Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Love In Mortality....

We live in Mortality...  We were born into it...  Its the only way into this life and the only way out is going through a physical death...  A mortal life ends...  Thats it...  Along with these incomplete, least understood facets of this mortal life, I am learning that we are really lacking when it comes to understanding what LOVE is...  We want to box it up, keep it in bubble wrap, we want to not think about the expansive potential of a God like love...  No, we want to keep it neat, tidy, excluding most everyone but who we have been taught to accept into our love circle...  It can be very confusing...  At least it has been for me...

We have crushes, puppy love, first loves and sometimes we are lucky enough, like Val and I were, to have those "childhood sweetheart" loves be enough...  I have met people though, who some many years later, still wonder about those early on love experiences...  Funny, they forgot how much drama there was in them, they only remember what they felt the first time they got or gave flowers, shared an ice cream cone or walked this new young love to class...  Oh my, real love is so much more than THAT stuff!

Could it be that love knows no boundaries?  Could it be that the 2nd great commandment to love others really IS the 2nd greatest of the commandments?  Right after loving and putting God first, we love others?  I think so...  I imagine a world thriving on love...  Where it is understood and accepted that LOVE is all there really is to getting along in this life...???  Think of a human family without abuse, hatred, devoid of cheating, lying, stealing, coveting, jealousies, all the negatives that thrash us to pieces...  GONE!  Because we have chosen to LOVE!?  What an amazing concept...

Now that I am remarried, people ask me, "Dan how do you feel?"  "You seem so happy, why is that?"  "Have your feelings toward Val changed?"  (Yes, believe it or not, I get some pretty intrusive questions!)  And the list goes on and I am sure it will...  This can only be, because people see love inside a limiting thing, no room for love, but for one person, and if you love someone beyond that, oh boy, you're having an affair or you are being disloyal...  I am not talking about the 70s mantra, "Love the one you're with..."  I am trying to explore a deeper meaning of love, one that opens your wallet when you see people in need, one that devotes time to the fatherless, one that allows you to serve and not seek a reward...  Could it be that the Savior really was hoping that we would love, serve the least of all, open our hearts and our minds to something greater than self?  I am certain of it...  How is it I am so certain?  Because I have felt these things intensely over the last 30-45 days...  I do NOT question any of it...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Page Has Been Turned...

About the time one feels anchored and that there won't be much change in life, like an avalanche the page turns, those same pages you once kept neat, crisp and like new, get dog-eared, because you keep thumbing through them and suddenly you find you're in an entirely new chapter in your life. I wish I could explain this.  There are people who love me, who are feeling like I'm an unknown to them, the speed of these new changes has baffled most everyone, and that includes me.  But I will tell you, it's right.  I followed my gut, I followed my heart, I followed my brain and I watched very carefully the path markers and not once did I feel or see a warning to yield.  What you may ask has happened?  Just what turn has come in the road of my life?  Why the spontaneity and the urgent, sudden move?  Because the hints, the tugs, the pushes, the chimes, the bells and whistles all went off. Not a single thing was "cause for me to bolt" and I saw a way for me to love Val and hold onto our eternal marriage, keeping entirely intact our 52 year history, without compromise or guilt.  I fell in love... a love that I cannot fully describe, because I am not sure I understand it completely...  Check that, I found a friend, who like me, lost her eternal husband and we understood together, between us, just what "that" means.  We are now married.  We have gifted the rest of our lives to one another and are keeping all we had - with Val and Clint - prior to our meeting one another, intact and solidly secure.  I cannot explain it, for it doesn't not add up.  It does not make any sense.  None.  But, I can tell you that it is as if angels have stood in place, surrounded this needful event... and all is well.  Very well.  Turn the page.  We both have turned the page.  Her name is Jacqueline.  I adore her.  I have learned that "love" has more meanings than I ever imagined, understood or dreamed I would get my head around.  Its ok.  Its a whole new vista, this life all around me.  Dinner tonight with a dear pal who lost his wife to cancer 23 months ago...  He marvels at my new chapter in life, he applauds me...  He is now hopeful for a life that doesn't feel so alone and incomplete, yet, keeping his own love alive.  It is possible.  I am sure of it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

My Way...

