Thursday, August 23, 2012


I have been so caught up in my sorrow of losing my sweet daughter that I haven't even been able to deal with the loss of two other extremely wonderful people. It still doesn't seem real that Val and Kathy are gone as well. When I really think about it, it just doesn't seem possible. Maybe because they weren't a part of my daily life I feel like they are still here. At their home. Making dinner. Getting ready for bed.

In a few days Brady and I are going to move into Val and Kathy's house. I am going to honest, I am not sure that I am ok with this. I so badly don't want to leave my home, because it is comfortable and it is mine and I love it. I don't know if I can handle another big change right now. But my home is also a painful place to be. I see Quincy all over this house. She was so much a part of why I loved this place that without her here it's a sad place. But all in the same breath, I don't want to leave because I will miss seeing her here. Part of me wants to start new memories in this house with her brother so that it won't be so hard to leave. I'm so torn. It's all bittersweet. But Brady and I have made a decision that we feel good about and that is to move. Have you ever made a decision you don't like, but feel like it's the best thing to do, so you do it? I guess we have to trust that someone knows better than we do.

It is going to be hard to live in Val and Kathy's house because there are lots of priceless memories there too. We have had some wonderful times in that home. But in a way I also feel like living there is kind of an honor. I feel like we will be able to feel a little closer to them by being in their space and using the things they used. And we will think about them more, which will be hard, but good.

A few weeks ago Brady and I were visiting with some of his sisters and their husbands and the word tremendous came up. It's a word that Val used often, which we all agreed was kind of funny. But I think that word is perfect for Val and Kathy because they were tremendous. In the short time that I got to know them I learned so many valuable things that I will always remember.

Val was so valiant. He taught me about service. He was currently the bishop of his ward and was always serving his members. He truly loved those people and talked about them often. There were so many Sunday dinners that he would come late and leave early because someone needed him. I have had countless people tell me that because of Val, their lives were turned around. He was a great servant and he was always prompting us to do what was right. Val was a great father. Brady could call him any time of any day and he would drop what he was doing to lend a hand. He and Kathy always made us feel so welcome in their home by putting down whatever they were doing to visit with us. They made us feel so important. Val taught me about hard work. He didn't always feel great but he always worked hard until the job was done right. Along with his ward, he also took time to take care of Grandma Lee. He took her to Dr. appointments and the temple and lunch. He was truly her friend. He served willingly. Val truly was tremendous.

Kathy taught me who I want to be. She taught me about patience and love and sacrifice. I don't think I have or ever will meet another person that was as patient and kind as Kathy. She always put others first. Always. I never once saw her get impatient or lose her temper. I never heard her say an unkind word. She never made me feel bad about myself or what I was doing. I feel like she loved me as much as one of her own children and I loved her as much as my own mother. She taught me how to let things go and not make a big deal. She taught me how to be flexible. By her example she taught me how to love Brady unconditionally, who is so much like his dad. She raised eight children who are happy and get along and love each other, which is amazing. She was tremendous.

When I write these things, I miss Val and Kathy more than I realize. We take such little things for granted and until they are gone, we don't know how blessed we are. I will always remember the things that I have learned from my wonderful parents-in-law and I hope that I can teach my children to be like them, even though they won't get to know them on this earth. I am thankful that they are watching over my sweet little Quincy. It brings peace to know they are all up there together. Three tremendous people.


The Staheli's said...

cAngie, That was beautiful. Thank you for paying such a wonderful tribute to our parents!! WE love you and miss them so much!! THANK YOU!! It will be nice but wierd to knock before we come in the next time we are there:-)

Michael and Cassie said...

Thanks for sharing that. I know that when I'm in Heber at my parents, it makes me ache for all of you looking outside and not seeing Val and Kathy. I'm glad that it's going to stay a Draper home for a while at least! They were such good people and I feel blessed to have known them and that I know all of you!

Amylee said...

I love them so much! They are the best kind of people- truly tremendous. This is such a huge trial Angie. Each time I think about it I get so overwhelmed. I can't fathom your pain. I'm so, so sorry.

Amylee said...

Also, this summer I keep thinking of Val in his garden leaning on his shovel. It makes me smile :)

Natalie said...

They were tremendous! And amazing and unforgettable! What a blessing it is to be part of their family. They always made me feel like I was one of their own children. We are so lucky to love and be loved by them.

kinli said...

They were amazing people! I love them very much and miss them everyday. Angie it will be nice to have you in our ward!