What an amazing day. Today we celebrated Steph's birthday...what an amazing sister-in-law! I cannot believe she has stuck with us Schlappi's this long! We really are lucky to have her beautiful smile all the time and forever. Steph is one of those people who can make anyone happy. She is the kind of person where even if she tells you something hard to hear, you know it comes straight from the heart and she loves you. Steph is the kind of person you can tell anything and you never have to add a clause of "don't tell anyone" because she is smart enough to keep her mouth shut when she needs too and knows when it is appropriate to share things. Steph doesn't gossip. Ya, I really don't think I have ever heard Steph gossip and she is a girl...hard to believe for all guys that there is a girl in the world who does not gossip. Steph loves and loves and serves and serves. Steph's laugh is contagious.
As I walked out of our home tonight I was overcome with how much love I felt in the home tonight for and from Steph. So I was already crying and then as we drove away I noticed a huge sign hanging on our house. "We love you Bishop". I completely lost it and by the time we got to Wal Mart I was still a mess. To tell you the truth we have been home about an hour and I still have tears that can't dry because they are constantly replaced by new ones. I think I felt all the love of the ward all at once. It was like my wedding all over again. I felt the love. These past few days have been hard on us. We (all the children and my mother) loved having our father as a bishop. He always found/made time for us and did the same for everyone else as a ward. A home changes when the patriarch is serving constantly. My daddy loves to serve and I believe him when he says, "I will never stop serving, I will never stop loving, I will never give up". I did not think it would be hard to let your father go as a bishop...I thought it would be nice to see him around more and yes it will be but at the same time...I loved seeing him bear his testimony of how much he loved the gospel and the Lord. I loved seeing him look into the Youth's eyes and tell them that Christ loves them. I loved it when he cried when overcome with the spirit. I loved seeing how much he truly loved the Citrus Heights ward. Our ward is no more, the name is all gone but I will never ever forget my ward family. I will never forget the sacrifices they made for me and my family. They were there when I needed them and they were there even when it may have seemed like we didn't. Trust me there was never a day that we did not need the support of the ward family. I will cherish that ward list forever and never forget the ward that carried me through the toughest time of my life...thus far. My ward encompassed me with all their arms and they are what got me here. I will never be able to say thank you enough. I think this change may be hardest on me...I a sure there are many who think that. These people loved me and prayed for me and fasted and put all their faith in God to heal me. I know that it is because of our joint faith that I am where I am today. The greatest comfort is knowing that even though I won't see my brothers and sisters every week on Sunday, they will continue to pray for me. They will continue to call on the powers of heaven in my name and they will continue to love me as I will them. There is a bond that exists in the Citrus Heights ward that will never be broken, only expanded. My wish is that we invite the other wards that we are now a part of to join with us in spirit and become one...I want us all to become one and I wish for us all to continue to call on those powers in heaven that can heal me. I can be whole again, but if not...how marvelous it will be to go and wait for all my friends and ward family members. I will go if it be the Lord's will and then in a few years my family will start to join me and we can all be together in white. Saturday I got to see many of my friends in white and that gave me only a glimpse of what heaven will be like. How perfect heaven will be. I will miss you Citrus Heights but be assured you aren't done with me yet! I am still here and still healthy and still more excited and ready to fight this cancer. I love you. My dad loves you. Heavenly Father loves you most. Seeing as I can no longer see the screen through my tears I think it appropriate to say goodnight. I truly, deeply love you and I will never forget the kindness you have shown to me. Keep praying and unite with all those around you. I love you
Your sister forever