My twin sisters and my oldest brother and I drove to Reno, NV last Sunday to be there for our dad's last surviving brother, Lloyd Dyer's memorial service...  Wow!  What a legacy and what a terrific guy he was!  As I was driving down, it dawned on me, Lloyd was my favorite uncle...  He was always full of life, love, laughter...  the "3" L's...  and now, what seems like a man who was "gone too soon" is now into and beyond that veil that separates us here in mortality from those who we love as they have voyaged on into eternity...

Here I sit...  60+ years old... I have lived alone and without Val now for nearly a year and a half...  Along the way, I have learned much about myself, mostly that I can "do anything" in the "living alone" arena (I have always been confident enough to do anything business wise, or task oriented) and I have grown accustomed to unilateral decisions, hip shooting and not having to worry about anyone's elses feelings or the downsides to my own poor choices.  Nor can I share the upside and the beauty of achievements...  It all falls to me...

My way, my time, my singular life...

But, the happiest I have ever been was when I was serving Val, making her happy, seeing to it that her own peaceful living was what I really used to lived for...  No wonder Val wanted me to find someone, remarry and share myself with another...  Val was so smart that way...  I found a card a little bit ago that Val had hidden away for me to find...  It read; "Danny Boy, Have you found her yet?!  I love you, Valerie!"  A nudge from the other side of the veil...  I am constantly reminded of how deeply connected we remain...

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Got Any Truth...?

What is truth? 

All around us is a world full of flattery, double speak, lies, passive aggressions that confuse everyone of us... But why? 

This world is a world of evil, hate and mismanaged, disposable trust...  Oh I know what you are thinking?  Its not all that bad and you could be right...  It could be that the badness in the land is accentuated do to the noise level, the volume of the terrible, under belly of life...  It wouldn't surprise me in the least...

Okay, now that "that" is all laid out on the table...  What do we have to work with here?

They say that a dog is man's best friend...  I would agree...  Here's a picture of my loyal chocolate Labrador retriever, Scout...  My how I miss her...  She was sweet, loving and a gentle friend...  Not just to me, but to my whole family...  Even when the little ones would lay down and roll all over her, she would look at them as if they were her own puppies and let them do to her what any toddler will...

So what does this have to do with truth...  Well, I will tell you...  Scout saved my life once...  She also blessed my life every single day...  I would look at her and see love and care...  And I would wonder why it is that a dog has this inborn quality and man, who is more able than any animal to give love, show love, is inward and self motivated...  Why?  What sense does that make?

Now here's purity...  A grandson, James...  He is a cherished heart and I am sure he will be like his dad, a man of God and goodness...  He has such a peaceful, sturdy way about him...  He's been born into a loving home and I don't think the world will splash any taint upon him...

Then, there is me...  I'm 60...  I have had a charmed life...  I have met people who have taught me many good things...  They gave me truth...  I have met scoundrels who selfishly were like the robber and thieves that we all fall among from time to time, and they are intent on one thing, destroying you, taking you soul...  Yes, I have known some like this...

I look into my rearview mirror and I think, what now?  Val is gone away from me...  What now?  I am constantly blessed with the "truths" Val left behind for me...  I have now located 5 journals of hers...  I knew of two before she passed away...  I've found notes, letters, "instructions" from her...  When she was diagnosed "terminal" in a nano second, her life was no longer about her...  She was focused on me...  Me?  What?  How so?  "Dan, do not be alone.  Find someone that you can make happy, like you did me.  God has a work for you to do, I know it, you know it, but mostly our Father in Heaven knows it.  AND, my darling, I know you...  I know you will sit silently alone in the corner and that is NOT what is intended for you...  If you love me, if you trust me, you will share your life with someone...  No rush honey, but DO IT!"  Is that truth?  Oh my!

Our hands had been together for 47 years...  I recall the first time I took her hand as we walked in a horse pasture to pick some apples... We talked like we knew what love was...  We didn't, but we felt what we thought was love...  We grew into love, when you marry as kids, you have a lot of learning to do and with truth, you can learn all things...

