I had the opportunity to go on a road trip with my dad to Tucson, Arizona, to attend his Aunt’s funeral.  The company, the conversation, the energies exchanged, and the time spent, on the drive and during the services, were all appreciated and enjoyed.

I learned a few things I didn’t know before about my dad.  He was born is Tucson, and grew up there until the age of 8.  He told me story after story of how he grew up, where he lived, the time he ditched school because he didn’t like the smell of the lunch they were serving in the cafeteria, and how he fought his dad’s chicken against the neighbor kid’s father’s chicken, getting in a lot of trouble.  He told me about the time he stood on a scaffolding, helping his dad and other family members construct the very church where the funeral was to be held.  Then there was the time that his Uncle Jerry threw him into the swimming pool in the back of the church to learn how to swim, with the old, “Sink or Swim,” method.  Before the age of 8, he shot his cousin in the face with an arrow, after his cousin refused to get out of the way.  Luckily it deflected off of his hard head and away from his eye, and left him with a scratch, instead of dead or blind.  My dad got into a little trouble for that, as well.  He told me how he remembered that he and his cousins idolized Tarzan and Superman, and tied roped in the trees to swing like Tarzan.


My dad has always been an old soul, with a mind of his own, even at that young age.  Hearing these stories made me think of those cool, funny videos people share, and end them with, “THUG LIFE.”  I was able to imagine, in my mind’s eye, some of these stories he was telling me in detail, and they all ended with a thugish-themed song, and the words, “DOUG LIFE,” stamped across the memories I envisioned, like a move playing in my mind.





It was so incredible to see so many family members there, at the funeral.  It had been too long since seeing most of them, and I met some family members that I had never met before.  It was a great celebration of Aunt Norma’s life, and I am so grateful I chose to attend.

One of the speakers said something that really resonated with me:  “I would rather attend a funeral than a wedding.”  To put things into perspective, he is the Bishop of the church we attended the funeral at, and he attends multiple weddings and funerals, each week.  I had to agree!  While weddings are a beautiful thing, and a celebration of hope, a funeral is a celebration of a life well-lived, and the memories shared at a funeral are usually the highlights of the person’s life.  There were so many good, positive, amazing stories and memories shared about Aunt Norma.

Her youngest brother, Don, was always teased by Norma because he has always been such an emotional, passionate man.  Norma would tell him, “Don, I swear!  You cry just ordering a Grand Slam at Denny’s!”  She said this affectionately, though, and never to slight him, and everyone knows that this quality of Don’s is endearing, and is part of what makes him such a great man.

Don also related a story about how she took him to the movies with her and her friends.  He was just a little boy, and they were all grown-up teen-agers, but he said he will never forget her kindness and the way she made him feel, buying his bus ticket, his movie ticket, and a giant chocolate bar just as big as he was then, even though, back then, money was extremely difficult to come by.  One part of the movie had a monkey that unscrewed a light bulb and stuck it in his mouth.  When the monkey would put his finger into the light socket, the bulb would light up!  Don thought it would be a great idea to go home and try that out for himself.  It didn’t turn out quite like he thought it would.

Earl told a story about how the kids were running through the house while the ladies were in the kitchen cooking, and Aunt Norma grabbed my dad and the nearby ping pong paddle and paddled his but a bunch of times before looking down and exclaiming to everyone that she had paddled the wrong child.  Later, my dad chuckled, telling me that after getting that spanking, he looked up into her eyes and saw a twinkle and a slight grin tug at the corners of her mouth.  “She knew exactly what she was doing and who she was paddling,” he told me.  They would tease each other about times like those the rest of her life, every time they saw each other.

Aunt Norma always said things like, “Keep your kitchen dirty enough to be happy, and clean enough to be healthy.”  She taught many things by her good example, but one that was most appreciated about her was to not just TOLERATE the differences, antics, uniqueness, and individuality of others, but to CELEBRATE them.  I loved hearing that one.

The thing I realized and loved the most at this funeral, is that I am deeply connected with people I have never even met.  I have family out there, everywhere, doing their best to grow, learn, survive, thrive, love, and exist the very best ways they can.  I realized we are all in this life thing together, forever doing the best we can, connected.

During a musical number, in which my Aunt Deb sang, as I closed my eyes and enjoyed the beauty of her voice, a thought came to my mind that my mom had shared with me once:  “Prayer is like when we talk to God and express our deepest desires and gratitude, and send an energy out into the Universe about what we want to create and what we think we deserve.  Meditation is when we open our minds and allow God and the Universe to send us the energies, wisdom, knowledge, and strength that we need, in order to create the life we want and deserve.”  Reminder to self:  Make sure you practice both prayer and meditation.

I’m so grateful for family.  I’m grateful for the connections we are blessed to have the opportunity to make, and how much easier it is to stay in touch with the important people in our lives, these days, with the growth that has happened for us in the technological advances that have been made.  They used to drive wagons, go hungry, and suffer from an uncomfortable lifestyle when Aunt Norma was growing up.  Look at all of the abundance that we are so blessed to enjoy and take part in and share with others in these current times!

We live in a beautiful time.  The Universe was designed from the beginning to conspire on our behalf.  It is up to use to recognize this fact, to remember it, to focus on it, and to choose to benefit from it.  It is so interesting to me that when we choose to practice gratitude, that we always have so much more to be grateful for.  Energy flows where attention goes.  And we, each of us as beautiful, unique individuals, get to choose what we focus on every moment of every single day.  That which we focus on, grows in our lives.  What will you focus on today?

If anyone that was at the funeral would like to contribute any pictures or a post on this blog page, please email them to me at

Please share this post with family and anyone else you think may enjoy it or benefit from it in any way.  Much love to you all!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *