Tuesday, February 2, 2010


You will find, at times, I tend to refer to my sister's blog for information that she and I share. I figure that if she has already posted it, there isn't a real need for it to be posted again since those of you who read this can just click on the link to and read the info I would have posted myself if I had thought to post it before her.

So, with that little tidbit in mind, my post begins. Admittedly, these past two months (to be exact) have been tough. I have found that weekends seem to be the rougher of times since weekends were the times when I was able to see my dad the most.

See, two days before my twenty-first birthday, on December 2, 2009, my father unexpectedly died. I hadn't been home much those few days before his
death since I was at the end of the semester, so I stayed late to study and Clarinet sectionals ran late into the evening on Tuesdays. So, Tuesday night, when I got home, my dad was asleep. Mom said that he thought he had a cold or something that is easily gotten over. We all thought that he'd drink his Mount Olympus water, and Tropicana orange juice, (he was particular about his brands) take some meds and feel better in a few days.

I remember that Wednesday well, I remember being in bed and hearing my mom talk to dad before she left that morning. His responses were a bit different in the sense that he seemingly kept falling asleep, or so I assumed when I heard her wake him up repeatedly to talk about whether or not he needed to go to the doctor.

They had decided it was best to go to a clinic and figure out what was wrong. Mom went early to school to make plans for a substitute and returned back home to take Dad to the doctor. When they were headed out to the car, dad lost his balance and fell on the back porch. Mom called the paramedics to help get him up and make sure that he was ok, after falling on cement. He seemed ok and the paramedics helped him get into the car so he and mom could go to the doctor.

Without warning, Dad went into cardiac arrest and after life-saving attempts from the paramedics and a hospital trip, he had passed away from this life into the next.

I remember, it a few minutes before the hour and I had just come out of Private Lessons for Clarinet with Matt, taken my instrument and music upstairs to the storage room, and come back down to head for Anthropology. I had seen the text from my mom to call her when I could. So, as I headed down from GT 5 to GT 3, I called her.

She explained what had happened, I remember feeling completely and totally numb. Unable to comprehend what she had just said to me. Well, Dad wouldn't have wanted me to miss school and cry all day over him so I continued with my classes. I was hard, admittedly, but it kept me focused and sane.

I had stopped to sit while I talked with her on the phone on GT 3 and then realized that I had to make it over to the other side of campus within a couple minutes to make it to my next class, so briskly I walked from GT 3 down to GT B, over to WB 1, through the Hall of Flags, past the Science building, through the PE concourse, PE 1, and down to the garden level of the LA building.

After class, I briefly saw my close friend Christine Cottle, a hug from her was all I needed at that moment, and I was, for the most part, able to get through the day. She is such an amazing and caring friend.
Another hug that was so good to get was from my bestest and most favorite sister ever, Christine! Mom and Chrissi came down to campus while I was on break so I could cry my tears and just be with them for a bit. Hugs are amazing it was good to get a hug from my sister too.

I remember walking around campus, feeling totally and completely numb, sort of unaware of what was going on around me. Then Liz called me, just wanting to make sure that people on my street were ok since she had heard there were paramedics by my house. I remember how it felt to tell her the news, as if saying it solidified it as an unmistakable truth. Liz is so amazing though, she has really been there for me, more as a friend than the woman who was my YW President or as one of the women in the RS Presidency. I love her and her family so much, they keep me smiling. I honestly don't know what I would have done without Liz on the day when I felt so awful with my Kidney infection. Argh! I love you Liz! *HUGS!

A part of American Sign Language is using your face to help get your message across, using emotion and expression. So, it isn't surprising that most friends in my classes saw that there was something wrong. My friends were so good to me, so supportive and caring, especially my
classmates in my Tolkien class,

(yes a class about JRR Tolkien) where everybody was each other's friend including Professor Fullmer. Without being creepy or weird, I have to say that I love Professor Fullmer, he is probably the most kind, influential and understanding professor I have ever had. I lovehis classes. He excused me from class work and even class for the rest of the semester, but I don't know what I would have done without my Tolkien buddies to get me through the rest of the semester.


