How does an ant eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Big problems are composed of smaller, albeit interconnected, problems. Solving the smaller problems will have an implication on the larger problems.

24 February 2011

Rest in peace, Grandpa

I have such good brothers, you know that? I have always been very close with my two brothers. I can think of some of the times when I have had very difficult moments, emotionally. My brothers are always there for me. It's soothing. They each have their wife, but they are always standing there, ready to hold me up at just the right time, when I am wishing that I had a significant other, like them, to hold me up for just a minute when I really need it.

Tonight was Grandpa's viewing. I have supressed my feelings, overall, all week. I knew the moment I looked at pictures and waited to see him (which I wasn't really sure I wanted to, since I'm not a fan of open-casket viewings), I would be a goner! Sure enough. I spent a few moments looking at the photo display my mom put together and even though I had seen all the pictures a million times, there was one imparticular...nothing special, just a candid shot, that really got me going. I turned around and my little brother was standing there...almost like he was waiting for my moment of vulnerability to kick in and I collapsed in his embrace. About the time I pulled myself together and he walked away, I walked into the room and for some reason the flood gates opened once again. As they did, my older brother I suppose saw me or could just sense that I needed someone, as I stood there alone. I cried. And cried. And now I am getting teary-eyed, thinking of it. Why is it so hard to let go of someone, when you are glad they have gone and are at peace? So many great memories of Grandpa and it was nice to see him at peace tonight, even though I don't really think it looked much like him.

This song was one I heard numerous times in New Orleans, the weekend my Grandpa made me tear up every time I heard it!

Some glad morning when this life is o'er,
I'll fly away;
To a home on God's celestial shore,
I'll fly away (I'll fly away).

I'll fly away, Oh Glory
I'll fly away; (in the morning)
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I'll fly away (I'll fly away).

When the shadows of this life have gone,
I'll fly away;
Like a bird from prison bars has flown,
I'll fly away (I'll fly away)

I'll fly away, Oh Glory
I'll fly away; (in the morning)
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I'll fly away (I'll fly away).

Just a few more weary days and then,
I'll fly away;
To a land where joy shall never end,
I'll fly away (I'll fly away)

I'll fly away, Oh Glory
I'll fly away; (in the morning)
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I'll fly away (I'll fly away).

23 February 2011

In loving memory

Clyde Harold Larsen 1922 ~ 2011 Clyde Harold Larsen (88) born 3 November, 1922; died peacefully at his home in Murray on Saturday 19 February, 2011 due to complications of age.Clyde was the first of five children of Harold Christian Larsen and Ellen Goldia Petersen. He was raised in the Sugarhouse area of Salt Lake City. He graduated from South High school. Clyde served a mission to the Eastern States Mission before World War II. As a lieutenant in the US Army, he went to Europe right at the end of World War II. Not long following Clyde's return from the service his father passed away in a tragic automobile accident, Clyde assumed the responsibility for the family electrical business and completed all the jobs which his father had commitments for at the time of his death. He also took over his father's responsibilities as Sexton at Elysian Burial Gardens, and has served on the Board of Directors there until his death. Clyde married Katherine Louise Lee on the 11th of September 1947 in the Salt Lake Temple. They were blessed with nine beautiful and talented children He worked as a foreman on the construction of many LDS Church buildings, in Mississippi, Florida, Alabama and Utah. On those occasions where he could take his family, he did. He also built visitors facilities at the Hill Cumorah and Peter Whitmer Farm in upstate New York. He was a foreman during the building of the Deseret Gym in Salt Lake City. In 1980 he started his own construction company, "Clyde H. Larsen & Sons Construction". His craftsmanship was so remarkable, that he was also entrusted to remodel several Temples including, Salt Lake, Provo, Washington DC, Ogden, Logan, Atlanta, Manti and the Salt Lake Tabernacle. He built or remodeled every home that his family and all of his children's families have lived in. These houses stand today as a memorial of craftsmanship and love for his family. He served faithfully as a husband, father, home teacher, Young Men's President, High Councilman, Bishopric, and Patriarch. Clyde served a second mission with his wife to the East Houston Texas Mission. He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, Leland, Keith and Boyd; one son, Wayne and four grandchildren Rachel Larsen and Robbie, Sarah and Brad Birkinshaw. He is survived by his wife Louise, his sister Virginia Moss, and his children: LesLee (Lee) Neal, Joan (Randy) Lunt, Lonnie (Robert) Birkinshaw, Harold (DeAnn) Larsen, Shirl (Elizabeth) Larsen, Leisha (Don) Staley, Wayne (Jana) Larsen, Sterling (Carol) Larsen, O'Lynn (Bob) Elliot. He has 57 grandchildren, 42 great- grandchildren, and five grandchildren now serving full time missions. A viewing will be held Wednesday evening 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Jenkins- Soffe Funeral Home at 1007 W. So Jordan Parkway (106th So). Funeral services will be Thursday, Feb. 24, at 11:00 a.m. in the Murray Parkway Stake Center, at 619 W. 5750 So. (off 700 W.) It will be preceded by a viewing from 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

17 February 2011

A favorite of mine...

For just a while, calm your thoughts. In this moment, simply be.

