Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Balloons


This just got delivered to our home by my boss, Sheila Kepic, who owns Exclusive Balloons here in Sheffield Lake.  She now has so much time on her hands as do many small business owners so she's going around to various places and dropping these off to cheer their day.  

Sheila arrived with a mallet and hammered in a tube into our front garden and let me tell you...she has to be pretty strong because our front garden mostly rocks.  But she has to be very strong to be able to create the designs she does for proms and weddings.



The wind was blowing pretty fiercely and so Robert stepped up to help hold the stem while she screwed the stem into the tube she had already hammered into the ground.


And here she is, skinny and as pretty as she can be.  What a good woman



Sunday, March 15, 2020

COVID19

This has been a crazy week and today, the Sabbath finds us at home...as we have been for 3 days.

CDC is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China (detected but not reported by China in mid December 2019 and which has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).
On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a “public healthy emergency of international concern"  On January 31, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared a public health emergency (PHE) for the United States to aid the nation’s healthcare community in responding to COVID-19. On March 11 WHO characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic. On March 13, the President of the United States declared the COVID-19 outbreak a national emergency.
We have been told to stay away from large gatherings, schools and universities have been stopped for at least 3 week or for the rest of the college semester.  Then that was increased to say no more than 100 in a group.  Stand 6' away from anyone.  The nursings homes, including Patsy's, have stopped all visitors and that makes perfect sense.  Luckily we went to see Patsy on Wednesday and had a full set of questions we had to answer and tags to put on and were warned they might have to stop visitors...3 hours after we got home I got the phone call saying no more visits til we are told it is OK.  Luckily I can talk with Patsy by phone.
The complete clinical picture with regard to COVID-19 is not fully known. Reported illnesses have ranged from very mild (including some with no reported symptoms) to severe, including illness resulting in death.  Older people and people of all ages with severe chronic medical conditions — like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, for example — seem to be at a higher risk of more serious complications including death.


COVID-19 Now a Pandemic- March 11


A pandemic is a global outbreak of disease. Pandemics happen when a new virus emerges to infect people and can spread between people sustainably. Because there is little to no pre-existing immunity against the new virus, it spreads worldwide.

  • CDC established a COVID-19 Incident Management System on January 7, 2020. On January 21, CDC activated its Emergency Operations Center to better provide ongoing support to the COVID-19 response.
  • The U.S. government has taken unprecedented steps with respect to travel in response to the growing public health threat posed by this new coronavirus:
    • Foreign nationals who have been in China or Iran within the past 14 days cannot enter the United States.
    • U.S. citizens, residents, and their immediate family members who have been in China or Iran within in the past 14 days can enter the United States, but they are subject to health monitoring and possible quarantine for up to 14 days.
    • On March 11external icon, a similar policy was expanded to include 26 European countries for a period of 30 days.
    • On March 8, CDC recommended that people at higher risk of serious COVID-19 illness avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
    • Additionally, CDC has issued the following additional specific travel guidance related to COVID-19.
  • CDC has issued clinical guidance, including:
  • CDC has deployed multidisciplinary teams to support state health departments case identification, contact tracing, clinical management, and public communications.
  • CDC has worked with federal partners to support the safe return of Americans overseas who have been affected by COVID-19.

  • An important part of CDC’s role during a public health emergency is to develop a test for the pathogen and equip state and local public health labs with testing capacity.
    • CDC developed an rRT-PCR test to diagnose COVID-19.
    • As of the evening of March 10, 79 state and local public health labs in 50 states and the District of Columbia have successfully verified and are currently using CDC COVID-19 diagnostic tests.
    • Combined with other reagents that CDC has procured, there are enough testing kits to test more than 75,000 people.
    • In addition, CDC has two laboratories conducting testing for the virus that causes COVID-19. CDC can test approximately 350 specimens per day.
    • Commercial labs are working to develop their own tests that hopefully will be available soon. This will allow a greater number of tests to happen close to where potential cases are.
  • CDC has grown the COVID-19 virus in cell culture, which is necessary for further studies, including for additional genetic characterization. The cell-grown virus was sent to NIH’s BEI Resources Repositoryexternal icon for use by the broad scientific community.
  • CDC also is developing a serology test for COVID-19.

