|Me and Lance with my Grandmother Lauritzen, Christmas 2011|
In one of the most compelling stories in the Book of Mormon, teenage boys demonstrated exemplary faith on the eve before a battle with an army much older, experienced, and ferocious than they. They recounted to their battle leader, Helaman, that, "they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them. And they rehearsed unto [Helaman] the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt that our mothers knew it."
My precious grandmother was a "mother who knew." She knew the reality of the Savior's love for his children and wanted more than anything for her posterity to live his teachings and return to live with Him and their Father in Heaven.
At 94 years old, my grandmother passed away on May 10, 2013 at about 2:00 a.m. in the morning, Utah time. I just returned home to London last Friday (thanks, Courtney Young, for the last-minute buddy passes!) after two weeks in the States to celebrate her amazing life.
At the funeral all of her nine surviving children (my Uncle Ray passed in his 20s), most of her 53 grandchildren, and a great many of her 90 great-grandchildren remembered the great life of this adorable, fiesty lady.
She was one of the first sister missionaries to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to her, she had a good relationship with the Lord because He let her have as many babies as she wanted (10). Later, in the midst of raising those children when my grandfather was not able to provide, she became qualified as a nurse's assistant and then nurse. She worked evening shifts through the night so she could be home during the day with her children. How she did it I'll never know, but through her gentle teaching and example, she produced faith-filled, wonderful children and an enormous posterity. I am very proud to be one of them.
|A four generation picture - my mother and grandmother, me, and my adorable nephew, Truman. Christmas 2011|
|My immediate family was able to meet Gideon the weekend of the funeral. |
Only wished he had been able to meet his great-Grandmother.
|dinner with the fam at Cafe Rio the day of the funeral|
|Gideon with his Aunt Caroline|
|I did a quick, 24-hour layover in Chicago so I could travel to (still cold!) Wisconsin |
to visit the Ponds (my sister and her nine children). Here with four of them.
|Some Pond cousins were more excited than others to meet baby Gideon.|
|I spent most of the second week of my visit with my husband's family.|
Here Gideon is meeting the Allens, Lance's sister's family
|Meeting his great-grandfather, Maurice Armstrong Toler, from whom|
Gideon gets his middle name, which is also the surname of his great-great grandmother.
|Four Toler generations. One of the pressures of marrying my husband is that he is an only son|
of an only son of an only son. Good thing I produced an heir!
|Meeting the Toler Clan. So grateful to my in-laws |
that they flew all of my step-sisters out so Gideon could meet all of them. The race is on
for favored aunt status!