Monday, June 22, 2009
I spoke at my daddy's funeral April 22, 2009. I usually don't speak at such events especially my sweet daddy's! Shortly after his passing we rushed to Wheeler Mortuary to start his Obituary, and it was THEN when daddy was nagging at me to speak at his funeral! What?!? "No Daddy, I'm a mess!" Needless to say, that nagging didn't stop until my talk was over! Ironic huh? I know I said a few words before I read my daddy's letter. Tim had given me the idea to write him instead of thinking of some other spiritual things, that I'm not even aware of:) I put the original in the casket with daddy but I did keep a copy...here it is:
Who would've thought I'd be writing you this letter, not just an ordinary letter, but a letter of Thanks, Gratitude and Love.
Daddy I miss you, and I am & will be okay. We have made some sacred promises and I promise daddy not to let you down.
I want to thank you daddy for bringing me into this earth. It was a fun journey having picked you to be my eternal friend & father. I want to thank you for being strong, but for also melting like sweet chocolate when I needed you.
I remember the times, especially being young when I would fall and you would quickly run to pick me up & make it all better...
Well daddy its kinda like our time right now.
You fell & now you will make it better, you sacrificed your mortal being to make us all better & for that daddy, I will be forever grateful.
Last week when we were sealed as an eternal family, you proved to us, but most importantly the lord, your faithfulness to the gospel & the blessings received from staying true, clean and pure.
You earned your "Golden Ticket" as you would say, the the Celestrial Kingdom in which I promise to see you there.
Just like you told me a few short weeks ago....
"its temporary baby girl, its just temporary".
I really enjoyed our last conversation, while in your final hours...
Although you were not responsive, I still saw your little grin, just like the one you have today.
Daddy, I know your proud of me & that's why I'm on this pulpit today.
You know I am strong, just like my mommy, Although you are "SHOCKED" because you know this isn't really my thing.
I love you daddy. Thank you for putting up a good fight.
I miss you, miss you more than ever. My heart hurts but is slowly healing,
as I know you will forever be alive in my heart.
I know you are not too far away. I want to read the Lyrics of a child's prayer.
I sang this to you daddy, remember when you were scared? Because I know it always makes me feel better when I am scared.
Heavenly Father, are you really there?
And do you hear and answer ev’ry child’s prayer?
Some say that heaven is far away,
But I feel it close around me as I pray.
Heavenly Father, I remember now
Something that Jesus told disciples long ago:
“Suffer the children to come to me.”
Father, in prayer I’m coming now to thee.
Pray, he is there;
Speak, he is list’ning.
You are his child;
His love now surrounds you.
He hears your prayer;
He loves the children.
Of such is the kingdom, the kingdom of heav’n.
I am thankful for the gospel, as I know it to be true. I love the comfort of being part of an eternal family. I believe and know that there is an eternity. I feel our Saviors love, and I am forever grateful for his atoning sacrifice.
Daddy, you are my SuperMan, my strength, my best friend.
I will forever cherish our memories and of course you said it best
"After this, my baby, we will never be separated again"
I love you daddy and I will forever be your "baby girl".
Enjoy the Celestial Kingdom and enjoy your new perfect soul.
