Monday, February 25, 2008

Grandma Hancock's Funeral

Last Tuesday afternoon, John and I drove back to Mesa, AZ yet one more time for a family funeral. This one was for my sweet grandma Hancock , whom I posted about two weeks ago. I was so grateful to have been able to be there with my sisters, Julie, Lisa, and Jackie. We've been through a lot these last months, since our mother passed away suddenly in December, two days after my dad's father, Carl J Beecroft, Sr. In January we attended another funeral of my Uncle Roger Baldwin and our great aunt, Jean Taylor passed away in January as well.
I was privileged to enjoy the company of several of my Uncle Doug's children whom I had grown up with in Mesa...Kristy, Buffy, Doug, Jr. and David Hancock. Some of their children and spouses were there as well. It was so good to see my mom's brother, Doug and his good wife, Jeanne who had done so much to take care of grandma in her last years. She has suffered from Alzheimer's Disease the last few years, so her passing is a great blessing to her and all who loved her. I enjoyed meeting some of my mother's cousins and some of her aunts and uncles on grandma's side.
My sisters and I and a couple of our cousins, sang "I am a Child of God" at the funeral and I felt honored to be able to speak and give a tribute to grandma. I read some funny things in her own words that I had found in my mother's journal:
"Rita had lots of friends and our home was always full of kids. LOTS of slumber parties (why do they call them slumber?) and she missed very few Friday night dances at the Mezona." "Rita planned on going out one evening (High school days). Her Dad and I were gone before her date was to arrive. Her younger brother, Doug, didn't want her to date this boy, and after we left, he tied her up with ropes and gagged her and left her in a back room and told the young man she wasn't home. She was VERY, VERY mad." "Our children always let us know when they came home nights. Their Dad would ALWAYS ask "what time is it?" We didn't know until years later when they were all home at the same time that Rita came in at "plenty after eleven" instead of "twenty after eleven"!
Fun stories to share. My grandma had such a great sense of humor and was always giggling and had such a contagious laugh. Everyone that spoke said that of her. I also held up a certificate that I'm very thankful for that I found in the things I have inherited from my mom's. It is the sealing certificate of my grandpa and grandma Hancock when they were sealed in the Mesa temple for all eternity on November 22,1972. That means more to me than any other material thing she could have left for us. I was so thankful when she and grandpa could attend my temple wedding in 1975.
Grandma's funeral was held in the Meldrum's Mortuary in Mesa. It was a pleasure to be there to pay honor to such a wonderful woman. I'm grateful to know she is with my grandpa again and with many other loved ones, including my mother.
My next post, hopefully won't be about a funeral! I've had more than my share these last couple months. I'm trying to lift my spirits and look forward to a happy year ahead. I'm thankful for my good husband who has supported me through all my grieving and been by my side through it all.

Here is a 5 generation photo taken in 2001 ......
Ditte with Cozette on left, myself Debi, Kirsten with Audrey
Grandma Hancock and my mother, Rita Beecroft in front.
I have a blessed heritage and wonderful memories of these two great women in my life and now I hope to focus on our future and the wonderful grandchildren coming into our lives.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Feelings from my Heart on this Valentines Day......

This journal entry is full of feelings from my heart today....appropriate I suppose being Valentines Day....
I have had so many loved ones pass away since Christmas that it almost feels numbing to write that my mother's mother.... Grandma Lorale (pronounced LoraLee) Cox Hancock passed away yesterday, about noontime. She has been suffering with Alzheimers for a few years and when we went to sing Happy Birthday to her on her 90th, 2 years ago in Mesa, I looked into her loving blue eyes then and knew she didn't know me anymore. She has had to live in a Hospice Facility for the last year or so. Since she couldn't even attend my mother's funeral in December, we have been praying for her release from this life so she can be her happy, joyful self again with loved ones who have gone before her. I can only imagine the moment of discovery when she met my mother on the other side and wondered how she got there before her!

My Grandma Hancock was the best grandma a little girl could have ever wished for. She is my model for what I should be like to my little grandchildren. As my parents had two children right after me born with Cystic Fibrosis, my mother was a very busy mom caring for them and my grandma took care of me a lot. When I was 6 years old, my little sister Carla died as my mother was in the same hospital delivering my sister Pam. I went into shock and became violently ill and my dad took me to my grandma's house to stay until I got better. She took good care of me. I still have happy dreams about driving to her house and spending lots and lots of good times with her. She sewed all my little sister Carla's and my dresses and she could cook and she could joke and laugh with us. She has had such a profound influence on my whole life. I only remember her happy countenance and feeling so loved by this good, loving grandma. I was always amazed at her story of being a 17 year old young woman who eloped with my 37 year old grandpa. His first wife died and left him with 3 children to raise. Grandma stepped right into being a mother to a 12 year old son and two younger daughters and then she had my mom and Uncle Doug a short time later. I know she wasn't perfect....there were problems in their early marriage, but I just was in awe at the 20 year difference in her and grandpa's ages and loved how she loved and cared for him even until he was very aged and passed away around 1989.
Even through my adult life she continued to think of us....she and grandpa Hancock came up to Provo to be with us when we were students at BYU and we loved that visit so much.

My grandma was a convert to the Church after her marriage to grandpa. They were not sealed together until one summer after we had been camping together, my 16 year old heart could not take it anymore that she wouldn't be a part of our forever family. I poured out my concerns to her in a letter and within a short time, she and grandpa became prepared to go to the temple and be sealed to each other and to have their children sealed to them. I was able to be with her and my mom when she was sealed to her own parents. I was so thankful she and grandpa were able to be with me in the Los Angeles Temple a few short years later on the day I was married, too. My memories are extensive of her and I feel such a mourning going on in my heart to realize that although it feels like she has already been gone, now she has really gone on to the next life, and I miss her. But I know, just as I know my parents and other loved ones have passed onto the Spirit world, she lives and I'm remembering you, Grandma.......I love and miss you!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Birthdays, Valentines, and family times.....

Happy Valentines Day to all of you this coming Thursday, February 14th!

Tonight for Family Home Evening, we made homemade Valentines for our missionary... Steffen.

We each looked up scriptures that had to do with Love and wrote those on his valentines. It was a "small and simple" home evening.

This past weekend, Erik, Cristin and Luke came for a visit from Tehachapi so Cristin could get out of the snow and so we could celebrate her upcoming 30th birthday (Feb. 21st) . It was wonderful to have them come. We called up the family troops who live nearby and asked them to come over Friday night for cake and ice cream and we had an instant party! Thank you all for coming. It was a "small and simple" party but there was lots of love and we just enjoy being together, hanging out and, of course....... EATING! Candace and Tyler and Lizette even came! We missed our Utah family...Trine, Larry, Leyna, Christian, Emily and Gracie! Anytime you guys want to get out of the "snow", just come on down....we've been enjoying some really nice California beach weather the last few days and would love to have you join us.

Cristin, we love you! Happy, Happy Birthday. You were a great sport to wear the traditional Lassen birthday hat while we sang and watched you blow out the candles!

And no, Haans is not holding a's a candle!