Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mike's Father Passed Away on January 12, 2010

This post is very hard for me. Maybe that is the reason I have been putting it off.

After two long years of suffering with prostrate cancer which moved into his bones, Dave is no longer suffering. He is a great man and is deeply missed. From the very beginning Dave and Dea welcomed me into their home as one of their own. I can't tell you how many times he told me how much he liked and loved me and what a great influence I was on Mike and our children. I could go to him at anytime and get sage advice. People in Chesapeake still revere him as a former stake president for our area.

His memorial service was very special. President Monson came to his viewing. For those of you that are not LDS, President Monson is the president and prophet of our church. It is like the pope coming to a family event. We felt very special. Dave was the equivalent to an AP when President Monson was his mission president in Canada.

Last year as he was declining, Dave received a sweet letter from President Monson. He talked about having memories so we can enjoy May Flowers in the December of our lives. I know Dave had many sweet memories from an amazing life.

After Dave passed away we were blessed to have a surprise visit from President Monson at Dave's viewing. What a great legacy to leave your grandchildren. I was putting away the friend magazines after sacrament a couple of Sundays ago and as I was closing it properly and I saw a picture of President Monson and in the margin I saw Emma's cute hand writing - "I've met him". I had to smile.

This is a picture of Ben going straight up to talk to President Monson when he came in to the room. When he walked in everyone slowly moved to the perimeter of the room and Ben walked right up to him and stuck out his hand and said, "Hi, I'm Ben." President Monson then asked him if he could wiggle his ears as he was wiggling his own. Ben said, "Yes, but only if I move my eyebrows too." President Monson then said to work on that. He then asked Ben how old he was. When Ben replied that he was 10 he said are you going on a mission? Ben said yes (all the years of teaching my children to say yes sir and no sir are not working) I guess I should be glad he did not say yeah. President Monson then said, "Then I will see you in 9 years."

President Monson stayed and talked to us for 45 minutes even when his driver continued telling him he needed to go. He stayed and told us some neat stories. We could not believe he would spend so much time with us. At the end he looked down at the program at the picture of Dave and said, "I want you to know he loved and served the Lord his whole life and his mission president remembers him." What a great experience for our children.

We really miss Dave and the wonderful man we came to love. This has been a tough experience (but beautiful at the same time) for Mike's mom and his whole family, however we are grateful for the knowledge that we will be together forever as a family.


Dan and Laura said...

What a sweet post with tender memories! We will always love and miss Pres. Miller! It was very nice to see you all at the funeral too! :) xoxo

Erin said...

What a beautiful tribute and such a neat experience. I am so sorry for your loss, Laurie.

You SHOULD be grateful for Ben's response. When my husband was 4, he met President Packer and when he was asked if he was going to serve a mission, he said, "No.";0)

Emma Jo said...

That is really a beautiful post. Don't you feel so blessed to have in laws that are so wonderful? I remember meeting with Dave and meeting him a couple of times, warm, friendly and happily content. And what an amazing experience to have at his viewing. A truly remarkable memory to have forever for you and your children.

Sara said...

This is a beautiful post, yet I am so sorry for your loss. What a neat experience for your family to always remember meeting Pres. Monson and that he loved and remembered the service of your Father-in-law.