Tuesday, June 21, 2011

An Emotional Surprise

Mom with LeGrand and Marie Fletcher

Sunday, June 19, 2011,  was Father's Day.  After attending church and preparing a dinner for my husband and family, my Mom's husband, Harold,  came to eat and visit with us.  In hand, he brought two file folders of my mothers that contained things she had written that he "thought I might want to have."  They were individually and  simply titled:  "  LeGrand Fletcher" and "choices".

As I read them, I felt like my Mom had reached out of heaven and given me a gift!   I don't believe that Harold bringing them to me that day and at this time in my life is a coincidence.  It was a definite message from her to me.  And I know that my Heavenly Father is watching out for me and trying to help me through a most difficult time.  Thanks Mom!  Thanks Heavenly Father!   It was "an Emotional surprise! "

The fun thing about it, is that is what Mom titled her story about Elder Fletcher and I'd like to share her story with you all.

"An Emotional Surprise"  by Eleanor Harnish Falzone

"It has been a really emotional week for me.  Harold and I have been trying for about 6 months to find the missionary who baptized me.  We went on the internet and tried several options....we had no luck.  His name was LeGrand Fletcher and I could only remember that he had lived in Ogden before his mission.  Anyway, I was about to check with the church to see if they had any records of a missionary in the Cheyenne area mission in 1955 and 1956.  On Wednesday (May of 2003)  last week I received a telephone call from LeGrand!!!   I was speechless!  He and his wife were at the MTC in Provo, about to head out to Nauvoo for the 6th mission.  He said that in all the years he just had never had the opportunity to get back to Cheyenne and they were going to be coming thru on their way to Nauvoo.  We invited them to stay here with us, and they accepted.

He called several times before they arrived early Friday morning, so we had a chance to get a little bit re-acquainted before they came.  I set up Friday evening with my kids and those grandkids who could come, to meet with LeGrand and his wife Marie. Believe me, this was one of the most wonderful times I've had in my life!  We talked for hours on end and my kids were just amazed at him and his wonderful wife.

LeGrand just cried and cried over the fact that I had stayed in the church even though Bud had given the missionaries a pretty bad time...Anyway, when LeGrand found that I had remained active for 47 years, all my kids had married in the Temple, we had two  Bishops in the family- right here in Cheyenne - 4 grandsons on missions...he was so emotional.  [For those of us who were there, you'll remember that the tears just streamed down LeGrand's face.]   ...He says that when you are a 'young whippersnapper' of a missionary, you just always wonder if you made any difference in the lives of those you were involved with.

We had stayed in touch for about 5 or 6 years after he'd left here, but as often happens when our lives get busy with kids and life, and in our case - 17 moves in 15 years - we lost touch...

He had kept a truly marvelous Missionary journal and so was able to read to my children many of the entries on his visits with us in our home and the full detail of my baptism.

Yesterday, Mothers Day, during my Bishop son-in-laws talk, he surprised me by asking me to come up and repeat the story of my conversion and why, as a mother, I had needed and accepted the gospel.  I was truly scared to death and hope that I was able to convey to the members of our Ward, the reason for my conversion.  You see, when I became pregnant with Kathi, I began to panic.  I prayed and prayed for the help to take on the life of a child, and to be able to raise it in the way in which He would approve.  I really did need all the help I could get at that time.  Kathi was just 2 weeks old when the Elders knocked on my door.

708 E. 19th   Cheyenne Wyoming

His journal says I came to the door with this tiny, new infant and just opened it wide and asked them in.  I was converted from the first discussion.  I just KNEW that this was the answer to my prayers."

So, Thank you Mom for your steadfastness in living the gospel of Jesus Christ and to His church on this earth all the years of my life and your life....especially when it was not easy for you to do so.  I'm sorry I didn't always appreciate or understand how difficult it was for you....but, I will continue to try and live as you would like me to, and to keep the faith. I sure want to be with you forever!   Thank you for this little message from you, right in black and white, right at the time I needed it. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It's the smile that got me

Lyle and I just went on a vacation to Maryland to visit friends and to also experience some of the DC area, as well as Philadelphia.  However, with everything we did and saw, there are just a couple of pictures that captured the funnest times while there.   The above picture is Lyle and Stan flying a kite.  They had so much fun!  

We took a drive up to Ocean City and Asseteague Island.  Here we're fighting the wind trying to get back up to the Boardwalk at Ocean City.  We were laughing so hard we could have, well, you know.....:)

We got to hang out with America's finest.  Now that's something to smile about!

Valora and I were especially fond of these guys!  

This was such a moment for Valora and I.  We watched our men communicate, as only men know how.  :)  You know we were smilin' about it!  