CDC Recommends

  • Everyone can do their part to help us respond to this emerging public health threat:
    • Individuals and communities should familiarize themselves with recommendations to protect themselves and their communities from getting and spreading respiratory illnesses like COVID-19.
    • Older people and people with severe chronic conditions should take special precautions because they are at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness.
    • If you are a healthcare provider, use your judgment to determine if a patient has signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and whether the patient should be tested. Factors to consider in addition to clinical symptoms may include:
      • Does the patient have recent travel from an affected area?
      • Has the patient been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 or with patients with pneumonia of unknown cause?
      • Does the patient reside in an area where there has been community spread of COVID-19?
    • If you are a healthcare provider or a public health responder caring for a COVID-19 patient, please take care of yourself and follow recommended infection control procedures.
    • If you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 and develop symptoms of COVID-19, call your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms and your exposure. They will decide whether you need to be tested, but keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19 and people who are mildly ill are able to isolate at home.
    • If you are a resident in a community where there is ongoing spread of COVID-19 and you develop COVID-19 symptoms, call your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms. They will decide whether you need to be tested, but keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19 and people who are mildly ill are able to isolate at home.
  • For people who are ill with COVID-19, but are not sick enough to be hospitalized, please follow CDC guidance on how to reduce the risk of spreading your illness to others. People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness.
  • If you have been in China or another affected area or have been exposed to someone sick with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, you will face some limitations on your movement and activityPlease follow instructions during this time. Your cooperation is integral to the ongoing public health response to try to slow spread of this virus.

But people are NUTS. There's this huge run on toilet paper of all things.  Why TP?  No clue.  A lot of store shelves are empty.  Luckily we have had prophets that have been telling us for years to be prepared.  Apples Grocery store at Shoreway limited how much of certain products anyone was allowed to buy at one time (2) so all people could have a chance of getting things without cleaning out the shelves.
Then our church leaders told us to stay home from church til further notice.    This is the first email we all received from our Bishop Jason Guthrie:
Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Lorain ward -

As many of you have seen or heard already, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have temporarily suspended all church meetings until further notice. This means we will not be holding Sacrament meeting or any organizational meetings for the time being (young men, young women, primary, etc.).

While this action is an important step in slowing the spread of COVID-19, we encourage you to listen to and heed the suggestions of local government and health officials to keep yourself and family safe and healthy. We caution you to avoid falling prey to the panic and hysteria that are present at this time. Instead, please be safe, be smart, follow good judgment and heed the promptings of the Spirit.  

We also ask each of you to reach out to your assigned ministering families, especially those who do not have email addresses listed in LDS Tools or who may not check email frequently. Please call them and let them know that our weekly meetings have been cancelled and check to make sure that they are safe. During this period of social distancing, please practice Christlike "virtual ministering" by checking in with ward members via phone, text, Facebook or other social media. We have already heard from several members who are nervous and worried about the current situation and could use a reassuring voice.

We pray, like you, that this pandemic quickly passes and that we can meet together again soon. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your ministering brother or sister, Relief Society President Jill Pavic (440-984-1285), Elders Quorum President Cameron Coxe (216-854-1891) or a member of the bishopric. We will update you with any new information as conditions change.
Then came this:

Dear Brothers and Sisters -
There have been several questions about how members of the ward may receive the sacrament during this period where we are unable to meet as a ward family. After prayerfully considering the counsel from the Stake and Area presidencies, we are providing the following guidance to allow as many members as possible to participate in the sacred sacrament ordinance while simultaneously keeping everyone safe and healthy.

All worthy priesthood holders (Priests and Melchizedek priesthood holders) are authorized and encouraged to administer the sacrament to family members or others in their homes. Please note that this authorization is temporary and will last only until further guidance is provided or until we are able to meet again as a ward. If you need any instructions or guidance on how to administer the sacrament, please consult the new General Handbook section 18.9 or contact President Cameron Coxe.

We encourage priesthood holders to reach out to their ministering families or others who live nearby to join them in partaking of the sacrament each Sunday if there is not an ordained priesthood holder in their home. Such gatherings should not exceed 20 people. A spiritual thought may be given, but it is not necessary. Gatherings should be short and should not have lessons, talks, songs, etc. like a normal sacrament meeting. 

If an ordained priesthood holder is not in your home, we encourage you to reach out to your ministering brothers to arrange to partake of the sacrament at least once during the next four weeks. If practical, the sacrament may be administered more frequently. As mentioned previously, it is appropriate to gather as a small group to partake of the sacrament together as long as there are not more than 20 people.

