We had a quiet day today working on our lessons for this week. The weather is cool - I am so ready for spring, but I guess this back and forth weather is pretty typical for England. We had a great time at FHE. Japinder gave a really good lesson - his first. He was baptized last year and loves the gospel. He is hoping to serve a mission in the near future and really enjoys spending time with the elders.
Tuesday, April 5
Woke up this morning to sad news. Devon's 102 year-old mother passed away yesterday evening. The care facility called Gwen, Devon's sister, during the day to report that she wasn't her usual self. She didn't eat any dinner, so they got her ready and put her to bed. When they went in to check her an hour later she was gone. Apparently she just went to sleep and died - exactly the blessing we always hoped for her. Still it is a surprise to us.
The rest of the day was spent on the phone talking to our kids and making arrangements for travel to Canada. We were able to book a non-stop flight from London to Calgary. Stephen's flight will arrive about an hour after ours. David's will come later that night. The rest of the kids will arrive by car the next day.
We spoke with our Mission President and Institute Director and have permission to travel home. We will miss Institute at Lichfield this week, but Alex, the YSA president kindly agreed to give the lesson for us. He will do an amazing job I'm sure. We are also missing a big dance at Birmingham Stake on Friday. Our Institute director and stake leaders said not to worry - it will be covered. I'm sure everything will go smoothly.
Grandma has been a widow for 40 years, and her youngest daughter, Ann, passed away at 13 years of age. I can only imagine the happy reunion. Also after a lifetime of being deaf, think of her joy at hearing again.
Wednesday, April 6 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY HAYLEY
Busy, busy day getting things ready to leave, and putting finishing touches on the lesson I am teaching tonight at Institute. We had to make a trip to Costco for the monthly Institute birthday cake, and buy the refreshments for Friday's dance. After Institute we packed our bags, made final phone calls to be sure everything was in place, and then went to bed for a few hours sleep.
Thursday, April 7
Found our way to Heathrow Airport in London without any problems or traffic which meant we had quite a long wait in the airport for our 1:15 p.m. flight. We heard London traffic can be a nightmare, so we wanted to allow plenty of time. It was a full flight that took 10 hours to reach Calgary. We arrived about 4 p.m. Calgary time. Stephen's plane came in about 6 p.m Calgary time. We got our rental car, drove 2 1/2 hours to Lethbridge, and fell into bed. By then it would have been about 5:00 a.m. UK time - we were spent! David's flight arrived about 9:30 p.m. He waited for the Jones cousins to arrive at midnight and drove to Lethbridge with them.
Friday, April 8
Brad, Daryn, Emily, Marianne, Lori, Eric, and family all arrived safely by car today. We went to the mortuary with Devon's sisters to make final plans and select Grandma's casket - such a sad task! Gwen has worked hard to make most of the arrangements and everything is falling into place nicely.
Saturday, April 9
Grandma looked very nice - so peaceful. Her funeral service was wonderful. All three of her children spoke - she would have loved it! The chapel at the Taber Stake Center was nearly full with family and friends of Grandma's and the family - a testimony of how much she was loved. It was a celebration of joy for a life well lived. She left a grand legacy of unwavering faith in Jesus Christ and His gospel, and her love of family.
Florence's family that was present for her funeral - Gwen, Maurine, Delwin, Devon, Judy - all her 14 grandchildren - 6 great grandchildren.
We wish all our family could have attended, but that was not possible. We are grateful that all our children and all of Lori's family could come. Families are amazing - especially ours!
Sunday, April 10
After family prayer, our four sons left for home along with all the Jones family. David and Stephen are on the same flight to San Francisco where David will meet up with his family vacationing there, and Stephen will transfer to a flight to LA. Bradley and Daryn drove straight to Utah. The round trip drive to the airport was about 5 hours so that took up a big part of the day. The rest of the time we spend together. We have really enjoyed these few days with our sweet family.