The following is a history of Handel and the song he composed.
HANDEL AND THE GIFT OF MESSIAH by Spencer J. Condie George Frideric Handel seemed to have been born a musician. As a young lad in Germany, he became proficient on both the violin and the organ. After composing his first opera in Germany, he moved to Italy, the operatic center of the world, to try his hand at musical composition in the Italian style. There he achieved some success in composing operas and chamber music. In 1711, at age 26, Handel decided to move to England, where his operas and oratorios initially gained acceptance. By the late 1730s, however, British audiences had become less enthusiastic about operas sung in German or Italian; instead, they favored comedic performances such as The Beggar’s Opera. Thus, for several years Handel struggled to keep the wolves—his creditors—away from the door. In 1737, after pushing himself to his physical limits by composing four operas within 12 months, the 52-year-old composer suffered a stroke, leaving his right arm temporarily paralyzed. A doctor told Handel’s faithful secretary: “We may save the man—but the musician is lost forever. It seems to me that his brain has been permanently injured.” The composer denied the diagnosis. Over time his body responded to treatment in the thermal springs at Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen, Germany), and he recovered his physical strength. After testing his ability to play the organ at a nearby cathedral, he jubilantly proclaimed, “I have come back from Hades.” When he returned to London and resumed composing operas, his work was not well received, and creditors began to hound him again. In the depths of despondency, he began to wonder, “Why did God permit my resurrection, only to allow my fellow-men to bury me again?” In April 1741 Handel held what he assumed would be a farewell concert. His creativity was spent. A biographer wrote: “There was nothing to begin or to finish. Handel was faced with emptiness.” Late one August afternoon that same year, Handel returned from a long and tiring walk to find that a poet and previous collaborator, Charles Jennens, had left him a manuscript. This libretto quoted liberally from the scriptures, particularly the words of Isaiah, foretelling the birth of Jesus Christ and describing His ministry, Crucifixion, and Resurrection. The work was to be an oratorio. Given his previous failures, Handel was apprehensive as he began to read through the text. “Comfort Ye,” the rest words of the manuscript seemed to leap from the page. They dissipated dark clouds that had been pressing upon Handel for so long. His depression waned and his emotions warmed from interest to excitement as he continued to read of angelic proclamations of the Savior’s birth and of Isaiah’s prophecies of the Messiah, who would come to earth to be born as other mortal infants. A familiar melody Handel had composed earlier flooded into his mind as he read “For unto Us a Child Is Born.” The notes distilled upon his mind faster than he could put pencil to paper as he captured the image of the loving Good Shepherd in the aria titled “He Shall Feed His Flock.” Then came the overpowering exultation in the “Hallelujah Chorus,” followed by the soft, supernal testimony of “I Know That My Redeemer Liveth.” The work came to its majestic conclusion with “Worthy Is the Lamb.” After all the music he had composed throughout his lifetime, Handel would eventually be known worldwide for this singular work, Messiah, largely composed in just three weeks during the late summer of 1741. Upon completing his composition, he humbly acknowledged, “God has visited me.” Those who feel the touch of the Holy Spirit as they experience the overpowering testimony of Handel’s Messiah would agree. At the end of our divinely ordained days, may we be able to acknowledge, with Handel, that God has visited us.
Doug has a good friend from work carve this pumpkin for him. It is the little "peeing boy", ya know the one that pees on Ford or Chevy... Well he is peeing on cancer:) Thanks Matt Cox. Very clever.
It was also my incredible dad's birthday. He turned 68 and at some point that man has to start acting his age:) He amazes everyone with his youthful and healthy body! We had so much fun parting with him and the family. We always have fun halloween games and then my parents have a hillarious tradition. They like to "practice" holidays....So we practiced trick-or-treating. The kids always love that! Just what they need is more candy...Actually my mom usually tries to do as little candy as possible and buys little toys. The kids go crazy--- They go around to almost every door in the house where all the parents are dressed up and waiting for them.. So much fun:)
Here are a few of the goodies I always like to make during October. Spider bread and yummy halloween treats.
We had a costume party this last weekend. You should have seen what Doug went as... Pictures to come:) Get ready for a laugh!
A few weeks ago we went on a girls weekend. Me my incredible mom and sisters and niece, Elizabeth. We went to Utah and shopped and shopped and played and ATE! You should have seen the suburban we were in, it had so many bags we were sitting on them and holding them just to make more room:)
My mother gave us a gift.....She called it her gift from "mother nature!" She had money for all of us and also an awesome brother-in-law gave us all some spending money. That made shopping so much more fun:)) Me and my mom have this hilarious tradition when we go on these 'girls weekends.' disclaimer: no one judge me for this... Last year we made tampon ghost so this year, sticking to the 'feminine theme' we made kotex flip flops to decorate the room. It was truly so funny.
It was so rejuvenating. It felt so great to get out and leave the cares of the world behind. We laughed until our stomaches hurt, cried until our mascara ran, and talked until we fell asleep.
I love these woman more than I could ever write. They have been my rocks these last few months.
