Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Today It's Snowing

Today it's snowing on my son's grave. He was born on this day thirty-eight years ago. It was the happiest day of my life, next to my marriage of Robert's father and my eternal sweetheart! I love them both, more now than I thought it would be possible to then.

My husband Ron is still the BEST thing that has ever happened to me. And from my son Robert, who chose to die on this day, I have learned the MOST important lessons we came to this earth to learn. I have learned lessons of Christ's love and of His atonement that I could never have experienced otherwise.

Last night I had a sweet dream. I spent a long time with a very kind and wonderful young man. It seemed as though we walked along a river or lake. That is all I remember--walking and talking with this sweet man. I don't know if it was my son--I hope it was my son. But I do remember the kindness he showed to me, and I woke with a warm, sweet feeling!

I don't think I can visit the grave today. It's not where I find the most peace, because my son in not there. Years before he died, when he was a very difficult teenager, I prayed to know if I had been given a Laman or a Lemuel. An answer FIRED back into my mind that NO, he was an Alma the Younger! That has given me more peace and comfort than almost anything else these long twelve years since he died.

I have to believe, I want to believe, and in my heart of hearts I do believe, that he is now like the great prophet Alma--busy teaching, preaching and helping others come to know of our Savior Jesus Christ! I do know that God lives. I do know that we live on after death! My son's death has come so close to Easter this year, and it has been a reminder that because of Jesus Christ, he will live again--I will live again--we all will live, because of Jesus! Thank dear blessed Lord! Thank you!

This has been a month filled with the best of times, and the worst of times. Life is almost always like that! I haven't blogged for awhile, because I have been in the middle of a project that Ron says, has made me happier than he's seen me in years! It is a project that I can't wait to share with all of you, and the Lord willing, many, many others! News of it will be coming soon!

And, the very best thing of all, is the birth of our sweet new granddaughter Anne! Pictures and her story will be coming soon too! So stay tuned!

And, to my Robert if he gets to read this: God Bless you and comfort you, and all those who love you, today my son!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Angels Among Us

Some members of my family have shared stories about Robert (stories that are too scared to share in this context) that testify of this very truth from Elder Faust. I am feeling more and more as time passes that Robert is doing well. I feel he is busily engaged in the work of our Father in Heaven, and I know he knows of our love for him.

Reading this quote again makes me so grateful that he is mindful of us, and I am certain that he especially watches over his sweet children! I thank my Heavenly Father for these sweet tender mercies! Please don't forget Rob. I'd still love to have your stories! If you've have sacred experiences with Robert since his passing, I will treasure them, and keep them privately for our family!!!!! Please share!

At the April 2006 General Conference, President James E. Faust, quoting Joseph F. Smith, confirmed,

"In ancient and modern times angels have appeared and given instruction, warnings, and direction, which benefited the people they visited. We do not consciously realize the extent to which ministering angels affect our lives. President Joseph F. Smith said, “In like manner our fathers and mothers, brothers, sisters and friends who have passed away from this earth, having been faithful, and worthy to enjoy these rights and privileges, may have a mission given them to visit their relatives and friends upon the earth again, bringing from the divine Presence messages of love, of warning, or reproof and instruction, to those whom they had learned to love in the flesh."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Book of Comfort

Almost a year ago I read an article in Meridian Magazine by Darla Isackson, in which she mentioned that she had lost her son to suicide. I have often read articles by Darla and I am always moved buy her depth of love for the Lord, her desire to improve her life, and her deep desire to share her knowledge with the rest of us. This article moved me to email her and thank her.

She graciously wrote back, and we began an extensive correspondence that blossomed into a great friendship. Darla expressed her promptings to write a book about her experiences since the death of her son, and she began sending chapters for my input and impressions. Her words of wisdom and comfort have touched and helped me more than I can say during my own ongoing process of grief since my son's death eleven years ago.

Darla has also been so kind about my blog. She continues to tell me it's beautiful and that I am a good writer. (She even ordered my out of print book, "Joy Outweighs The Sorrow" from Amazon and told me how much she enjoyed it.) I haven't even been able to think of myself as a writer for the last decade. It stunned me in fact when Darla said, "you are a writer, and writer's need to write." I didn't write anything, except emails to my children, for eight years after Robert's death.

