RALPH – He was a pretty little red-headed boy, our third son and the third one of a good team. I can still see those three little guys playing together or just sitting with their heads together. Later they were a co-operative team in helping us to live the gospel.
One thing about Ralph – when he was small and would get his feelings hurt, he would start crying there in the house. He would really make a lot of noise so we told him if he had to cry he had better go outside to do it. From then on he would go outside and really bellow to let us all know he had been hurt.
From the time Ralph was in grade school he really liked to study and seemed to set his goal for getting a really good education. Later on he didn’t even want a car because he knew it would interfere with his getting that good college education. Ralph I am so proud of you, that you have stuck with it and kept studying, even through thick and thin. I have regretted so much that I didn’t stick with studying more. You have achieved your goal of being a well-educated man.
I am more proud of you for being a man who really loves the Lord. You are so humble in your devotion to Him. Next to the Lord you love your family and this is as it should be, my son. May the Lord always prosper you in your righteous endeavors.
To be continued…
DOUGLAS – he seemed to be a favorite with his mother, maybe because he had those beautiful golden curls. She wanted to name him Golden and was quite put out with me when I gave him another name at the time I blessed him. I am sure she came to realize that Douglas suited him just fine.
He was as cute and mischievous as could be. When I chastised him I thought I had to do it until he cried. But he would never cry until he could get out behind the barn or something. Then he would cry his little heart out. I wish I had understood him better!
As soon as Ralph was old enough for them to play together it was Ralph that Douglas looked to for leadership. Maybe Ralph could help him with his problems better than we could.
Bought him a pair of glasses when the doctor said that was what he needed. I am sorry we didn’t get him to a really good doctor while we lived in Montana. By the time we had his eyes operated on in California, it was too late for him to learn a lot of things he had missed. I am so grateful that he married a girl who had the patience and the know how to teach him many things.
Douglas, I am so proud of you. You have stayed steadfast in the church and continued ti have great faith in the Lord. Estella has expressed it right when she said, “you can always count on Douglas to be the same – loving and true.”
To be continued…
DAVID – I can remember that David was a cute little baby, too, as we took he and Grace to church. He was so full of life, even from the first. Someone told me when David was small that if I could channel that energy of his into the right things I would sure have a real go-getter.
David was my real helper on the farm. He loved to work with the horses and cows and did his chores willingly and well. He seemed to love the fields and everything about the farm. For his sake I often wished that we had not left the farm. We had to move because of Grant’s health. When we moved to the city, David seemed like a fish out of water and couldn’t seem to find his place there. Something went wrong with our relationship too. I couldn’t give him the money he needed and he couldn’t find work to earn it.
The older children will remember David as a wonderful dancer. When he and his partner would start to really dance the other couples would leave the floor and they, along with everyone else, would watch David. Lillian and I were very proud of him.
There was such sorrow and such a void when he was killed. I hope that when I get to the other side I can sit down with David and ask his forgiveness and get to know him better.
To be continued…
GRACE – In my mind’s eye I can see Grace when she was just a small baby. She was such a pretty little thing with those big blue eyes and such rosy cheeks. All of her life she has a beautiful complexion. When David came along Grace was still a baby of less than a year so Lillian turned over to me to take care of and she became Daddy’s girl. I took her with me many places – I couldn’t take her to the field, of course. One day when Grace was a few years older, her mother was sewing and visiting with another woman. Grace had turned one of the big wooden chairs over and was using the back of it for a slide. Lillian told her to stop doing that a few times, but I guess Grace didn’t stop. Finally Lillian said to her, “just let me see you do that again.” Grace was quick to accommodate, not knowing what was coming for she gpt a spanking for not minding.
Looking back it seemed like from the first Grace wanted to be helpful and tried to please us. As she grew older I’m afraid she had too many burdens placed on her young shoulders, her being the oldest and so willing. I wasn’t around Grace all the time after she was old enough to help her mother and I am the world’s worst observer. I wish I had been more so with Grace and had been mindful of her needs more.
I want her to know that I am proud of her devotion to duty, of her faith in the Lord and od her generous nature. I love you very much, my first born!
To be continued…
LILLIAN – She was a fine woman in so many ways. She was an excellent cook and used to fix us such good meals. She could keep a good house, too. She had a gift for sewing and could make clothes look really well. One winter she made nice shirts for all the boys and me, too. She made most if the clothes for the children.
My Lillian was a complex person. Some people have said she was a perfectionist and perfectionists are not always easy to live with. I know that I did not always understand her and we did not always get along. I know that sometimes I provoked her and caused her to be frustrated with me. She had had a hard life what with losing her mother and having a lot of the care of her younger brothers and sister and her thinking was influenced by that way of life.
She has a wonderful voice. I could be in the farthest place away in the field and she could raise her voice and make me hear. They used to tease her and say something about her winning a pig calling contest. It had been so long that I can’t remember the details or just how it was. I heard Grant tell Linda that when he heard his mother’s voice yelling for him to run when he was playing baseball that it practically lifted him off the ground. She had a good singing voice, too. She sang humorous songs sometimes. I have been trying to remember the names of some of them, but I can’t.
I want my children to know that I still love their mother and want to be with her again. I hope that I can be a good husband to both of my wives and that we can live in love and harmony on the other side and work out our eternal lives together.
To be continued…
I feel that I have passed over and failed to say some things I should have said. I want to pay a tribute to my first wife, Lillian, the mother of my children, and I want to tell our children how much I appreciate and love them.
To be continued…
We enjoyed seeing the little grass shack where Robert Louis Steveson wrote many of his stories and the good meal that we ate in the nice café that is near it. We were fascinated with the blow hole where the ocean water comes up through an opening under a ledge. The water spout builds up higher and higher, kind of like a geyser. I was really taken with the large panels in the memorial building in the military cemetery because it showed the islands and described the battles that took place there during the 2nd World War. If I could have spent more time there I would have gotten a much better understanding of what took place then.
He showed us some of the other places they had lived and told us of things they had done. Of course we saw some of the famous beaches and the hotels that begin at $100 per day, but we thought that the beach right by Grant’s home was better because it wasn’t crowded with people.
Friday the 26th of January I fixed Linda’s clothesline and Estella hung clothes out to dry. They have their washer and dryer outside behind the house. They have no way to heat their home and no air conditioning. They don’t need it as the sea breeze keeps it cool most of the year. That day Grandma and I spent quite a bit of time on the beach and wading in the ocean. The water was nice and warm.
We both enjoyed going to Sunday School and Sacrament Meeting with them in their very modest meeting house. It was a joy to hear those Polynesian saints sing and hearing their Chinese members give the main talks. It was great to see how all cultures love each other and get along. They were a very kind and loving people. This experience was a fitting was to bring our visit ti a close. After we had eaten a good dinner they took us to the airport. It was about 35 or 40 miles from their home. They bought us lovely Hawaiian leis made of island flowers and kissed us goodbye. Richard cried a little when we left.
The flight back was uneventful as a lot of it was in the dark. We were disgusted with the middle aged women next to us when they got as drunk as could be and still stand up. We were very grateful that George and Geneal had driven the 50 miles to meet our plane and take us safely back to their place. Estella was sick the next day, from the jet lag I guess. It didn’t seem to bother her when we went over. We couldn’t do much while there because it rained so hard.
We were glad to take the bus and be on our way back to Utah and then home, after a few days visit with the family and sometime in the temple.
To be continued…