And now, well now, those hands that I am so delicately holding, as Val's mortality was slipping away from me, the only thing I left to hold onto was her truth...  So, yes!  I have truth!  Yes, her truth has set me free...  What is next?  More truth...  I tripped on a few fallen timbers in my path, but I kept going...  I am seeking truth...  more and more truth...  Each morning now I am teaching 16 sophomores in seminary...  All we talk about is truth...  What an amazing thing to constantly find!

I'm sick and tired of hearing things
From uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocritics
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth
Ive had enough of reading things
By neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth

No short-haired, yellow-bellied, son of tricky dicky
Is gonna mother hubbard soft soap me
With just a pocketful of hope
Money for dope
Money for rope

No short-haired, yellow-bellied, son of tricky dicky
Is gonna mother hubbard soft soap me
With just a pocketful of soap
Money for dope
Money for rope

I'm sick to death of seeing things
From tight-lipped, condescending, mamas little chauvinists
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth now

I've had enough of watching scenes
Of schizophrenic, ego-centric, paranoiac, prima-donnas
All I want is the truth now
Just gimme some truth

No short-haired, yellow-bellied, son of tricky dicky
Is gonna mother hubbard soft soap me
With just a pocketful of soap
Its money for dope
Money for rope

Ah, I'm sick and tired of hearing things
From uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocrites
All I want is the truth now
Just gimme some truth now

Ive had enough of reading things
By neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians
All I want is the truth now
Just gimme some truth now

All I want is the truth now
Just gimme some truth now
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth

Friday, September 5, 2014

Keep Walking... Keep Walking...

At the Chicago O'Hare airport there is an underground passage between terminals B and C with flat escalator to help you get from one terminal to the other.  The overhead sound system has a very polite lady's voice, saying, "Keep walking...  Keep walking...  Keep walking..."  Ironically, many people don't walk, they let the moving tracks underneath their feet do all the work...  But something dawned on me as I observed this phenomenon, with hand held computer and smart phones, no one is paying attention.  The more connected and tethered we are (and stay) to our technology, the less "we keep walking".

What then is "walking"...  For some its getting out of bed when they feel crappy and low...  For others its reaching deep within themselves to give others a lift, when they themselves don't really feel all that capable to do any lifting...  Still others it is how they made their life feel like a prison sentence, they aren't very happy and they'd would just as soon as perform great things in life, they've chosen to let life defeat them.  And why not?  Life is hard!  Really hard!  I look around me at people I love and care about; they've lost so much...  Some their beloved spouses, some their jobs and careers have tanked...  Some have lost their homes...  Some have weak or no relationships with anyone and they feel lost and alone...  And I am sure most all of us hear the penetrating "keep walking" encouraging words...  But, some days, life is just to big and dumpy...

This is a picture of my gr gr grandfather (knud) (May 13, 1824 – October 14, 1902) was a Mormon pioneer settler of Utah Territoty and was a leader in the LDS (Mormon) Church.

I have read his journals and co-incidentally some of those in his "Pioneer Hardcart" companies, that he was the "captain" of historical accounts show him to be a happy, generous, caring, hard working, joyful man...  He saw his role as helping others overcome, and lead them by his own example of a man who "kept walking".

Here is a picture of Val, my personal great example, who kept walking...  Even until her last breath, she was devoted and diligent to her personal prayers, scripture study, kindness and goodness that she so readily gave away to all who she came in contact with.

And then, I marvel at my kids and how much they miss their mother...  A mother who loved them toward harmony, happiness and belief in a world of joy...  Even in her waning days, she pulled them close to her, kissed them with passion and love that was felt in the soul and in the embrace!  It was her example as to why they are all continuing to keep walking...

Friday, August 29, 2014

You Never Know...

It's just not what I had planned.  I mean, I thought that my life was going to be this perfect little world I could arrange and build for myself, then, yes, then I started to realize I had no power or control over anything.  I always seemed to be reacting instead of acting.  I was easy going, accepting, okay with the curve balls life was pitching me.  I mean, afterall, at least I was still taking the pitches and was still holding a bat!

