Monday, October 12, 2009

The Viewing and The Funeral

My 2 oldest boys by my side...

There were 3 ribbons that said "Husband", "Daddy", and "Grandpa"

His grandchildren...

His brother, sisters, sister in law, brother in law, nieces and nephews from TEXAS!

Stacia and mom... Stacia was my very best friend growing up... they lived right next door to us! Her parents and my parents were best friends too! She always comes and supports me when times are hard... she flew in when I had seizures when Chad was born! Thank you, Stacia, I love you!!!

Dad has 7 grandsons, they were the pallbearers... very tender...

It was so cool, when we pulled up to the cemetery, the Navy was there!

He played Taps! (You can see him by the white flowers)

This was so cool! My brother in law taped it!

This is my dad's sisters and brother. They brought Texas soil for him to be buried in!

The Pallbearers

All but one of my daddy's nieces and nephews came! I love my cousins!!!

Dirk (my sweet brother), Stacia and me...

The grandsons in daddy's rose garden with the Texas flag at half mast...

My sweet cousins!!! THANK YOU ALL FOR COMING!!! It meant sooooooooooooo much! I love you all!!!
Brad, Dallin, Chad and I went to take Dallin up to BYU on Thurs, Aug. 27th (Brad's Birthday). Dad was not doing very well. He was very weak and was in bed. Mom had prepared me and yet I was surprised, we had seen him about 4 weeks before...
It was so wonderful (tender mercy of the Lord)... the timing. The older kids were also in Utah, they had finished working and had gotten there about the same time we did. We were able to spent 4 good days with him.
Daddy passed away on Sept. 1, 2009. It was his mother's Birthday! I am sure it was a wonderful birthday present for her to see her son again! Mom, Dirk and I were by his side when he left this mortal life. It was about 7:17 am. It was very sad and hard and yet.... it was very sweet and tender at the same time. Daddy was ready to meet his maker. He lived a good life and was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and friend to many.
This is so hard for me to write. I have been meaning to write details of that weekend in my journal but every time I do I just sit here and cry. I really need to do it before all the details slip from my mind.
I am so grateful for Our Heavenly Father and the plan of salvation. I am so grateful for my knowledge that families can be together again. (Dad's children and grandchildren all sang "Families Can Be Together Forever" at the funeral). My parents were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple! WE WILL SEE HIM AGAIN!
But, in the meantime... I miss him.
I did the Life Sketch at the funeral. Here is a copy:
What an awesome responsibly it is to talk about someone such as dad… a servant of God, a Husband, a Father, a Daddy, Son, son in law, brother, brother in-law, Uncle, a friend and hero.

JG and Mary Measles had 5 children, 3 girls and 2 boys. Dad was the 2nd of 5. He was born in Olton Texas on Nov. 27, 1931. I am sure that his siblings could share with you many, many stories from those years… In fact, I am sure there are many stories that each of you can remember about good ‘ole James. We have put some cards in the foyer and we want to invite you to share those memories about dad so mom and can enjoy them later.

Dad graduated from Olton high school and he wasn’t too sure what to do after that, he asked his dad for council and papa told him that if he joined the Navy he would always have a hot meal and a warm bed so that is exactly what dad did. One of our favorite pictures of dad is the navy picture that mama had hanging on her wall forever. After serving in the Navy for 4 years and returning to Plainview he met the love of his life. They were dragging the gut in Plainview when they met, the friend that was with dad in his new blue, 2 tone, 2 door, hard top Pontiac Catalina was George Washington and just to be funny dad told mom that his name was Jerry Ferguson. Of course she thought George was teasing and believed dad! She was so excited to introduce her friends to this new cute guy she had met…“Jerry Ferguson” and just few nights later they were all out dragging the gut again and she saw him! She got really excited and was pointing him out to her friends; they all laughed and told her he was James Measles! Oh, yeah, that was James alright, quite the jokester! Mom and dad were married on Oct. 19, 1956 at daddy’s parent’s house.

Dad went to school at Draughns Business College, and later graduated from Wayland Baptist University.

