My mother phoned to tell me that my oldest cousin Kenneth Palmer had passed away on November 21 of lung cancer. He lived in Houston and we were unable to spend a great deal of time with him and his family. He however loved his family and as a child was my favorite to be around. He was 9 years older than I was and always had things up his sleeve. He was not a member of the church and I hope that he and his family will find peace. I know that it is difficult for them.
We had a great day. Sara and Aaron and little group had to head home but not until they made sure we were covered with hugs and kisses and I love you. Dede and Mike and girls stayed and helped to decorate the house. My one tree is decorated so beautifully from four feet down. Emma took all the candy canes and laid them sideways on the branches because they look so beautiful that way. Life doesn't get better than watching the joy of life in the eyes of these little ones.
We were also able to talk to Matt and Mark for a minute via Skype. They are happy and had a wonderful day. We are grateful that they are where they are most of the time.
Cancer is a diagnosis that he whole family receives when one of us does. But as Kelly's brother puts it, I now belong to a little bit of exclusive club. I can check getting cancer off my list and I don't have to worry about my cholesterol as much. I can find joy in simple things and I can absorb all the love, beauty of this earth because my focus has changed and every day is a gift.
I found a scripture which I love and I share with each of of you:
"Therefore dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then my we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God and for his arm to be revealed." D&C 123:17
In a talk given by Elder Neal A. Maxwell, he said
"If God chooses to teach us the things we most need to learn because he loves us, and if He seeks to tame our souls and gentle us in the way we most need to be tamed and most need to be gentled, it follows that he will customize the challenges He has gives us and individualize them so that we will be prepared for life in a better world by his refusal to a take us out of this world, even though we are not of it. In the eternal ecology of things we must pray, therefore not that things be taken from us, but that God's will be accomplished through us." Neal A. Maxwell BYU Speeches Sept. 1974
I want to stay positive but also want to share my feelings I hope that I do not make things sound too sad. I am not afraid of what the Lord has in store for me and I hope that as I better understand the plan that will become evident.