As a general rule, please exercise caution and good judgment. If you are sick or do not feel comfortable, please don’t visit others to administer the sacrament or invite others to your home. Ordained Melchizedek Priesthood holders may continue to administer blessings of healing for those that are sick; however, please exercise the same caution and good judgment that you would at any other time administering to the sick (washing your hands before and after, limiting the time of exposure, etc.).

At this time we also encourage you to make sure your contact information is up to date and to double-check that the contact information for those you minister is also up to date online or in LDS Tools. As you have seen, the situation is updated quickly and up-to-date contact info ensures everyone receives information as quickly as possible.

If you have tithing you wish to donate, please consider paying it online. If you have not set up online tithing payments, now is the perfect time to do so :) Contact your ministering brothers or sisters for instructions or follow the online instructions here. If you are unable to pay online, donations may be mailed to Bishop Guthrie (39157 Arlington Drive, Avon, OH 44011). If you do not have a donation slip or envelope at home, please simply provide instructions with your donation.

Please take the opportunity tomorrow to spend time studying the materials in Come Follow Me in lieu of attending church and seek other opportunities to feel the Spirit during the week (scripture study, indexing and family history work, studying the first vision and restoration, etc.).

We love you and pray that you stay safe and healthy. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Bishop Guthrie
President Coxe
President Pavic

Here's my interesting take on the matter and the prompting I had.  When I was growing up, my mom and church leaders told us to always be prepared and to know that there would come a time when the only safe place to be would be in our homes, that even church  buildings might not be safe.  Also that we might have to have ways to worship in our homes.  Two  years ago we were set on the path of the Come Follow Me program where the church lessons were to be Home Centered, Church supported.  As a child and now as an adult, I always felt this lack of safety would be because of war or gangs.  Never thought it would the COVID-19.  But voila...here we are.

I purchase Christmas gifts all  year round because there are just so many to buy for and I like to consider them individually.  I had bought Jordan his and it was to be both birthday and Christmas.  Then I came up with an idea for the other 3 sons mainluy because I know Jacob doesn't like useless gifts.  My friend Susan Hansen, years ago, had bought her Robert a Sacrament Kit for when he was assigned to take the sacrament to housebound people.  I checked online and sure enough, they still had them. Since I already had bought Jordan's gift, I only ordered 4...one for my Robert and one each for Jacob, Ken and Steve.  They arrived and I was glad. But they arrived as this whole self-quarantine issue was coming to a head.  So I talked to the girls and told them I was sending their husbands' gifts to them immediately as now we would be using our homes as a place to partake of the Lord's supper each Sabbath.  The girls agreed and were very complimentary at how in tune with the Spirit I had been. And I was...I just didn't know it at the time.  But then I was bummed I hadn't bought one for Jordan so I went back online only to discover that now I needed to have an authorized calling to order another one.  Rats!  Well, perhaps in the near future I can order one OR I might ask Jacob who has bishop probably could order me another one for Jordan  We shall see.  But the 3 sons should be receiving their boxes tomorrow  My suggestion to the girls was to have them sing a Christmas Hymn before they open the boxes.

We had 2 guests in our home this morning for Sacrament service, James Keene assisted Robert and Jan Warren and I sat together.

Dawn snapped a picture of her home even though we all know she should not have but I when she sent it to me I said she needed to have that people as a moment to remember.  If we had this issue this time, there is sure to more moments like these come up and she needed to have this pass down.  I share the pictures now, grateful that my grandchildren are growing up in homes such as this, including Marissa's boys who without Hank have the better parent to teach them and will rely on the men of the Priesthood in their homes.


Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Freezer

Ten years ago we bought a freezer. The previous one had been purchased used  when we lived at 809and we had had it for decadeS, moving up here when we did.  It was large and upright, of course.  Toward the end of it's life I was spending a lot of time defrosting the bricks of ice from it.    It was a work horse.

It was a job to get next one, smaller since the kids were all grown and away from home.  But even at that it was crammed to the brim.  It was hard pressed to find things even tho I was always organizing it by types of things frozen.  But it worked and was frost free.  Five years ago it had a problem and a wonderful repairman, Chuck, came out.  Turned out there was just too much in front of the grate on the top shelf...something Dawn suggested we consider.  Chuck came out repeatedly over 3 days just to check the temp since he could find nothing else wrong with it.  And there was nothing...other than the top shelf didn't allow for proper ventilation.

