Sunday, February 21


WHY am I always writing to a missionary?
I don't understand.
Do I really like all the money spent on postage stamps?
Or packages?
Or is it the long wait in between hearing from them?
I'm impatient.
Can't possibly be the wait I enjoy.
So what is it?
Because, honestly, none of it sounds pleasant.
I have written a lot of missionaries. My first experience was when I was eight, with my sister's husband ("Her Missionary" at the time), Greg. I probably wrote him two letters while he was gone, but for the sake of the story, it counts! haha... Then my next experience was with my brother, Kade, like eight years later. I wrote him a letter maybe once a month, maybe every other month, whatever.. I mostly e-mailed him every week. I also wrote to a friend's cousin on his mission. Chris Downey and I would write every so often, but it eventually became only e-mailing. Then I only ever e-mailed Brent Jessop.. All of this e-mailing was a BAD idea! I got used to how great e-mails were! And now most missions have the rule that if you're not imediate family.. NO e-mailing. POO.  :(
Now.. I've had a few friends that I have written who stayed stateside, or had the pouch mail option, and only required the 44 cent stamps! Thank you, boys and girls!! However... two of the missionaries I have written to the most went to Australia. That's a 98 cent stamp, kids!!
I know, it really doesn't seem like a big deal... But let's just say you send a letter to the missionary once a month.. that's 98 cents a month.. equaling $11.76 a year.. and $23.52 for the 2 years... That's not taking into account the $45 it is to send a package.. So say you send a letter once a month and one package... That is approximately $70 dollars in two years.
Okay... let's look at a missionary in The States, shall we? Say you write to that missionary once a month that is $5.28 a year and $10.56 for two years... Even if you write that missionary twice a month it's cheaper than sending ONE letter to Australia! And packages.. OY! They are only $11 (roughly) if they stay in The States!! So two letters a month and one package would only approximate to $35! HALF as much!!
So I ask you again,
Why do I LOVE writing missionaries?
Maybe its the joy I get each time I see that amazing white envelope with my name on it..
Maybe its how happy I am when I get pictures..
Maybe its how cute some missionaries are in their letters..
Maybe its the way they get mad when they don't hear from you for a little while...
Maybe its the follow up letter.. reminding you they are still waiting to hear back from you...
      -Thank you, Chris Gerona!! ;)
Maybe its the way their letters turn a terrible day into an AMAZING one...
Maybe its how glad they are to just get any kind of mail...
Maybe its how grateful they are to get a package from someone other than their mom!...
      -Even if it is a cheesey Valentine's Day package filled with crap... haha
Maybe its the hope of them coming back from Australia with that sexy accent!!..
      -Thanks for ruining that one, Brett!! Come on, Chris.. I still have faith you'll pick it up!! ;)
Maybe its the way they make me smile with no effort...
Maybe its the way their words can fix any problem I'm having...
Maybe its that I can come up with more reasons I LIKE writing them, than reasons its a pain!
Good news kids!!! My latest victim will be home in ONE YEAR!! Yes! 12 fast sundays!! And then... I'm DONE! Done writing missionaries!! Well, writing missionaries consistantly! haha I'll still write the occasional letter to any cousins out on missions. But I will be done with having friends gone!
Most of my friends think its funny to tease me and say I'll find another missionary to write.. But I won't. I really am done!! Someone hold me to that!! haha

Tuesday, February 2

Rough days.. I'm sure there are more to come..

I'm having a really hard time with this.. and I'm not even sure where to begin!! I'm doing my best to type this through tears.. so please bare with me.

When I was little I always seemed to get along better with adults than people my own age. My best friend was Blaine Richardson... He is one of my many second dads! He lived in the house just east of mine.. and his kids all grew up and hung out with my older sisters... His daughter Jeri was mad when i wasn't born on her birthday.. and Jeri and her mom made me a super cute quilt with bunnies on it that i still have to this day.. Our families were pretty close! And I remember anytime I'd go over to their house crying, Blaine would always wipe away my tears and tell me he was keeping them in his wallet for when i'd need them at my wedding. (Misty claims he used to keep her tears too... but i'm pretty sure he doesn't still have them... I am more loved...) Whenever I was mad at my parents I would always run away to his house! Blaine loved me! And he was my favorite person!! I would go over to his house and just talk to him! We were the best of buds! And I would tell everyone that Blaine was my best friend!!

I can't remember when they moved out of their house... I know my sisters were grown and I was still pretty young.. But I was devastated! My best friend was leaving!! But he had promised to stay in touch!! 