I must say that in the beginning of our correspondence I was at first intimidated, then amazed, and then gratified by her encouragement, since "Darla has been on the Continuing Education speaker's circuit for BYU. . . In 1988 she pioneered the book division for Covenant Communications and was their Managing Editor for four years. She later served as Managing Editor for Aspen Books. Darla has edited well over two hundred uplifting books in her interesting career--shepherding them successfully from manuscript to bookstore shelves. She has presented at writer’s workshops in three states.Since 1998 she has free-lanced at home, editing and ghost-writing many books and caring for her elderly mother until she passed away. She has written a bi-monthly column for Meridian Magazine online since 2002." (Quoted from her website)

Two weeks ago Darla invited myself and three other women, who also helped with feedback on her book, to her home for lunch where she presented us each with a copy of her book. She included comments from each of us on the back cover of her book, and quoted us in various places in the book. (What an honor!) I found her to be just as warm and loving as she is while expressing her testimony in all of her writings. She has become a "bosom friend" to quote Anne of Green Gables!

Please check out Darla's website, where you may order this wonderful book if you know of someone that could use the wisdom and comfort she gives to those who are faced with this terrible tragedy in their life.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

What Is This Thing That Men Call Death?

What is this thing that men call death?
This quiet passing in the night?
‘Tis not the end but genesis
Of better worlds and greater light

O God, touch Thou my aching heart
And calm my troubled, haunting fears
Let hope and faith, transcendent, pure
Give strength and peace beyond my tears.

There is no death, but only change
With recompense for vict’ry won
The gift of Him who loved all men
The Son of God, the Holy One.

~ Gordon B. Hinckley

You can shed tears that she is gone,
Or you can smile because she has lived!
You can close your eyes and pray that she'll come back,
Or you can open your eyes and see all she's left!
Your heart can be empty because you can't see her,
Or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her only that she is gone,
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
Be empty and turn your back.
Or you can do what she'd want:
Smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

~ David Harkins

Monday, August 2, 2010


I went to the cemetery tonight to visit Robert. I don't do that very often, it has just been way too painful, but my heart has been aching for him these last couple of months. We received the letter from the church on July 23rd, that his sealing to his wife has been cancelled and we can feel his sorrow.

While I was there talking with him, and reassuring him of my love, and telling him what a wonderful man he is, and hoping so badly that he is happy and doing well, and of course missing him like crazy, and hoping that he has forgiven me, and wishing to know how he is and on
and on . . .

Suddenly I noticed something kept flying quite low over my head. I swatted at it thinking it was a mosquito, but it was so large. Then as I looked at it I thought, "Could it be a dragonfly?" It was! As I watched it I realized it was circling with two others all around me. I immediately thought of the movie "Dragonfly" and felt some amazement. One fly was a beautiful blue color (my favorite color) and the other two were a brownish golden color. They just circled and danced all around me, in and about the headstones for quite some time as I watched in wonder! As they swooped and circled I felt the spirit and felt they were a little tender mercy for me. A sign from heaven! I trust Heavenly Father will take care of my son and his sweet children, and that one day I will hold him again in my arms, but for now I hope he knows how much I love him and miss him and desire his happiness!

I sat in the car for awhile watching as the dragonflies circled the area for a time and then flew off! It was a sweet visit.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Storybook Children

This is Robert & Kristi at Aunt Carolee's wedding. Great-Grandma Rose Fairbourn used to call them storybook children because they were so cute! They had the time of their lives at this wedding, running around and eating and generally enjoying the adoration that was heaped upon them !

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Redheaded Boys

My redheaded boys sitting at Grandma Holt's table testing their strength! I miss seeing them together! But, I'm glad Robert is with grandma because they loved each other so much! I miss them both! Did you notice the sunflowers on the table and the sunflower towels? Grandma was such a fun person. For most of the years I knew her sunflowers were her kitchen theme. She loved to make her home cheerful and pretty and it was always important to her to keep it clean and inviting! I loved that about her and learned a great deal from her. I hope she is teaching that to Robert better than I could because his room was ALWAYS messy! I'd give anything to see that mess now.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Anyone that remembers Robert will remember what a curious person he was. He wanted to know how things worked and why things were, and he was fearless. Even as a very little baby he wasn't afraid of people or animals or trying to do something, and he usually found a way to do what he set out to do. He also loved animals, because he had a tender heart. These pictures are of his first birthday at the zoo! Notice how fearless he was. He wanted to touch that sheep's wool and be close to that strange animal named pig! (Check out his groovin' 70's stripped pants!)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Service & Compassion

I have two stories about Robert that I think demonstrates some of his unique qualities.