Dad was prepared to hear the gospel before the missionaries knocked on their door that day. 6 months before he was listening to the radio and heard how bad smoking was and so he quit smoking that very day, saying no kid of mine will ever see me smoke. My grandmother Watts used to take Dirk and I to church every Sunday, one day dad was talking about some bible story and I said, “How do you know daddy? You don’t go to church.” That cut dad to the very core.

Mom had the question in her mind, what happened to my little brother when he died? So, that day that the missionaries knocked on the door, that was her very 1st question and as you know they shared the plan of salvation and Mom wanted to hear more. Once mom and dad were baptized they were committed, never wavering. I am so very grateful for a father who was not tooooo stubborn that he would listen, feel, and be baptized. Mom and dad were sealed for time and ALL eternity on Sept. 28, 1965 in the Salt Lake temple.

Dad was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 1960, he had his 1st hospital visit when mom was pregnant with me. I can remember in high school being called down to the office and Dirk and I would head to the hospital to meet mom and dad. He was very ill for oh so much of his life. But again, dad was a fighter, always positive and his faith helped him through. He actually asked the Lord to bless him that he might be able to live to raise his children. Dec. 10, 1985 mom and dad went to Boston and he had laser surgery at Harvard with the machine that cut the 1st atom. One of the side effects from that surgery was seizures. He was able to control that with meds and lived a long great life. We were so very blessed to have him in our lives for so long. Heavenly Father answered his pray and then some…. He was not only able to raise his children but he was around to be such an example to each of his grandchildren. We are VERY aware of this blessing and very grateful!

Daddy was always “teaching a lesson”… I know all of you think daddy was sweet and nice, but I will never forget the day he wouldn’t let me go to the swim party. Dad was serving as Branch President at the time. There was to be a fun swim party with EVERY body there on Sunday afternoon. When I asked if I could go he told me no, we do not swim on the Sabbath. I begged and begged, but daddy, I wont swim, I wont get in the water, I wont even wear my swim suit… every body is going to be there daddy! Again, No, Shaila, we don’t do that kind of thing on the Sabbath. I would not give up that easily…. Please, daddy, please… he finally said, “Okay, I will make a deal with you… You can go if I can go back behind the barn and smoke just one cigarette.” Are you kidding me??? Dad, you can’t do that!!! Well, there ya go. He won. I am sure he had NO intention of smoking that cigarette but he won, he got his way and there ya go…. He taught a lesson to me. Again.

Brad said, “Everyone needs someone in their life to set them straight.”

Even though dad’s dark skin was more like an Indian, he insisted on being dressed like a cowboy. He made sure he bought my boys their 1st pair of boots. I loved being raised by a good ‘ole cowboy and having a horse! There were great times on the farm riding…

We had a great family vacation EVERY year going to see something new, he hit 44 or 46 states; mom couldn’t remember if we went to north and South Dakota!

I loved dad’s dancing eyes; they were full of mischief and love…

Even during his lowest time in his life when he was diagnosed with cancer and very weak I can remember he telling me to grab some bags and we went into the back yard and picked peaches and then walked around and gave them out to some of his friends. He could barely carry them, but that was daddy… still serving. Ironically the scripture that makes me think of daddy is in James. James 1:22, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only”

When dad was diagnosed with Cancer last year, he was told he had 3-6 months to live. Poor daddy, he would not believe this, every time we would take him to a Dr. visit up at the Huntsman cancer he would ask the Dr. when she was going to make him well. He was going to beat this. And yet in quite moments of reflection he thought of anyone he might have offended and he would immediate get on the phone and call and apologize.

Lana can remember calling the house and asking “Can I talk to Shaila?” and daddy would say, “I don’t know, can you?”

When I would call and ask dad, “Hey, what’s up?” He would always answer, “Rent and taxes”.

Every time anyone would ask how he felt, he would…. Fingers…. Say, “With my fingers”

He never lost his personality, the day before he passed away Mike, his hospice nurse was here and he asked dad, “James, do you know who I am?” Dad said, “sure, Clem Kadiddlehoppe”

Dad had a lot of one liners!
Our family will miss him oh so very much. Teaching us a lesson… how to be a hard worker… how to serve… I know the grandsons will miss being called “a girl” or being thumped on the head with grandpa’s Texas ring… I know his family meant the world to him. I know he will be watching over us.