There is much in your life, and there is much more to come.

Yet you have always been, and you always are, more than enough.
For a moment, let go of the way you appear and the things you’ve done. Feel the truth and power of who you are.

In silence, there is much you can know. Beyond thought, there is much you can understand.

Touch the person who always lives inside the person you are. Be immersed in the beauty and wonder of being.

Feel the strength that is always there. And know that whatever may come, all is well.

— Ralph Marston

16 February 2011

A bucket of tears

Sometimes not even a good, hard cry will fix things or make them better...and sometimes not even a whole evening of laying in bed with Grandma, crying together, will help either. The price of free rent at Grandma and Grandpa's is now being paid at a high rate, with my emotions. Living here the past three weeks has been hard, to say the least. My heart can't take anymore. I feel so selfish saying that though, like I am the only one having a difficult time watching Grandpa slowly and painfully die. It is one thing to lose someone you love and care about, it is a completely different experience though having the whole situation integrated as part of your daily life.

I took a few days off last week to do some job hunting in DC and felt as guilty as a parent must feel, leaving their infant behind while vacationing. I came back feeling a little bit lighter than when I had left, emotionally speaking. However, after watching Grandma break down sobbing tonight, my heart aches and feels heavier than ever. She has been so upbeat and positive the past 3 weeks during this rapid decline in Grandpa's health - joking that she hopes he doesn't expect her to follow him too quickly because she wants to party some more and she has been finding the strength to do all she can for her life-long lover and friend. She has been so strong, mustering up everything that she has left to give to him. I laid in her twin bed with her while she went through the emotions and realization that it is time for Grandpa to go. The decision was made today between Harold and Grandpa, to bring hospice in tomorrow, as the pain is too great for Grandpa to bear any longer. I presume they may give him some morphine, which I imagine will be enough for him to slip into a peaceful sleeping coma...who knows though. I am not sure he will last the week, although I thought that a month ago and he's still here. This time it is different though and I think we all know it. It is hard to see him suffer, confused and, at times, gasping for air. I cannot believe how quickly he has gone down hill; it has been so hard to watch.

Grandpa's health quickly plunged a few weeks ago,on a Thursday evening shortly after I walked in the house, after spending an hour in my car, talking on the phone to a friend in Baltimore. Thoughts of my rather lengthy and emotional conversation quickly escaped me as I realized Grandpa was grasping for air and was beginning to cry as he walked into his bedroom. Shoeing away anyone that came close to the room, I think out of embarrassment, he welcomed me in to wipe away his tears. I am not sure why he was okay with me being in there, but it made me feel special. I sat with him for about an hour that night, until Harold made it to the house; I let him take over from there. Things have not been the same since. There was a 2 week period following that Thursday night where I didn't see him awake once. I am grateful he's been able to sleep so much, but feel sad that his suffering isn't over yet. Tonight, after Grandma was able to spend some time alone, talking with him, Shirl and I sat in there while Grandpa expressed his love and appreciation and Grandma talked until Grandpa dozed off. It felt....peaceful, despite the river of tears streaming down each of our faces.  

Hence, there is a time to go ahead and a time to stay behind.
There is a time to breathe easy and a time to breathe hard.
There is a time to be vigorous and a time to be gentle.
There is a time to gather and a time to release.
Can you see things as they are
And let them be all on their own?
~ Lao-tzu

15 February 2011


Take some time to get clear and write about what you really want in life so you can more easily identify which requests truly support your goals. A study from Harvard University shows that people who write down their life goals and regularly consider them when making choices are 97 percent more successful in building the lives they want than people who do not have clear life objectives.

So I read this in an article a couple weeks ago and started thinking about how anti-new year's goals I am. I had a few in mind though that I would like to write out and work through. So that being said, I am setting myself a goal to get that done, in addition to catching up my blog in whole by the end of February. Who knows if I will really, but I am going to put forth my best effort. I have kept a running word document of thoughts I'd like to post on here, so it is is all accessible to me, in the same place. I've also got some great pictures to share, so I will really try to work on this - so watch out, there maybe be quite a few posts over the next couple weeks (and yes, they will be outdated...I have all of them written, I just need to take the time to edit and add some pictures).

14 February 2011

Yup, this is totally how I feel about Valentine's day (single or attached). I think it is silly to have a "holiday" to celebrate your love for someone. Shouldn't that be done every day of the year? I don't know. I do have to say though that after helping my friend's boyfriend surprise her tonight and seeing her melt into his arms and appear to be so excited by such a great surprise, I was slightly envious I didn't have a date of some sort. I don't admit to that very often, even if it's something I am feeling. I think part of that could be the high emotions taking their toll on me lately - between everything going on at home, with Grandpa, to my most recent "heart-break" left in Baltimore, just to be friend for now (yes, one more reason to push for a big/permanent move back to D.C.). Anyway, such is life. I am a big girl and have my big girl panties on...spending the rest of my so-called romantic night writing cover letters and hitting the sack early, so I can get up and get to the gym.

03 February 2011

“With each new day it becomes more apparent to me that everything and everyone in this world is connected in some beautiful and inexplicable way, and the more I accept that, the more my world seems to come together.”
- Andrew McMahon