I am standing before you today in proxy for Floyd Allred. You see Lucy always said that she wanted Floyd Allred to preach the sermon at her funeral. Thinking of that now I do not know that she thought very carefully about that request. Either she was wishing a very long life for Floyd or a shorter one for herself, neither of which happened. IAGREED TO DO THIS NOT THINKING CLEARLY, I FORGOT THAT ALL OF YOU WOULD BE HERE, A WHEN I ARRIVED YESTERDAY IN LOVELL IT HIT ME – WHAT ON EARTH HAD I AGREED TO DO. SUCH IS THE LOT IN LIFE WHEN ONE DRAWS THE SHORT STRAW. RICH, BY RIGHTS THE ONE WHO HAS THE TALENTS AND ABILITIES AND THE FAMILY RIGHT TO DO THIS IS PHYSICALLY UNABLE TO, TED SAID HE WOULD BLUBBER TOO MUCH, WHAT DO YOU CALL WHAT I AM DOING TED? DWAIN HAS A PHYSICAL CONDITION THAT DOES NOT ALLOW HIM TO BE AROUND CERTAINS SMELLS AND CHEMICALS, ED QUICKLY PIPED UP I UNDERSTAND, “I DID BURLS, ITS SOMEONE ELSES TURN AND JOHN HAD TO RETURN TO GERMANY. So, I am no Floyd Allred but I will do my best.
I do not know what Floyd would have said, but I believe probably the gospel truths which Lucy believes in with all her heart.
Hearts are tender this day, it encompasses more that the death of Grandma, there is another goodbye in the hearts of many grandchildren. I think Heidi said it best “Grandma was my safe place. My anchor. No matter what I always knew that my Grandma would be there. She was home to me. Not only is this a “see you later, Grandma” but a good bye to my childhood, to my home, the Big Horn Mountains that are so much a part of me”. This is the place our children has always considered to be their home, their safe place, Burl and Lucy’s, they never balked at the suggestion of a visit “home” to Lovell. I am grateful for such influence on the lives of me and our children.
I am saddened that more of Lucy’s grandchildren could not have been here today.
I know that each and every one of them wanted to be here. They want to show their respect and honor one who is so deeply loved. This is a sacred time when feelings are tender and the spirit is close. I hope that they understand that their Grandmother was a woman of faith. She had more faith than any I know of, and the important thing was that to my knowledge she never doubted. No matter what happened in her life, she simply gave it to the Lord, trusted in Him and then learned how to handle what He blessed her with.
Life wasn’t easy, in fact much of her life was downright hard and difficult, but to my knowledge she never, ever questioned her Heavenly Father. We are familiar with her life and her trials and struggles. Can any of us say that our trials and tribulations are anywhere near to or equal to hers? Can any say that their life is harder than hers? I think not. We can look to her as a great example to all of us. All of life’s situations and circumstances only made her stronger and more determined. When things were tough she didn’t turn away from the Lord, she turned to Him. She exercised her faith and moved forward. She turned to the scriptures for guidance and direction and she found answers.
She loved the scriptures and studied them thoroughly. She especially loved the Book of Mormon which she kept by her side. She taught us that there is no substitute for the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is NO drug or worldly pleasures, no form of recreation that can or will give us even a portion of the internal peace and happiness that she possessed, and received through righteous living. There was no substitute for her, there isn’t or shouldn’t be any for us. I have to ask the question, if the gospel was so important to Grandma, then why not to us? Why not follow her great example of faith?
There was also a definite streak of stubbornness and firmness about her. Try as we might in these last years of her life none of us were ever able to convince her to come to our homes and be with us. Many times when I would visit I would say, why don’t you jump in the back seat of that car and I will take you to Heber with us, she would turn her head sideways, look up with a little grin on her face and then say, “What can I fix you to eat?” It was never given consideration, never part of the question and certainly not worthy of discussion. That little streak of stubbornness and independence certainly has stuck well with at least one of her children! I think of her homemade bread, fear factor pancakes, gingerbread and a few unidentifiable configurations as well as many delicious things prepared for us. The kids all loved being at Grandmas.
Last night one of the grandchildren had on a sweater made for her Mother by Grandma Cox. Those sweaters made with all of the colors of Josephs of olds coat, and are just as special. I would dare say that her hands have made 100’s of beautiful things for family and friends alike. In a recent blog her Grandson Mathew spoke of a red sweater with a zipper front his Grandma made him in first grade. Wasn’t his favorite at the time, I can imagine that it was more than just red, it was I am sure it was RED RED, today Mathew remembers the sweater and what it truly represented, the love of a caring Grandmother. I have watched in amazement at the speed of her hands and fingers as she rapidly stitched line after and line and then watched and cringed as she would pull out stitch after stitch because back there someone, where only she could see was a small mistake. She could not give something to someone or have ownership in something that was not perfectly made. Like her life she tried to get it right. Our lives too are like those stitches, mistakes have been made, some small perhaps for some of us large ones, that have to be removed. That’s what the Saviors atonement did for us. He made it possible to go back and remove them, them to begin anew that our lives may be as perfect as Grandma’s work!
