Fading away

I grew up in the 80’s and Marty McFly was a household name. He was the main character played by Michael J. Fox in the hit movie Back to the Future. There is a scene where a picture of him of him and his siblings start fading because it looks like history has been changed, and his parents might not get together. He even holds up his hand at one point and it is fading away.  It was an iconic movie that I’ve seen dozens of times.

As we’ve been preparing to move, and it is approaching quickly, I almost feel like we are fading into the background, or fading away like Marty McFly.  We attended church for  the last time today in Highland, Utah. After living here for 14 years, it’s hard to grasp that we won’t be back next Sunday. I’ve experienced this similar feeling a few times. At the end of high school and college, it was hard to really believe that I wouldn’t be back in class soon; that I was really done forever.  At the end of my mission, it was hard to believe that I might not see many of these members, investigators, and fellow missionaries again. (Now 25 years later, some I have seen again, some I never have again and won’t in this mortal life.) I think it’s hard for the human mind to understand big changes. It’s hard to picture our house empty in one week from now. It’s hard to believe that we are moving from Highland, Utah, a place I’ve lived for 14 years, and moving from Utah, a place I’ve lived most of my life. There are so many people I love and care about, and many more who I just really like and enjoy associating with, who we may or may not see again. You just don’t know.

As we’ve been preparing to move, we’ve been selling many things, giving stuff away, donating a lot to Deseret Industries, and taking other things to the dump. There are so many memories tied to different things, and I get a little sentimental as I watch some of these things go. Our piano. It was purchased as an anniversary present when our two oldest children were very young. All of our kids except for our youngest have practiced and taken lessons with this piano. I watched it leave our home and I was sad. My John Deere riding lawn mower has been something that me and the younger kids have enjoyed as they sit on my lap or stand in front of me steering and learning to mow the lawn. Our patio table, which has been where we’ve had numerous family dinners and BBQs. I realize these are all just things, but they are things which remind me of my children growing up.

marty

I guess I do not want these memories to fade away. I want to hold on to it all a little longer. I don’t want to quite move on to another phase in our life with adult children not living with us.

Our oldest child, Julienne, who is now 20, returned from an LDS mission to Omaha, Nebraska a month ago. It’s been so fun having her home and I’ve selfishly wanted her to be there for every little family dinner and thing we have done together.  I know that this fall she will be heading to Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, and since we will be in Port Angeles, WA, she won’t be able to come home for a long weekend or a visit except for maybe Christmas.  I’m trying to slow down time and make this summer last. I want my time with her to count.  My second oldest, Maggie, is now 18, and just returned from teaching English in Kiev, Ukraine. I thought she’d be with us for the summer as well, but she decided to move out and found an apartment. She will not be coming to Washington. I get it. I was excited to move out and go to college. But it’s harder being the parent and watching your child grow up and leave the nest, probably permanently. There is a lot of change happening. The world is rushing by me and I’m standing in slow motion trying to watch it all. Late at night, I find myself thinking of my kids when they were little. How I love these memories. People told me the time would go by fast.  I think I was busy and didn’t realize how fast. I wonder if I had chosen a different career path, if it would have afforded more time with my children. Running a small business can be so time consuming and takes a toll on your stress level.

Today was our stake conference. My 8 year old Camille asked if we could sit in the very back on the stage where there was an overflow for the large number in the congregation. Normally I might have said “no”, but as our last time at church in Highland, I thought I’d do what she wanted.  As I sat in the very back and saw so many faces of people I knew both in our ward and in the stake walking in and taking their seats, I had many fond memories of serving with them in a variety of ways. There are so many good people here whom I will miss. We were fittingly in the back, fading away, almost just spectators.

I like to write, but in person, I probably don’t verbalize my thoughts as well as I should. I’m one of those people who 10 minutes later will think of what I would have liked to say. So to my neighbors and friends, I will genuinely miss you. I’ll miss our friendship. I’ll miss catching up and just talking about everything in life. Thanks for being my friend. Thanks to all of those who really helped us as we went through a hard time having Xavier born 3 months premature, and having him in the hospital for 4 months, and then later having multiple brain-surgeries afterwards to treat his hydrocephalus.

I will of course miss my family a lot. It will be hard not seeing my mom and brother Nick and his family on a regular basis, especially for holidays and special occasions.

One of my closest friends, Shawn Rapier, (I was a guest on his podcast Latter-day Lives) gave me a nice tribute on Facebook and conveys a lot of my feelings.

