Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"Each Life that Touches Ours for Good"

We said good-bye to an dear friend this morning - definitely someone that "touched our lives for good." (Find the arrangement we used here, or listen to the hymn here.)

We heard the sad news on Friday, and while Wayne and Steven were off helping the family, I tried to deal with shock by blog-surfing and came across the following quote (on this blog, but on a couple of others as well):

"Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays. But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come. No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come." (from Elder Wirthlin's Oct 2006 conference address)

This message of Easter was a little more poignant this year. We're all so grateful for our knowledge of Heavenly Father's plan of happiness and thankful for our Savior and Redeemer. Apparently Wayne wasn't the only one whose favorite conference talk was Elder Holland's (we heard this quote a couple of times in sacrament meeting):

Brothers and sisters, one of the great consolations of this Easter season is that because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so. His solitary journey brought great company for our little version of that path—the merciful care of our Father in Heaven, the unfailing companionship of this Beloved Son, the consummate gift of the Holy Ghost, angels in heaven, family members on both sides of the veil, prophets and apostles, teachers, leaders, friends. All of these and more have been given as companions for our mortal journey because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Restoration of His gospel. Trumpeted from the summit of Calvary is the truth that we will never be left alone nor unaided, even if sometimes we may feel that we are. Truly the Redeemer of us all said, “I will not leave you comfortless. [My Father and] I will come to you [and abide with you].”

Funerals provide amazing opportunities to learn things. For example, this kind unassuming man was one of the original Navy SEALs, commissioned by President Kennedy in 1962. I think I knew that before, but I was fascinated by some of the stories told. The anchor that sits in front of their headquarters (or something - I wasn't taking notes!) was dredged up from the bottom of the sea by Richard and his buddies.

And this book was mentioned as well.
from the Google book site: In The Teams six SEALs recount how the program got started - including their excruciating training sessions, first missions and amazing stories for Vietnam - showing how they became one of the most effective special military forces in the world. Richard Brozak takes readers thought the rigorous courses the SEALs took, where he lived off the land in the frozen Canadian Wilderness. Jack Rowell describes covering for his platoon chief in the midst of fierce cross fire during a mission to capture a VC commandant, and James Tipton - recipient of three Purple Hearts - recalls barely escaping in an assault boat while under heavy fire in Vietnam. The secret to the SEAL mystique is perhaps best summed up by Brozak, who characterized the SEALs as men "who knew how to keep going through almost anything without giving a thought to quitting."
Not only did that quote characterize the SEALs, it characterized his life. Richard never gave up and he was always serving others. He loved the time he spent at the Bishop's Storehouse and he was always fixing things for people. (He's the one that repaired our leaky pipe several weeks ago.) That's how I remember him. Here's how Wayne remembers him:
He would always tell me that he didn't have a lot of knowledge of the gospel and that he had a hard time learning gospel concepts. That may be, but he didn't have to learn the essential ones because he lived them every day of his life. He didn't need to learn about charity, because he lived it. He didn't need to learn about loving others, because he lived it. He didn't need to learn about service to others, because he gave it.
We'll miss him.


Tracy said...

My name is Tracy and I am Richard's daughter.I actually found out about the accident on The crazy part is I headed straight for the hospital hoping I would get there before he demanded of the Drs to let him go home (because that's how tough he was). I honestly couldn't believe it when they told me he had passed. He was like a Superman. I dreaded Wednesday like you wouldn't believe. However, the tribute paid to him in the memorial service was comforting to me and provided me with some much needed closure. Unlike many of you I did not have the opportunity to experience a close relationship with him in the last 10-15 years. However, it was so evident from the memorial that he touched many lives, he lived a wonderful life, loved many people and was loved by them. He was devoted to his soul mate, Sara, and most importantly lived a good life and fulfilled many dreams. He was simple but yet for many of us very complex, someone we will never have the opportunity to fully understand. I am so greatful for the tribute paid to him and for the love and support he was given. I am proud to have called him "Dad" and I only wish he was still here.

Becky said...

Tracy, Thanks for leaving a comment. I wish I could have met you Wednesday. You'll be in our thoughts and prayers and hopefully that will help you feel peace and comfort as you deal with life's challenges. I'm glad YOU're still here.