Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day Thoughts by LeAnn










As a very young girl raised in Richfield, Utah; I loved the Fourth of July. I felt the spirit of patriotism when we attended various events in the town to honor this great nation. Other moments of learning occurred on each Memorial Day. As a family we would prepare for decorating the family graves by mowing our lawn and saving the grass clippings to place upon the graves along with flower arrangements. At that time the Sigurd Cemetery was not landscaped with grass. I often heard my Dad tell how he was left as an orphan to be raised by his Maternal grandmother. My dear mother would remind him that she didn't want to be buried in the Sigurd Cemetery.
Today I choose to honor my grandfather Herbert Gledhill who gave his life on the fields of France in the First World War. He faught hard for the freedoms that we enjoy today.Here is short history of his life.
On December 20, 1911 Herbert married his childhood sweetheart, Maggie Short McMillan, in the Manti Temple. Herbert was 21 and his bride was 17. Maggie was the daughter of John and Mary McMillan, also residents of Sigurd. The newlyweds built a small home on the McMillan property and settled in for what they hoped would be a long and happy life. However that was not to be the case.
On the 24th of Nov. 1912 the couple were blessed with their first child and named him Max Herbert Gledhill. But Max only lived a little over two years and died on Feb 6, 1914 of pneumonia and pleurisy and was buried in the Sigurd cemetery. Two years later on August 15, 1916 a second child, again a boy, was born. They named him Millan France Gledhill after his maternal grandfather. Millan was my father.
But all was not well. Maggie only lived a little over a year after the birth of Millan. She died in Salt Lake City on January 11, 1917. Her death certificate indicates a cause of death as Nephritis. She was brought home and buried next to her son Max in the Sigurd cemetery. The newspaper account of her death is poignant in describing the family tragedy and the overwhelming grief. 

                                                                       

This left young Herbert, 27, a widower with a 17  month old son to care for. He had lost both a wife and a child within three years. On June 5th, 1917, Herbert Gledhill registered for the Army. He did not seek any exemption for service based on hardship.
Herbert seemed driven to enlist in the army and fight for his country in the Great War in Europe. There may possibly have been more than that driving him. A report in the local newspaper indicated his mother prevailed on him to wait for a few months for his young son’s sake. He did so, but when the call came he went to Camp Lewis and was assigned to the 26th infantry, Company M, and sent to the trenches of Europe. He fought in Flanders and Piccadilly and spent a total of seven months fighting the Huns in the trenches of France. In a letter home he described the nights "like a great lightning storm at Fish lake, only 100 times worse". He died in battle on June 14th, 1918. The Richfield Reaper reported his death as heroic and noble and the “First Offering of Sevier County on the Altar of Freedom.” His body was returned to the land of his birth with great ceremony and he was buried a hero along side his sweetheart in the Sigurd cemetery. Short History of my grandfather by a cousin Brad Ogden
There have been many others loved ones that have served in our arm forces through the years. My Uncle Kirtley Bell served in he World War II. My brother Mac Millan Gledhill served in the Navy for 4 years in the 1950's.
My son in law Brandon C. Workman served in the National Guard and was deployed to Iraq for 18 months. 
I was raised in a family that honored our Flag, National Anthem and our great country. The scriptures are clear that our Nation will be in peril. I always feel sad when the National Anthem is played and a few choose to not place their hand over their hearts.  The instances of disrespecting our Flag have increased. How sad to know that many do not believe in the God of this land and desire to take God out of our country. We must all pray daily for those Men and Woman who serve our country so faithfully desiring only to help us preserve the freedoms that we have. 
Do to circumstances I am not able to decorate my parents and grandparents graves this Memorial Day so I have a dear cousin doing that for our family. I have thus chosen to honor my parents by sharing with you a couple of precious memories.
One of my favorite memories of my father was a day that I visited with him in a care center a short time before he passed away on Oct. 15, 2001 from Alzheimer and complications from a hip surgery. My Dad and Mom loved to dance. Through the years he would always grab my mom and many times myself and whirl us around the floor with the music that was playing. I loved having him dance with me. On this particular day he still remembered me. We went into the activity room and the good oldies were playing and he took my Mom in his arms and they had their last dance. Next he grabbed me and I will treasure that moment forever. I miss you Dad. 
My dear Mother lived with us the last few months of her life. I treasure the moments I had with her and only wish I could have been with her more. My mother always like to look nice. She would never go anywhere without make-up or her hair done. She had just turned 90 years old and we had a huge Birthday celebration for her. A few short days after this event she became weaker and spent more time in her bed. One Sunday I had left her comfortably in bed while I attended a Sacrament meeting. I ran home to check on her. She called to me as I came in the door and told me she was watching an info commercial on TV. She asked me what I thought of the product called Sheer Coverage. I told her I had used it and in fact had used it on her when I was helping her get ready for her birthday party. She then said; LeAnn why don't you order me some. I assured her I had enough to share with her. Only a few short weeks later she passed away.  Mom thanks for teaching me how to be a wife, mother and to care about looking my best as I am sure Heavenly Father wants all of his daughters to do.
May we all remember our loved one that have passed beyond who have touched our hearts and been examples to us through the years. May the tears shed on this Memorial Day be a reminder of this great nation and all of us who love it and serve our God. Indeed; God Bless America. May we be safe in the arms of the Savior's Eternal Love. 
  