I remember going to the mall with mom and Chrissi to go shopping for a new dress for the funeral. I remember looking through the hangers of dresses while mom and sis were over in another part of the store and I thought to myself, "I never thought, at 21, I would be
searching for a dress to wear to my father's funeral." I remember calling my bestie, Breelyn,

wishing that she were there with me searching for the dress because she always knew best about what looked good on me, she always did a fine job of dressing me up. I remember wishing that she could have been around that weekend, but because of school, she was down south and I was here. I knew she wanted to be with me, just as much as I wish she could be been with me and it's ok. Just that knowledge that she wanted to be there for was enough and I just had to get through to the end of the semester so I could see her again.

On December 7th, 2009 which, in back in 1988, is also the day that I was adopted into the family, we held a funeral for my father.

We displayed pictures of him from his youth back in the 50s and 60s to the time of his mission, to when he graduated with his masters from the U of U, his wedding day, the day I became legally a part of the family, trip pics, and his most recent and my most favorite picture of him and his beloved on the 4th of July 2009 after a day at the movies where we saw Harry Potter 6 and the new Star Trek.

At the funeral, I spoke, reading his obituary (as written by Chrissi) and, with as much composure as possible, giving my thoughts for and about him; Shane Liedtke spoke reminiscing some of Dad's best qualities; and Brother Dave Fair spoke, reminding us of what Dad stood for, and the example he set for all of us.

I was overwhelmed by the number of people who came. And all of the different people who came! Our family dentist came, people from his old job and the union came, people from our old ward of over 10 years ago came and even the Mayor came! (Given of course, that the Mayor is a family friend through Grandma Ferrin)


Well, we made it through Christmas, sticking with the traditions and creating a few new ones, New Years was good, spent with my Aunt and Uncle and cousins, it was also Christine Cottle's birthday that night so we celebrated that too. We celebrated my mom's birthday (as well as mine) by going to Wendover on the "Fun Bus" to play our Five bucks and see what we could win. Dad had meant to take us all to Wendover after the end of the semester for my 21st birthday, we figured he would still want us to go.

My grades came out to be A's and B's for my classes and I know that my Daddy would have been proud of me for that.

January has been rough with the start of school and then with me getting sick with that Kidney Infection. But it has gotten a bit better. This past Friday was good, we saw "When In Rome," which I will have to give my review of later. Saturday was a great day, seriously a girls-day-out, we spent the first part of the day in Utah County, first at my school so I could finish an assignment, then to Barnes and Noble to look for books, then to the Fabric Mill to inhale that fresh fabric scent and then to the un-passable In-N-Out Burger, then we spent the later part of the day in Davis County, seeing "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" at WXHS, then heading to see Chrissi's bestie, and then to Ben Franklin's Crafts and finally to a great dinner at Chili's. Dad paid for dinner, so to speak... he had this deal with Visa where he'd get gift cards after spending so much on the credit card and we figured we had better use them. I had steak and shrimp for dinner and as Chrissi pointed out, dad would ALWAYS say the same thing when he ordered his steak, when the waitress would ask how he'd want it cooked, he'd say, "Well-done, I want that sucker dead." and then he would raise his eyebrows and widen his eyes at the waitress to make sure she understood that there was to be no red, no pink, no sign of life in that piece of meat.

Heavens I miss that man... But I know that he's with me still, I know that I will see him again and I know that he is my Father Forever.

I love you Daddy


Christine Cottle said...

I know that your dad would be so proud of you sis. I love you so much and i am so proud to have you as my friend. Like yyour father you have the ability to traverse hard and difficult trials. You are a wonder to behold when you are fighting for what you know and love. I love you so much and wish the best for you!

christine said...

Nice post. See why I save hugs? ;)

Anonymous said...

You're so strong, Holly. I'm so sorry for what you had to go through. It sounds like you have an amazing amount of support around you, but if you ever need an extra, I'm always around and you have my number. You'll never stop missing your dad, but it's such an amazing blessing to know that you will see him again. I know it's still hard though, and you won't stop missing your dad, but things will get easier, I promise. Love ya, Holls!

Jeff! said...

Beautifully written. My heart reaches for you.