Chapter 26, Mending

I believe that soon after someone passes away, if there was a relationship that needed to be mended, that process begins. I believe it happens on both sides of the veil.

When my brother Steve passed away, he had a few relationships that needed mending. The most pressing was how he had treated his wife Debbie the last few years of his life. It became so intolerable for her that she moved to Arizona to be near her mother.

When moving everything out of their house a few days after Steve died, and before the funeral (the house had been sold and the move was already in process), Debbie and my sister Vickie were boxing up the last closet.

Debbie went out to start her rental car. It was the middle of December, early in the evening, cold and dark, with a light snow falling.

Her car wouldn’t start. Out of the darkness she sees someone approaching the car. The person stops and taps on the window and asks if everything is okay. Debbie says her car won’t start. He asks her if she has pumped the gas pedal before turning the key. She said she has. He tells her to wait a minute, then try starting it again, but not to pump the pedal. She waits, doing as instructed, the car start’ed.

When she went in the house she told Vickie what had happened, and said; “I think it was Steve.”  The person had on a hooded sweatshirt (similar to what Steve would wear), was carrying in his hand a can of Budweiser (his beer of choice), and spoke in the same manner as Steve did. He appeared out of nowhere and was gone as quickly as he came.

I believe it was Steve. He was starting that mending process with his wife Debbie.

From a friend Julio Gonzalez.

My Mother’s impact after her passing

In January of 2015, I traveled to Miami to spend time with my mother. Her health was failing, and she was about to pass away.

My brother and I had some disagreements about some issues concerning her hospice care and funeral arrangements. We developed some negative feelings toward one another. After the funeral I traveled home, prepared to never see or speak to my brother again.

Several months later, my friend Craig suggested I read a book written by Lance Richardson called The Message. I read it in May of 2015, five months after my mother had passed away.

In the book, the author shares his personal near-death experiences.  As I was reading about how he experienced a reunion with loved ones in the spirit world, I realized that at some point after my time on earth, I would eventually reunite with my brother This realization caused me to determine that it would be better for me to get over my bitter feelings toward my brother sooner, and I would be better served to forgive and forget here on earth.

What I gained from the book was two things. First was the realization or knowledge that I would eventually face my brother; and second, that I should probably begin the process of forgiving now instead of letting years go by with bitter feelings.

I also realized that our existence in this life is more than just our life on this earth, and that the nature of the family extends past this earthly existence.

I found it interesting that the day after I had these realizations, my brother, whom I hadn’t spoken to since the funeral, called me.

It seems that both of us were thinking the same thing at the same time. It surprised me that my brother called, and it softened my heart. In hindsight, I believe that my mother was involved in softening our hearts and helping us to engage with one another.

About a week later, my brother called again. We spoke about our families, things that had been happening since our mother’s funeral, and vacation plans for the year. He and his wife, with friends. had made plans for a two-week cruise on the Baltic Sea. You can imagine my shock as I listened to him describe the exact itinerary that my wife and I with friends had booked. Not only the same itinerary, the same dates. My brother had booked with a different cruise line, but both had the same ports of call on the same day over the two-week period.

I then realized that even though I had decided to never see my brother again, it wouldn’t be possible to avoid him. Somehow it seemed someone was orchestrating our reunion and creating an opportunity for us to reconcile.

My brother and I decided to meet in Copenhagen prior to our cruises’ beginning. My brother and I, with our wives, met in our hotel lobby.

It was in that meeting that we discussed the probability that our mother had orchestrated our coming together.

Lorna passed away on Sunday, August 24. On Tuesday the 26th I woke up thinking I needed to find her wedding ring.

Katie came into the bedroom as I was looking and asked what I was looking for. I told her I was looking for her mother’s ring. For some reason I woke up with the feeling that I needed to find it.

Katie told me the reason I thought about the ring was because Mom wanted to be married to me now, more than she ever had before.

In preparation for her funeral service, which was to be held on Saturday August 30th, I went to the Timpanogos Temple on Thursday morning, the 28th. As the events of the creation were being reviewed, when Eve is introduced to Adam, Adam is asked what he is going to call her. He replies, “Eve, for she is the mother of all living.” Eve then gives Adam a subtle look of adoration, because she knew, he knew, who she was.

When that introduction took place, I felt something. I knew Lorna knew who I was, and more importantly, who we were, during that time before time when we dwelt with heavenly parents. It was a sweet experience.

When we moved into our home on Matterhorn Drive, Lorna found out from a friend, Kit Lund, that you could go to the Unitah Mountains above Kamas, and get landscape rocks for your yard.

For the next five or six years I made regular summer trips to the Unitahs getting landscape rocks for our yard.

And consequently, for Lorna’s headstone, which would be a rock from the Unitahs.

With three friends, we went to the Unitahs. We found the perfect headstone.

When I dropped the rock off at the monument place where the stone would be engraved, they asked me what I wanted on the stone.

Just the usual, names and dates. I gave them our dates, and the date Lorna passed away. Then for our marriage date, I said, “Sealed February 2, 1973.”

The person helping told me that typically, you don’t put “sealed” on a headstone if you weren’t civilly married first. When a couple is civilly married, then sealed later, you put on the headstone a married date and date the couple was sealed in the temple. If married in the temple first, “married” is put on the headstone, not “sealed.”

Okay, just put married February 2, 1973.

For a few days afterwards, just having the word “married”on the headstone troubled me. Married? Married where? On a cruise ship, by a justice of the peace, or in a little chapel in Las Vegas?

As I was waking up a few mornings later, I knew what Lorna wanted engraved on our headstone.