THE OLD ONE


About a week ago, the red light on the front of the door kept alerting us that there was a HIGH temp reading. But when I'd open the door, everything was rock solid front.  I'd fuss a bit and then the light would go off.  But on Wednesday, March 4, it started an alarm.  I'd given a piano lesson and had asked Calynn if her grammy had any room in her freezer and she said there was plenty.  But by the next morning there was a softness to the smaller pieces of meat...like the hot dogs/sausages, etc.  So I called the grammy, Lois Hunsucker, and sure enough she had plenty of room and was happy to hold our meat til the repair man checked it out.  Luckily it was Chuck again.

I put all my freezer into those reusable tote bags and not only did Lois have enough room she had so much room that I could put all meats in her freezer WHILE STILL IN THE TOTES.  Lois' freezer was taller than I am with my arm extended and all she had in it were 4 loaves of bread a couple of chicken packages.  While I was there, the repair man came.  I had hoped that he would be able to fix it but naturally, I drove in and Robert said, don't take off your coat.  It's time for a new freezer.  Oh joy!  Well at least we didn't lose our food!  Thanks you very much, Lois.

We went to Stewart's appliances in Elyria (established for 74 years and we had purchase things from them before...great salesmen and service).  We had been told by Chuck as well as the salesman (and today by the delivery men) to just look at GE or Frigidaires.  We bought a GE.

It arrived today and is a bit bigger (17.5 CF compared to the 14 CF).  The shelves are a plexiglass and has different configuration and drawers. But very nice.  So we bid a fond farewell to the little one and hope the new one lasts 10 years.  By then, as Lois mentioned, we may be too old to even still be cooking or needing to have a freezer.


Meet Mr. CHILLBLAINE




Monday, March 09, 2020

The Sweetest Replies from Ella and Connor

Dear Granny,
My testimony of the Savior's atonement deepened when I read the word "was" in the sentence, "I just wish I had words enough to express how black that  hatred was!", because I know what that's like too! In my own way I have felt a level of bitter darkness washed from my soul through Him. 

I am also so overwhelmingly grateful for Rob. I am so grateful for the love in his heart. Granny I love you too!!! I don’t think I’ve ever expressed to you what you mean to me and I am so sorry for that. I think of all the many trips that we took to Ohio and all the many acts of love you showed me. I remember your blue house and Lady. I loved her!!! She was my favorite dog as a kid. I loved making food with you! I remember when you let me cut up potatoes and you had to ask my mom if it was okay that I used a knife. I remember sleeping in your basement with McKenna (Adelle now :) ) and I remember your mm machine and your book fair books you’d let us take home. I love those memories. I love the memories of you staying inside because you don’t go out in the heat!!! I remember all the Thanksgivings too, your rolls and pies are sooooo good!!!

I love your testimony, you live it and say it in words with every breath. IM SO INSPIRED BY THAT!!!

And most recently, your emails and our phone calls and texts. I love them because I feel like I’m reading the mind of a very wise counselor and I really value everything you say. Please write to me about all the things you’d hope I’d learn soon!! Sometimes I feel like I need advice but don’t know what it is that I need advice about!!
I always feel more directed after reading your emails so thank you!!!

I love you Granny, I couldn’t tell you how much I truly admire you. When I read the challenges you go through I feel a heaviness in my heart. I pray for you, and I love you!

I know you are carrying many burdens, what can I do to help? 

-Ella

Ha, i think its funny you think missionaries are sooo innocent. The language is fine.

I want to buy henry and co a new switch and minecraft. 
You know im quitting magic cards.  I have several hundreds of dollars of resale value in cardboard.  I told my mom to try and sell it.  At first i wanted to put it all towards the remainder of my mission but id like to put around 300 toward a switch.  Because little boys need to know that Good exists in the world.

If my mom won't do it I'll do it when i get home.  She may not know how to get the value out of them anyway.  I didn't care as much about getting money for them as much as getting rid of them, but I'd like to make good use of the useless worthwhile hours spent.

Minecraft is a waste of time but it would be a tragedy if those boys couldnt enjoy their time.  Eventually theyll learn theres a time to put it away. 

I've been thinking a bit about video games.  You remember that i only played as much video games back home as my mom watched movies and tv.  Maybe what she didnt understand was many of the video games were telling a story.  Now in my opinion a book is the optimal way to tell a story, but I think video games are number 2.  There is so much politics and fanservice and pleasing visuals in the world no matter what medium you seek entertainment. There are good video games and bad ones.  

I have learned a lot from video games. I think they have value.  