Doug has been and continues to be overwhelmed with the out pouring of love and concern in his behalf. He told me the other day, "it is like having a funeral without dying." We have always thought this would be a great idea. If we really knew how many people cared and all the nice things people said about us....It would give us a boost. Instead we have to hear all these great things when we are on the other side listening to our own funeral:)
My sister's father-in-law, who recently passed away, said something so funny to her once. He said, "Mel, you are going to have a huge funeral." It was a very random thought of his but he was referring to how many friends she has. We still get a great laugh out of this. It was a good "Dennisism." I was thinking this about Doug... With the amount of people who have visited, wrote us cards and have told us they were praying for him.... I thought...Doug would have a HUGE funeral:)
Another thing I really have been thinking about is how many people would openly tell Doug, "I love you." Family, friends (both close and distant), and neighbors. They would even tell me the same thing. Why is it that we have to wait for a trial or affliction to tell someone how we feel. Why don't we say these words more often and when we feel them? Are we ashamed we love people? Elder David A. Bednar shared his thoughts on love during this talk, 'More Diligent and Concerned at Home". He had some excellent points. He said, "We can begin to become more diligent and concerned at home by telling the people we love that we love them. Such expressions do not need to be flowery or lengthy. We simply should sincerely and frequently express love... We should remember that saying “I love you” is only a beginning. We need to say it, we need to mean it, and most importantly we need consistently to show it. We need to both express and demonstrate love." (I want to add that not only at home but in our everyday life with the ones we associate with and love.)
Henry B. Eyring said, "Our way of life, hour by hour, must be filled with the love of God and love for others."
I want us all to think about this a little more. It goes along with my life motto, "living without regrets." Take the time to say the things to people you wouldn't normally say! If they weren't here tomorrow, what would you wish you would have told them?
President Thomas S. Monson recently counseled: “Often we assume that [the people around us] must know how much we love them. But we should never assume; we should let them know. … We will never regret the kind words spoken or the affection shown. Rather, our regrets will come if such things are omitted from our relationships with those who mean the most to us” (“Finding Joy in the Journey,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2008, 86).
This post is for my super awesome nephew Josh. He has made a huge turn around in his life. He has allowed the experience that we have gone through to touch his life for the better.
I wish you could all know a couple of my favorite guys. Josh who is currently attending USU and his brother Nate who is at Rocky Mountain High School. Both young men are incredibly strong and courageous. They have something very special about them. They are leaders in everything they do. When you are around them you don't want to leave their presence, it is special, a quiet strength. It is something you can't quite put your finger on but it is powerful. Josh, more the people pleaser, is energetic and fun. Nate, also fun but a magnet. You will never see him without many people around him because people feel his spirit and light. He radiates! He is far more mature (than me:))... more mature than his age and truly one of the most awesome young men I know! A large part they are this way is my sister, Michelle, and her husband, Rob, and how they raise their children. All 5 of their children have this "specialness" about them. They hold strong to the truths of the gospel and their characters testify of it. Their oldest daughter, Elizabeth, is unlike ANYONE I have known. Her love for our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is like none other I have EVER seen. In an adult or child. She has a gift, I call it the gift of "getting it"...She has an eternal perspective that will continue to bless her life forever.
Back to my nephew Josh. He was, like a lot of teenage boys, wondering where life was taking him. Right before Doug was diagnosed he emailed me randomly, telling me that he loved us and felt like he should pray for us. (uh alright? I was like,"is there something wrong with us:)) Josh was just in tune.
He later wrote Doug a very touching letter. I got his permission to share some of it with you.
"At the hospital last week I realized something that has changed my life forever. I realized that you were more content about life than I was. You were the one suffering from cancer and you were a more content person than me. This really made me realize a few things that changed me. The gospel had to be true otherwise you would not be as confident about the situation and whatever might happen as you were....
I feel bad because I know part of the reason you had to go through this was for me. It has saved my life and I mean that. I don’t know how I could ever thank you for what you have done....
I will wear this Livestrong wrist band until I go on my mission to remind me of what you did and what I need to do... I spent the last hour crying in thankfulness for my new found Live strong life. Tonight I officially lock the chest to my past life and look to the future but I just wanted to thank you before I throw the key away. You’re awesome! May we go forth on our missions in life and live strong!"
Josh, you have truly inspired us. We are stronger and better because of your influence. Way to continue in your new found life!
Love you! Baber I said from the very beginning of this whole cancer thing, that miracles were going to happen. Things like this don't happen without people's lives changing and our testimonies growing stronger. We even had a friend tell us he started praying because he was so worried. During trials, our lives change for the better, if we let it! It is His plan.
Sam's Birthday! 13 years ago today Sam was born weighing a hefty 4lbs. 2oz and 17 inches long. She was about 10 weeks early and she already understood the meaning of "live STRONG." She was in incredible health. They gave her oxygen and the first night she pulled it out of her tiny nose. It makes us laugh every time we think about that because she is one that doesn't like to be 'annoyed' and that certainly must have annoyed her...She took care of the situation....VERY Sam!
This emotional day I have heard of over and over and every time it is bring tears to eyes. The circumstances were difficult, more than we can ever begin to understand. Sam's mother, Jill, was very ill. They had decided it would be best to take Sam early at a little over 30 weeks. Through the years, on Sam's birthday, so many family members sigh in remembrance of that day. And so for many, including me, "that" day is very bitter-sweet. But 13 years later as we look at this beautiful young woman, Samantha Jill, we don't remember that particular day as much as we celebrate her gorgeous life.