Monday, May 24, 2010

"LOOK TO THE LIGHTHOUSE OF THE LORD"

As my life proceeds, I reflect today on many of my life experiences. As life is meant to have various challenging moments along with precious times of exquisite joy; I know that my life has had and will have many more of these moments. 
Yesterday we had a lesson on the closing comments in our recent General Conference from our beloved Prophet Pres. Thomas S. Monson. His counsel for all of us is to look to the lighthouse of the Lord. He stated: "There is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, no mariner so lost but what its beacon light can rescue. It beckons through the storms of life. The lighthouse of the Lord sends forth signals readily recognized and never failing."
In reflecting on that comment along with many thoughts on the lesson; I decided to look at some of my journal writings. I found one particular entry that kind of sums up many of my feelings I have had in those dark hours when it is hard to see the light.  
"Today, I have chosen to come upon the mount of the new Temple in Las Vegas. I came to sort through the complexity of my thoughts and reach a new insight into myself. I really feel so confused in my role in life. I pray for correct direction. It seems like Satan and his angels are working overtime increasing my feelings of doubt, my loss of direction along with discouragement and distortion of perception. My guardian angels must be exhausted, because I know I am."
 On this day as I visited the temple grounds I again said to myself the scripture that always comes to mind when I am searching for direction or peace. "Trust in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not on thine own understanding. It all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy path." Proverbs 3: 5-6.
 While there that day my prayers were answered as they have been on other occasions. Quoting the end of this journal entry I wrote: "I must praise the Lord and be deeply grateful for the special spiritual experience I just had. I had just closed this recording in a spirit of despair and I opened it again in renewed hope.
I chose at that moment to open my scriptures for solace and the verses my eyes fell upon were Moroni 7:33-48. One must read these verses in the Book of Mormon. I will quote just verse 48: "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen."
"I know my Heavenly Father loves me. He hears my prayers. There is hope in Christ. Love can heal. I am grateful for these sweet joyous spiritual experiences I have felt this day. The spirit has bore witness to my soul there is hope and there are miracles."
 Christ is our lighthouse; he will show us the way.  He has shown me the way many times since that moment on the mount of the Las Vegas Temple. I find my solace in the temple and in prayer. There I find the light and feel the peace that only the spirit can give me. The gospel is true; we can find our way through the challenges of life. I know this to be true. "Look for the Lighthouse of the Lord." 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"I WANT THE LORD TO KNOW I WAS REALLY HERE AND THAT I REALLY LIVED"

We are presently in Sacramento visiting a brother. I will be sharing more later.
As for now I thought I would share a great quote by Sister Marjorie Hinckley.

 
                                         
"I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with perfectly manicured fingernails.
 I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp.
 I want to be there with grass stains on my shoes from mowing my neighbor's lawn.
 I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor's children.
 I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden.
 I want to be there with the children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder.
 I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived." 
Marjorie Pay Hinckley

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

GRANDMA'S HANDS!


The Hands of Time
5 Generation Photo by Pamela McFarland Walsh

 I have been noticing lately that my hands are looking more like my dear mothers hands looked. Since I am now a grandma and great grandma; I will never look at my hands again the same way after reading these thoughts. 