The "Rocky" stairs in Philadelphia.  Oh, yeah, I'm smilin' about our run up to the top. WHATEVER!

This was indeed the best moment of the night we went to the dinner theatre to see "Happy Days".  
We were not happy about the play, and left at intermission....but our husbands compliments sure made us smile!  

This was taken in Union Station.  We took the Subway to here, and then caught a tour bus to tour DC.  It was raining the whole day we were there.  BUMMER.  But we're still smilin' cuz it was still a fun day!

In front of our Nations Capital....Freedom, now that's something to smile about!

And our friends, Stan and Valora were with us.  That was the best part.  Thanks Palmers!

The White house.  We weren't able to get close because of security, but it was wonderful to see it. 

Valora is pointing to the First Lady's garden.  She wanted to get closer, but we had to make her behave.

It was raining, but we're still smilin!

Our next stop was Lethe and Tristan's house for dinner!  We had so much fun!  Lila kept us entertained!
TACO SALAD!  Yum!  I'm smilin' just thinking about it!

By far, even with all the fabulous things we did and saw, the place that made us smile the most was this:
The Washington DC temple
We loved our time in the temple, with our dear friends.  
Thank you so much, Stan and Valora. 
We'll be smiling a long time as we remember our time with YOU.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's true and I'm thankful

Today I finished the Book of Mormon. Again.

I don't know how many times I've read it. It has been many times....
but this time was a little different. Our new Bishop challenged us to read
the Book of Mormon at Christmas time and to be finished by Easter.
I decided to stop where I was already reading
in the Book of Mormon, and start over.
I always underline, make notes on the side of verses,
and by saying that, you have to know that my scriptures
are the kind the General Authorities talk about when they say,
"I can't read these!" Meaning, there is too much extra info in the way.
But I forget things, and want to remember them. It's the only way for me.
And so, I'll keeping making notes. But, this time I didn't do that.
I just read. I savored the moment of each chapter.
I only briefly wrote short phrases on a small bookmark.
This is what I wrote:
The Book of Mormon teaches us:

- How to prosper
- How to be happy
- How to be faithful and trust God even when it's hard
-How to keep hoping over our loved ones who are lost ("Are we not ALL beggars?")
-A Political science lesson on what works to preserve freedom and agency and what doesn't work.
- That Satan is real
- That Satan does not support his followers!
- That Prophets are real
- There is safety in following the Prophet and when we stop listening to him, we're headed for trouble
- The cycle of our own personal apostasy can be avoided if we INTENTIONALLY keep our covenants and promises
- The Lord's promises are sure.
- Personal righteousness is imperative
- We need to do our part. We can't just sit around and wait.
- Miracles have not ceased, for with God nothing is impossible. (I've prayed many times, "God, help my unbelief!")
- Jesus Christ is real. He is God's son. And He loves me.

The stories in the Book of Mormon save my life every single day.
They save me from myself and my own doubts and fears,
they save me from buying into the worlds ideas and God-less ways.
They strengthen me every day I open up it's pages and read, and feel it's power. Nothing that makes me feel that joyful can be untrue.

Thank you to all the prophets who wrote with painstaking effort to restore this history, these stories, this guide for being happy. This Book that saves my life.

I again took Moroni's challenge, to know if the Book of Mormon is true.
But, Before I could even ask, that familiar warm feeling started in my heart
and went through-out my whole body and soul.
It is true.
And I am thankful.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Bret's going to be 29!

"I was young, happy and full of hope and expectations. We had wanted to have a baby ever since Kathi had married her handsome prince, Lyle. Things were wonderful! Things were right on track! Yet,4 years had come and gone with disappointment. No baby had made it's arrival yet. How could this be right? Something must be terribly wrong.

Dr.appointments were made. Tests were done. Advice was given. Nothing. Nothing was happening...

We decided to try and adopt, and started the tedious, long process of adoption papers. During this time, other changes were happening in our lives and we moved to Oklahoma for a change in employment. We'd have to start the adoption process all over again. This was again, another disappointment. I just didn't know if I could do this AGAIN.

Well, it must have been the water in Oklahoma, because at last, Kathi and Lyle Gadbury were expecting their first baby!

I suffered a little bit of morning sickness and while I was at work, at the United Bank of Norman, my boss would often find me eating saltine crackers to curb the nausea. It worked well. I also imagined that at 2 months pregnant, that I simply must wear maternity clothes! I was totally excited and wore them with pride, even though there was not even a little pooch to my belly!

I felt beautiful carrying this baby. It was a most happy time!

As the due date grew near, I experienced alot of false labor. Really hard contractions. Several weeks before the baby was due, I'd be up all night with contractions. It made for a long night on the couch!

Unlike today, back then, you did not find out the sex of the baby until it was born. So the excitement was even greater!

