© 2013 mikeandbrynne

A Life Well Lived

Despite our parents protest that there had to be a better date, Mike and I were married the day after Christmas 16 years ago. I’m so grateful that I was married to my best friend that day, but it can be tricky to negotiate a celebration each year in the aftermath of Christmas. This year we settled  for putting Mike back on bedrest, and Taylor and I embarking on an airplane to Utah to attend my Grandpa’s funeral. Although the timing was challenging (who leaves their helpless husband in a wheelchair home by himself with four kids???) the experience was a great blessing for Taylor and I. My 95 year old grandfather had 6 children, 42 grandchildren and over 100 great grandchildren. His posterity spilled out through the church and I loved rubbing shoulders with cousins I hadn’t seen in years and celebrating my grandfather. He was a self made railroad man who grew up in extreme poverty with an arthritic crippled single mother. Wearing potato sack underwear and putting rocks up his nose to avoid smelling the food cooking at the neighbor’s house, he learned how to live without the luxuries of life. Despite of or maybe as a result of, his humble upbringings he became an amazing man of integrity and grit. I love my grandfather. He loved us and we knew it. There was no toleration of whining or lack of gratitude and there was always room for one more. I remember going to visit him in college and bringing my roommates to listen to him expound the wisdom of his years to us. I remember him staying up with me all night one Christmas Eve when I couldn’t sleep because I was so excited to go to Disneyalnd the next day. I remember him singing and singing and singing to us. I remember him making a wood floor and a ballet barre for me as a 12 or 13 year old so that I could have a place to practice with my pointe shoes. I remember tours of San Fransisco and eating shrimp on Fishermans Wharf. I remember sourdough bread and walking the streets of Los Altos. I remember receiving my patriarchal blessing from him and being overcome with love and gratitude. I remember the way he loved my grandmother and gave all the glory to her. I remember the way he taught us and the way he lived. Thank you Grandpa!!  I love you!!


Darcy, Mal and I were so lucky to grow up together and to spend several years of college together.  I smile whenever I think about our crazy adventures growing up–from New Year’s Eve all night celebrations at the Rose Parade route to sneaking into my high school prom to tell me about “an urgent family situation” to trying to pre arrange our future spouses (which by the way was finally successful for Mal and I) we had a wonderful time.IMG_9812

Nearly all of Grandpa’s grandchildren were present at the funeral.  It was a glorious to celebrate our dear Grandpa together.





Susie, Janean, Vickie, Jill, Bruce, Laurie





  Grandpa would have been disappointed if we hadn’t stopped for Aggie Ice Cream.IMG_9820