When Rob was 16, the High Priests in our Ward undertook a service project to help a family with 3 or 4 children that had moved into a home in West Valley. This family had experienced some difficult financial problems in California, so they sold all their funiture, beds, etc. and moved to Salt Lake in their car in search of a better life. The local Bishop helped them rent an apartment, and get some food. Our Quorum decided to funish their home as best we could. After canvasing the ward for items, Robert helped us deliver them to the family. Afterwards, Robert came home and loaded into his car his own television and VCR that he had undoubtedly acquired and repaired from a used store. He delivered them to this family in the late afternoon without telling anyone. Several days later, I noticed them missing from his bedroom, and I asked him about them. He explained to me what he did and simply said, "I felt they needed them more than me".

When Robert was a senior in high school, he represented Hillcrest in the annual Vocational Industrial Clubs of America ( VICA ) in the field of "Electonics, Product Servicing". He took first place in the regional tournament, and then went to compete in the State Tournament. After the competion there was an awards ceremony in the auditorium of a high school in Provo. Our family was sitting with him in the back. Obviouly, we were very excited as we waited for the results. When the announcer began the awards for Robert's catagory, he began by first announcing the third place winner. The recipient made his way to the front of the stage, and received his award. Next, the second place winner was announced. Robert got up as well and started walking toward the front, but a little slower. When they announced the first place winner, which was Robert, he was almost on the stage. After he received his award, he returned to sit with us iin the back. I asked him why he started walking to the front before his name was called and he simply said, "When they announced the 2nd place winner, I knew I had won, because I was a lot better than him". Robert was able to represent the state of Utah in the National VICA competion in Kentucky latter that year.

Ron Holt

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Can It Finally Be Spring?

I remember the morning, in the year 2000, when I looked out my window and was startled to see snow! How could this be? Where had spring, which I love best, and early summer and golden autumn gone? And, I remember feeling astonished to realize those seasons had slipped by in that dark time of illness and grief. I remember for several years how I could not tolerate the scent of even one single flower, when before I had loved flowers of every kind and hue! I’d loved their tender beauty, their soft petals and their fragrance—how I’d always loved them until that month I found my house filled with gorgeous hothouse blooms wafting the cloying scent of funeral. I remember when spring came again that year, how painful my beautiful season of hope and joy had become. So every year for ten years, as soon as the first crocus would begin to push out of the cold earth, I’d begin to mourn. And, gradually over the last few years, by the time April came, Robert’s April—Robert’s month of birth—and death, there were no tears or sorrow by then because I had cried them out in February and March.

Eventually, I could not resist my former love—their soft petals and sweet fragrance wooed me again and I knew I STILL love flowers! And then spring—oh glorious spring, it came again to my heart, after February and March wrenched it so. And, then this year—this year as the crocus peeked through the earth, I was startled again. I smiled it a welcome! This is the season of renewal, the season of hope, the season of the Lord’s resurrection and redemption!
And, the season that I have finally started to remember! To remember my firstborn baby boy—the boy I loved—the boy I still love with a mother’s heart. And so I started the “Remembering Robert” blog. It’s February and I’m not crying, I’m looking at his sweet baby pictures and reveling in memories—good memories! Though I know it’s hard, please, please share your good memories too—even the little scraps that might not seem like much are precious to me! And each story and memory is bringing a smile to my face this year instead, of a tear!

Dianne Rosi-Koskinen

I surely do remember him taking our broken VCR (in days when it was for us a treasure to own, and we couldn't have replaced it easily, or for a long time), making it as good as new. He had parts from another one and the skill to make it work for us. He did it cheerfully and with good will. This was my most personal one on one experience with Robert.

I think of his smile: that little grin that always made me feel like he knew some secret that pleased him to know.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rob's First Tricycle

Darla's post on meeting Rob for the first time while riding his tricycle took me back to the day he got it. For Robert's second Christmas when he was only 18 months old Santa gave him a tricycle and little red wagon. Everyone told us he was too young to ride a trike. Well, we knew how determined that kid was so we got it anyway, but it surprised even his adoring parents when he rode it proficiently in one day! We were renting a house in Glendale, California at the time and it had a large slab of cement surrounded by an unfenced lawn in the backyard. I spent a LOT of time back there, with my little four month old Kristi bundled up watching that excited little baby, ride that trike hard---around and around and around pulling all his favorite toys behind in the wagon! (Bonnie)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Lynn & Kathy Samsel

Two things we remember about Robert: first his perseverance and his not letting things stand in the way of what he wanted to do. I remember he went on the Pioneer Trek - it was the first trek the stake did, and it was really, really hard (the stake did that trek only the one year; after that the treks were shorter, milder and more modified). And while people in the best of health had trouble doing the trek (the physical distance they covered in a day, the no food and next-to-no-water), Robert did it with a broken leg. I don't know if I am remembering right, but I think he was still using crutches. The second thing we remember was he was very intuitive in his mechanical abilities and could fix things...a wonderful mind and such determination.

