something.  But you never did.  At your funeral I gave up, lost hope.  I knew you wasn’t going to get up that’s why I couldn’t stand by your coffin with the family.  I couldn’t except you as being dead.  I still can’t but I know you are.  I was scared when Mom, Doug and Jackie were saying Good-Bye for the last time.  They were in such a big hurry to close the coffin that I didn’t get a chance to get over and say Good-Bye.  But then I think to, that maybe I didn’t want to say Good-Bye either.  It haunts me now because I feel so bad that I didn’t.  Sometimes I wish I had of so that you would let me go.  I will always love you Dad.  I will never ever forget you.

Dad when I met Milo he reminded me of you in so many ways.  Jackie and Mom think so too.  So don’t ever think that you aren’t on my mind.  I named my little boy after you and his dad.  Doesn’t that tell you something.  I’d give anything if you could be here to play with Paul and Sissy.  I know they would love you so very much.  I know you would be proud of them too.  I know you’d like Milo, too.  The two of you would of got along fine.  I sure wish you could of met him.  Milo would have loved you.

Well Dad, I guess I’ve told you everything I had to tell you.  Everything I can think of right now anyway.  I just want to tell you again that I love you and always will.  I won’t ever forget you.  I just wish you were still alive.

Love Always, Sandy

Thoughts in Malad

One of the best parts about being able to spray is that you have a nearly endless amount of time to think about anything you choose.  What a wonderful opportunity.  I hear of these people who are bored with their job, or have nothing to do, and even this job, that it is so boring.  Well, that tells the state of their mind doesn’t it?  What a wonderful opportunity.  It is like the old fairy tale of the hero getting into the cave of precious gems, with only one stipulation, that he can have any one he wants, but only one.  How sad that so many people choose to leave the cave with no gem, or with a tawdry, poor quality gem.
Anyhow, when I arrived at Larry’s this morning, he asked me about my meeting with Larry and Lori Kaye Gleim.  I told him about my experience and what it was they said.  He was disappointed that she did not want to get to know the family any.  He told me that he broke his leg and ended up staying with Donald and Carolyn for a time.  For about 4 1/2 months, nearly every day he would stay with baby Lori Kaye and take care of her.  He said he would never forget holding her on his knee and how beautiful she was.  He said there are some similarities between Toni and Lori Kaye, but he considered Lori Kaye beautiful as a baby.  That was only confirmed when he met her at her Grandfather’s, Harley Jepsen, funeral.  He said he could see the point of her keeping it quiet, but just did not understand it.
It was an interesting starter thought for the day.  I sprayed for a couple of hours thinking about that.  I think of the doctrine that at the last day all things shall be made known.  Those things which are secret shall be shouted from the rooftops.  Now, whether that has any bearing on me, I do not know.  However, Lori Kaye’s mother, and Lori Kaye will some day have to face that.  At some point, Lori Kaye’s own children will have to be told who is their biological grandfather.  At some point, Carolyn, for what reason she is hiding all this, pride, children’s hearts, or something else, will have to face it an answer it.  It will all have to be sorted out.  Especially someone who is where she is now, you would hope the wife of a Stake President would be more honest with her own family.  The wife of a High Councilman, who is a representative to a student stake, would also be more honest with their own family.  Anyhow, to each their own.  However, I would feel that I would seek to know the man to whom I was born in the covenant to.  The man to whom untold priesthood blessings will come to me.
I finally took a moment to drive near the elementary school, and notice the foundation of the old Evan’s store still there across the street (the old Malad High School).  It was Diane Evans Spackman’s grandparents store.  (I stayed with the Spackman family in Eagle last year.  She told me about it last year, finally I took the time to pay attention to see if I could see it.  It is still there.
I sprayed this lady’s lawn who was in the back yard while I was working.  We started talking.  She told me about her husband’s death in February (Bill Price).  She told me about his death, how it happened, and how she is struggling.  I was not sure how to reply.  But I just listened.  She asked me about my winter and I told her about my marriage.  She was excited and told me about her marriage.  Eventually, I found out she currently lives in what was her parents house.  Then, found out her father was a four term Senator to the state of Idaho.  She asked me if I liked to read, and I told her I did and biographies were my favorite.  I told her I was currently reading a biography on Borah.  She then told me that U.S. Senator Borah was a friend of her father.  In fact, she remembered her father and Sen. Borah talking on the front porch of that house.  I was surprised.  She told me about her memories of the man.  Who would have thought I could get personal testimony on a man whose biography I was reading at the time.  I was very impressed with how genuine Helen Daniels Price was.  I spent a good half hour visiting with her about the lives of others.  She was a librarian in Malad for 25 years or so.  Such great people in the world everywhere. 
At some down time, I read some of the Nuffer family history that Larry gave to me.  It was a very interesting read about Neuffen, Germany.  Also some of the surrounding towns my family is from.  It was interesting to learn that John Nuffer (son of John Christoph Nuffer, my Great, Great, Great Grandfather) studied architecture and building in Stuttgart before converting and coming to America.  That is why he ended up building so many buildings including the Oneida Academy.  He also worked on the Logan Temple.  It was interesting to read his blessing by Apostle Teasdale and setting apart as a Seventy before going back to Germany for a mission.  It will be interesting to read more.
I visited with Lorraine Dives today, whose son is Larry Dives, who lives in Pleasantview, and works at the Malad Post Office.  We had a good visit about her yard and how it is improving.  It is these types of experiences that I like.  Mingling with those individuals who are the salt of the earth and go about doing their own thing.
Of other news, something to add to the usual surprises of life.  Amanda returned home on Thursday evening to find that there was a fine layer of dust throughout the house.  Originally, due to the dark nature of the dust, it was assumed to be coal dust.  There are workers replacing the old coal furnace in the basement, and somehow they ended up shooting dust up into both apartments. Our landlord, John Payne, send a nice cleaning lady to take care of the problem.  Saves us from having the clean the whole home I suppose. But it was not a happy thing for Amanda to discover.
Well, that will do for today.  Tomorrow is spraying in Malad again.  I have to admit, it is the only place in the country I know of, and somehow a great source of pride to me, that they fly an American flag on every other light pole on the main streets.  The clincher, on the other poles there is a Welsh Flag.  Reminded me of my mission, and I am excited that a city takes its heritage to heart and shows it.  So many cities have become mainstream Babylonia.  Here is a town who has not forgotten some of what it is and where it came from.  Plus, I have a special place in my heart for Cymru.  I even bought a Welsh Book of Mormon a while back and would like to learn to read it.    I hope Malad is doing it for the right reasons, and continues to do it, for it is a wonderful thing.
Tomorrow Amanda and I attend Prairie Home Companion.  I am really excited.  Not that I have to leave at 5:30 in the morning to finish work in time, but that I am going to personally attend a Prairie Home Companion.  I have always admired them, even from when I was in Junior High.  Also, tomorrow night after Prairie Home Companion, Amanda and I attend the last Utah Temple, Ogden.  That will complete our goal of attending all 11 temples.  If we had time, I would like to get in both Idaho Temples (soon to be 4!).