He had a great love for the Book of Mormon and applied it in his life.
He loved his Savior and knew of his tender mercies,
Dad’s testimony to me was Quiet and his actions were BOLD
He will always be our Hero…

I am grateful for my knowledge that families can be together forever.


The B's said...

Well Shaila...beautifully written as always! Your talk was wonderful...I don't know how you did it. Hugs and prayers...and aren't tender mercies wonderful!!!!

Pedaling said...

what an honor to speak at your dads funeral. beautiful words.

it really does mean so much when all the family gathers in honor of someone you love so much and in support of your family. what a blessing.

yes, write your thoughts down now, through the tears.

hang on to your mama- the next year is going to be an emotional one for her.

i get so sad for my mom. she misses my dad so much, we all do, but it's extra hard for her.

just love. cry a little, then love some more.

Letti said...

I am so sorry for your loss but at the same time I am so happy to know that you will be reunited again. What a sweet service you had and to see all of your family that came to support you.

You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Cynthia said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. There's no greater testiment to his life and example than the quality of posterity he's left behind. He must have been a really amazing man. May you continue to dwell in the peace of the spirit and knowledge of His plan.

KC Mom said...

You did a wonderful job documenting your dads life and death. I'm so amazed at the strength you have and I know the gospel brings that sweet peace and comfort to you during this time.
Hugs to you my friend.

tammy said...

Thanks for sharing your dad with us. There is a special bond between dads and their little girls that I treasure and I know you do as well. And also something extra special about a military funeral. I love the advice Pedaling gave you too. Hugs to your family.

Merrianne said...

this is a beautiful tribute to your father. it looks like it was a beautiful service. i, too, am grateful for the knowledge of eternal families.

rad6 said...

Shaila, I love your dad. I just read this whole post (I hardly ever read long posts) and I am so impressed, not just by your dad and who he was, but the way that you honor him as your parent. What a neat example you both are. Your family is amazing... all of them. I could feel the closeness as I looked at each of these pictures.
What a hard time, but also so amazing, like you said. Wow.
Thank you for being open and sharing. I have truly benefitted, as I am sure that so many others did too.

mother goose said...

Thank you for stopping by and saying hi! I am so sorry to have dropped in on you and to learn that your dad had passed.

What a beautiful tribute to your dad and beautiful pictures of his services and of family! Nothing means more than to be enveloped in love by family.
My heart and prayers are extended unto you and your family.

Joy For Your Journey said...

What a beautiful tribute. Thanks so much for sharing it with your readers. Your father seems like a very wonderful man. I cried through your entire post until the part about him allowing you to go to the party if he could smoke a cigarette and then I had to laugh. Wise man. I will have to try that one sometime.

Best of luck to you and all your family during this time. I know it is hard. A good friend once said to me, "You never get over the loss, you just learn to live with it." But I think loving someone that much is a good thing.

brieanne. said...

This is beautiful... the memories, the pictures, all of it. Thank you for sharing it! I am so glad you took pictures at the funeral.... some people think it's weird but it is one of my favorite events to shoot. Something about capturing the passing between here and eternity. I remember the flag ceremony at my Grandpa's funeral and how special that was. You are truly blessed to have such a wonderful daddy!!

Beth at Aunties said...

What a sweet and heartfelt tribute and beautiful pictures.
I have often thought about your dadds rootbeer floats. I have loved his optimism! What a wonderful and fun dad and grandpa. Thanks for sharing:-) I doubt I am not the only one who has come to think of him as a loving spiritual giant.
I am so sorry for your loss, here on earth of not having him here to share in your life.
From my own expereince I can testify (with some tears) to you, he WILL be there on special occasions and even those where you just plain need him to be. I have felt my own dad often while in the temple. Go often!
May you feel comfort and peace as you relive cherished memories. I so agree with Pedaling... Just love and hang on to your mom.
Much tenderness and love,

Cherie said...

Shaila this was a wonderful post in honor of your Dad. What a wonderful Husband, Father and Grandfather he was (as well as Uncle too!).
The burial was so neat with the Navy there, taps and the Flag presented to your Mom.
It is so nice to have a close, loving, family. You are all so Blessed by each other and the man you came to honor.
God Bless.