Sunday, October 4, 2009

"Have I done any good in the world today."

This morning when President Thomas S. Monson related the service of primary children in the Oct 4th General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this family image came into my mind.
Wes and grandfather George Ensign SMITH 1966
"My grandfather had a stroke and I held his hand."

When Grandpa had had a heart attack, then an operation to clean out the artery in his leg. Grandma was taking care of all the chores. She was wearing canvas shoes, the grass was wet, while mowing with an electric lawn mower she slipped under the machine and cut off her big toe. She got into the house and called my mother to come. I was assigned to take care of grandpa while grandma recovered in the hospital from the surgery which restored her toe. Grandpa was very worried about his dear Ella. Grandma could predict the weather after that, her toe would ache just before the rain.

Then Grandpa had a massive stoke. We were called and told Grandpa would die. I prayed and prayed with all my heart “don’t let him die”. He had lost the use of his left side, could not talk or swallow. Grandma spend everyday to the hospital. Mother would stop there on the way home from work three or four times a week. And our family would go every Sunday to visit. That summer I went back east to spend the summer with my Aunt Amy and her family. Grandpa had not been understood when he talked since the stroke but when I got home and went in to see him, he spoke loud and clear. “Where have you been!” He was ok with my explanation of visiting Amy.

Grandpa was in the VA Hospital for two years, with only a few weeks at one then another nursing home, before he was returned to the hospital. The day he died I was prompted to pray for his release, which I did although I would miss him for all the years that would follow. At the same time his bishop had asked Grandma if she would approve his pray the release Ensign from this life. At the close of the Bishop’s prayer at Grandpa’s side and my prayer at home in my room Grandpa passes on to paradise.

After grandpa’s death Grandma was so lonely. She would call me almost daily when I got home from school to give me a list of things to do for mother. She instructed me to get my sisters to help. Then when mother got home from work grandma would call her and talk for what was often hours. I asked my dad one day when I had a pressing need to talk to mother, “why does grandma call everyday?” He said he hoped when our mother needed us we would help her like mother was helping grandma.

(Personal Journal, Lark)

3 comments:

Myrle Dalton said...

I've never seen this picture. It brings back memories. Dad really suffered for a long, long. time. That is such a sweet picture of Wesley. Luvmyrle

Demi Lovato said...

This is Lark writing?

Lark said...

yes