Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Just Smile

"Peace begins with a smile." - Mother Teresa

Last week, a friend of mine knew how important it was for me to honor Damond by doing service.


(Newport, OR June 2013)

She sent out the following email:
        "Tomorrow August 22nd is both Adriana and Damond Farar's birthday.  In honor of Damond's life that was always the embodiment of Christ-Like service, please find a way to perform an act of kindness or provide a service for another, either tomorrow or over the next couple of weeks.  After completing your service, please share your experience with Adriana through an email or letter.  If you capture a photo of your service, please also pass along to Adriana.  All who knew Damond, knew that although he had an infectious outward smile, it was only a side effect of his beaming heart.  His love for His Savior and his fellow men was evident in every aspect of his life - it is his legacy.  Please find a way to keep his legacy flowing!"

It warms my heart to read the emails.  It makes me happy to see that families are doing this together. Damond knew that the best way to teach the boys about service was to bring them along and have them work beside him.

With my focus on service, I recalled a story about a smile.

Damond always teased me that I remember EVERYTHING!  I would often ask him, "Do you remember what we were doing on such and such date, around this time? And what were we wearing?"  :)
He never remembered anything (hence, so many forgotten anniversaries ) ;-) I, on the other hand, could even remember what we were wearing.
But there was one time I did not remember. He asked me once, if  I remembered when I smiled at him. Apparently, it was the Sunday after we had met. He still did not know many people at church. He said he remembered looking over at me, we made eye contact and I smiled  from across the room. He said it made his day a little brighter.
I cannot remember any of that, but it always stood out to me that he did.

Mother Theresa said, "Peace begins with a smile."
As I look back, I think, maybe, that smile was the beginning of our friendship.
I have received emails about service big and small. I think that with each act, somewhere in the exchange a smile was given, often even two smiles were shared.
Sometimes, even just a friendly smile, can have an eternal impact on another's life.

"Love in action is service." - Mother Teresa

 I think kids are the best examples of "giving" smiles :)


Friday, August 23, 2013

The Shooting Range

Today I went to the Shooting Range...

Feb. 2003
I was driving in the car with several friends. Damond was one of them. We had known each other for less than a month. Kaliska asked him when was his birthday. He replied, "August 22nd."  I quickly looked in the mirror, "no it's not. That's my birthday!" He laughed, "that's my birthday." "Did you get into my wallet? Are you looking at my DOB?" I just could not believe we had the same birthday!

August 22, 2003
We had been married less than two weeks. I woke up to a gory, bloody eye in my face. "Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I busted my eye open playing basketball. ( I would find out later this was a common occurrence w/him).  I just don't want you to worry, since I don't know how long I will be gone." Waking up, "Are you ok? Let me get dressed.  I will go with you."
"no, no. I don't want to ruin your birthday. Don't worry. I will be back soon."

He did not let me go. I came out of the room to find a dozen beautiful roses.

It is something quite special to share your birthday with your bestfriend!

We celebrated in the back of his pickup overlooking Camelback Mountain
 He would always make me such awesome elaborate homemade cards and give me beautiful roses! We would spend the day trying to make it special for the other person. Though, there was one year we each forgot to make a cake for the other person. So, we had no cake ;)

August 22, 2013
I had been dreading this day since Thomas came to me on Dec. 29th sad that his Dad would not be there for his birthday or for his own. He asked me how we would celebrate his Dad.

I wanted to ignore the day, but I knew Thomas would be upset when he realized we had not celebrated his Dad's (and mine) birthday.
I knew I would not be in the mood to celebrate, but we could do something to honor their dad. We decided that each year, we would do a service project to honor a man we love dearly and was dedicated to serving others. We will be planting flowers at the boys' school and cleaning up garbage at the cemetery.
 I decided that today would be a good day to take the boys back to the cemetery for the first time. We wrote letters to Damond and left them with the flowers.

 I was adamant about not celebrating my birthday. My SIL would not listen though. She said we had to do something, even if she had to drag me kicking. :) I told her I wanted to go to a shooting range. For eight months, I have been dealing with a myriad of emotions. I wanted to finally give in to the anger and frustration and go shooting.
But as I stepped into the range and put the gun in my hand, I knew that I could not shoot in anger. Damond would never have wanted me to pick up a gun in anger. (I am pretty sure that is a NO! NO! in the Farar's Gun Safety Rules)
I decided in that moment that in my 31st year of life, I will learn to do what I/we had depended on Damond to do. I will learn to protect and provide for us. But, it must be done with strength given to us by our Savior and Heavenly Father.  We are not alone! We will move forward with faith and not with anger.

(After some instruction from Isaac, my shots were getting more accurate ;) )

A day I dreaded, turned into something special as my phone was flooded with texts and phone calls. I was sent messages all day long,  they encouraged me to keep going.  I received countless acts of love on our behalf.  It is a blessing to feel so much love.

My deepest thanks to our Family and Friends!!!
The Balloon Release on 'A' Mountain

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Empty Hand- 8/9/2003

Remember our 2 year Anniversary?
Remember how you FORGOT our 2 year Anniversary?
Remember how my mother had to remind you?
Remember how I was waiting for you?
And you were playing Xbox with Diego?
Remember, how I wanted/should have been really mad?
But I forgave you.

Remember our 3 year Anniversary?
You made Katie Theile responsible for helping you remember our Anniversary? ;)
But I still loved you.

Remember our 6 year Anniversary?
Remember how you FORGOT?
Until my sister called to remind you?
Remember how I waited all day for you to realize you had done it, AGAIN?
But I forgave you, because I love you!

Remember how last year you asked me what I wanted for our anniversary.
Remember what I said?
Remember I said, "I want you to hold my hand when we go places instead of walking so far ahead of me?"
Remember our conversation about how you feel like you have so little time and need to rush?
Remember I said, "but I cannot keep up with you, so please hold my hand, and DON'T RUSH."
Remember you said you would, "Try" (with a smile)

Apparently, you don't REMEMBER!
Remember it's our 10 year?
Remember you were supposed to be holding my hand?
But you are not! You rushed on ahead without me!
Sometimes it's really hard to forgive you for that, but I do.
Because I love you!

I rewrote Taylor Swifts "Ronan"
I ran many miles with this song,
but please remember, song writer I am not :)

I remember your big smile and awesome laugh
I remember an amazing dad
wrestling on the kitchen floor, playing football
I love you to the moon and back

I remember your sweet eyes looking into mine
Like we had our own secret club
I remember us laughing before bed time
Then breakfast in bed, waking me up

I can still feel you hold my hand, Damond
And even the moment I knew
You were the one for me for all time
Remember I leaned in and whispered to you

Come on baby with me, we’re gonna fly away from here
You were my best ten years

I remember the drive home
When the blind shock turned to crying and thinking, “why?”
Flowers pile up in the worst way, no one knows what to say
about a beautiful man who died

And it’s about to be graduation
You could be anything you wanted if you were still here
I remember the last day when I kissed your face
I whispered in your ear

Come on baby with me we're gonna fly away from here
Out of this curtain room and this hospital grey, we'll just disappear
Come on baby with me we're gonna fly away from here
You were my best ten years

What if I'm standing in our closet trying to talk to you?
What if I kept the stethoscope you won’t ever use ?
And what if I really thought some miracle would see us through?
What if the miracle was even getting one moment with you?

Come on baby with me we're gonna fly away from here
Come on baby with me we're gonna fly away from here
You were my best ten years

I remember your big smile and awesome laugh
I love you to the moon and back