Sunday, June 16, 2013

Double Duty

Okay, so I realize that I've whined about Father's Day on this blog before.  Notwithstanding, the same sentiments hold true today.  Father's Day and me do not go together.

Some official correspondence came in the mail last month letting me know that the time for me to receive any financial support on behalf of my two children would expire in June due to the ages of my children....What a joke.  Financial support?  Please.

And you know what else?  I'm sick to death of those self righteous self-important people who take great pains to remind me that I made this bed and now I have to lie in it while they point and smirk.  Go ahead, oh ye great ones.  You have NO idea what has gone on and what decisions I've been faced with.   

Father's Day is a cruel reminder that A) my own father won't have anything to do with his children or his grandchildren, for reasons only known to himself; and B) my children grew up without any idea what it was like to have a father, because of pure and absolute selfishness on his part.

I couldn't face it today.  Usually, I smile and wish fathers around me a great day, and I get through it without much thought.  Today's Father's Day was crap.  I guess it just reminded me once again that I'm "not on the list", which is something that has been my jail keeper throughout this mortal circumstance.

So, I walked home and tried to take a nap so I'd stop letting it all bug me.  That didn't work.  I engaged in other activities to distract myself.  Nothing worked.  This year I'm just bugged.

My boy got some pie from the stash in the church kitchen.  All the boys got some, as did the fathers.  Last year I got a piece after asking for one.....because I'm pulling double duty and could use the recognition.  This year I just walked home.

What can I do, though?  I can't force my own father to love me or show an interest in me or my children.  I can't pretend that it doesn't sting.  And on top of that, I've worn myself out trying to fill a father gap for my own kids, failing miserably.

My sister often says, "It is what it is" these days.  She's right.  But that doesn't mean I have to like it.  It doesn't mean it is right or good.  It doesn't mean that it doesn't hurt.  Jerks are jerks.  That doesn't sting any less.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Another Loss

A young man in our neighborhood (and ward) passed away on November 7th.  It seems that he cleared out his belongings from his bedroom and disappeared without any word to his family.  He was located by tracing his cell phone.  He was found near Las Vegas, dead, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

CC texted me from her workplace and filled me in, then said she was near tears.  She is such a tender-hearted young woman.

So much pain that has driven a guy that young and that well-supported to do such a thing - to end his own life in a strange place.  Yeah, he grappled with depression and didn't hide it from his friends.

This has stunned us all.

Luke Ashton Bateman
(August 30, 1989 - November 7, 2012)
Luke Ashton Bateman, age 23, of Orem passed away November 7, 2012. He was born August 30, 1989 at Fort Belvoir, VA to Rachel Willmore and Louis Bateman. He graduated high school at Mountain View in Orem, UT and was working toward a degree in Behavior Science at Utah Valley University while working as a Psych Tech at Utah State Hospital. In his spare time Luke enjoyed competing with his football team Stealth in the Utah Tackle Football League as a coach. Luke is survived by both his parents, Rachel Willmore and Louis Bateman, his grandparents Lettie and Donald Willmore, and his siblings Heather, Jordan, and Paige Bateman. He was predeceased by his grandparents Peggy and David Bateman.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. at the Cascade Chapel at Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary 495 South State Street, Orem. A visitation will be held 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. prior to the funeral services. Interment will be at the Orem City Cemetery.
The family would like to thank their extended family for the invaluable assistance offered, as well as their ward for all the help and support they have provided. A memorial fund has been set up in Luke’s name at Central Bank. Please contact the family with any donations or provide them directly to the bank.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Had a Chat

Went to the cemetery to pay my last respects to my friend.  His funeral was on Friday but I couldn't get out of a teaching commitment and so I missed it.

I remembered his wife said she would bury him just below the firing range, so I drove to that part of the cemetery and found his spot.  The flowers were still there, all heaped upon each other and gasping for water.

After I walked around the plot and took it all in, I found a spot near the top of the plot and sat down in the sunshine.  I had a little chat with my friend.  I told him thanks for always being so kind when we'd run into each other around the valley.  I thanked him for being friendly and taking time to stop what he was doing and chat.  For some reason this whole situation has me crying - often.  So, while I chatted I let the tears come.

I looked at the view he has from his spot and I could see the lake and the other side of the valley.  He was an outdoors loving guy and this was perfect.

I thought of all he has accomplished since his humble beginnings in Huntington.  I told him I was impressed with his hard work and success.

Then I told him I was glad his wife had the testimony of forever families to see her through this hard time.  I told him about the many people who were in her corner, trying to be a comfort to her and the two daughters.  I know he knew all this but I told him anyway.

I sat with my friend for the better part of an hour.  When I left, I helped myself to a single dwarf sunflower from one of the arrangements that was lying on the ground.  A single token to remember my friend.

Why has this hit me so hard?  I can't even think about it without getting all choked up and crying.  We weren't close and we only ran into each other on occasion, generally only long enough to say hello and ask how things were going.  So, why does it effect me so??

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fun Has Arrived

Donald Edward McCandless 
1959 ~ 2012

Donald Edward McCandless died October 28, 2012 in Provo, Utah as the result of kidney cancer-induced strokes. Don was born June 29, 1959 in Price, Utah to William Edward and Carolyn Tew McCandless. He grew up in Huntington, playing in ditches, welding, farming, roaming the San Rafael desert and being a good kid with a little rascal thrown in. He served an LDS mission to Hawaii from 1978-80. He married Karen Stone on July 26, 1985 in the Jordan River LDS Temple and they were blessed with two daughters. Don would joke they were the only ones brave enough to have him and Karen as parents. Don graduated from BYU with a BS degree in Political Science and a JD degree and practiced law in Utah Valley.

Don was a member of the LDS church, loving his service with the youth, whether they were his BYU singles ward students or the young men. He had a strong testimony of the Savior and taught his children well. He constantly served others, whether they were shocked Chinese tourists who had just hit a deer in Huntington Canyon to those affiliated with Habitat for Humanity.

Don loved fishing, camping, shooting, the blues, cooking, astronomy, collecting rocks and fossils, and playing his guitar. He played his guitar every day, singing and making up crazy lyrics. Education was very important to him. Don loved learning and could remember everything. Most of all he loved his girls. He loved spending time with them, whether it was a trip to the store, sitting around a campfire or attending a concert or swim meet.

Don fixed things, wanting his family, friends and possessions to be working at their best. Many of us have something broken in our lives, whether it is a physical object, our relationship with the Savior, a family member, or our own selves. In honor of Don, fix something that is broken in your life, no matter how hard it may be.

Survivors include his wife, Karen, daughters Jamie (David) Pearson and Kelley, all of Orem. Parents William and Carolyn McCandless, brothers Wayne (Juanita), Mike (Helen), sister Sharon (Andy) Pollaehne, all of Huntington, Utah. He is also survived by cousins, nieces and nephews and in-laws.

Services will be held Friday, November 2, 2012 at the Timpview Stake Center, 1050 N 600 W Orem at 1 pm. Visitation will be from 11:30am-12:30pm at the church or on Thursday, November 1st from 6-8 pm at Sundberg Olpin Mortuary, 495 S State Orem. In lieu of flowers, a "Don McCandless BYU Scholarship" account has been
established. Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo bank. Condolences may be sent to the family at