I say this in the name of our beloved son and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
(Still waitin of some pix of Tim and I from the photographer!) My Parents and I were sealed in the American Fork Temple! Yes, it wasn't no San Diego Temple, but it was still the Lord's house, which is just as important. Immediately following the beautiful ceremony with my parents, my husband of 2 years and I were sealed for time and all eternity! Some people looked down on Tim and I for not getting sealed in the temple in the first place, however I explained to Tim prior to our engagement, the importance of my daddy being there for our temple wedding. Daddy had been working diligently for 14 years to go to the temple and had yet to see any of his 8 children married in the temple. I was overwhelmed with such love and the beautiful spirit on that day. After finding out that daddy only was going to be on this earth and in his mortal body for such a short amount of time....it was perfect. Daddy had been struggling but was yet so blessed with the strength and courage to walk, and to be able to kneel at the alter with first my mom and then with me, and only me! I was the only one out of the 8 children to be sealed to my parents! I got my moment! Yes, I am still sad that daddy wont be here for the birth of our future children, or my graduation, anniversarys or other very special events in my life, however I got THIS and nobody, nobody can take that away! How true the gospel is! After almost exactly one week after this beautiful ceremony, daddy had passed on to the other side. I knew it was his last journey on this earth, and don't let me fool you by sounding so excited, in fact I was sooo scared, because I knew daddy would be gone soon after our marvelous day. How true it was. I am so thankful for eternal families, and I am SO proud of my parents, myself, and Tim for being worthy for this special day. Whenever I am having a hard time dealing with daddy's death, I just think and reminisce when I was looking at him in the Celestrial room with that little smirk he always had! Tim and I choose to be sealed the same day as my parents so mom would have someone to celebrate on the many anniversary's to come. Such a special day, and I am glad I waited and got MY day!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wow...It is still so surreal. I don't even know where to begin with this one. All I know is I really miss my daddy. I keep thinking he is going to come walking in the door any minute. The reason for my title is because the last hours of my daddy's life were scary, traumatizing, beautiful, and extremely sad. Saturday night (April 18Th 2009) mom had needed some much needed rest, I offered to stay up for a few hours aand keep a close on Daddy, as he had a hard day. He wasn't able to walk early that morning, as he had been struggling the night before, we quickly learned that he had lost all ability's that early morning. Daddy also had us a bit nervous earlier, as he had mentioned that he "was done", we didn't quite know what he meant, but he was in and out, and the "Boys" (My Brothers, Shane, Mike, My hubby Tim, and brother in law Ryan) gave him a blessing of release. We thought it was his time, but it didn't quite feel right. It was a busy day, as we were prompted to do our fun raising yard sale and Navajo Taco sale...we put it all together in an evening. We dropped the sale to surround daddy and be there for him...Hospice brought him in a hospital bed where he spend his last day and night. Before mom retired to bed, she specifically told me to not leave daddy's sight and to keep an eye on his breathing as he was rasping more and more. My little sister and I cuddled up on the couch next to daddy and was watching Beauty and the Beast. An hour went by when Daddy had started hick-upping and it started to get worse and worse..I was scared. I went and woke mom after about another hour of his hick-up episode and was quickly assured by the Holy Ghost that my daddy wasn't going to make it. I quickly ran into the room and woke Tim. I told him "Daddy isn't going to make it"...I was hysterical. I didn't want to believe what I was saying was true. My knees were weak and my stomach hurt..my heart ached like it never ached before. I know it was a miracle that I was able to pull myself off the floor and clean my tears, I knew I had to be strong for daddy because he was scared too. When I returned to the couch next to daddy, I went ahead and took the time to say my final goodbyes..even though he couldn't respond, he would kind of moan to let me know he could hear me. I said several things that night and also made several promises to daddy. I will share a few things.. I began by telling daddy how much I loved him and how much I will miss these moments. I cuddled up to him and asked him to tell my babies how much I love them and that I cannot wait to meet them, "daddy I'm so jealous that you get to meet them first, but I am so excited to have them and know you were just with them and you will be such a BIG part of their spiritual lives. Remember to kick them down from heaven and send them with a birthmark on their bums so I know you sent them" I also sang to daddy A Child's Prayer in which I sing every time I'm scared or I am in desperate need of a "spiritual moment". I know he was laughing when I sang to him because everyone knows that I am a horrible singer and just simply don't sing. I reminded Daddy of the last time I sang that song, we were at my cousin Ryan's mission farewell and I whispered to my sisters "tell me when to start" in which the microphone was in front of me so everyone heard it! Ryan was like my brother in which he passed away on my Graduation day May 23.2003..who would have thought that daddy would be the next one to see him and Ryan would be welcoming him with open arms. I asked daddy, please give Ryan a big hug for me and tell him how much I miss him. "Daddy...please visit me often, as I will really need you." I promised daddy that I would be strong and that I will take care of mommy and my little sister. I also promised him that I will keep a current temple recommend so that no matter what, we will be together for the eternities. After an hour I gave him a big kiss. From that moment on, I held his hand in one hand and put my hand on his heart up to his very last breath. "Daddy, I wont leave you until your there..I promise". Daddy got worse as his lungs had filled up with infection and fluid, he was sufficating. Daddy would get really scared when his airways were blocked or if I let go of his hand..I then would look him in the eyes and rub his sweet chest "its okay daddy, you can go now" I would repeat myself and would also let him know that "we will be okay". Daddy took his last breath while we listened to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir "Lilies in the field" and him staring at the beautiful lilies on the TV. I am thankful he went peacefully at 8:15 A.M. April 19, 2009 after a long suffocating night and a courageous fight to stay with us. The gurgle still haunts me as I still cannot let the sink drain or even stand the sound of a humidifier. They say time heals...time hurts and I hate it. Time makes me miss him more, time makes me sadder and sadder, time is A LONG time away from my daddy! My eyes are sad and my heart hurts, how will I be okay without my daddy? My testimony has grown and I am so thankful to have the gospel in my life. How can anyone deal with such tragedy without the gospel? I miss my daddy more and more everyday. I cannot explain the hurt I feel. I am thankful he isn't in pain anymore and I cannot wait to reunite with my sweet daddy. I will miss his warm embrace, his loving words, his wisdom, his strength, his courage, his testimony, his prayers, his love and commitment, his comfort, his laugh, his smile, his stories, his EVERYTHING* I love you my daddy. (I spoke at my daddy's funeral and I will post it soon)
MacArthur Douglas Halona
(April 21, 1951 - April 19, 2009)
MacArthur Douglas Halona
MacArthur Douglas Halona, 57, of Springville, UT, returned home to his Heavenly Father surrounded by his family, on April 19, 2009 after a courageous battle with cancer.
