Monday, July 12, 2010

THE LIFE QUESTION OF WHY! -

I guess the question is why?  My brother Mac Millan Gledhill passed away early Saturday morning July 10th after a valiant fight to stay with us. He was surrounded by his loving family. Mac had gone to his physician for a check up and it was discovered that he had 4 aneurysms in his abdomen and legs. If untreated they could burst and he would die immediately. Surgery was the only option for him. That one fact gave me hope because I thought perhaps since the aneurysms had been found that was a positive blessing and he would be alright.
My last conversation with him ended with him saying; I will be fine. I know the word fine is relative now.
My brother quit smoking several years ago; but had developed emphysema in his lungs. We all knew this could be a big obstacle in his recovery. Using a modern day method the aneurysms were reached through small incisions.
He had two surgeries on two different days for over 5 hours each. After the 2nd surgery he was unable get enough oxygen by using a mask so he was intubated and put on the ventilator. A few days later he pulled out his own endotracheal tube and was placed on Oxygen per mask again; but didn't do well again. After several hours the endotracheal tube was reinserted. His kidneys had shut down and he was having dialysis. One moment he had pneumonia and also fluid in the lungs which were treated.
He remained in critical condition for over a month. Observing his sweet family and how attentive they were was heartbreaking. I began to realize that he may not make it through all of the complications. 
Why??
 It became obvious to me that the Lord's plan was to assist his family in drawing together which they did. All of his children took turns sitting with him in the late hours of the evening.  His children helped each other deal with the days and weeks that went on. They were very concerned and caring with their dear mother; it was so sweet to observe this great family.  There were blessings given to the children and more than once to their father by his sons and also by my husband. Each time there was hope given and peace came; although not a known answer to their prayers. His sweet wife a couple of days before his passing told him that it was OK for him to go and that she would be alright. At that moment I knew that the Lord's will would be done with her permission. A release blessing was given by my dear brother John which was very difficult for him; because they had truly been life long friends and forever brothers. My dear brother passed away in the presence of his family and my husband Roger, myself, my brother John and his dear wife Gloria. There was a sweet spirit in the room at that time and a family prayer was given by his son.
I witnessed true love, peace, comfort and acceptance of the Lord's will.
I knew that this family will remain strong and have a desire to live there lives in such away that they will be united together as a family.
In tribute to my brother I will share a few treasured memories of him.


My brother was born on February 24th, 1937. He was 9 years older than me; and he always took the position of protector. He was a tease; but worse than him was my brother John who was 6 years older than me. Mac would rescue me from my main tormentor.
I remember that he loved scouting and enjoyed attending scouting jamborees. He also loved to play baseball, basketball, and football. He was good in all of these. I remember that after every game my Dad, who was sometimes his coach would discuss every game, every play and who did well and who did not.

I loved it when he came home for a visit when he was in the Navy. I remember well that he brought me from Japan two Geisha dolls and a pair of Japanese Pajamas. These treasures were for Christmas and he had hidden them away in a drawer in his room. I snuck into the drawer and then realized I had spoiled his surprise. I determined that I wouldn't let on. I was nine at the time and since that moment I have never snooped into any gift.
In time I would help care for his two children Kathy, age 3 and Johnny Mac, age 18 months. He was divorced but was given custody of the children. I flew down to San Diego for a month with him to care for his children until he could find a more permanent arrangement. I loved caring for those two little ones. I was 18 years old at the time. I felt sad when I had to go home and leave him. I was so proud of him that he would take these children on his own. When talking to Amparo his wife recently, she had become one of his babysitters and they fell in love and were married. She said that the way he tenderly cared for his children was what made her fall in love with him.
Amparo has been the joy of his life. He loves her so much. They were married on April 1, 1967 and later sealed in the temple in 1991.
He has 4 children one daughter Kathleen (Terry) Elder; three sons, John (Corinna) Gledhill, Gabriel (Laurie) Gledhill, Agosto (Viviana) Gledhill and a very dear niece Mirna (Mark ) Orchard; 19 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.
I remember as a child that I would go with my parents and brothers to hunt pheasant and duck. I ended up being the dog that went a head to scare the pheasant. Both brothers were always protective of me during those hunts. He was always so sweet with me while I was growing up.
After we had our families; Mac would always call us at around 4:30 am on Christmas morning to wish us a Merry Christmas. We used to be frustrated because we had trained our children not to get up until later. Of course, it became a funny memory to us. Now, of course I wish he could call again. 