MY GRANDMA'S HANDS
Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. She didn't move, just sat with her head down staring at her hands.
When I sat down beside her she didn't acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if she was OK
Finally, not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check on her at the same time, I asked her if she was OK. She raised her head and looked at me and smiled. "Yes, I'm fine, thank you for asking," she said in a clear voice strong.
"I didn't mean to disturb you, grandma, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK," I explained to her.
"Have you ever looked at your hands," she asked.. "I mean really looked at your hands?"
I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making.
Grandma smiled and related this story:
"Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life.
"They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor.
They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. As a child, my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots. They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off to war.
"They have been dirty, scraped and raw , swollen and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son. Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special.
They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse.
"They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I didn't understand.
They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer.
"These hands are the mark of where I've been and the ruggedness of life.
But more importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when he leads me home. And with my hands He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of Christ."
I will never look at my hands the same again. But I remember God reached out and took my grandma's hands and led her home.
When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children and husband I think of grandma. I know she has been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God.
I, too, want to touch the face of God and feel His hands upon my face.
This piece was originally published as “Grandpa’s Hands” copyright 2004. The revised version above is posted with the permission of the author.










Saturday, May 8, 2010

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO ALL OF MY DAUGHTERS!!

TRIBUTE TO MY MOTHER -
 When I think about Mother's Day I always think about my own mother. She was born in 1916 and passed away in 2006. She had just barely turned 90 years old. For the last few months of her life she lived with us; and I  treasured each and every moment with her. I had already lost my dearest father in 2001; so it was difficult to know that my mother wouldn't be with us for too many more moments of time.

Only those who have lost a mother can truly know what it feels like to lose a parent. Even now whenever something exciting or sad comes in to my life; I have the thought run through my mind; I need to call  my mom but she isn't here. I hope that perhaps she is watching over me at times.Sometimes, we don't fully appreciate a treasure until we lose it.
My parents were so in love and there was never a doubt how devoted they were too each other. This was one of their legacies to follow.
Since it is Mother's day I thought I would share a few thoughts about her. My Mother was one of the most kind and loving of mothers. I always felt I could share anything with my mom and I did. She made every piece of clothing that I wore until I reached High School; then occasionally I could have something store bought. She made some gorgeous prom dresses. I didn't appreciate how hard she worked to make clothing for me at the time. She made my Wedding dress and a beautiful white lace dress for after the wedding which I know took so much time. I will forever love her for that. Often when I would be a way in the summer to a camp or whatever; I would come home to my bedroom being repainted or my bedroom furniture being re-done. My mother worked full time from about the time I was 11 years old; and she still found the time to do many things for me. She also was a master fisher-woman. She always caught the most fish on our fishing trips.
 She loved to visit with just about anyone. She enjoyed being around people. She loved the Gospel of Jesus Christ and was faithful in everything she was asked to do. She was just a beautiful woman that loved to take care of others; which she did. She never missed coming to take care of me when I had each of my six children. The one thing she loved to do with my father more than anything else was go to the Temple of which they faithfully attended. They left this earth faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and with strong and true testimonies. 

A TRIBUTE TO MY SIX DAUGHTERS -

Along with my three daughter I was blessed to add 3 more daughters, when my 3 sons were married. I considered them  MY daughters right off. I have always wanted them to call me mom. I seldom use the word daughter in law because in my eyes they are daughters.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY  MARY -

My first meeting with Mary was when Sean brought her home from Iowa with her two adorable boys that soon became my grandchildren.When Sean married Mary; she became our daughter. We have shared many happy and sad moments together. One thing that remains true is that I love and deeply care about Mary. Mary has had 8 of my grandchildren which are such blessings in my life. She was blessed with six sons and one very lovely daughter. In the last few years Mary has enjoyed going on adventures with her 5 younger son sometimes without Sean. She loves the outdoors and thrives in it. She has always loved having the babies and have cared well for them. Mary is very friendly and outgoing. One strong character trait is that she is ambitious and works hard to excel in anything she desires to accomplish.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO JESSICA

Jessica is my sweet granddaughter who is married to my grandson Jed. She recently had my very first great grandchild. I have loved Jessica from the first time I had a moment to actually get to know her. She is a very fun and  beautiful young woman. She is an awesome mom and I have enjoyed watching both Jed and her parent this sweet new little spirit. Baby Jadyn is a gift to us all. Jessica has a loving deposition. I love the moments that I get to be with her and learn more about her. One of my favorite characteristics that I have found in her is that she is has a very sweet and loving nature.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY AMANDA -