She has so many incredible qualities. She is beautiful not just physically but her spirit is also beautiful and kind. She is sweet and nice to everyone. She is the most patient 13 year old you have ever met. Watching her interact with her siblings is amazing because she is so great with them. She loves to read and has read the Book of Mormon 10 times. She is incredible at the piano and violin. I could go on all day about my perfect angel daughter that I want to clone:) But she is truly a very special girl.
When Ethan was 7 weeks old he was laying on the ground just talking away. (Sam at the time was 7) She had no idea I was just around the corner listening. She looked at him and said, "Ethan there is something me and you need to talk about. Me and you....well we have 2 moms. We have our mom up in heaven, Jill, and she will take care of us from there. Then we have our mom here on earth that will take care of us here!" Then Sam, in her little pink tutu jumped up and danced away. That is how things work here at our house!
"I am so excited I'm going to be in your birthday party."
I am one of the few privileged earthly moms that has someone over on the other side making sure things are being taken care of and my lucky children have 2 mom's and lots of AWESOME grandparents that love them!
it is my honor to be Sam's mother. She continues to teach me daily!
The other night, after we found out our great news about Doug, we decided to go on a drive. We love taking drives so we started going up to Kelly's canyon. It was beautiful and very eventful. The colors were magnificent and the wildlife was fierce. I told the kids, "the first person to see a deer would get a buck."..ha ha So driving along we got excited because we could see something up ahead...TONS of cows:) It was pretty funny. We did spot a HUGE bull moose right next to our car. It got spooked and flew up the hill. Next we saw a cow skeleton. That was gross and adventurous. Then a little later we did see 2 deer. It was so beautiful in the mountains. Doug, Sam, and Ethan got out of the car and picked up some leaves. When they got back in the car Ethan says, "Leaves are good because they absorb the nutrients from the sun and deliver them to the tree." AH o.k. son....Where did he learn that? lol
We were up on the hill overlooking the entire valley and we witnessed the most amazing lightening storm. The clouds would light up, each a different magnificent color, and then a bolt of lightening would fall down from it. I wanted time to freeze. It was so beautiful. We even saw a rainbow for the 3rd day in a row. I just felt like as we were watching the storm everything was O.K. again.
As we were driving home Doug stopped quickly at a stop light. Ethan, who was sitting in the middle seat says very matter-a-factly, "I just experienced inertia." I look at Doug and said, "what is that?" and Doug tells me that it is Newton's first law of motion. "Ethan where did you hear that?" He said, "I heard it on t.v. a while ago and I have been waiting to experience inertia." We were in shock that our 6 year old was talking to us about inertia. I had to ask what it was and maybe some of you don't remember either?... Here is the definition. "Inertia: objects in motion stay in motion unless acted on by an outside force." So when Ethan felt the car stopping and he was still moving he felt the "outside force" stopping him. I have been thinking all week about his experience and this word... Could there be such a thing as spiritual inertia? WE are the object in motion. We are continually moving forward feeding our spiritual bodies, constantly working on strengthening our testimonies, teaching our kids and giving them a firm foundation..... then often we are acted upon by an outside force....the adversary. He tries to stop us in our progress and sometimes he gets us down but we can't give him the power to "stop" us. We try not to get discouraged because we have something greater...We have faith that keeps us moving towards are eternal progression. Satan is the force...He will try, as long as we are mortal, to "stop" our progression...Continue to LiveSTRONG!
Doug had an appointment today with the oncologist. He was amazing, very personable, and very knowledgeable. In fact he said he likes to answer all questions before we even get to them...So every question we had he answered before me and Doug could even ask them. He was incredible. Dr. Dickson in Rexburg. Anyway when he came into the room he said, "I am so giddy!" and he was giggling. I guess it isn't very often the oncologist gets to deliver good news. In fact he said, " I have great news." Doug doesn't has to have chemo! He was pleased with Dr. Smith as the surgeon and has complete faith that he did a fantastic job getting all the cancer! He talked with us for an hour and explained what next. Doug will meet with Dr. Dickson every 4 months, for a while, and get labs drawn also every 4 months, like his CEA. An interesting fact, your ileum, which is part of the colon they took out, is the part of the colon that absorbs vitamin B12. So a common complication with a right hemi-colectomy is you become deficient of this vitamin. A supplement wouldn't do anything for the exact same reason...No where to absorb. SO they will check this every 4 months and if he needs the B12 I will get to give it to him through a needle:) ( did you see me smile? sounds a little exciting:)) He will have CT scans and a colonoscopy next year and then he will continue with the scopes about every 2 years after that. The oncologist will basically see Doug about 3-4 times a year. We are thrilled about he news. We both kinda thought that this would be the final prognosis but we didn't want to give our hopes up?