There's a quote by Brigham Young someone quoted in church yesterday.  It goes something like: Truth is Truth.  The Mormons don't corner the market on what is true.  If truth is found anywhere, it is still truth, whether from a prophet or a greek philosopher. 

I learned many important things about family from one game.  Another taught me the villain is child abuse, not the abuser or victim.  The drug, not the drug addict.  Another that hope is a force to be reckoned with.  Simply moving forward against crushing despair is something nobody (satan) can deal with.  Pokemon taught me when I was very young that good exists and will win in the end. 

Yeah I know this sounds really cheesy.  But it's what the spirit has been leading me to know and understand recently. 

Another lesson I learned is that regret is a weapon Satan uses to stress us and put us in despair. The spirit told me it's like the super hard video games you used to play.  You won't accomplish everything that seems physically possible, but don't let that make you forget the successes you do have.  I was a mega loser in High School, but now I understand that the losses were worth it because, hey, life is hard.  Life is stressful.  I'm a missionary and I'm repenting and moving forward and the things I missed out on shouldn't hold me back.  We won't ever have it all in this life.  But we have hope that we will have it all one day.
  Connor

Sister Hatch told me about Henry and your breakfast with him. He looks like a really sweet kid, and he really reminded me of my little brothers. I don't know if I can pray him a new Nintendo Switch, but I will pray that he will able to feel all the love which his Mom, grandparents, and Heavenly Father have for him.   Elder Sam Eddington


From Marissa after finally telling her about the post:

So I read the blog and cried a little during yoga. Reading it before yoga was the right choice because I could work all that out in a productive way. I am furious at him, sad for you that you had to feel all that, devastated for my sons who just voiced everything I was afraid they were feeling and processing that "Richard" remains convinced they are unaware of, resolved to keep pushing upward and being better and more for those boys, conflicted over whether I should give him a piece of my mind over this particular instance of selfishness, and finally, at peace knowing I can’t and don’t have to feel it all. I can move on from it because I've already wrestled those demons and am winning. No need to jump back in the ring with them again.

I do want to say to you this:
Thanks for being there. For being physically there so henry could physically say things to you that he couldn’t say to me ..because I’m sure he’s trying to protect me. I love you. Henry loves you. You two are wonderful.

Friday, March 06, 2020

I WAS RESTORED BY A YOUNG BOY


Image result for image of LDS First vision
During October 2019 General Conference our Prophet Russell M. Nelson encouraged all to dig deeper into the First Vision of Joseph Smith and devise questions we needed to be answered.  Honestly, I haven't delved as deeply as some but I have had the story and the vision of the event pass through my head and heart quite a bit.  But today I had my own type of vision as to what occurred that day.


Henry had called to invite us to attend his school's (Grant Elementary) Breakfast with Grandparents before school and since he lives so close we were able to.  It wasn't much...a muffin, fruit, and juice but it was fun and all the kids were so happy to have their grandparents there, to show them around.  We were able to check out some books that were on the stage and Henry was enjoying a How-to Minecraft book.  I asked him about it since I don't understand what you do with a book like that.  He explained it to me and I asked him if he played Minecraft?  "Yes," he said.  "Well, I used to. But when dad moved to California he took the Nintendo Switch with him............" big long pause and all I could do was give him a hug without looking too much like a grandmother hugging her son in front of his peers. He continued in the sorriest voice ever...."And what's really unfair about that is the family he's living with....... all the kids......... have their own Switches!"  To that I had to hug him and could only whisper in his ear, "I'm so sorry, Henry."

But what brewed up inside me was the worst thing I have EVER IN MY WHOLE LIFE FELT.  Far worse than my experience almost 25 years ago with a leader who had run amok.

HATE HATE HATE.  HATE HATE HATE.  I HAVE NEVER IN MY LIFE FELT HATE LIKE THIS.  I PERSONALLY DO NOT REMEMBER FEELING HATE AT ALL  (well, OK, maybe once but not anywhere close to this.  We were on vacation in Canada and Daddy Center went into a bar.  Of course he went into the bar...he was often in a bar.  He had come out to ask for the Kennedy Silver Half Dollar the boy I had a crush on had given me and it was in a keyring.  I did.  Stupidly.  When he came out he had given away my coin and replaced it with a stupid Canadian coin that didn't even fit the holder!  I think I have said I hated him for that.  I was sobbing uncontrollably and my mom was trying to do anything to get me to stop before daddy did something worse.  But I have never forgotten, obviously.)

