Nine years ago today holds a lot of many incredible memories for me. A day I hope I can remember all my life. I have been thinking about this day, nine years ago, for several days now so I thought I would blog it.... maybe help me to remember this before I get too old and can't remember.
It was a Sunday....and it was Joel's homecoming ..... and it was Joel's birthday! My parent's house was filled with friendly faces. Family and friends had traveled from afar to see Joel and hear of his mission tales. Brooke and Ang both gave talks. I am pretty sure Misty sang a musical number (see... I am all ready forgetting). Then it was Joel's turn to speak. He got up and told about how his mission had changed his life. I remember him telling the story about when he knew the gospel was true. He had gotten in some trouble and was on his knee's praying. It was at that point he made the decision to change his life for the better. Lucky for me, his change meant moving to Utah to live with his Uncle Rick, Aunt Dot, and three silly girl cousins. Ah... I love that story!! I didn't have a brother, so having Joel come live with us was the closet to a brother I have known. What a blessing and example he was to me of true love, hard-work, patients and determination.
"I actually feel like I am finally doing something worth while in my life" Joel's letter to me while on his mission.
After sacrament meeting everyone migrated over to my parents house for food, fun and conversation. Grandma Dean and Lori had come up from New Mexico. Jared and Krista were also there.... I hadn't seen them in ages!! Uncle Vic, Aunt Sandy, Melanie and her family, Amber and her family. Uncle Ron and his family. Summer and Lindsay. Even some of Joel's old friends were there. It was quit a day. Plenty of delicious food and enough conversation to keep the house at a low hum!
As the day moved on we congregated upstairs to the TV room. The Utah Jazz were in the play-offs. It was game 5! The Jazz had won 2 games and the Sacramento Kings had won 2 games. John Stockton was my favorite player back then (my Stockton wasn't born yet). Joel was a big reason why I liked the Jazz so much. He had gotten me watching it and I was hooked. I sat on the floor because the room was so full. We all cheered loudly and booed even louder! I had little Jaydee on my lap the entire time.... we were enjoying the game together. She was playing with a plastic water bottle. She would hold it in her hands and then drop it and giggle.... just waiting for me to pick it up and give it back. Such a simple game to keep her entertained while I watched the game. The Jazz won! What a grand victory! But mostly... what a great day! I love my family and being together that day was a blessing to me. A day spent with happy faces and happy times.
Below is one of my favorite pictures of Joel. This picture was taken August 25, 2000.... just a little over one year from the day described above. So much happened between that short time. Joel met Kristy and her kids. Together they had wedding plans set for the following month!! Many things had happened in my little life too. That was the hardest year of my life by far. Each of those difficult times I remember Joel being there for me. And here he is again in this picture.... but this is a happy memory, my favorite kinds of memories. This is Joel, Kristy, Sara, and Sam coming to see baby Stockton in the hospital. What another great day that was!
I love you Joel! I miss you so very much!! Thank you for being a part of my many memories! Happy Birthday!!!