Joined Forever in the Holy Order of Matrimony
2 February 1973

Despite the desire to find her wedding ring, the feeling in the temple when Eve was introduced to Adam, and “Joined Forever…,” on the headstone, even with those evidences, because of the feelings Lorna had for Tom before we met, I found myself wondering if Lorna would choose me. It was a persistent, troubling thought.

Six or seven weeks after Lorna passed away, two or three mornings in a row I woke up with lyrics from a song going over and over in my mind, “Have I told you lately that I love you, have I told you that I care?”

I googled the song and found that the lyrics were different than I was singing in my mind. I was saying, “Have I told you lately that I love you? Have I told you that I care?” The correct lyrics are

Have I told you lately that I love you
Have I told you
There’s no one above you

…there’s a love that’s divine
And it’s yours and it’s mine…

In early November, I was in the Timpanogos Temple doing sealings. At one point between assignments at the altar, I heard Lorna say over and over, “I choose you, I choose you.”

Lorna’s headstone was placed at the Alpine Cemetery in early November, 2014. Calli went to the cemetery to see it. Her mother had always counseled her to marry her best friend. While at the gravesite, Calli asked her mother, “Is Dad your best friend?” She heard her mother say. “You have no idea.”

During our married life, if we had an argument it usually ended when she would say, “Get over it!”

I hate to admit this, but in early December I’m raking leaves in the backyard. Despite the evidence I had received, I’m fretting over Tom again.

I hear Lorna say. Get over it!

I don’t fret over Tom anymore.

In late November 2014, Calli took part in a meditation retreat in Oregon. She felt her mother often during the retreat.

When she returned from Oregon, she called and told me we needed to talk. She had something to tell me and was quite urgent about it.

She came to the house and told me that I had played my role perfectly in Mom’s life, and I needed to read the book, The Little Soul and the Sun.”  I have come to know that Lorna played her role in my life perfectly as well.  No villains, just heros.

Cory Jensen , Family Friend

Several years ago while I was riding up the Alpine Loop on my bicycle on a summer morning, a silver SUV passed me with a GIDDYUP license plate on the back. Sure enough, when I rounded the corner by Timpooneke, there were Lorna and Katie taking some wedding photos by the brook and the tall pines in the early morning light. I hollered a hello as I rode past.

October 7, 2015 found me riding up the canyon again, this time on a sunny, warm fall afternoon. As I approached the same spot, my thoughts drifted to Lorna. At that moment, suddenly I felt a connection to her. Not that she was present but more that she was aware of my thoughts right then (almost like picking up the phone and calling someone). In my mind, I thanked her for her influence in my life and for the many things she had done for me over the years. In response came, “Keep an eye on Craig. Tell him that I love him.” With that she was gone.

Tom Heal served in a branch presidency at the Jamestown Assisted Living Center in Provo, Utah.  From his journal, he shares the following experience:

We learned much by caring for people who were winding up their lives . . . . I learned things from the many Priesthood Blessings we gave.  I learned from the things people think and talk about as they come close to that transition we call death.

One lady in her 90’s had been married in the temple and gone through a very contentious and venomous divorce.  She still “hated his guts,” even though he had died many years earlier.  She called her family to her side and made them promise that when she died, they would do everything they could to have her temple sealing to her husband cancelled.  They agreed, but that was not enough.  She made each one individually promise that they would do as she asked.  She said she wanted nothing to do with that blankity, blank, blank.

They again agreed, and she soon passed away.  Then, between the time she died and time of her funeral, she appeared to her daughter in the spirit and said,  “Never mind!”

This was a lesson to me,  . . . another small piece of the spirit world puzzle.  When we pass through the veil and then see and are seen as the majestic spirits we have become, not only from our mortal experience, but what we had grown to be in the pre-earthly life.  Suddenly, in a moment, all the things that bother us about each other are gone.  For that good sister, all the venom she carried for her divorced husband disappeared, almost in an instant.  “Never mind,” she said.

Fathers day June 18, 2013.  I received this note from Calli: “You are so loved at my house.  My kids talk about how much they love you, how funny they think you are, truly all the time. I am so grateful we get to live so close to you, that you are around and always willing to help.

I’m so thankful for the way you love and support me.  I’m beyond grateful for your relationship with heaven, how real it is to you.

As I’m typing this Mom just showed up. The feeling is that you have some regrets about the father you were when we were little. I just keep hearing her say over and over again, “All is forgiven.”  Once again, you played the role you were always meant to play. You did it perfectly. She loves you, she’s so proud of you. She’s so happy about how everything turned out. She doesn’t want you to ever worry about anything. Everyone and everything is always taken care of.  Always. In a way we can’t comprehend .

She is saying she has something she wants to teach you.  Ask her about it.  I think she will tell you in your dreams. She misses you. I can feel her not wanting me to stop. She would like you to think about her more, and talk with her more. Think of her as one of your best friends.”

Obviously a sweet note to receive on fathers day.

I did ask Lorna what she wanted to teach me. Soon after, I was drawn to a tune I heard in a store.  It was vaguely familiar. I picked up on a few words from the song and was able to fine it on the internet.  “All I have,” by Beth Nielsen Chapman.

Something that has caused me anguish since Lorna passed away…regrets. The coulda, woulda, shoulda, oughta’s. They have diminished with time, but an occasional “trigger” can bring back a memory and the discomfort associated with it.

Calli mentioned in her note, that Lorna had something to teach me. She thought she would tell me in a dream.

I did have a dream.  In the dream, I’m approaching Lorna. I starting to apoligize.  She puts her index finger on my lips and slowly shakes her head.