“End of an era… In 1997 I began working in my first corporate job, System Connection. Shortly thereafter, the Director of Sales for Europe, Jason Bringhurst returned from Europe and began working in our office again. He and I often traveled together and always had a great time. We became fast friends. In meetings we usually couldn’t look at each other for fear of laughing. We both enjoyed puns as well as making goofy faces. In 2001 that company went out of business. With 9/11 and the .com bubble bursting, jobs were scarce. Jason and I started our own computer cable company. We decided to call it Offspring Technologies. In retrospect, it was a terrible name as everyone thought we made prenatal tech devices. Fortunately, the company took hold and we fed our families for four years off of it before selling the company in what turned out to be one of the worst deals in the history of business. It only served to cement our friendship. Spending 8-12 hours a day together managing employees, payroll, vendors and everything that goes with being a business can be tough but somehow, for us, it never was. We never fought. Not once. Over the years, Jason and I have been to Canada, Mexico, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and practically every state in the union. We have gone skiing together, jet skiing, have been to numerous concerts, basketball games, almost got arrested in China, visited each other at the hospital, been to baby blessings, kid’s mission farewells and homecomings, a funeral, have been to the temple together, have laughed together, cried together, drank enough Diet Coke to kill a horse, have had long, deep conversations, and just generally been there for each other. Most of all, Jason and I are brothers in the faith. Jason has an unwavering faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ that has always strengthened me. There are few people in the world I love and trust more than Jason. No matter what, even with crazy schedules, we find a way to get out to lunch at the very least once a month or so. Jason is moving next week. He will be in Washington and I will stay here in Utah. Yesterday, we went to lunch at DeMae. It is a restaurant we have gone to for twenty years. While I will still see Jason, I will miss having him fifteen minutes from me. I will miss being able to drop by his office, grab lunch and talk about business, family and life. I have few really close friends and almost all of them live out of state. I am excited for Jason and his family but selfishly I wish he could just stick around. I raise a 44 ounce bevy to you Jason. Thanks for being my friend through all these crazy times. You are truly a good man and a great friend. Bon Voyage mon ami.”

Jason-Bringhurst-Shawn-Rapier-1

Thank you Shawn. I’m grateful for our friendship and the memories we have had together. I’m a better person because of you. I’m also a little funnier and a little better at sales because of you.  Maybe I should take that back about being funnier because of you. You probably don’t want any credit for some of my puns. That would not be good for your stand-up comedy reputation.

Thanks to all the many people who have wished us well and have said kind words to me and my family. We will miss being close by so many family members and friends.

Jen and I have prayed a lot about the decision to move well before setting everything in motion. We feel that it is where the Lord would have us go now. One thing I do know from my experiences with prayer and receiving direction, is that if you follow the direction you receive, blessings will follow. This afternoon I gave priesthood blessings to each of my children, except for Maggie, who is not living with us. As I was giving them a blessing,  I got the feeling that God not only wanted Jen and I there in Port Angeles, but that there was a work for our children to do, and that they were needed there. God’s ways are not our ways.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55: 8-9.

This was confirmed even more as President Russell M. Nelson in tonight’s youth fireside told the youth of the Church that they were needed in the gathering of Israel.  “You are among the best the Lord has ever sent to this world,” he said. “You have the capacity to be smarter and wiser and have more impact on the world than any previous generation!” He boldly urged every young woman and young man to enlist in the Lord’s youth battalion to help gather Israel. “You are the hope of Israel, ‘children of the promised day!’”

In the Book of Mormon, Lehi was told to take his family and leave his home and riches behind and to take his family and go to the promised land. Luckily we have not had to go through what Lehi went through, but I can’t help try to put myself in his shoes as we’ve gone through this process and think what it must have been like for him and his move. Moving a family is not easy in 2018 and I’m sure it was not easy in Lehi’s time.  Following the Lord is not always easy.  I don’t think I’ll fade away like Marty McFly. I think God is in charge and that He has a mission and plan for me, for my wife, and for my children. I believe He is aware of each of us and is involved in our life, much more than sometimes I realize. I don’t think my life has been a lot of coincidences thus far. I’m excited for the future.

  1. It may not be on the mountain height
    Or over the stormy sea,
    It may not be at the battle’s front
    My Lord will have need of me.
    But if, by a still, small voice he calls
    To paths that I do not know,
    I’ll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in thine:
    I’ll go where you want me to go.
    I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord,
    Over mountain or plain or sea;
    I’ll say what you want me to say, dear Lord;
    I’ll be what you want me to be.
    2. Perhaps today there are loving words
    Which Jesus would have me speak;
    There may be now in the paths of sin
    Some wand’rer whom I should seek.
    O Savior, if thou wilt be my guide,
    Tho dark and rugged the way,
    My voice shall echo the message sweet:
    I’ll say what you want me to say.
    I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord,
    Over mountain or plain or sea;
    I’ll say what you want me to say, dear Lord;
    I’ll be what you want me to be.
    3. There’s surely somewhere a lowly place
    In earth’s harvest fields so wide
    Where I may labor through life’s short day
    For Jesus, the Crucified.
    So trusting my all to thy tender care,
    And knowing thou lovest me,
    I’ll do thy will with a heart sincere:
    I’ll be what you want me to be.
    I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord,
    Over mountain or plain or sea;
    I’ll say what you want me to say, dear Lord;
    I’ll be what you want me to be.

One thought on “Fading away

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  1. I know what you say is true, but I am selfish. I still want you here. I love you and your family with all my heart. I know that none of them understand how long it will be until I see them. Xavier asked me last night. Don’t you live in Washington? I hope Maggie will want to come down and spend some time with me. I am glad that I will be seeing you, hopefully every month. I am going to text you when I think of stuff and when you are busy, you can wait to read them until you have time. I am getting older and I am living more and more in the past. Memories coming in and looking at things from my perspective now. There are some things I like to share with you. So be patient with me. I will miss Sundays at your house. You make me so proud and I want nothing more that for you and your family to be happy. Remember I work until 6-6:30, but with the time difference that should make it perfect for you to call me in the evening. Love Mom.

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