He was born April 21, 1951 in Gallup, New Mexico to Wallce E. and Betty J. Halona. He spent his childhood years on the Navajo reservation in Tohatchi, New Mexico. At the age of 8 he came to live in Springville through the Indian placement program, graduating from Springville High School in 1969. He attended BYU where he performed with the Lamanite Generation and received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Management in 1985. He loved fishing, hunting, yard work, woodcutting, camping, the BYU Cougars, and the Utah Jazz. He was a talented artist and enjoyed studying Church History. Above all he cherished spending time with his family.
He married his best friend Pamela Sue Pendergraft on June 7, 1980 in Orem, Utah and was sealed as her Eternal companion in the Mt. Timpanogas Temple April 11, 2009.
He is survived by his parents; his wife of 28 years; sons and daughters: Leigh (C. Lee) Vornkahl, M. Shane Halona, Jeremy (Delores) Halona, Michael Halona, Utahna (John) Erickson, Desiree’ (C. Ryan) Raulston, Andrea “Gia” (Timothy) Carter, and Melody Baldwin Halona; nine (soon to be ten) grandchildren.
Funeral Services will be held Wednesday April 22, 2009 at 11 a.m. in the Springville Fifth Ward at 245 S. 600 E. A viewing will be held Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Wheeler Mortuary, 211 E. 200 S. Springville or at the church on Wednesday one hour prior to the services. Interment, Springville Evergreen Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to Wheeler Mortuary to help cover funeral expenses.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
As I mentioned before in an older post "sad day" I was optimistic about my dad's future as I knew his health would slowly deteriorate from the recent chemo therapy. As I read my old post over and over again, it is now so clear that I knew this treatment wouldn't work but yet I still sat and held on with every strength of hope and faith that I could possibly have. I now simply realize that Heavenly Father was trying to get through my thick head and prepare me for one of the worst days I would experience in my life. On February 23, 2009 (the day before our 2 year anniversary & 3 days before our Bahama cruise)my sweet husband was not his usual self. Tim is always so happy, full of jokes and always smiling...I knew something was wrong. As I kept to my work (those of you who don't know...Tim and I took over the family daycare so my mom could spend some quality time with my dad, and so Tim and I could turn the place around and put some peeps in their place)running back and forth across the center something didn't feel right. When answering the never ending ringing telephone, I was surprised to hear that it was my little 14 year old sister. As we said our quick hello's Melody sounded very concerned and had asked me "why are there so many cars at the house?" (her school is across the street from my parents home) I simply said "oh, they must just be visiting daddy." Dad was taken to the hospital on Sunday February 22, 2009 after pleading with my mom to take him because something was very wrong! Dad had been very confused, he couldn't carry on a full conversation let alone a sentence. He would start speaking fine and then end up speaking complete gibberish! After going out to a movie (a typical Saturday with my parents) it became very clear that dad had not a clue what was going on! He couldn't walk up the theater stairs without falling, nor could he open the door without stumbling across the lobby. I was scared. After spending most of the day at the hospital and running several tests on my dad, the Dr.'s concluded that everything was OK, but encouraged us to call dad's Oncologist first thing Monday morning. I didn't want to hear that he was OK, because he wasn't!! I spent the long night on my knees pleading with the Lord to "make my daddy better"! The following day at work I was ready to run out the door on my lunch break to go pick up an Anniversary gift for Tim. I got to the desk to say bye to my hunny,when I had quickly asked him if he had heard why there was so many people at my dad's house. Tim had said "your mom will be over in a while to talk to you". I instantly freaked out saying.. "is my daddy OK?" "Is he dead?" "Why are you not telling me!?!?!" "What the hell is going on!?" Tim in his very loving voice asked me to go for a walk, I refused of course as I started getting extremely upset, he asked if I would go for a drive with him. Refusing again, he finally gave in and said "alright let's go into the office". I walked in and I should have sat down. Tim, who had tears running down his cheeks simply said "your mom talked to dad's Oncologist today and........I'm sorry baby, but your dad only has 2-3 months to live". I lost all feeling in my legs and dropped to my knees crying like I have never cried before. Hysterical, I cried and cried and cried. Re' (my older sister) was in the other room came rushing in to my side asking what was the matter. I cried harder. Nothing could make it better. Nothing. As I continued to cry, my mom showed up and being the amazing mommy she is, she pulled me to my feet and held me. She is so brave! Not even a tear, just her strength and her encouraging words whispering into my ear "it's going to be alright, we will be OK and daddy will be OK". What!?! My mom never ceases to amaze me on how strong she is. She is amazing. I was still crying, my heart hurt. She calmly lead me out to the car to go see dad.