HATE HATE HATE.  This was the first time since May 14, 2019, when Marissa called to say that Hank was leaving her and the boys.  HATE HATE HATE  It was more hate than I knew what to do with.  I wanted to scream and cry and beat the crap out of Hank.  I wanted him dead and I wonder if he had been standing in front of me if I wouldn't have attempted to kill him.  In all those months I haven't hated Hank.  I have not understood him and I don't want him involved in Marissa and the boys' lives.  Not now.  Not ever.  I have wanted him to just get on with his new  'ho' and her 4 kids but do it in California.    I've known he is a child of God and that God loves him but I put him in a box away from the affection we had for him.  Perhaps this was just the hate I refused to feel bubbling out.  And I didn't know what I could do.  I was at a loss and so close to tears.  I willed the clock to ring the 8:45 bell so Henry would off to class and I could leave.  And shortly it did.

I grabbed Robert's hand (who didn't hear this conversation nor did he know my HATRED) and said, "We gotta get out of here fast!" As soon as I got out of earshot of anyone and was walking to the car I let loose.  The tears fell and hatred increased, the pain for Henry at 9  who's the oldest was unbearable.  I got into the car and slammed the door.  I let loose to Robert on all these emotions and tears.  And he said NOTHING.  At some point on the drive home I asked him, "Aren't you going to say anything?"  And his reply (great if you've ever had the chance to have seen The Song of the South) "This Tar-Baby ain't sayin' nothin'."

And so I continued to HATE halfway home.  I had texted all my kids except Marissa because I couldn't put more on her than she had to deal with personally herself.  I asked my kids to pray for me, to get me out of this hate.

And then suddenly, Robert the Kid (Jordan's 8-year-old  son) texted me, out of the blue.  Just to say, HI, How are you doing?  I love you.

And suddenly I heard the Holy Ghost give me Heavenly Father's choice.  "Susan, do you want to stay in this hate for Hank and kill your spirituality or do you want the sweet innocence and love that your Rob offers?"  And in a heartbeat, the hate left me and I grabbed onto Rob the Kid.

I did text Jordan immediately and asked if he had told his boy to text me and he had not. He said he was at work and it was organic (whatever that means in today-speak).   It was a prompting that perhaps even Rob didn't understand.  But young Rob had acted on that prompting of the Holy Ghost in that moment and saved my spiritual life.  I texted him back a bit later and told him this.  Even tho he probably didn't understand a thing I meant, I wanted him to remember that on this day  he had saved my life.

By now Robert was in Avon and for some reason had turned off Nagel Road exit.  I asked him why because I just wanted to get home and lie down.  He was willing to go to the store and by a Switch for our Lakewood kids which was something I had wanted to do, would have done, if I'd had the money. But on top of not having the money, we had also just had to replace the freezer which had died the day before(grateful my friend's freezer was empty and she's storing our food at present).  No, we did not buy a Switch and yes the kids will be fine without one.

But how could a grown man, the father of these 3 boys, take the stupid Switch with him?  Jordan said it best when he replied to me, "I'm speechless."

I've had some time to mull over how horrible, how dark, how forbidding this blackness of hate was for me.  And I realized that all that HATE I felt for Hank was a small bit of all the hate that Satan threw at Joseph Smith felt as he knelt in that grove so long ago. But that hate was from the outside whereas my hate was bottled up in me and let loose, probably by Satan anyway. And I have asked myself a lot today how can Satan live with himself?  How can Hank?  How can any of the legions who followed Satan? How can the evil people in the world? That short 20 minute was more than enough for me.

And how the relief must have been for Joseph Smith when God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him as he had asked for forgiveness and had his prayer answered.  That's what made Joseph able to go forward with the restoration, despite the opposition and hatred, despite the death that awaited him.

And I am grateful for a text from Rob the Kid who saved me from sitting too long in that blackness and that hell of hatred.

I will try and regain the sorrow I had for Hank at his choices and his desertion of Marissa and the boys and his stupid and awful demands...someday....but it's not yet.  And the Lord hopefully will grant me earth time to get there again.  Til then I know He will strengthen my daughter.

But for the Restoration of the Gospel and the Restoration of myself by Rob the Kid...I shall be forever grateful.  I do know I have a greater understanding of that moment in the grove more today than I ever had before.  I just wish I had words enough to express how black that hatred was!