I think of her endless desire to learn and gain knowledge. Her thirst for knowledge was unquenchable, always learning. And when she learned something she found the most remarkable ways to share it with others, to teach and help. Many remember her as the Teacher. It was amazing, on her 100th birthday the letters and cards she received from students years prior who still loved her and remembered her as their teacher, and how neat it was that they, each one of them were her favorite students. Always teaching and helping others to learn and grow. In her book Phyllis wrote of a short poem, I don’t know if Phyllis wrote the poem I should have asked, I think she did, but it very much applies:
“This mother loves sunflowers, Walking in the Big Horn Mountains and TEACHABLE Children”
In her eyes everyone was teachable, children as well as adults and she was eager to share her love of learning. She taught 4th grade for 39 years in addition to endless lessons in church and auxiliaries. Yes she loved to teach the impact of her teaching is wide spread. Her students have traveled the world and the impact of this little lady has been passed down; the knowledge gained by one passed on to another over and over again.
Even God’s creatures, well some of them I don’t think cats were much favored by her, were better off having known Lucy. No one or nothing could have been more loved or better cared for than Birdie a little bird that had fallen from the nest and broken its wing. It became part of her life. She nurtured it and healed it. Many such wounded children, some more severely than others, were rescued by their teacher and learned and grew as she guided them and convinced them that they were special!
The most important of all however, that none can deny is her love for the Savior and for her Father in Heaven. That testimony is the glue that encompassed her and held her together. It is impossible to think of Grandma and not recognize and give credence to her testimony. She didn’t love any of us any less when we messed up or when we chose to take detours from the Gospel path, she just prayed a little harder for us. She lived the gospel every day, inside and outside, backward and forward, she lived the gospel. She loved and prayed for each and every one of her posterity to grasp on the Iron Road and walk the path with her. Some she pushed and prodded and through nothing but determination watched them change and grow and grasp on to the rod. I mentioned to LuAnn that her Mom just quietly taught and set the example for others to follow, I said She never scorned or shook her finger, and she corrected me, Oh Yes She did that a time or two! It isn’t those scolding’s though, no matter how well deserved that is remembered, it is her constant effort to teach.
When she was first put in the hospital prior to going into the nursing home, I visited with her. While there the Doctor came in and wanted her to get up and go for a walk. She held up her scriptures and said DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS IS? I walk through these every day! Certainly her answer that getting up at that moment and taking a walk was certainly not going to happen! And then the interrogation continued – Have YOU read them? I suggest that you go home and that you do read them. End of conversation.
And so we Honor and I hope and pray that we honor her going forward by beginning today, taking a step at a time, no matter where we are on the path, and build and grow our testimony. Get to know the Savior, as she did, become friends with Him who died for each of us that we might live and be together, forever.
Death is an essential part of our mortal experience, sometimes I think Lucy believed she was going to get out of this life without that experience. Each of us however, will eventually graduate this life, I think that Lucy graduated with high honors. Just as our birth took us from our premortal existence to this earth, death is the roadway that takes us to the eternities. President Monson reminded us and I quote “ that we “laugh, we cry, we work, we play, we love, we live. And then we die.
Death is our universal heritage. All must pass its portals. Death claims the aged, the weary and worn. It visits the youth in the bloom of hope and the glory of expectation. Nor are little children kept beyond its grasp. In the words of the Apostle Paul, It is appointed unto men once to die.” unquote
And dead we would remain but for One, even Jesus of Nazareth. Born in a stable, cradled in a manger, His birth fulfilled prophesy. He provided life, the light and the way. Multitudes followed him. Many adored Him, others rejected Him. Our elder brother, taught in parables he lived and taught by example and he lived perfectly. The King of Kings was also ridiculed, reviled, mocked and nailed to a cross amidst the shouts of “Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And, Others chanted he saved but himself he cannot!
His response? “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!”
His body was placed in a borrowed sepulcher and when visited on the first day of the week by Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James, to their astonishment the body of their Lord was gone! Heavenly messengers proclaimed to them He is not here, but is risen. The empty tomb brought comforting assurance, an affirmative answer to Job’s questions, “If a man die, shall he live again”!
If your heart is troubled today, if perhaps within you is even the slightest concern that death is the end, open your heart and let the whisperings of the Holy Spirit teach you this day and allow those tender feelings to be touched and to know that the answer of Job’s question is YES, FOR When a man dies, he SHALL live again.
The Master spoke I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE< HE THAT BELIEVETH IN ME< THOUGH HE WERE DEAD YET SHALL HE LIVE.
Through tears and trials, fears and sorrows, heartache and loneliness there is assurance that life is everlasting. Our Lord and Savior is the living witness that such is so. Oh sweet the joy this sentence gives, I KNOW THAT MY REDEEMER LIVES. To that Lucy testified
By Cheri Cox Frary
The tapestry of my family
Is the fabric of my soul.
Each thread, a life that intertwines,
To make the pattern whole.
Threads that walked the weary plains,
Threads that crossed the sea,
Threads that weave their lives to a prophet’s words
Are in this tapestry.
My mother and my father
Are a living legacy
Of the faithfulness and virtue
Seen throughout their tapestries.
I remember Mama kneeling by the road,
The wreck of our car gleamed in the sun.
I heard her voice, firm and steady, praying in gratitude
For our lives and the help, sure to come.
I find it my commission
To continue their design,
For my children too are weavers
And their pattern’s sure and fine.
Some day they may walk a weary plain,
They may cross the sea.
For they’ll weave their lives to a prophet’s words
Like my parents showed to me
In our family tapestry.
And so here we are, at the end of a beautiful life,
And so now we don’t say goodbye, its See you later Grandma!
I testify that her life was her sermon, and pray that we will all follow closely her footsteps.Amen