Saturday, May 24, 2014


Here are some shots from Grandpa Coopers funeral.  It was such a sad day, but also a great day to honor and remember how amazing our Grandpa's life was here on Earth.  Clinton, Cort, Jamie, Steph, and April spoke at his funeral.  Cort and Clinton shared the "Farmer" story which perfectly applied to Grandpa.  All the talks were wonderful. All the grand kids sang "A Child's Prayer" and I cried through the whole thing. I couldn't even sing any of it. Ty got up and shared a poem about grandpa and we all cried even more.

Shayne dedicated the grave and it was one of the most beautiful prayers I've ever heard. Grandpa served in the Navy on USS Washington, so they did a military tribute to him at the graveside.  It was neat to watch the way they presented the flag to Grandma. 
A few days before his viewing and funeral, I was looking for something special that represented my Grandpa.  I really wanted his old straw hat, but Grandma said he had just thrown it away. I found his old, dirty farming boots and a bottle of Dr. Pepper in the cupboard downstairs. 
Roger worked for the mortuary and he specifically asked if he could work for Grandpa's funeral. This meant a lot to me for him to care that much about me and my Grandpa.  He thought it would be special for us to have this old Hurst instead of the newer one.
Grandma, Mom, April and some of the great grand children waiting for the graveside procession to start.  Here us kids are standing in front of Grandpa's casket.  Oh, how we miss this wonderful man that was such a great example to each of us! Part of who we are today, is because of this wonderful angel that is now helping us from the other side.
It was so nice to have all my siblings and parents at the funeral.  It was an emotional time but it will be a time that will never be forgotten as we celebrated the life of our Grandpa. We cried together. We laughed together. We mourned together.  We smiled together and enjoyed our short time together.
It was also a time that strengthened our relationships with our cousins. We all have a special bond with each other.  We all carry that loving and kind attitude that Grandpa and Grandma always showed us.
 After the graveside services, we went back to the church to have lunch and watch a video that Jamie made about Grandpa.  It was a really special video, but very touching and emotional to watch.  I had to step out of the gym multiple times to recompose myself.  All in all, it was a wonderful day to celebrate with loved ones!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Passing Of Grandpa Cooper

On May 17th, we lost one of the most kind, caring, loving, and Christ-like men ever to walk the Earth.  Grandpa found out a month previous that he had 7 aneurisms in his body.  One behind each knee, one by his groin, and multiple ones in his stomach.  Grandma had taken him into the doctor because he had a cold. They ended up doing a CAT scan and found out he had the aneurisms.  The doctor didn't feel like Grandpa would have made it through surgery, so he pretty much had to wait till one of them burst.  Grandpa was told that the aneursims would burst while he was asleep and that he would bleed out in 10 minutes. Grandpa spent his last month of life worried about the aneurisms.  He had a lot of anxiety over it and it made him physically sick and he couldn't sleep at night. 
It just so happened that Bryce decided to hunt for turkeys in April and May, so we went up to visit them often while he hunted at the ranch.  It gave me a great opportunity to see Grandma and Grandpa more over that time period.  In fact, I went up on Wednesday before grandpa passed away and helped them plant their garden.  Grandpa leaned on the fence and told me where he wanted his tomato plants.  He kept telling me what a good job I was doing.  Before I left that night, he grabbed my hand, kissed my cheek, told me that I had a good family and then he thanked me for coming up and spending the evening with them!

On Saturday, May 17, I received a call from Steph telling me that while Grandpa was at his great-granddaughters softball game, something burst in his leg and was causing him excruciating pain.  He was white and started throwing up, so they took him to the hospital.  The first doctor didn't think it was the aneurisms, but after a CAT scan and another look from Grandpa's doctor, they realized that all the aneurisms had burst.  They gave Grandpa the option of flying to SLC for emergency surgery, but he turned that down because he knew he wouldn't make it.
I received a phone call from Steph telling me to head straight to the hospital at 2:58 p.m. Grandpa did not have much time.  It so happened that Jacqui had just come to my house and so she was able to take the kids while I immediately drove to Logan.  Bryce was dirty and gross and in the middle of fixing someones car, so he could not come with me or help with the kids.  I drove faster than I ever had before and I made it to the hospital at 4:00.  I ran across the parking lot and into the emergency room.  Before my eyes, laid my grandpa who I could barely recognize.  He had aged 20 years in just two hours.  I fell to the floor and just sobbed in my hands.  After I composed myself, I was able stand by his side, rub his shoulder, and tell him how much I loved him and how thankful I was for him. I also asked him to keep an eye on all of his family.  He was unresponsive but I know he heard me.

Grandpa was surrounded by almost 30 members of his posterity as he fought those last few minutes.  It was hard, yet priceless to stand in that room and mourn the loss of such a great man. The love and the Spirit was so strong.  Grandma kept grabbing his head and telling him she loved him. The doctor told us that his heart rate would just continue to drop.  He kept checking on Grandma.  He couldn't believe the love and support that was there in the room for Grandpa.  He said it doesn't happen very often. Paul was able to face time my parents, so Mom was able to talk to grandpa when he was still coherent.  She remained on face time for the last hour of his life.  Mom and Dad were there with us the whole time.
Jocelynn, Ingrid and I were at the foot of his bed, when Grandma got up to go to the bathroom. As soon as she let go of his hand, he passed away.  We were told that that is very common. After Grandpa passed on to the other side, we all came in the room and Grandma received a priesthood blessing.  I was so glad she was surrounded by her kids, grand kids, and great grand kids during this difficult time.  They moved Grandpa to the back of the emergency department and we all followed him back there.  As soon as Grandma sat down, she said, "Let's go to my house.  There is no reason to stay here anymore." It was a neat experience to be there with family as our Grandpa passed on to a better place. 
We all went up to Grandma's and spent the rest of the evening there.  It was weird to not have our Grandpa there sitting in his chair, breathing in his oxygen, and helping the grand kids twist their taffy or offering them a mixed Dr. Pepper.  He will dearly be missed...his loving smile and kind words, his pat on my hand as he called me a peach, his unwavering testimony of Christ, and his perfect example!
 I was so blessed to have him as my grandpa and he has definitely influenced me and how I live my life. His legacy will live on through his grand children, great grand children, and great great grand children. I hope that as his posterity continues to grow, that each generation will follow the example of this great man! 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Boondocks With Jenn

To celebrate Cooper's 9th Birthday, we went down to Salt Lake to spend the day with his birth mom, Jenn and her husband, Brent.  First, we met at their home, where we enjoyed visiting and then ate some Pizza Hut and opened presents.  Jenn got Cooper some Minecraft toys and Clayton received a stuffed Ninja Turtle. 
Afterwards, we walked over to the Live Aquarium, but the line to get in was very long and we heard that some of the exhibits were closed, so we decided to head to Boondocks instead.
The boys enjoyed a fun game of miniature golf.  Then we drove the go-carts. It was Clayton and myself vs. Jenn and Cooper.  Jenn ended up passing me on the second to last lap.  The boys thought that was so much fun to race against each other.
Then they had a great time on the bumper boats.  Cooper kept squirting Dad and Clayton.  It was fun to watch them smile and laugh as the bumped into each other and soaked each other with the water guns.
Teresa and I sat with each other most of the day visiting while we tried to entertain Parker.  After Boondocks we went over to Sonny Bryan's for some Texas BBQ.  It was nice to see Jenn and let Cooper enjoy spending time with his birth mom.  He had been really looking forward to seeing her again!