Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This World Lost a Wonderful Man...

One week ago today, this earthly world lost a beautiful person. Kory's father Zed, passed away the morning of February 10th. Zed had beaten Hodgkin's Lymphoma 10 years ago but after battling the disease again in 07 and after receving a bone marrow transplant this fall, he slipped away peacefully surrounded by his wife and all of his children. What a great loss to all that knew and loved him. To know this man, was to love this man.

I was blessed to join the Anderson family legally, on May 19, 2007 but I was welcomed into the family the day I met the family (maybe they would disagree). This was in December of 05. It didn't take me long to see the love that Kory's parents had for one another and for me to recognize the closeness of this family of 7. I never had the example of true love in my home growing up and I immediately was struck by the love that these two people had for eachother. I think Kory got sick of me saying, "I really think you take for granted the love you have in your home. Your parent's love each other so much." Zed and Lannis had 30 amazing years together. 30 years of true love that many are never blessed to find. 30 years though, just doesn't seem long enough.

Zed was an amazing husband but he was also an amazing father. When I first started dating Kory, I noticed that he spoke with his dad on the phone a lot. It wasn't like father and son talk though, it was like friend to friend talk. I would always have to ask him who he was talking to because sometimes I couldn't tell. I then began to realize how close he was to his dad. Kory sometimes spoke with his father 3 times a day or more. This was new to me as I have never been close to my dad in this way and my brother's did not have this kind of relationship with our dad either. It saddens me to think about, but it's true. Not only was Kory close to his father, the other 4 kids had a special relationship with him as well. Each one different it its own way. Kory lost a best friend the day Zed passed away. A friend that he had all his life. I know that Kory realizes how lucky he is to have had such a closeness with his dad and that it is something that many never have. I don't think that makes things easier for him though. I guess in reality, it really makes things harder.

Parker joined our family in 06 and I immediately knew that Zed would be an amazing grandpa. Parker was the first grandchild in the family and Zed took right to his role as grandpa. Parker was fortunate to have been Blessed by Zed and to have had almost 2 1/2 years with his grandpa. He loved going out to the shop to drive the forklift and to mess around with all Grandpa's tools. My memories will always remain of Parker following his grandpa down the cobblestone path out to his shop. And if we had just arrived at grandpa and grandma's, he always knew just where to find his grandpa--out in the shop. They shared ice cream sandwiches out there together and ate them all summer long. Parker gave his grandpa knuckles up until the very end. I am thankful to have pictures to show Parker of his time with his grandpa but it breaks my heart to think that he may not remember him. As of now, he knows his grandpa, but I know he doesn't understand where he is. I have a hard time understanding, how can I expect him to know why his grandpa isn't here anymore? We have told Parker that Grandpa went to live with Jesus in heaven and Parker has said numerous times, "I will bring him back," or "I will go and get him." To hear this come from this little boy is so, so hard. I wish so badly that Parker could bring him back. We will forever treasure the time that Parker spent with Zed and we will make sure that he knows what a good man he was.

Zed was also a good father-in-law. He had his quiet demeanor but I knew he cared about me. I will treasure the few times that he laid his hands upon my head to offer me a blessing. I was fortunate to have been a receiver of his Priesthood power. I will never forget the day that Zed and Lannis were leaving for Arizona to begin the transplant. I was not doing well with my own condition and Zed made it a point to offer me a blessing right before he left for the airport. How selfish I felt in receiving a blessing when he was the one in need of all the blessings then. This is proof of what an amazing man he was though, he wasn't thinking of himself at the time and I will forever be grateful to him.

During this past week, I have been able to be a part of the closeness this family shares and I feel so thankful to be a part of this amazing family. I am thankful for 3 sisters wonderful sisters. I never knew what it was like to have sisters. These three women treat me as one of their own and I love them so much. I am thankful for my sweet brother-in-law who is so strong and loving. I am thankful for my mother-in-law who is such a great example of strength and of faith. She is an amazing woman--I do not think I could have asked for a better mother-in-law. And finally, I am thankful for my husband who has stepped up as the Patriarch of this dear family. I have come to see a side of him that I have never seen. A side that I knew was there, but had just not had the opportunity to come out. I truly could not ask for a better man to be standing by my side and I know Zed would be so proud of him. The greatest gift that Kory could give his father would be to be the kind of father, husband and friend that Zed had always been and I believe Kory has shown that he is much like his father. Although, I already knew this about him.

Life without this wonderful man will never be the same, but to know that we can see him again and to know that Zed and Lannis will one day be reunited brings much comfort. I will hold on to the thought that Grandpa is in heaven right now, getting to know our baby girl until she joins us on her birthday. I do believe that he will know all the dear little one's who will join this wonderful family one day. We will forever miss you Zed.