We cannot thank everyone enough for praying for our family and specifically Doug during this time. There are a few of you out there...friends and family, that have lightened our load SO much we will never be able to repay you what you have done for us! You know who you are and we CHERISH you! For those of you who have dropped by, called, visited us, text us, and served us in ANY way... we love you and thank you. Also to those of you who haven't known what to do but you keep praying for us, we have felt your prayers. Our kids have even felt a change. For example: Isaac, one of the twins, does not like ANYONE! Only Doug and me and Sam!(in that order:)) When Doug was in the hospital my sister, Michelle, came to stay with our kids at our house. We were concerned about this because he has never gone to ANYONE! From day 1 Isaac warmed up to Michelle and loved everyone who walked in the door. He was comfortable and secure. He has never liked a soul so when we watched this happen we knew immediately it was people praying for our family. Sam was so nervous about everything but again, when Doug was admitted in the hospital, she was calm. She said she felt peace and knew everything would be alright. We KNOW it was prayers. It strengthened us and we felt His comfort through your faith. There are miracles with any trial. We were showered with tender mercies and saw, even with our small trial, saw people redirect their paths, it was like they got a glimpse of life and a light turned on, & now they..."get it!"
Our testimonies have been strengthened immensely and we know this trial was placed in our lives for our good! We hope that when your trial comes, we will be here for you the way you have been for us!
With every ounce of our mortal bodies... WE love you and thank you for being an intimate part of our family.
Yesterday me and Ethan were making sack dinners for family night. We were going to go take a drive up to Mesa Falls and see the beautiful fall colors. While he was spreading the peanut butter on the bread we heard the sky crack. Thunder that was so loud that it vibrated through the dark clouds. I am usually deathly afraid of thunder but that is because it is usually at night when it is so loud. So in the middle of the day it was really cool. Ethan stopped spreading the peanut butter and ran outside. On the way to the sliding door he said, "mom I bet there is going to be a rainbow."
Sure enough, a huge entire rainbow! We watched if for a while and then watched it fade away. What is it about a rainbow that makes everyone take a minute to stop what they are doing, no matter how busy they are, and enjoy the beauty of God's creation? A rainbow never ceases to amaze me.
Well so Doug got home and we all packed in the van to go on our little outing to the falls and he says to me excitedly, "Dad and James (his brother) got an elk today....want to go see it?" And what am I suppost to say to that...So off we head down to Shelley to check out the dead bloody animal. As the guys were telling us the story of the hunt...I thought to myself... ' Hunting stories are a lot like labor and delivery stories'. They are original to you, no one else has had the exact same experience you have had..., there are moments of discouragement, it is exciting and there are always tense moments, and even when the outcome is great...There are things looking back you would have done a little differently. I was totally crackin' up. They were, rightfully so, pretty pleased with their elk!
Last night we got home really late from visiting family and friends. The usual routine is hurry as fast as you can to get jammies on, potty, drinks, read and pray, & settle the babies down so we can get them to bed before it gets ANY later than it already is. After the rush of getting everyone ready, and the 2 older ones off to bed...This is what started to happened......
It lasted until about 11:00 p.m. Now usually I would have stopped it before it started. You know what I am talking about moms....Once the kids start getting all wound up then it takes forever before they can settle down and actually fall asleep. Well, all I could do was grab the camera and take a step back and SMILE! It has been months, even since June since Doug has felt good enough to get on the floor with his kids and rough house. Not only have the kids missed it but so has Doug! It didn't matter what time it was, that everyone was exhausted, and that it was so loud that it was keeping Sam and Ethan up..... It just felt so AMAZING to watch my husband play and laugh again. I even have to admit that as I was sitting here on the couch watching and laughing with them, I teared up a little because my heart was so happy! It was so much fun!
Every six months I get a new center piece for my coffee table.... I can count on it, every May and every November! It is the General Conference Addresses. I especially love last Mays because of the touching picture that was on the front of it. So often I would walk by it and say to myself, "Hi President and Sister Monson." :) You can not look at that picture without smiling and feeling the love and dedication they have for the Lord. It just makes my body tingle. The very first thing that I do when I get my magazine in the mail is start flipping through the pages and looking at all the photographs. They are always so uplifting and SO happy. They capture such sweet moments, some people posing for the camera and others oblivious. The darling little children are dressed in their sunday best and parents who are so dedicated to going to temple square to feel the spirit that is there. When ever I want something to do or need a little lift, I open my conference ensign and scan through the pictures. ♥ them!!!
I am certain that for those of you who have this magazine your looks something like mine, torn, ripped, used, taped, restapled, bent, highlighted EVERYWHERE, and mostly... loved.
We love general conference weekend. Infact for me it is a great time line. I try to make spiritual goals and use the next 'conference' as my deadline. It is a great measure of time for me.
Most of you already know, but I am the 'teaching for your times teacher' in Relief Society, (LUV IT). I get the opurtunity to study a few of the talks in depth. A few of my favorites last time were, "Mothers and Daughters" by Elder M. Russell Ballard, and "Help Them on Their Way Home" by President Henry B. Erying, "Your Happily Ever After" by President Dieter F. Uchtdof (I was at this session and it was amazing), and "Mother told Me" by Elder Bradly D. Foster. I was so inspired last conference to be a better mother and teach my children gospel principles better. And also a 'refocus' on our family and priorities! It seemed endless the times they mentioned parenting, mothering, families, grandparents, etc....etc....