I met Amanda the first time when we were in Idaho Falls staying in a Hotel and Travis brought her over to meet us. She came in with cowboy boots on and the moment I met her I knew that she was perfect for Travis. 
Amanda has six of our grandchildren; four boys and two girls. She has a feisty personality which was needed to temper our son; which she does. Amanda has been a foster mother and she is incredible at it. I often wonder how she handles it all; but she does. She has a fun personality and always has cute comments back when talking with her children or Travis. She is a very hands on mom. One strong character trait is that she is very generous and has a lot of energy; which she needs since they have at least two children that are just like my son so she has her hands full.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY AMBER - 

The first time I met Amber was when we took James and her out for Breakfast. I loved her the minute I saw her. Again, I knew that she was the one. Amber has three of our adorable grandchildren; two girls and one boy. Amber and I went through a number of days together when our grand daughter Averi was very ill with Osteopetrosis. We always had a good time together even during the rough moments when we would almost lose our precious little Averi. No matter how bad things were she could come up with something to make me smile. Even today whenever she blogs or goes on facebook; she always makes me smile or laugh. I love to visit with her and usually at some point we start laughing so hard it can cause a problem. My favorite characteristic that she has is her humor. She is also very creative and likes to decorate her surroundings.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY CHRISTINA -
 My Christina was my first little angel girl. We had three boys and then came Christina. Christina is a gift. It was such a thrill to put a bow and a dress on her as an infant.
She has a feisty side to her that got her into trouble a few times; but mainly Christina has always had a sweet and loving nature. She truly would do anything for anyone. She is a loving mother of five of my grandchildren, four girls and one boy and an other little grandson Jesse who did not experience life. Christina and her girls lived with us for 18 months while her husband was in Iraq. Her girls are a treasure to me.
Christina loves to experiment on healthy cooking; and she home-schools her children; which is quite a feat.
 I have watched her suffer through a lot of things and she always remains faithful to her testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My favorite characteristic that she has is that of humility.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO JENNI-MARIE-

Jenni was born into a very peaceful environment. Her father gave her a warm bath just moments after she was born. She just looked around and was just so peaceful. I was so thrilled to have another girl. Jenni is so dear to me.
Jenni is the mother of three of our grandchildren, two girls and a boy. She is quiet and reserved; but beneath that she is warm, fun and loving. I was so pleased when she chose to serve a mission. Jenni has a great depth in her thinking and in her testimony; I don't think she even knows how deep her love for the Savior goes. She likes to write Poetry and I would marvel at the depth of her thinking. She also enjoys singing. One of Jenni's most striking characteristics is her creativity which come out in many things she makes and does for her family and friends. I have had the privilege of living near her for a few months and it was delightful.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO TIFFANI -

Tiffani is the baby of the family. We thought she would be a boy; but just moments before she was born her father leaned over and whispered in my ear that she was a girl. We had only chosen boys names. Tiffani fits perfect because she is a Jewel and she was named after an ancestor Sarah Tiffani; of the Tiffani's of New York.Tiffani is always a bubble of enthusiasm. She also is very creative and always busy with some project or another. She has four of my precious grandchildren, two boys and two girls.She loves to sing and shares this talent frequently. She also loves to learn new things and is completing her BA degree this year through BYU. I admire her for her dedication to her goals.  One of her characteristic that I love is she is always optimistic and cheerful.

Dad and I wish for you all to have a very Happy Mother's Day. Know that we treasure you and we love each of you with all of our hearts. You are the champion's of our 30 grandchildren. We love you for your goodness and for the love you share with your spouses. We love you for your devotion to our Heavenly Father and Savior. We are grateful for your strong and true testimonies of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We love you for teaching your children to love the Savior and know and feel the spirit in their lives. 
Thanks you all for our awesome grandchildren and great grandchild. Thank you for your loving kindness to us. Wishing you a very special day of appreciation for all that you do in your individual families. Love and Hugs, Dad and Mom

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

OUR PRECIOUS GREAT GRANDDAUGHTER JADYN ABBY


We were so happy to be able to attend the baby blessing of our first great granddaughter Jadyn Abby. Our son Sean blessed her. The blessing given was lovely. She is a precious gift from Heaven and we are so grateful to have her in our lives. Jed and Jessica her parents are so awesome and we love them very much. I wasn't able to hold her due to recovering from Pneumonia. I felt sad we couldn't stay for the family brunch. However, it was a great blessing just to see her in her white blessing dress. We enjoyed the moments!

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