Sunday, November 13, 2011

Coupled with Eternal Glory - For my Gramps. Love, Sweet Bri

As part of unpacking our home this time, on our 13th move, I promised myself that I would go through all of my boxes.  Every single one of them.  Most benefiting from this decision will be those boxes which have collected items over the past 13 years of marriage and even before then.  Mike prides himself on the fact that when we moved into our newlywed apartment he brought his things in 2 apple boxes only.  I, on the other hand, had multiple boxes collected from my short, yet memory rich, 19 year old life, all with sweet notes written on them such as... "HEAVY.  Careful Honey.  I love you!"

As I was sorting through some letters and cards I came across one in particular that immediately brought tears to my eyes.  A real treasure.  A small square card given to me on my 30th birthday by my grandpa, my Gramps.  I did not need to open it to know who it was from.  The two word inscription was all I needed, 
Sweet Bri

Ever since I could remember I was my grandpa's Sweet Bri.  He related to me several times throughout my life that it was a nickname given to me because I was so sweet.  {It was a deviation from the name of the character Swee'Pea from the 1930s cartoon Popeye the Sailor.}  I always knew that my grandpa loved me.  His whole face would light up every time he saw me and I could hear it in his voice on the telephone, "Its my Sweet Bri."  His Spirit left this Earthly life in January of last year, 2010.  At a special memorial presentation following his funeral, it became apparent that I was not the only one who felt grandpa's love.  Each of his grandchildren remarked on how grandpa had always made them feel special, loved, and as if they were his 'favorite'.

As a young girl I was privileged in having a special relationship with my grandparents as each summer I would go visit them in their spectacular home in Park City, Utah.  A home that felt as comfortable to me as my own.  {It was there in my teenage years that I set my record for most consecutive hours of sleep, 14!}  Oftentimes we would go camping, hiking, and venture out into nature as my grandmother is as close to Mother Nature personified as anyone on Earth.  One of my most vivid memories of my grandfather is when we went on a camping trip to Yellowstone National Park when I was 10 and he was teaching me how to fish.  Two snapshots below depict the ill fate of my fishing line.  There with a huge grin was Gramps wading out in a freezing cold stream, rescuing my line from the stubborn rocks.  I can close my eyes and still see his jubilant smile and hear his resounding chuckle.

This past Memorial Day my mother invited us to join her and my Daddy in visiting his grave.  It was a reverent and pleasant experience for all of us.  The boys made paper airplanes to place at G-Gramps' grave {Great-Grandpa} as he was an av8r, a marine and a commercial pilot.  The most difficult part was watching my mother by his grave, visibly reminiscing and missing her Daddy.  After she had her moment, she took the time to sit down with her grandchildren and talk about grandpa and his exceptional qualities.  I was grateful to have my own Daddy with me and thoroughly enjoyed watching him with Felicity.

Oh how grateful I am that I know that our souls are eternal, that there is a life beyond this mortal existence.  Those we have loved here on Earth who have moved on to the next step in His Great Plan of Salvation, the Great Plan of Happiness, have not been separated from us for good.  How could it be a plan of happiness without being able to continue those same relationships that give us joy on Earth?  
And that same asociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with beternal glory...  {Doctrine and Covenants 103:2}

Although my heart ached a little today as I saw a man that resembled my grandpa in the grocery store, I know that the joy of our reunion will surpass any feelings of sorrow I may have experienced from our temporary separation... for it will be coupled with eternal glory.  What could be better than that??!!


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