Thursday, February 20, 2020

Sister Helen Inouye

It's been a long while since I wrote anything and that's probably because other silly things keep me happily busy.  Celebrating birthdays of me and my friends.  Balloon twisting and loving it and having great learnings taking place.  Knitting to keep my hands busy and following patterns new to me, thanks to Vicki Cogar.  There's still the scriptures which start each day and usually continue til night.  Then there was a talk to prepare for and give and now a lesson.

But yesterday Robert said, "You need to call Sister Inouye."  I thought she had called him but wondered how that happened because she doesn't have his number...nor do I think does she have mine since we got rid of the land line.  I asked him how he knew.  He replied that he felt the need from to call her.  So I did.

Sister Inouye was my mom's best friend and lived in Parma, Ohio, not far from us for years.  Br. Inouye and Sister Inouye were the best couple around (both had been intered in a camp during WWIi because they were of Japanese descent altho they were born in USA) and when they moved to Utah, my mom was so very sad.  It's hard to have a best friend who leaves physically but never emotionally.  Sister Inouye was who my mom sent me to learn how to sew.  But always Sister Inouye has been a part of my life.  I called her and we had a wonderful discussion.  I wrote this letter to our Stake Patriarch (who I grew up with and who also knew the Inouye family) and then decided I should keep this letter to him and not rewrite the whole conversation again.

Hey Tom…since you are a patriarch, can you read people’s minds when you are in the same room with them?

I called and talked with Helen Inouye yesterday and here’s the take on that call.

She lives in a basement apartment with Susan whose husband Les is the patriarch.  Helen says she always clears her mind when they are together because…well, what if he can read her mind?  She is as cute and as funny as ever.  I was telling Robert about the 3 Inouye kids and how Sharon always had this devilish, wicked sense of humor.  Sharon was too funny for words.  You, being male, probably know more about Steve but Susan and Sharon were often at our house and we were at theirs.

Steve has retired and Sister Inouye said he just sits around the house and watches TV.  I didn’t get much more out of that altho when Steve called me a couple of years ago I think he’s active but his sons may not be.

Susan and Les are very active and take good care of Sister Inouye.  Sister Inouye is 94, her sisters are 96 and 98 and the oldest one who has died was nearly 100.  Her mother lived to be 100 so the doctor told Sister Inouye yesterday that she’s got the long living gene and probably will also live a long time.  BUT Sister Inouye is just ready to die. She says this is how she prays:  Heavenly Father.  I don’t want to seem ungrateful, and I have enjoyed this long life but I want to go.  I’m done.  So what is it you want me to do.  The answer she received is that she is to teach others so they can learn to be caregivers.

Does not that just sound absolutely like Br. and Sister Inouye?

She’s getting forgetful and I could see that in our long conversation.  She repeated some things but that’s normal.  The age part was that she often asked me the same question.  I know from dealing with my godmother and my aunt that you just answer and answer again. No correction ever.  Just go with the flow.

Sister Inouye does water aerobics 2 times a week and loves it.

Sharon married a caucasian if you remember.  He served his mission in Japan and loved the people  They had their boys (neurosurgeons and layers) while in the states but then he insisted on moving to Japan.  And off he went.  Left Sharon and the boys over 20 years ago and went to Japan and Sister Inouye hopes he remarried and found happiness.    So Sharon has raised those boys and kept herself faithful.  

That lead me to tell her about Hank’s departure and how all I am able to do is to tell Heavenly Father that Hank is His son and He can do whatever needs to be done for Hank but I needed to care for Marissa and her 3 boys, spiritually as needed (altho Marissa has a firm grasp on that), Robert does the repairs on the home (which he’s not very good at but he’s free), and the rest of the stuff like babysitting, providing food, etc.  

And do you know how Sister Inouye responded?  In exactly how I would have expected her to... We need to pity Hank.  Interesting, isn’t it, that this woman who was such a big part of life, who has lived in Utah for decades, would give me a response that I knew she would.  and it’s all I can say I do feel for Hank…not in so many words because I just hope he gets on with his life, finish this divorce thing, marry the woman he lives with and raise her 4 kids, and allow Marissa to move on.  I don’t hate him.  Robert and I just don’t get it.

But that’s neither here nor there.  I just wanted to tell you about Sister Inouye.  You ought to give her a call. Cuz she’s still and ever will be wonderful.

(801) 432-7296‬   She lives in Herriman, Utah.

So…can you read people’s minds?