I am beyond excited for this weekend. I always love the stories, their encouraging words that help us press on, and the spirit that I feel as they testify of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I pray that I have spiritually prepared myself that I may be edified. As of these last few months, I have never been so fed by the spirit as I have with the news of Doug's cancer. It seems like during the trials in your life you have a couple choices: 1. Draw nearer to God or 2. separate yourself from Him. Because of the faith we have and because of what we have been taught, we found SO much comfort in the spirit and in His eternal plan. I know without a doubt that this trial in our life is for our good. We will be stronger and better because of it. We have said from day 1, we are spiritually excited for this journey because we will grow. We are so blessed to be a part of this challenging yet necessary mortal existence. These last few months have been the most spiritual months of my life. Feeling His love and comfort continually. Elder M. Russell Ballard said, "when suffering, we may in fact be nearer to God than we have ever been inour entire lives. That knowledge can turn ever such situation into a would-be temple. Regarding our earthly journey, the Lord has promised: 'I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left. My spirit shall be in your hearts and mine angels round about you to bear you up.' That is an everlasting declaration of God's love and care for us, including and perhaps especially in times of trouble."
I testify of the truthfulness of this statement. In our time of 'trouble' we felt Him by our side ever step. My Heavenly Father knows me personally and He knows what is best for our family at this time. With my small mortal mind, I am trying to have a better understanding of, and an increase of faith in His plan.
Hope you have an incredible weekend and for those of you who have the opportunity to watch conference....May we be edified in our "Live-STRONG" lives!
Last week Doug felt impressed to deliver some "livestrong" wrist bands to my niece and nephew. Which may not seem like a big deal but given Doug's health traveling to Logan made me think twice! I was worried sick about him going that far but he felt STRONGLY that they needed to be hand delivered. SO OFF we went! We jumped in the car one afternoon and headed down to Logan. We called Elizabeth, my niece, a few minutes before we got there so she knew we were coming but Josh was shocked..... Josh wanted to know what in the world we were doing there so Doug pulled out the the wristband and this note he wrote them to go along with it. Here is part of what the note said, "Here's a wristband so you can share in the fight. This battle is not limited to the physical cancer, which can't do any permanent damage but includes spiritual cancer has the potential to cause much more damage than any physical problem we might have. So remember as you wear this band, that as we rely on our Heavenly Father, and the atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ, that we can "LiveSTRONG" and put away the frailties and temptations that so often come our way. May we remember also to trust in our Heavenly Father, as Nephi did (2 Nephi 4:34-35) when those temptations and challenges arise, that our mission here on this earth may be fulfilled to the fullest extent possible. It is my testimony that as we "Live STRONG" we will be blessed. " Love you brother in the gospel, Doug
I am so glad we took the time to take these to Josh and Elizabeth because it touched them. It also touched us to see them so moved. Anyone that knows Doug knows that this is exactly how he feels, and how I feel as well. The day we found out, you may recall reading this earlier, Doug was comforting his sad mother and said, "Mom my spirit is fine, they can do whatever they want to this body but it is my spirit that matters." The physical cancer can't do anything to us 'eternally' but make us spiritually stronger! It is the spiritual cancer that satan wants to use to destroy us. It is our prayer that we can defeat spiritual cancer and and go forth in our new found "LiveSTRONG" lives.
Just a quick note to tell everyone how Doug's appointment went today. The surgeon is pleased with Doug healing progress and he also got back his result for the micro-satellite instability. It came back negative. This is excellent news because if it was positive there is a greater chance it would affect our children more. Even at that, colon cancer is hereditary so they will watch our kids VERY close their entire lives. Starting at about 30 they will start getting their colonoscopy. They can blame Doug for all those good times that are ahead:)) Doug has now been referred to the oncologist and his appointment for that is Oct. 6th. After Dr. Dixon reviews Doug's medical history he will decide if he will need further treatment. Dr. Smith, the surgeon, knowing that oncology isn't his speciality, mentioned that the only reason he can see doing chemo is given Doug's age to make certain that all cancer cells are dead. But then he smiled and said, "I'm not the oncologist so go see what he says." Dr. Smith has been amazing to work with and we would recommend him to anyone! Again, Thank you ALL for your love and support. We pray every night for those of you that are praying for us. Our Heavenly Father watches over all His children.
We have always explained to Sam and Ethan that dad's have "dad jobs." Like if a dad is a teacher...that is his dad job. If a dad is a dentist...that is his dad job. Doug is an engineer...that is his dad job. Neither one liked to accept that they have to go to school and that is their job and daddy has to go to work. It is a hard concept for little kids. Somedays Ethan tells me, "I wish you went and did a dad job and daddy could be the one to stay home with me."
Well, when Doug was in the hospital Ethan was concerned about dad's, 'dad job'. Why wasn't he at work? So we told him that while daddy is in the hospital he had a new dad job, "farting and pooping!" And as funny as the kids thought that was, we were not joking at all! The first time Doug passed a little gas the nurses and doctors cheered for him. They got so excited about any activity that was rumbling around down there:)
SO about a week later Ethan was riding with our friend to a parade and he says, "hey, did you know that my dad has a new dad job?...it is farting and pooping." life......
Doug was off of work for over 2 full weeks. Idaho Labs, aka his boss?, has been nothing short of amazing and supportive. While we were in the hospital they brought over 2 huge HUGE bags of snacks, lots of games, coloring books, movies and treats for the kids. Days later, when we got home, they show up with 25 or 30 (can't remember) free bambino cards, (for you people out there that don't know what a bambino is, it is a delicious grease pocket pizza.mmm), and a gift certificate to a local restaurant. Then even a few days after that the company suburban pulls up with its trunk full of household items and food. We again feel so blessed to be surrounded by people who have helped us these last few months. Doug couldn't be working for a better company.
