Sunday, August 9, 2015
On Angel Wings: Tribute to my Grandpa Chadderdon
I'm coming to realize that the older I get, the faster time seems to go. As a kid, hours were full of minutes with limitless possibilities and activities. The gap between summer and snow seemed to be an eternity and birthdays couldn't come fast enough.
I'm not sure why aging has had this effect or if it's just me, but holidays come and go so fast and I need more hours each day to finish the endless list of to-dos.
I know it is said that "time flies when you are having fun." But as I age, time flies whether I'm having fun or not. Life just continues to move forward with no pause button or rewind.
Each year that passes, especially on my birthday, I think back on my Grandpa Lionel that passed away on my eleventh birthday. I know it was a bitter sweet day. I remember him being very sick and weak before his death as cancer was taking over his body and we knew his time on earth was coming to an end.
My Grandma previously asked him not to pass on the third of July, as it was my birthday as well as some other events but as the morning came she said it was okay and he left his mortal frame.
Even at my young age, or maybe because I was young.... Him dying on my birthday wasn't really too sad or hard, but actually pretty special because I understood something and believed he was going to go straight to heaven and no longer have to be sick or hurt or have cancer.
I remember after his death, my personal prayers for years always included telling Heavenly Father to "tell grandpa hello and that i missed him." I always felt lucky he passed on my birthday and knew he was in heaven and going to watch out for me and be there still. These past 14 years I know he hasn't been too far away and I have felt him close.
Before he died, he met with all his kids and grandkids that were around. It reminded me of Lehi before he died telling his kids his last words of wisdom and what was important and what to do. I remember him bearing his testimony to me and telling me he loves me and knows the Church of Jesus Christ is true. He told me to listen to my parents and be obedient and follow the commandments of God and that families can be together forever.
My memories of grandpa are few, but very influential. I remember his smile and that he was a math teacher and smart. I remember an oxygen tank that went in his nose and around his ears and his warm hugs. I remember watching Star Trek with him and thinking it was a weird show but "cool" because grandpa watched it. I remember he was a convert and was baptized on his own and loved the temple and family history. I remember visiting his parents, my great grandparents, in Idaho and how nice they were and getting my ears pierced by my great- grandma and candy treats and toys and lots of love.
I remember one day taking family pictures in Utah and being told they were important pictures because grandpa was really sick and it was probably going to be the last family photo with everyone together. It wouldn't stop raining though and i remember mom being sad about the rain. I remember we prayed and it stopped and we had just enough time to take some pictures and how special it was that Heavenly Father stopped the rain for us to take those snapshots in time and preserve those special memories together.
After he died, Grandpa really was never far away to me. I remember he was at my basketball game cheering me on with my mom and on my mission in New York he felt especially close. In one area I remember he was protecting me and felt him by my side on the dangerous streets helping me and giving me strength as a missionary.
I remember at EFY when I was fifteen and opening my scriptures one morning and I turned just passed the title page and saw a note written by my grandma and grandpa sealed with their testimonies and signatures and I remember just staring at my grandpa's name and knowing he knew too and was another whiteness that the Book of Mormon is true.
A recent unforgettable memory came two and a half months ago in the Boise, Idaho Temple on May 23rd, 2015. I got sealed to my sweetheart Riley Stevenson for time and all eternity. It was so neat being surrounded in the sealing room by loved ones and family. I know my Grandma Lionel Chadderdon was there too, present in spirit, proud of my accomplishments and happy for me.
Although time is moving forward, and there are so many unknowns in the future and challenges ahead I know I'm not alone. Time is flying whether we are having fun or not, but we are on angels wings.
In reality, when we leave this mortal existence, this life on earth will be a blink of an eye in this eternal existence and gone as fast as it started. Although the journey may seem hard at times and lonely, we can take comfort in knowing that we are not alone, that a plan has been prepared to return together again as families and we are eternal beings.
Although Grandpa Chadderdon is gone, his memory and testimony lives on in his children and grandchildren. His faith in joining the Church has helped establish a generation of followers of Christ. The joy he had for family and missionary work has been passed on and his love and support is still felt from the other side.
"In my Gethsemane and yours, we are not alone. He that watches over us shall neither slumber nor sleep. His angels here and beyond the veil are round about us, to bear us up.”
- Elder Hales
at 5:51 PM