I walked into my parents house trying to find "some" strength, it was when I saw his humbling face, I lost it! Embracing my mom I whispered "I can't do this! I can't!". After a few deep breaths, I walked over and put my head on my daddy's chest. I was overwhelmed with the love & the peace we shared. I stopped crying the instant I heard his heart beating and was instantly comforted. The rest of the day was very overwhelming and most of it is still a blur, however the spirit that I felt so strong when I embraced my dad is still with me. I don't know how I am getting through each and every day. Working over 10 hours a day running a Daycare Center, so I can continue to help provide the quality time mom and dad need, and to help my sister Re' cope and to spending each afternoon with dad. I can't help but wonder, why am I doing this? Will I regret this? Why can't I spend my days with my daddy? It is then, when I know why!! Daddy knows that I am the strong one, and he believes in me! He knows that I will be OK and that I...Gia...will be forever in his presence in which he will lead me and guide me each and every day. He is going to take care of me! What a blessing to know that daddy will always be with me. He will never leave me! Daddy will always be there no matter what, all I need to do is stay strong and hold on to the Gospel, and have faith. It is going to be tough and I know it is only going to get harder. The worst is yet to come. Like my daddy said "it's only temporary baby girl, it's only temporary". Dad is sacrificing his life to help his family grow, to be stronger and to follow thy Gospel. I know this is to be true! He has fought so hard for the family to be together forever...for eternity! That is all dad has asked of his children, and I am happy to say...I'm ready daddy, let's go get sealed! Hopefully in the next few weeks we will be sealed as a Eternal family and I will also be sealed to my wonderful husband for Time and all Eternity on the same day so my mom will have us to celebrate with! I love you daddy. You are my superman, my strength, my best friend. For now I will cherish each and every moment we will share together. All I ask of you daddy is to first give Ryan a big hug for me and then to play lots with my babies and send a part of you with them as you kick them out of heaven to be with us...lead me and guide me and I know you will be waiting for that wonderful day when we are together again. I love you daddy and I will forever be your baby girl.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
I am so excited to be a Scentsy Consultant! I know tonz of peeps are doing it in Utah, but I have such an awesome privilege of having a great clientele from work (our family daycare) so I already got the hook up!! I have only been doing this for about 2 weeks and have almost hit my thousand dollar mark! I have always been obsessed with candles and having my house smell marvelous that this is perfect for me! Scentsy's anyone?!? Check out my website at www.scentsy.com/wicklessfun
So Weds. my dad started his 4th round of Chemo therapy....that says it all. He called me from the hospital just sobbing when they started his treatment. I didn't know what to say other than "I love you daddy". I hate seeing my dad in so much physical and emotional pain, he is someone who I see as the strongest man alive and my superhero. About 8 weeks ago he had gotten a scan and they had found that the cancer has spread from his liver to his lungs, it was about 6mm, so controllable. This last week it had grown to be 1 1/2 inches in less than 9 weeks! It is out of control! My poor dad has been walking hunched over for about a week now due to severe pain in his liver. We pray it isn't spreading into his spine! Last week was the first time I heard my dad admit that this cancer will take his life.... we haven't talked about a funeral or death before.. but it looks as though we better start pinching pennies and figuring out what steps to take (just in case). I am thankful that he is no longer in denial about this whole thing. I know it Will be a long few months, I just hope and pray that we can get this under control and in remission before it takes his life. I am thankful for all the prayers we receive and thankful for everyday that I do spend with him.