|Barnacles on a Grey Whale|
Here's why: barnacles attach themselves to whales. They go where the whale goes, seeing the world right along with the whale. They go right along with being the main event in the ocean. A barnacle neither harms nor helps the whales, it just exists along with it. And while I do try to be helpful, I do feel like I am very, very lucky to be along for the ride with this group.
My own family is amazing, don't get me wrong---I just feel lucky to also be attached to Taylor's family. Grandpa accomplished more in his 88 years than most people could ever dream about. A quick read of his obituary will prove it:
Elliot was born in Panguitch, Utah, February 9, 1923, to Benjamin Archie Cameron and Leonia Sargent. He graduated from Springville High School and attended Branch Agricultural College (now Southern Utah University) where he was active in athletics and student government. He met his wife at BAC, and they were elected President and Vice President of the freshman class. They were married after a 15-month courtship. Elliot served as a Master Sergeant in the U.S. Army during World War II before returning to Brigham Young University, where he graduated with both BS and MS degrees in June 1949. He was a life-long educator, serving as Principal of Duchesne High School and South Sevier High School, Superintendent of Sevier County School District, President of Snow College, and Dean of Student Services at Utah State University. In 1962 Elliot joined BYU as Dean of Students and Vice President and served there for 18 years before serving as President of BYU-Hawaii for six years and Commissioner of the LDS Church Education System for three years. Upon retirement, he and Maxine served as President and Matron of the Provo, Utah Temple. While at BYU he completed a study of formal world-wide educational opportunities available to members of the LDS Church called "The Cameron Report." An active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elliot served as a bishop, stake president, LDS General Sunday School Board member, Regional Representative, and as a sealer in the Provo Utah and Laie Hawaii Temples for 36 years. He and Maxine served an LDS mission for two and a half years training temple missionaries. He also served as President of the National Society of Sons of the Utah Pioneers during the sesquicentennial year, 1997.His career and church callings allowed him to become good friends with a number of prophets and many other people we revere in our church. It must be said that Gramine was by his side for all of that and is due just as much praise for raising a family and being wonderful all on her own.
I met Gramine and Grandpa sometime in the spring of 2002. I remember immediately loving them. Gramine reminded me so much of my own grandmother that it was easy to love them. In fact, I can always count on Gramine to play piano duets with me. Growing up I always wanted to marry someone who could play duets with me. Well, Taylor didn't stick with piano nearly long enough to keep up with me, but Gramine far surpasses my abilities, so it's super fun to play alongside her.
Grandpa performed our marriage in December 2002. It was so special to have that connection to him, to feel his love for us, to have him be the one who created our family.
As I sat at his funeral last week I knew that I knew he had done all of these amazing things, but it was almost overwhelming to consider. On top of all of the church-service spoken of at the funeral, the burial at the cemetery was a military function complete with flag folding, a gun-solute, and a very moving solo of Taps.
|Gramine and Grandpa visiting Kyle in the hospital when he was one-day-old.|
We are slowly recovering from the whirlwind two weeks of death and funerals. I still find myself on the edge of sobbing sometimes whenever I breath too deep or think too much or have a sudden thought and realize that they are gone. It was kind of good for me to see the tsunami coverage and have something new to cry about.
But we are ever-grateful for the time we had with our grandparents. We couldn't have asked for better people to be in our lives and in the lives of our children. We have big shoes to fill!
|BYU sent this amazing Y for the funeral.|
|And here is Gramine a couple days later. The deer ate every single flower at the grave! Look how picked-clean it is! (See how it says "Yo"? I had to smile a bit at that.)|