I love sunflowers. They are beautiful and bright and cheerful. I also love how tall they can grow and how they look like and tend to face the sun. I'm sure there's some cheesy analogy in there about how Sunflowers are always optimistic and looking to the 'sunny side.' Maybe that is why I love them so much.
I have made something of a personal break through, or maybe personal realization is a better way to describe it. Let me explain:
Last Wednesday I went into work and was told by our HR person that Steven, my manager had been killed in a car crash. I was shocked. The accident had occured on Saturday and he died the next day in the hospital. The HR person was very sweet and gave me a hug and through her own tears asked if I would be okay. I told her that yes, I was fine. Just shocked and sad but I could work. She told me the funeral was Thursday and if I would like to go they would arrange it. I told her I would think about it. Steven was a great person and a wonderful manager butI did not think I needed to go to his funeral. We weren't very close, or family and I do not like funerals..too much sadness. Well, I thought about it and decided I should go.
So, on Thursday several of us from work all carpooled to somewhere near Salt Lake City for the funeral. I am so incredibly glad I decided to attend.
There were so many people there! Family, friends, fellow church members, and coworkers past and present. It was a testament to just how great of a person Steven was that so many people would attend to pay their repsects.
I expected the funeral to be a cry-fest and horribly sad. Steven, after all, was only 42 and left behind a wife and four children ages about 19-8. While of course there were tears and sad feelings, there was a prevaling feeling of comfort and, almost of joy. I did not expect that. Part of it was the enormous amount of yellow flowers. It's hard to be incredibly sad when you're staring at wreaths of bright and beautiful yellow roses. I believe though, that the feelings of joy actually eminated from his wife and children. They, or course, were very sad to lose a beloved husband and father, but at the same time they were calm. They said a small tribute to Steven at the end of the funeral. His wife explained what happened during the accident (he was rear ended waiting for a red light by a large truck going 60mph). She was sad, but shared with us such a strong testimony that she knew she and Steven would be together again and a sense of understanding that it was Steven's time to go. I was amazed. This is where the feeling of joy came from; knowing ultimately that families can be together forever. And even though death is sad, and we will miss those that leave this earth before us, it is only for a little while. In the end families will be reunited and all will be well.
I always have known families can be together forever. I, as many other Latter-day Saint children, sung the primary song about it. But this was the first time I really KNEW it. The first time I really stopped and pondered. During my Grandpa Ken's funeral, and the year before my Great-Grandpa Norm's funeral, I was so concerned about the rest of my family that I never stopped to think about what it all meant to me. During my Grandpa Ken's funeral I was watching my Dad and his siblings, and my Grandma ready to give as comforting a hug as I could manage if need be. There have been other funerals in my family before those but I do not really remember them. I was too young or too oblivious. So this was my first opportunity to ponder the Plan of Salvation and what it really means to me. And what I found is I LOVE IT! :D Profound, right?
One of the floral arrangements was a wreath of sunflowers. And well, I love sunflowers so I looked at this wreath through most of the funeral. And here is the cheesy sunflower analogy: Just as sunflowers grow tall and bright and even resemble the sun (or 'son') we too can grow through our personal trials and look on the sunny side of things because in the end all will be well and we will be with those we love. At this point I could start singing Keep on the Sunny Side, but I will refrain. (you're welcome).
And that is life right now. Danny and I are working. I get to see my Grammy on Wednesday as she drives through Utah with a friend on a trip. We go to California in a little under two weeks. And that's that.
Oh, and our car is back and working well.