We took a trip to Southern CA a week and a half ago with Emily and Bryan. We were only there for a day and a half, but it was lots of fun. We went to the beach, and it was quite cold and very windy. We walked to the end of the pier at Huntington Beach and I thought I was going to be blown away!
Joshua didn't like the wind and lost it half way down the pier. Daddy saved the day, though, and wrapped him up in his coat. A little girl came up to Justin and asked, "what do you have in your coat?" We said, "a baby--see his foot?" She said, "oh" and gave us a funny look!
One of my good friends from the mission took his life two weeks ago today. For some reason the whole thing has really shaken me up. Justin and I thought about it and figured it probably is because it is one of my first real encounters with death. I mean, I have had both of my grandpas pass away, but those were natural and expected at the time.
Alan's death was so unexpected. We served around each other a lot of the mission, and he was a music major at BYU so I saw him all the time after we got home too. He was one of those pleasant, kind, soft spoken people that just makes you feel good when you're around them. We did a musical fireside in the mission and he added a lot to that, in music and testimony. He will definitely be missed.
One of the things I have been thinking about with this whole thing is hope. I wish the world had a little more of it. Not just generically hoping for something you want to happen, but real gospel hope. The scriptures talk about a "sure" hope, a "firm" hope. If we don't have hope through the challenges of life, then I can understand life not being worth it. Alma 34:41 says "But that ye have patience, and bear with those afflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions." If nothing else, this whole experience has caused me to evaluate my own life. I have more hope. And maybe Alan does now too. God bless Alan Taylor.