Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Saying goodbye...

We've all known this day was coming...

for quite some time now.

But for Dean and his siblings, how do you say goodbye to someone you've known your entire life?

Someone who has always been there...with advice, support and unconditional love.

On Saturday June 28, Owen Chester Garlick my beloved Father in Law...took one last ride through his home town of Farr West Utah, where he lived his entire life. One last ride on the way to his final resting place.

Together with his sweet wife Joyce, Owen changed the world forever just by being a father to four children, grandfather to seventeen grandchildren, and great grandfather to sixteen great grandchildren.

His physical presence, spirit in the community and absence in our hearts will be felt forever.

I was so impressed with the gathering of family and friends at the death of our loved one. The day was a celebration of a great man and his wonderful life.

Smart looking grandsons all dressed in jackets and white shirts, Grandpa would have been especially proud seeing that each grandson wore one of his ties.

Owen was one of the finest men I have ever known. He treated me with respect and kindness from the moment I met him, and every moment following.

He had an amazing work ethic...rising early before the sun his entire life. A barber by trade, I think he must have done about a million haircuts in his lifetime.

Hair wasn't the only thing he loved to cut, we used to tease him about his love for cutting the lawn. No one...and I mean no one was allowed to cut the lawn around his house, but him.

Owen was a master garden...weeds would not dare grow in his meticulous garden. Knowing my love for cucumbers...each spring he would plant extra hills of my favorite cucumber seeds, just for me!

And when the cucumbers were big enough, he would deliver 5 gallon buckets of them to my doorstep. I ate every delicious one!

From a very early age, Dean made it his life mission to constantly harass his father...often making outrageous statements that ended in Owen delivering his famed "Shame on you Dean!"

And if it was something really ridiculous he got the double treatment "Shame on you, shame on you Dean!" Secretly I think Owen loved it as much as his son!

Grandpa Owen adored his family...every single member! He was so proud of each of their individual accomplishments.

Before it became too difficult, he would find the time and energy to come sit and watch Chet's lacrosse games.

I know he didn't understand the rules. Even though perfectly legal, he would get upset when the opponent would whack Chet with a lacrosse stick.

Owen was certainly his family's greatest fan!

I discovered early in my marriage that Dean had a sweet tooth!And it didn't take me long to learn where that sweet tooth came from. Owen loved chocolate and ice cream and root-beer floats and pie and cakes and cookies!

Dean's mom (who goes by Unni to the grandkids) has been extraordinarily strong and brave. I will always admire her grace during Owen's difficult days of illness, his death, and finally his burial. I know that grace will continue as Unni discovers how to spend the rest of her life without the love of her life.

Owen was famous for his Christmas punch...which oddly tasted different every year.

He was also infamous for sleeping with one eye open...which simultaneously freaked out and  amazed the younger generation.

Because of a childhood illness, Owen was told by Doctors that he most likely wouldn't live past his 40's. He was 84 when he passed away and almost made it to 85. Never tell a member of the Garlick family what they can or can't do. I have noticed that same trait in my own children and their father.

Oh how Grandpa Owen loved the great grand babies...especially the new little ones. Thrilled for Cassandra...he clearly recalled her due date whenever he saw her. I am certain he knew he wouldn't be here when her new babe was born.

He was right...but I am also certain he got to meet the little Miss before any of us did.

As Owen struggled with his last breaths...Dean gently whispered in his father's ear...it's OK to go...go find Jocie and give her a huge love from her Daddy. And so he did...and what a glorious reunion it must have been. I'm just a little envious he got to see her before me!

As I took this last shot, I had an unmistakable feeling that we were missing someone. Someone who should be in this photo. And then it finally occurred to me that indeed we were missing someone...we were missing Grandpa Owen. Rest well Owen...you have lived a righteous and authentically beautiful life leaving behind a legacy to be proud of!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Less Than Six Weeks

Since the big baby announcement on Christmas Eve...(I cried, but of course I did) we nicknamed this babe Fetus Fawson. The entire family was deliriously in love with this pregnancy from the beginning. The due date is drawing closer now...less than six weeks away. We can hardly wait to meet this little girl!