Doug is still doing great! He says he fills like his insides are "jiggily". So he walks a round, still a little bent over and slow, but he walks around holding his gut. He does wear this very fashionable girdle, Ethan calls it his cast. That helps with the discomfort. The most painful part of the day is when he has to sneeze. It sounds like nothing I have ever heard before...Like a little girl being scared by a bear. He lets out this hilarious little high pitched and painful sounding squeal and then I hear a sigh like....."oh it's over. " He has even gained a little weight. After tipping the scales the other morning at an all time low...122lbs. And me screaming in the back ground, "I hate you!" He has made it his personal goal to "PACK IT ON!" If we can just figure out someway for me to donate some fat that would benefit everyone:) My sister offered first but I should have first say?
He is still weak. He doesn't like when I call him 'weak' but I don't know what else to say. I have asked him to come up with a better word and all he does is start flexing his huge arm muscles just like a body builder (I am telling you ladies, he has all the moves) and then he will say, "you call this weak?" So when I say 'weak' I am not talking about his muscle strength...Just his stamina. He still requires a nap everyday but over all his is amazing and strong! He hopes to go back to work this week. I kinda take it personal like he doesn't want to be around us anymore:) j/k I have loved having him home! I am a little over protective right now. You can understand? I went from totally thinking he could be dying to all of the sudden the doctors being so optimistic about his outcome. I have really enjoyed being with him every moment of the day for the last 2 weeks. We have had so much fun just being with each other and with the kids. There isn't a night we don't go to bed and say to each other, "we are so blessed!" Tuesday Doug has a doctors appointment with the surgeon. We are hoping that he will get back test results. The mass was sent to a special lab where they looked for something called, "micro-satellite instability." This will help determine how the oncologist will treat Doug's cancer. It is basically a genetic link and although there isn't any history of colon cancer, or any other cancer, Doug can still be the first generation to carry this. It would affect how they will watch our children.
This picture is an "exact replica" of Doug's intestines:)) My hilarious brother, Mike, made him a huge cookie of his 'insides!' How funny is he? Doug hurt from laughing so .hard! If you look closely you can see the "tumor" on the lower left side. The pink note says,"warning might taste like a pooh." Having Mike as my brother, I should have a six pack from laughing so hard. He keeps life fun!
Quote of the night...
We went to the viewing tonight of Dennis Brown. It was really neat to see Laurie, his beautiful wife, and their 4 amazing boys standing beside her. What a legacy they have created by raising these fine men! When we walked into the funeral home. One of the funeral directors, who was also Dennis' home teaching companion, greeted us. I said to him, "it is very nice to see you." And he responded back,"Me and Dennis would always say, 'better to be seen than viewed.'" We laughed pretty hard about that and yes that is something Dennis would say!
Hours after my last post, a man that I admire deeply died of a heart attack. Not only was he a good friend of ours but he is also my sister's father-in-law.
Dennis Brown is one of the greatest men I have ever known. You couldn't be around him with out laughing at his dry whit. He spent his life doing everything for everyone else. He is an the epitome of a "family man." He lived for his wife, 4 boys and their wives, and especially his grandkids. He loved to give to others and serve his family. I would often get calls from my sister, Melanie, telling me things like, "Dennis just dropped off a 4-wheeler for us." and "Dennis just brought us a new stove filled with cheetos." "Dennis just left us a pizza for dinner." The list can honestly go on for hours. Dennis has spent his last 2 years serving his beautiful, amazing wife who was diagnosed with breast cancer. Together this couple has touched more lives than we can even imagine.
When Dennis had his heart attack he was plumbing his son's house. Of coarse he was doing something for someone else.
This world will not be the same with out Dennis Brown in it!
Again, ditto to my last post! What will spring bring for any of us? Are we living our "last moments" with someone we love? Are we living with out regrets?
When we found out about Dennis, I looked at Doug and said, " Heaven was looking for a good guy and you didn't make the cut, Dennis did. How does that feel?" We were laughing pretty hard:)
Take time to smile a little bigger, hug a little longer, and listen a little better to those we love!
There have been multiple things that have happened this summer that have made me revaluate my priorities. I feel incredibly blessed because of my trials with infertility because it has made me realize what a gift life is! Every night I lay in bed and and take a look at the last 20 hours.....I rarely have any regrets as a wife and a mother. Now there are plenty of things I can do better but for the most part I can say ,"I tried my hardest and I will try even harder tomorrow!" I try so hard not to live with regrets..
When Doug got his final diagnosis......"YOU HAVE CANCER"... We thought,"what does this mean?" All these "what if's" were filling every thought. 'what does this mean for our family?' 'what does this mean for his mortal body?' 'how long will this fight be?' 'how are my children, especially Sam, going to handle this?' 'what will a year bring?' We completely trusted in the Lords plan. We felt 100% peace in His will. That didn't change the wondering of what was going to happen.