One evening as Lyle was reading in bed, while I was trying to sleep, I began to feel some VERY urgent contractions. But it was 2 weeks too soon, so I figured I was just in for another long night. But, the contractions started coming closer together, and stronger and harder and I knew this was more than an uncomfortable night on the couch. I knew it was time to go, and told Lyle that it was time. Lyle simply and calmly said, "No, it's not time yet." I persisted, and he equally resisted. Finally I convinced him to call the Dr. and the Dr. simply said, "Get to the hospital as soon as possible."

Nothing was ready yet. No bags...nothing. We hurriedly put together a night bag and off we went in our little Volkswagon rabbit. It was nearly 35 miles to Moore Oklahoma from where we lived out in the boonies of Oklahoma! The roads were very hilly all the way...and I felt every single one. I begged Lyle to slow down, because I felt like I was on a roller coaster, but he knew it was time to go fast. My water had broken in the car, the hills were causing me great grief....ahhhhhhh.....and I began to wonder if I was going to make it to the hospital at all before this baby came!

As we entered the town of Moore, and as we neared the hospital a policeman turned on his lights and siren to pull us over! Lyle of course, had been speeding! DUH! Lyle DID NOT pull over but kept driving to the hospital! I didn't want him to stop but worried that he'd be arrested and I'd be having this baby all alone!

Lyle pulls into the emergency entrance, gets out and says, "My wife is having a baby!" The policeman took one look at me and said, "Yes she is!"

A wheelchair was provided and up we went to labor and delivery.

The Doctor wasn't there yet. How is that possible? We had to drive 35 miles!

I was prepared for delivery and got to wear one of those glamourous hospital night gowns...you know the ones I'm talking about! oooohhh baby! Anyway, all I wanted to do was walk around....Laying on some table or bed was not an option. I was antsy and I couldn't sit or lie still. Things were very intense, and I just couldn't be still. So I walked. But they had to check things out and they told me I HAD to lay down, and now! Then someone comes and tells Lyle, "Sir you are going to have to go move your car." WHAT! This is a stupid time for anyone to be worrying about a car! I'm having a baby here, ya know!!!!!??????

Then the nurse proclaims, "Do NOT push until the Doctor gets here." How many women have heard that statement? And how much of that can you control?????

Things were getting very intense and tough. The contractions were hard and very, very close together. It was much too late for any kind of medication to ease pain. Lyle returned from moving the car, and I proceeded to dig my finger nails and fist into Lyle's hands with each contraction. (The Doctor had arrived now, so it was ok to push.) WHATEVER! With each contraction, my stronghold on Lyle was tighter and tighter. I never understood that until that moment. I'd heard about it, and I thought, 'why would you do that to your poor husband?' It became suddenly clear!

It took about 3-4 pushes for the baby to be born. First the head, the shoulders.....

"You have a beautiful baby boy" Dr. Dycus announced...and the sound of the baby crying...what a moment.

All I could think was, "a boy....A boy...it's really a boy....he's beautiful...he's perfect....he is mine..." as they laid him in my arms. This little human being, a creation of God, a creation of man and wife and their love... Tears fell freely.

(I would put pictures here, but back then, in the 'olden days' they didn't allow pictures to be taken....and it was barely allowed that the husband could be in the delivery room!

Words cannot begin to express the true joy a woman feels after the birth of a child. He was mine, he was beautiful, he was sweet and we'd made it together. This was a bond that could never be broken. It's beautiful."
(This account was taken from my journal)

Here is a picture of Bret and I. I couldn't believe I was a MOM!

Here is one of Lyle and I with Bret and Bret's great great grandmother Stroud.

And as a tribute to his 29th birthday, here are some of my favorite pictures of him.
Happy 29th Birthday Bret! I love you!

Bret and Bart in their footie pj's!

1984 family picture

Bret 5 years old. He hates this picture, but I love it!

At temple square in Salt Lake City.

Piano Recital.

Galveston Beach. It was COLD but the boys didn't care!

Scattin' ! He was in East High Singers

Bret and his cousin Willie muscle -ing up in front of BIG BOY.

Christmas with Mom and Dad

At the MTC with his baby brother Blake

After his mission in his favorite shirt

running the Boulder Bolder

Graduation from BYU-I

Dancin' with cousin Ellie at Will and Liz Harnish's wedding reception

His wedding day with his sweetheart, Niki Wirtz Gadbury

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

more pics from Orlando

Help! The Trolley is coming!

Lyle was wearing shorts! Woo baby!

On a ride!

Just like old times, only better.

Harley Gads'

Harley Ma and Pa

Friends at Disney

Dancing downtown Disney

Closeup of the BIG GUY