Sunday, March 27, 2011

I Love You, Grandpa

I love this time of year. I love spring. Although if you live where we live, you might wonder when the winter weather would pack up and leave. I really shouldn't complain because I don't have to shovel anything. I'm just a California wimp and proud of it! But I also love this time of year because of General Conference. Each year, during the first weekend of April and October, members worldwide of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gather to listen to the prophet and other leaders of the church give instruction during 5 tw0-hour sessions over the course of Saturday and Sunday. It is broadcast worldwide via satellite, television, radio, and internet. It is awesome and uplifting and the counsel and instruction is so relevant to today. So next weekend I'll be listening to some Mormon Tabernacle Choir and good words. Oh, and eating cheese souffle and cinnamon rolls because that's the family tradition.

One day I hope to publish this blog for my children. This is my journal. I hope they find comfort, strength, love, peace, humor, understanding, courage, but most of all, faith and testimony. I want my children to know of my love of God, our Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ. I want them to know of my faith in their reality and their love for me and each of them individually. I hope they see the miracles and tender mercies we have received. I want them to know that I know we are here on earth as a family for a purpose as part of God's eternal plan. I believe trials are evidence that the Lord feels we are prepared to grow more. And I hope we are growing well. "[Heavenly Father] and His Beloved Son love us perfectly. They would not require us to experience a moment more of difficulty than is absolutely needed for [our] personal benefit or for that of those [we] love." This quote if from one of my favorite talks on trials and adversity, Trust in the Lord, given by Elder Richard G. Scott, in the October 1995 General Conference. He instructs,
"When you face adversity, you can be led to ask many questions. Some serve a useful purpose; others do not. To ask, Why does this have to happen to me? Why do I have to suffer this, now? What have I done to cause this? will lead you into blind alleys. It really does no good to ask questions that reflect opposition to the will of God. Rather ask, What am I to do? What am I to learn from this experience? What am I to change? Whom am I to help? How can I remember my many blessings in times of trial? Willing sacrifice of deeply held personal desires in favor of the will of God is very hard to do. Yet, when you pray with real conviction, “Please let me know Thy will” and “May Thy will be done,” you are in the strongest position to receive the maximum help from your loving Father....To recognize the hand of the Lord in your life and to accept His will without complaint is a beginning. That decision does not immediately eliminate the struggles that will come for your growth. But I witness that it is the best way there is for you to find strength and understanding. It will free you from the dead ends of your own reasoning. It will allow your life to become a productive, meaningful experience, when otherwise you may not know how to go on."
One of the great examples to me of adversity without complaint and remarkable strength and faith is my Grandpa, H. Smith Shumway. He peacefully passed away on Saturday afternoon at the age of 89. He was amazing and I can only imagine the joyful reunion in heaven as he was reunited with his wife and daughter and many other loved ones. Grandpa landed on Omaha beach in Normandy, France during WW II on D-Day in 1944. He was blinded by a tank explosion nearly 6 weeks later when he was 23. After the war, he returned home and married his sweetheart and raised 8 children. He found the blessings in his trials and made weaknesses his strengths. He was amazingly independent and the story of his proposal to my grandmother is often retold, "If you will sort my socks and read my mail, I'll do all the rest." And he did. Well, she drove the car too! I am grateful for his optimism and faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. And I also think it's cool that he let me hold his eyeballs when I was young. I love you, Grandpa!

William and Great-grandpa Shumway in Nov. 2009, 6 months before William's diagnosis

All the boys with Great-grandpa Shumway in July 2009

In Normandy, France at Omaha Beach in June 2004 for the 60th Anniversary of D-Day


  1. Thanks for sharing that quote and your testimony.

  2. Beautiful sorry to read about Grandpa Shumway. I have only fond memories of him, his harmonica, and how social he always was. What a blessing to have had him for your own!

    You all continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. LOVE YOU!

  3. i love grandpa shumway!! what a wonderful reunion he's having in heaven right now :) love you jules!

  4. A life well lived is celebrated, rather than mourned--although everyone will miss him what a legacy of strength and determination he has left his numerous children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I'm glad for the opportunities i've had to meet and talk with him. I'm glad his genes for strength and determiination shine brightly in you and the boys. Our sympathies to you and all the Shumways.

  5. I'm so sorry for your loss, Julie, but I'm glad Grandpa Shumway can see again! I, too, have fond memories of him and how cheerful he always was. Thank you for your testimony -- it strengthens me. Your boys will find all those things you want them to when they read this blog someday. Have a great week! xoxo

  6. Julie, I'd like to add my Amen to the testimony you shared. "I agree"! I too am grateful to have met your grandpa and to have heard of a life story as true and inspiring as his! He was proof that one could achieve great and even normal life things despite injury and life challenge!