On Sept. 8th Doug came home from work early. He was in more discomfort, more weak, and more anemic than I had ever before seen him. He got out of his car and I watched him bent over limping to the garbage trying to throw something away. He struggled as he lifted the garbage lid. He hobbled into the garage for a moment to see my dad who was working in there and then limped his way up our front steps. When I saw Doug I knew all he wanted to do was go lay down. In the mean time, Ethan, our 6 year old, had been observing the weather ALL day long. It was windy and that meant 1 thing for him, he and dad were going to fly a kite! He had went and found dad's big kite, pulled it out of it's container, and with his little knowledge was starting to get it ready. When Doug opened the front door there was Ethan, "Dad I almost got it all ready, it is a perfect day for flying a kite. COME ON DAD!" Doug kinda gave a smile and I then I bent down to explain to Ethan that daddy was sick and needed to lay down. Doug knew that Ethan's heart would sink if he didn't go with him. So being the kind of dad that Doug is, Doug told me, " I got this hun!" Doug, under any circumstance, wouldn't rather be anywhere in the world than with his kids! I watched out our big front window as together they finished putting the kite together and out they went. I sat here in the house with my mom and could not control my tears. They came fast and freely and the emotional pain I felt hurt. I couldn't stand the thought of "what is going to happen".... Do I need to start counting moments as "lasts"? The last time...... and the question that just kept coming over and over was, "what will spring bring?" At that time the diagnosis was grim and we didn't know what spring brought but this is a question for all of us to ask ourselves....
"What does spring bring for any of us?" This could be any of our "lasts" and are we living with no regrets? Are we living like these could be our last moments with our friends? parents? neighbors? spouses? and our children? Are our lives in accordance with His will? I am blessed that this trial came my way to take a step back and live my life so someday when I do meet my Savior I can honestly look Him in the eye and tell him,"I did my best!"
How often do we take life for granted? Speaking for myself...More than I should, multiple times a day. I think it is just part of being mortal. We forget to give credit to God that gives us every breath we take. Knowing very well that at any moment he could take that simple breath away.
Last night I found myself driving Izzy to the ER laughing all the way there. After family home evening the kids went outside to play on the swing and trampoline. This is where we spend most of our nights. I could hear Ethan, Isaac, Sam and Izzy playing a family favorite, "ring around the rosie." Apparently Izzy didn't stand up quick enough to Ethan's liking so he thought he would yank her up! Ya know that brotherly love:) Izzy started screaming and Sam took her in and turned on a movie and we didn't think much about it until about 30 minutes later when she starts crying again. Doug's mom, who happened to be here & is a great nurse, looked at it and thought for certain it was broken. She recommended we take her to the ER because her little wrist was poking out. There was a definite bump and swelling! Doug was feeling a little too weak and tired so he stayed home and we called my brother-in-law, Dave, over to help and to lift kids into bed. As I drove to the hospital I truly laughed most of the way there. How ironic we were headed back there. I almost could drive there with my eyes closed:o) I met my in-laws at the hospital where they helped me with Izzy. They put us in the exact room we were in a week and a half ago when Doug was in there. Our nurse was my great friends husband, Nick. That was fun! They took x-rays, and realized that no bones were broken. The Doctor came in and tried to pop it back into place and figured it was either dislocated or maybe the growth plate had slipped. With all the drama and an expensive trip to the ER she woke up this morning telling us, "it's all better daddy!" We kept her on tylenol and she is fine.
Everyone is asking how Doug is feeling? He is doing great considering everything that is going on with him. The nurses in the hospital told him they were going to get him a super man cape because he is so strong and his pain tolerance is incredible. He had a morphine pump while in the hospital and he could push it every 10 minutes. If you know Doug, he is such a light weight. He is nicknamed the 'cheap drunk.' SO that first day he was pushing that pain pump every 10 minutes and that was a good time for everyone. He caught on pretty quick that he didn't like feeling so doped up so he slowed it WAY down. Every hour then every other hour until he just wanted tylenol. The nurses were shocked that after such major surgery he could be so tough... So since he has been home he is up walking around, although a little slow and a little bent over. He gets tired really easily and sleeps a lot. It is a little disheartening to see him so weak. I am feeding him well, along with my family, so he can start gaining some weight. He has about 25 lbs to pack on. I told him to eat a pint of 'Ben and Jerry's' ice cream every night. He took me literally:) His color is slowly coming back. He is still very anemic, which makes him white, but a couple days ago he started getting some color in his face and even his hands have a little pink. It is beautiful to see his color coming back. His feet and legs still have no pigment but I think it will just take time! The simple things we take for granted, ya know! Ethan is loving having his daddy home. He just thinks it is a big party. He doesn't leave his side...ALL DAY LONG! and the babies don't understand why daddy can't hold them but sooner than later Doug will be back to running around with the kids and carrying then around the house!
I have a brother Doug and in high school he had this great group of friends. Doug, Adrian, Travis, Keith, Doug (corbett, yea my husband), Clint, Dustin, and Jordan....There were tons more guys but these particular ones have stayed incredible close. When my brother Doug was a junior in high school he was killed in a car accident. This group of guys, especially Adrian, stayed close to our family and kept us informed on what was happening in their lives. They all kinda started going their own way, whether on missions, school, working or whatever it was they kept close to each other and kept my family, the Carlson's, always updated. Eventually they ALL got married, yep even Doug Corbett, my husband.