Yoshimi Inouye's obit
Yoshimi Inouye 1922 ~ 2004  Our beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend returned home to his Heavenly Father Tuesday, March 9, 2004. Yoshimi was born June 9, 1922 in Palms, California, son of Itaru and Hisaye Inouye. Yoshimi married his eternal companion, Helen Doi, September 5, 1946. Through the efforts of the missionaries, the family joined the LDS Church and were later sealed in the Logan Temple. He was a man of integrity and honor and worked hard all of his life, doing his best in whatever he was asked to do. He faithfully served in the many callings he received. He especially enjoyed working with his loving wife in the Jordan River Temple for many years. The greatest joy in his life was spending time with his family and watching them grow in the gospel. Yoshimi is survived by his loving wife, Helen; son, Steve (Phyllis) Inouye; daughters, Susan (Les) Matsumura; Sharon (Terry) Schiefer; 15 grandchildren; 10 great-grand-children; sisters, Kiyoko Kawaguchi, Margaret Coleman and Taye (Tosh) Kamo. Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 13, 11:00 a.m. at the Valley Park 5th Ward, 4700 South 2603 West. Friends and family may call Friday, March 12, 6-8 p.m. at McDougal Funeral Home, 4330 South Redwood Road and Saturday at the church one hour prior to services. Interment, Valley View Memorial Park.

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Happy New Year...here's to new beginnings and new joys

I had asked Marissa what I get for her that she would need (this after we had taken the boys and outfitted them for Ohio winter since Hank has no remembrance that boys grow up and out of their clothes, shoes, boots, etc nor that Ohio's winters are not like California's).

All Marissa replied was, A TIME MACHINE.  Obviously she wished she could turn back time and never have made Hank a part of her life.

Sadly that can never happen and without Hank we would not have her 3 amazingly wonderful and creative boys, Henry, Oskar, Simon.

So I figured I would give her a time machine of a different sort, one that would remind her of ALL the wonderful choices she made in her 40 years so that she can face her future with the knowledge and remembrances of her family that she has indeed done wonderful things, fun things, silly things...all the things that will see her through this ordeal til the end when new happiness grows. Til the future because so much more wonderful than the past.

I enlisted the aid of her siblings and combined all the comments on card stock paper that she could flip over as she needed some encouragement on her own.  Sadly I didn't get a really great still shot, was too busy making a video.  But here's a quick one:


Yes she cried while just reading the card before she even opened the box.  but that's OK.  We continue to pray that she will be strengthened, that the boys will be kept safe and will learn from her example and I particularly pray that Hank stays in CA and only comes home to visit (which is bad enough).

This is the picture I fashioned it after:






Tuesday, December 31, 2019

the last day of 2019

There's a lot I'd like to write but it's so painful.

Hank has turned so far to the dark side and has become more than evil.  It's almost frightening but I do know that the Lord has kept Marissa and the boys safe.  Hank arrived for Christmas, promising to take care of the boys but did NOTHING for or with them at all.  INSANE.  He barely fed them, he didn't play with them but only allowed them to play video games NONSTOP.  He was ugly and nasty with Marissa even right before she took him to the airport.  No clue why he didn't call an Uber.

He left Marissa to watch the boys when he was supposed to be tending them so she could work on a commissioned art work for a restaurant.  He went to Middleburg Hts 4 times for meds (like we believe that).  He FT'd his tootsie while in Marissa's home and called her nonstop.  He'd leave for walks so he could talk to her.  INSANE.

On Christmas Eve afternoon, having finally admitted to cheating on Marissa through hysterical sobs, he turned violent on his steering wheel and Marissa wisely darted out his car and ran to hers and drove to Bishop Klopp's home.

I was never so glad to have him gone. And yes I do hope he's figured out he cannot handle the boys and he really needs to stay in California with his new woman and her 4 kids.

I have worked very hard at trying to be like Jesus and to recognize that the Lord still loves Hank even if I would rather not have him in our lives.  I would like to think he would repent and return to the Lord but that's on Hank, not me.  I do have a problem with this if he were to repent, knowing the Lord would love him and take him back, and Hank would have no accountability in mortality for what he's done to this 'eternal' family...covenants he has disregarded.  I surprise myself in not hating him.  I feel I did well to just not think about him.

I want this marriage ended as fast as possible. I want Marissa to heal.  I want her to find a better man, one who is not mentally deranged.  But again, that's up to the Lord to direct and I will follow His lead.

Let's hope 2020 is much happier for Marissa and Henry and Oskar and Simon!

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