Then, I began to notice that I wasn't batting in a ball game at all.  I was in the cross fire of a fierce game of dodge ball.  Both sides were trying to take me out!  I all of sudden know what it's like to be standing all alone, and as you are keeping your eye on those you calculated as being your biggest threat, those "Goliaths" surrounding you... You realize, it's the little sneaky buggers that are the most dangerous and challenging.

Until... You realize that you have love.  You have care.  That you are in somebody's prayers and all those little somebodies are entirely the reason how it is possible to keep taking the hits.  That even though you never really know much at all... You do feel "heart strength" and "peace" from those you love.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

All Things Are Balanced and Reconciled...


Today as midgey and I walked off the beach here at steamboat rock campgrounds, I spied this seagull with a broken wing.  My heart, my very soul, was just sickened by the peril I knew this little bird was in.  My mind raced with solutions; should I turn midgey lose on this bird knowing midgey would hunt it down and end it's life rather than prolong it's suffering?  Should I, myself, capture this bird and wring it's neck and put it out it's impending doom?  Should I snatch this bird and care for it the rest of its life, in its broken and hopeless state for which there would never be any recovery?  Then I stopped and which this little bird move along the beach, turning it's head from side to side, carefully staying next to where the beach met the cover of grass, thickets, tree roots and places to seek refuge from the elements and predators.  This little bird knee of its plight.  It's was aware of both it's challenge and the risk it took every moment of everyday in its plight to survive.  Matthew 10:29-31 came to my mind.

Matthew 10:29-31
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Yes, we are more valuable than my little feathered friend I happened upon today.  Our Father in Heaven is very aware of us each and together.  He knows our anguish as we miss Val.  He knows of our pains, our fears, our own perilous fight against all our challenges, be they; emotional, mental, physical, financial, spiritual or any other uphill battle we may be facing.  In the temple endowment we are promised a Savior to retrieve us from the "fall".  We are gifted an atoning elder brother who can balance the scales of all things, not just justice vs. mercy when we transgress and when others transgress against us, but we can find relieve and rest from all our hurts, our cares, our very woes in every categorical piece of our human experience.  Val has been with each of us, I promise you she DOES LIVE... she is near and she touches each of our lives in ways that (for now) we only hope she does.  I bless you all that "that" is real, it is within us and it is a powerful assuring gift I feel everyday.

So I watched that little seagull move on.  I wondered if it wasn't to bless the lives of some coyote cubs?  Or maybe just be a symbol of God's careful watch over us, just as I momentarily was watching over this little bird, being taught something far more meaningful than, "oh look, a bird with a broken wing."  Like it, don't we each have a broken wing that only our beloved Savior can mend?  I think so.

I love you each... Boo Boo

He who notes the fall of a sparrow
Surely hears the pleadings of our heart
Remember where’er we lack in wisdom
It’s through prayer that our Father imparts
To those who are struggling with challenges
With difficulties large or small
Prayer is what moves those door hinges
That the love of God may come to call
Speak to Him… then listen
As miracles are wrought
That, this time, as tears moisten
It’s from a wonderous hope filled thought
Know… no matter that where you live is crowded
And millions of people surround
Answers come heaven… though once doubted
When we’re searching… God can be found
Long ago… one named Daisy
Had been taught the seeds of truth
Time passed… something stirred her heart
She wished again for that time of reproof
She saw missionaries at a distance
And prayed fervently to Father in Heaven
There to promise… if given a new chance
She would open her door and heart unto them
Meanwhile… missionaries too were praying
And working to find someone to teach
They searched old records of tracting
And knew… Daisy was the one to reach
Such it was that very day
That they knocked upon her door
Through a passport of prayer and faith
All were taught… as love did pour
Matthew 10:
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. 
30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 
31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

President Thomas S. Monson
“Be Your Best Self,” Liahona, May 2009, 67–70

Sent from my iPad

On Aug 21, 2014, at 2:26 AM, Kirsten <kjrst1@yahoo.com> wrote:
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
-Mary Elisabeth Frye

Sent from my iPhone