Doug and Jill Wiseman were both attending BYU in Provo. They were in the same ward and started hanging out. Doug felt "safe" with her as just a friend because she wanted to go on a mission. But the more they "hung out" the more they started liking each other. It didn't take long before they decided to get married. And although Jill's mom, Joann, thought Jill was too young, they still went ahead planning their life together. They were sealed on Nov. 22 1996. They had planned on waiting a year to start a family but Heavenly Father obviously had something else in mind. They followed the promptings to get pregnant and months later they were pregnant with a baby girl who was due in December. Life was looking perfect until about September when Jill started having some vision problems, headaches, and couldn't balance well. One night, in October they were eating a malt and Jill's malt had kinda fallen in her face. Ya know when you are trying to get the last of the malt out of your cup and you have to hit the bottom of your glass and a huge glob of ice cream comes screaming down the glass and it falls on your face before you can tilt your glass back? Well this is what happened. Doug noticed that there was ice cream on her face and mentioned it to her. She couldn't feel a thing. He realized that her face was numb and he knew that wasn't good. They went to the neurologist and she sent her to get a MRI @ the hospital and then they found a brain tumor. Jill at the time was 31 weeks pregnant. After being in the hospital a few days and keeping a close eye on the baby they decided to they needed to take her. Samantha Jill Corbett was born Oct. 14, 1997 in perfect health. Jill remained in the hospital for 2 more months and they kept Sam also in there not because she needed to be but the hospital said they wanted to keep the family together. When Jill got out of the hospital, Doug, Jill, and Sam went to live in Layton Ut. with her parents, the Wiseman's, until she passed away in June. Leaving Doug a single dad, he went to his school counselor and asked how he could graduate ASAP! He continued to commute from Layton to Provo almost everyday to get his diploma. And that he did. He graduated from BYU with a degree in manufacturing engineering.
2 years later, back to the group of high school friends..., Our friend Adrian, who was married to Rachel and has 2 darling boys, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Adrian stayed incredibly close to our family through the years and so this news, for everyone, was very difficult. He was absolutely amazing and his faith was admirable. At the time I was 23 and was always telling him to "find me a man!" He spent so much time with doctors and nurses I would always tell him, "Adrian, there has to be a single guy SOMEWHERE!" He always told me not worry about it he would find me a man! Knowing he didn't have much longer to live he started drilling me a little. I remember him looking me dead in the eye and asking me, "Baber, (that is my nickname) if you died tomorrow would you be ready to meet our Savior." This was one of those moments that changed my life forever. I thought about that, especially under the circumstances, for weeks, months and now 10 years later. Well, I was blessed to be able to help Rachel and boys and Adrian his last few weeks of his mortal life. It was the most spiritual experiences of my life and it is a huge part of who I am today. Adrian met his Savior on a beautiful Easter morning in April of 2000. I will never forget what his father-in-law said, "The cancer died but Adrian lives on forever!" He was right on!
For the funeral ALL the friends came. We were all at the luncheon together and Doug Corbett, who I hadn't seen in years, asked if he could sit by me. I was sitting at the table with Rachel and some other friends. My family, who was sitting kiddy-corner to us, looked over and was overcome with emotion thinking that "ME & DOUG" were meant to be...... YES, as crazy as it sounds it was true. After the funeral all the friends got together to hang out for a while before everyone had to split there different ways. While we were there they started giving Doug and I a hard time. They were saying things like, "why don't you 2 just get married?" And to that Doug said, "well I would have to buy a new suit!" and I replied, "I would have to buy a new dress!" Since that moment we have called each other "dress girl" and "suit guy". I remember Rachel telling me, "if Adrian had to die just so he could find you a guy, referring to Doug, I will be SO upset!" WE laughed pretty hard about that!
About a week after Adrian's funeral Doug came up for my birthday and we ate dinner with my family. Doug went back to Utah to work and I stayed here in Idaho going to school and working. One night, days later, we were having a very casual conversation on the phone. Then Doug asks, "hey what are you doing on July 28th?' I said, "nothing, why?" He then asked, "Do you want to get married?" I answered, "yea sure!" (time line---beginning of May of 2000) I explained that I was leaving to go to Europe with a friend for 5 weeks and would be back in the middle of June. We kinda laughed for a minute, not thinking the other was very serious, and then we agreed that we really would need to get that "new suit" and "new dress".... 5 weeks later, when I returned, the wedding plans were made! For those of you who ask....."Did you 2 date?" Well kinda. We saw each other a few times on the weekends.
My dad and Doug negotiated the price of his daughter while I was out of the country. They agreed on, for those who have seen 'Jonny Lingo', 40 cows and 1 bull! The morning of our wedding we walked out in the front yard and there were 40 large cut out cows and 1 huge bull! Doug payed up!
I am so blessed to have 2 amazing sets of in-laws. We have 3 families that we love dearly. We feel no differently towards one than we do the other....THEY ARE ALL OUR FAMILY! I truly feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have my family, the Carlson's, the Corbett's and the Wiseman's.
Our life together has been blissful. The first morning we spent in our new little apartment Sammy woke up, ran out of her room and said, "I love my new mom!" It felt so natural and just what I had prepared for my entire life. It was a blessing to have a family and it was everything I ever dreamed of!
We have been married for 10 years and it has been amazing. Almost perfect! I say almost because there have definitely been trials. But every trial we have had we have come out stronger! We consider ourselves incredibly blessed. Even given the latest news on Doug's health. It will only make us stronger!