My daughter...first born love of mine...is so perfectly a mother.

As I watch her with her children, I admit I feel a tinge inadequate of my own mothering through the years.

She is actively engaged in every aspect of her children's lives.

They are her world right now. She makes every moment a teaching moment filled with fun...and treats on occasion!

Cass has always been a lover of knowledge...now that she is a mom, she has expanded her learning to the stage of life she know finds herself in. She continually notices her children's developmental stages and challenges them to progress.

Weekly she can tell you the size of the baby she is carrying...eggplant, cantaloupe, or cabbage as the days pass. This attention to mothering, from the daughter who as a teenager once told her baby brother to "Shut up baby" when he cried incessantly.

She is strong and brave and good...and her example does not go unnoticed. During a family hike a few weeks ago, pregnant mommy and brave little Olivia were the first to cross this frigid river while we all stood around discussing whether or not we should. Where I may or may not have ridden piggyback on Dean's back...all to keep the camera dry of course. See...I told you she was brave!

What doesn't come natural to her she quickly gains expertise.

One of my favorite things about my beautiful daughter is her love for books. If you sit down to read a book with Olivia and Henry...the first thing they will do is tell you "book jackets off." Something about that drives them crazy, I think their Daddy Bob started it.

The next thing you will notice is that both of them can tell you the name of the author and additionally the name of the illustrator for every book they read.

And oh how they LOVE books.

They get that love from their momma.

From the moment the miracle of motherhood became hers...she has been completely wrapped up in it. Wow...has she had her hands full over the last 3 1/2 years.

And her hands are about to get more full! Do you think Olivia and Henry have any idea how their little three-year old world is about to change?

No...but they have no idea how wonderful it's going to be either! Gorgeous expecting daughter...I love you with all my heart. And I am so thankful you made me a Nanny Goat! 

Also...this last photo thrills me...so happy I learned how to use a camera!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Henry at Three

Diddle diddle dumpling my son John
went to bed with his trousers on.

One shoe off and one shoe on,
diddle diddle dumpling my son John.

Henry loves reciting nursery rhymes and knows most of them already.

While having a weekend of fun at Nanna & Bubba's Birthday fest, we dusted off Chet's old Jeep Power Wheels. Jocie and Chet spent hours in that Jeep and I don't think Chet drove once. Of course Henry loved it! Since he played stop and go with the gas pedal...Bubba and I told Henry he was a bad driver  He didn't care, he laughed and giggled around and around the yard. 

Intelligent and wise...he has been known to correct your English skills...at age three!

But he also has a silly side. Hopefully you are not sitting in a restaurant waiting for dinner when silly Henry emerges. Bubba gave Henry a new name while staying with us...Henry Dawg! And when Olivia heard about it days later she announced her new name was Olivia Kitty Kat.

Cass recently discovered a photo of Chet at Henry's age...they could be twins. People have been telling her all along how much he resembles his Uncle Chet. There is something sweet about a bond between nephew and uncle.

Henry's favorite thing to do at this age, is ride bikes. While vacationing in Southern Utah, Daddy Bob helps Henry navigate a steep hill on the mountain bike trail.

Focused and intense...the boy needs deep concentration.

I am certain he and his Daddy Bob will ride trail after trail together in the future.

Like a bolt of lightning...three years have flashed by and Henry is a little boy instead of a toddler.

He knows how to do a Force Choke (think Star Wars) as well as expertly wield a light saber.

Instantly after hearing a song, he can repeat it right back to you...again and again and again. Ask Henry to sing the bathtub song I taught him about a little bar of soap. Something like... "I'd slippee and I'd slidee over every-body's hidee." The little people don't always hear the lyrics correctly...apparently Henry has been singing "over every-body's hinee!" Oops Nanny Goat fail!

Henry Dawg my little grandson...Bubba and I adore you! You are the sun and the moon and the stars...and everything in between!