Eileen Romney

Bon, I only have one story to relate about Robert but it is a tender story that brings fond memories of him.

Late one afternoon in the early spring my husband Stephen was out of town. I was a full time working mother with 5 kids and a mother who lived with me. This particular day my car decided to break down right in front of my house. I was so discouraged and felt that I had absolutely no time or patience to deal with this. I knew nothing about the mechanics of cars and felt very inadequate to handle this. Robert (I believe, still in high school) had just come around the corner in his car and seeing our demise, stopped to see if he could help. He instantly knew what to do and briefly left to get something from his house to repair the car. It took him about an hour to repair the car and left without accepting anything for his payment. I was totally amazed how such a young man knew so much and was so willing to help with such a pleasant demeanor. This isn't something a young boy would normally do. The car worked perfectly and I will look back on this good Samaritan with tender feelings from a mother who was broken.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ann Reynolds

Here is a Robert memory. When he came to my house, he loved my summer squash casserole. At first, I think he was afraid to try it. But once he did, he couldn't get enough of it. I remember him chilling out on my family room couch watching videos with the boys. My family room isn't there anymore, but lots of memories are.

John Mettenet

Bonnie - I'm honored to contribute to this great way to honor Robert. I have great memories of Robert from the years I was one of his Young Men advisors. Two memories in particular stand out. First, our Priest Quorum decided to climb Mount Timpanogos. I remember the "adventurous" Robert taking a couple of side trips off the beaten path and I wondered if we'd ever see him again but he made it back. When we got to the top a storm was starting to roll in and you could literally feel the electricity in the air. Robert climbed on top of the metal box on the summit and stretched his hands to the heavens and his hair was standing straight up. I would have laughed at the sight of him if I wasn't scared that he was going to be struck by lightning. We had a great time!! I haven't climbed Timpanogos since but every time I drive into Utah County and look at Timpanogos and think about that day and Robert.

Second, I remember sitting at home one night when there was a knock at my door - it was Robert. He was very excited and said, "I've got to show you something". He walked into my family room and turned on our stereo searching for a specific station. He finally settled on a station that was playing music. He turned and looked at me waiting for a reaction. I said, "it's music so what?" Robert said, "I'm broadcasting on this station from my house". I remember thinking there is absolutely no way this could be true. How could a 16 or 17 year old kid be smart enough to create his own radio station. We jumped in my car and drove to his house ad sure enough he was broadcasting from his room. His house had all kinds of wires and antennas running out from every angle on the roof. Amazing - what a brilliant and talented person!! I think of this moment every time I go by the Holt's house and smile.

Darla Wardle

What a great idea to Remember Robert in this way. I have to tell you that I remember little 4 year old Robert as our first friend in the neighborhood when we started to build our dream home in Riverton. It is a vivid memory that as we pulled up to the curb to see the building lot we had purchased sight unseen while living in California, Rob was riding his trike on the sidewalk in front of your home, next to ours. He parked his trike and watched us get out of the car. It must have been a dream come true for him to see 5 small boys pile out of the car! We told him that we were going to build our home next to his. He was so happy. He even looked like our boys, with his red hair and freckles. So it wasn't a surprise to find out his dad and our dad were 2nd cousins. That was the start of our life long friendship with your family and ours.

From Jason Wardle

My very first memory of Rob was playing in the sand in your backyard sand box. I was probably 3 or 4 at the time. It is one of the first memories I have in my entire life. Rob was determined to make the largest sand castle in the world. When it was all said and done I think it was about waist high. I was amazed. I remember bragging about him to my classmates the next year when I entered Kindergarten. We tried to replicate a sand castle of that same size in the Southland Elementary Kindergarten play area, but no one could create a sand castle larger than Rob. He was a legend.

More memories to come…

Little Grabby Hands!

From the moment Robert was born, he was curious!!!! His dad remembers watching him as the nurse took him to the nursery, where he was weighed and bathed and dressed. Ron said he just kept looking all around, I know babies aren't supposed to see much, but right from the very first moments of life---Robert wanted to see and experience all of it that he could!

As soon as his little manly fists (he had the most wonderful, square masculine little boy hands) could grasp things---he did! He wouldn't hold still for a minute---reaching for EVERYTHING! I cannot tell you how many times I would get home from the grocery store with items that Robert put into my shopping cart while I wasn't looking! His first nick-name was little "Grabby Hands!" (Bonnie)

I Promised Rob That I Would Remember The Good Times!

At Robert's funeral I had our bishop read my testimony. In that I expressed my love for him and promised him that I would remember the good things and good times. That's the reason for this blog.