Another sweet memory is the fishing and hunting trips that Roger, my husband and I would take with my family. We had so much fun. I especially remember the deer hunting trips. We had so much fun playing cards at night in the cabin or trailer.

We had an awesome family trip to Big Rock Candy Mountain. It was so fun to stay in the cabins or trailers and just enjoy all of our families together.


I loved the 50th Wedding Anniversary of my parents that was held in Monroe at my Aunt Alene's house. We hadn't seen each other for a while and it was a great party and visit.


                  

We also had a family reunion party for my parents 60th Wedding Anniversary in Fish Lake. All of our families were able to be there and we had a program and laughed until we couldn't anymore. Our memories of each other and our parents were portrayed in very humorous ways.




                
Both of my brothers were inactive in the church for many years. Mac took his family to the temple when he was 54 years old. Later on my brother John also took his family to the temple to be sealed. That day was such a joy because we were finally a forever family.

I will treasure forever the visit that was made to our home in Spokane when I turned 55 years old. My dearest husband flew my parents and both of my brothers and their wives up to Spokane. It was a surprise and I was very shocked. My husband left for a while and when he came back he beckoned for me to come out of the bedroom and there they all were standing in the hallway. I was overcome with joy. We had such a good visit and were able to go to the temple together and none of us could stop talking for the whole time they were with us.
When my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's my brothers helped my mother moved to Las Vegas where she stayed with my brother until my father passed a way. His family was so good to them and helped ease the burden of my mother at this time. After my father passed away, my mother decided to live with Mac and Amparo. She loved living with them; partly because she loved having all of his family around to see and visit with. Amparo was such a blessing to her and they both helped her in every way possible. I would come down for visits and in the summer my mother would come up with me; so that they had a break from caring for her. Through those years my brother and I became even closer friends.
Since the passing of our parents we have been very close and it has been so awesome to have him call me frequently. The funniest thing about my brother was that he didn't like to leave messages on the phone so he would say just a couple of words for instance; I called! We shared all of our family events and struggles. He helped me so much whenever I had a difficult situation I could discuss it with him. He was such a good friend.
My brother Mac was a very good man who loved each of his family members with all of his heart and soul. He cared for them all and was always there for them when in need. He took many extended family members and friends into his home and they would stay with Mac and Amparo sometimes for a long time. He helped Amparo's family and assisted them in getting jobs and staying in the US. Many of them gained US citizenship. I read a thank you note from his bishop which said that he was grateful for the funds that Mac gave to help another family in the ward have a good Christmas. This was my brother. He was a true christian and was always helping someone. He lived what he believed and he had a true testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints.

Mac and Amparo the love of his life


Mac and Amparo and their precious grandchildren
They will be together forever!
Goodbye my dear brother. You will be greatly missed by us all. The only comfort is knowing that you are with our parents and will wait for us all to return to be a forever family with our Heavenly Father.

5 comments:

Beth at Aunties said...

LeAnn,
What a beautiful and tender tribute for a wonderful brother. I oved that you shared so many choice memories and experiences.
Having recently (weeks ago) going through losing my father in law and holding him in my arms the last minutes of his life, I understand completely the sweet spirit your family must of felt when Mac passed through the veil. There is no question of much love from those others we can not see here in this life. Thanks goodness for the sealing ordinance and the knowledge we can be together forever!
I am so sorry for your lost of his friendship/love here, but rejoice you will one day be with him again. May you and his family feel the tender sweet mercies of Savior in the next days and weeks to come.
~♥

The WIlloughby Family said...

I am so sorry! It is never easy to say goodbye! He sounds like he was a wonderful man and brother. Our prayers go out to your family, we love you guys so much!!

Jess

Laurie said...

I'm so sorry for your loss! Aren't we grateful for the knowledge we have that family CAN be together forever!!

The Farmer's Daughter said...

I am so sorry to hear of your brother's passing. I know you take comfort in your memories and knowing you will be with him again some day.

~Cheryl

Dolly said...

Sorry to hear of your brother's passing. He sounded like an awesome big brother:) Thanks for sharing your family pictures!

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