Friday, February 6, 2009

Grandma Mabel

We lost our dear grandma Mabel on December 20, 2008. She had made it to 99th years old. I knew that I wanted to write about her so that as my kids get older they can always look back and read about her and how much she has effected our lives. When Marcus and I were married she was able to come to the wedding. I didn't know her at that point in my life, but was so glad that she was there to share that beautiful day with us. We were able to go to her 95th birthday in Utah a few years ago. I was pregnant with Lafai and it was after that trip that we decided to let Gordon and grandma Mabel come up with a name for our baby. One day I had a list of names(which I could not pronounce any of them) that they had come up with. Lafai was one of them and it was a family name on her side. So we did choose that name. The story behind it is so funny, because Lafai's full name is Lafaitautele Ikaika Purcell. But when Lafai was less than a year old she had seen how we spelled it and she called and said it is the wrong name it was suppose to be LafaiSAOtele. From then on she has always called him by that name and told us we need to fix it. So we are finally starting the process of changing his name.
The last few years we have been able to have grandma in our lives so much more. She was able to attend Lilli,Kainoa,Leilani and Jaedyn's kindergarten graduation. Knowing grandma and how important education is I'm sure those days were just as special for her as it was for us. Last summer grandma got to spend the night at our house and even though the language barriar was a little rough which I did have to call Gordan a few times to help me out. It was so special for our family. Lafai wanted to sleep with her so they sleep together in the extra room all night. I thought for sure Lafai would wake up during the night but he didn't, Grandma rubbed his arm and head for most of the night. I went in at 7:00am to check on them and she waved her little arm at me to get out!! I guess she had everything under control.
Her 99th birthday was in Utah this past May and I know that most of the Purcell family was changed. Marcus and I both agree it was one of the best trips we have ever had. Relationships were formed and the family really became stronger. I have never seen Marcus so happy before than he was for that week we were in Utah and he was with his cousins. But most of all the spirit that was with us. When grandma left us she left behind her strength in the gospel. I still am amazed at how much faith she had and how one person could bring so much spirit into one room that it so over whelming. Even writing about it I get teary eyed and I can feel the spirit here with me. I know that is what makes her so special. I hope for all of us that we can keep these kinds of things close to us but most importantly stay close to our Heavenly Father. I know that is what grandma wants for all of us and I hope that I can raise my own children to hold to the iron rod and always keep them close to the Lord. This past Sunday I had to teach in Relief Society on Celestial marriages and as I prepared my lesson grandma kept coming into my mind. Grandma has now been reunited with her eternal companion, they have both waited a long to be with each other. She lived the gospel to the fullest and understood the true meaning of the temple and the blessings it brings through eternal families. I will strive to do the same cause she showed us what true happiness looks like here on this earth and here after.

Grandma kissing her Lafaisaotele

Lafai Wrestling

Marcus and I wanted Lafai to do a sport this winter. I wish he was old enough to play football but he's not. So instead he wrestled. I was unsure of it at first, but I got the hang of it real quick. He wrestled for Jefferson High School as a "little saint". His very first tournament he went out on the mat wrestled his first period and at the end started screaming as most of you know. But as time went on he got to be more comfortable and finally started wrestling all three periods. He had his first pin the second week in January. Marcus and I were so proud of him. Who would of thought mom and his sisters cheering him on for the side of the mat while coach dad coaches him through it. Wrestling tournaments are like gymnastics meets your kid only goes a few times and it's like once every hour. All it means is that we were there from 7:00am(which is what time the kids have to weight in) and then they don't start to wrestle till about 9:00am. We usually left after 1:00pm to go home, so it is a very long day. But well worth it.