A few years later he got remarried... I think her name was Nancy?? haha He became active in the church and went through the temple... My parents were invited to go through with him and they said it was a really neat experience! A little bit later he and his wife and her kids all came up to Bear Lake with us! I hadn't seen him in a little while so it was so fun getting to spend so much time with him! It was such a fun trip!! And so many fun memories! Like Blaine tipping the cannoe over and losing his super expensive glasses in the water! We still haven't found them... and it has been YEARS!!!

We heard a few years ago that Blaine and Nancy had gotten a divorce... :( We lost contact with him for awhile, so we weren't really up to date.. We tried finding him so we could send him a wedding invitation to Kade and Tara's wedding... but all the contact information we had wasn't good anymore.... My parents finally ran into their oldest son about a year ago at church. Greg's wife's sister lives in our stake so they were there for something and my mom ran into him in the hall... she got somewhat of an update on Blaine.. But a little while ago... Misty found Jeri on Facebook (or Jeri found Misty... I'm not sure which way it happened...) But it has now been easier to keep in contact!!

Blaine got remarried to a darling lady, named Iola! And he is so happy! They are the Sunday School teachers to the Young Single Adults of their Ward! What a hard calling!! haha But he is still active in the church and even his oldest son Greg has become active and now holds church callings!! It has been wonderful to see such great growth in this family!!!

Now that you've had the background and know a little about Blaine... here comes the sad part...

Yesterday morning I was sitting at home and I get a text from my mom---

Mom: Dad and I are going to see Blaine Richardson in the hospital tonight. What do you have going on? Do you want to come?

Me: Of course I want to come! Why is he in the hospital??

Mom: He has a brain tumor and they are doing surgey tomorrow morning.

Me: What? How did you find this out??

Mom: Jeri said something about it to Misty on Facebook this morning. So I called her and got more information. I'll tell you when I get home.

Side note: THANK GOODNESS FOR FACEBOOK. I know that sounds so ridiculous.. and some people think Facebook is a HUGE waste... but honestly without it... I am afraid we would have never known...

So I had pretty much all day to stew over this information and freak out. I was a mess. My mom had gotten all the information that Jeri had when she called her yesterday morning... So when she got home she filled me in. Blaine had had a bad headache for 3 weeks.. and on Sunday his headache was so bad that he didn't go to church. Iola came home from church and Blaine couldn't feel the right side of his face, so she rushed him to the hospital thinking Blaine was having a stroke. The doctors did a CAT scan and found a shadow, so they did an MRI to further check it out. Sure enough... Brain tumor. The tumor was lemon sized, and the doctor wasn't certain it was or wasn't cancerous... so he told them as soon as they got it out he would send it for testing. The doctor said the tumor was in a pretty good spot, between his brain and the skull so he thought the surgery would go well. They scheduled his surgery and had him on steriods all day yesterday to help shrink his brain to make surgery and his recovery easier...

My parents and I went to visit him last night! It was the first time I had seen him in years! And he still looks the same as I have always remembered him! Terrible surcumstances to reunite in... but I'm so grateful we went to go see him! He was joking around with us and was so positive about the whole situation! He told me he still had my tears, but he didn't have his wallet with him so I couldn't cry while I was at the hopital visiting him. He told me I had grown up to be so beautiful and asked me when I was getting married... and told me he better be invited or I was going to be in BIG trouble!! I assured him I was never getting married, so he really had no invitation to wait for. But then I told him that of course he would be invited, he was my best friend!! And my mom added in... yeah, you're like another dad to her, you better be there! We stayed and bugged him for a long time, talking about old memories and catching up on new things. When it was time to go we all gave him a big hug and told him good luck in the morning. I got a kiss on the cheek and an i love you with my hug! Something I will always keep very dear to my heart.

He went in for surgery this morning... The doctor removed the tumor.... or I guess, technically, what he could of the tumor... I haven't gotten the full detailed story of everything yet.. but when my mom called me... she said it wasn't all as hopeful as we had once thought it was going to be. It turns out the tumor IS cancerous and spreading. They won't be able to cure it. But they think they might be able to hold it off for a while. One word: DEVASTATED. How long is a while? Years? Months? Is this really happening?

Blaine is a fighter! And I know he is going to try his hardest to beat this. I know all of my prayers will include him in them. And all of my family's prayers as well. I hate being so helpless and knowing that praying my guts out is the only thing I can do.

Blaine, I love you! You promised me last night that you would be at my wedding. And I want you there in person.

I know this post is a mess. I'm sorry. I'm sure no one will understand, but i really just needed to vent and get somethings out and off my chest. thanks to everyone enduring this and caring enough to read. PLEASE keep Blaine and his family in your prayers.