3.15.2016

A few memories...

Tomorrow, we will be heading to Eastern Idaho for the celebration of my brother's and sister-in-law's lives. But I couldn't go without sharing some of my treasured memories of my brother (and a few of Jess) on here, This post is for me but feel free to read and see into one of the biggest hearts of someone that I feel privileged to call my brother.

 David is #4 in my family - I am #8. There is a 8.5 year span between us. My earliest memory of David is taking rides in his red Toyota truck with the likes of Alan Jackson and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band blaring on the stereo. The day after I learned of his passing, I ran to Chattahooche and cried the entire song. I used to get so car sick in the makeshift "backseat" of that truck because it was a manual and being a new driver, David could never lift the clutch smoothly. But the jerkiness was always worth it because he would stop for .25 ice cream cones or packs of gum for me - his generosity showing through even in his teenage years.

Another childhood memory with David is my baptism. David had just barely received the priesthood required to perform baptisms as he was shortly to leave on his mission to Washington DC, so I felt proud to be his "First baptism." I remember us both feeling awkward and nervous but then he made some funny comment about the cold water and my anxiety left. That is David to a tee - his one-liners always broke the ice of any situation.

 During my teenage years, David and Jess met, married, and had three adorable children. My nieces and nephews were the first recipients of my overwhelming maternal love. I spent hours holding, tickling, and playing with these kids - now they return it all as awesome older cousins to my children. David has always had a great ability at relating to teenagers. I specifically remember getting ready for a school dance when he was in town visiting and was having some "undergarment issues" - he took me strait to the mall and purchased the outrageously priced panties that I needed to fix it. If that is not true brotherly love than I don't know what is.

David and Jess were very supportive when Blake and I met, dated, and eventually married. Blake's first memory of David is from when Blake came to Vegas (for my brother Chad's wedding) to meet my family. We were all standing around in a hotel room. when David reached around Jess and squeezed her boobs.  I am sure sweet innocent I've-never-kissed-a-girl Blake had a great look on his face as David turned to him, "Sorry I just had to do that." As Blake and I prepared for marriage, Jess and David talked very candidly about relationships, in-laws, and children. They helped me understand that marriage is a lot of work but a lot of fun as well. I have two very sacred moments from my wedding day - one involved David and one involved Jess - that I hold dear in my heart. They loved greatly and I feel honored to have felt of their love.

But I truly didn't know how deep David's love was until I had children. David loved kids... fiercely. Firstly, his own of course, but also nieces and nephews and friends. He was always the first to steal my babies from my arms. He was that uncle that came packing gigantic gobstoppers, silly string, fart putty, or other obnoxious prizes that my children adore. 

If you ever made the mistake and tried to call him out on giving your kid too much ice cream, he would make sure they got double that amount next time. He knew cousin time was special and made sure that him and his kids were fully present when it came to get togethers. For the longest time, Paisley referred to him as the "cookie dough uncle" because that was the only thing he would request from her when he came to visit - all our cookie dough, which she gladly obliged him with one ball at a time.

 David knew how to play. From hard play like watersking, motorbiking, and flying. To little play like kick-the-can, relival bear, and tickle traps. Jess and him were firm believers in giving their kids experiences instead of things so they played hard as a family. They traveled often, fully taking in the wonders of this earth together as a couple, with friends, or with family.

My girl's most cherished memory of David is from this last Thanksgiving when he brought them some play makeup and got right in on the action with them. When I showed Paisley this picture the other day, she promptly burst into tears, "None of my other uncles will ever let me put makeup on them." There is probably some truth to this and so I tried to point out to her just how special David is and aren't we lucky that we have those memories of him. (Although she did mention, "Maybe Chad would... if I begged." Which I thought was adorable.)

David and Jess were at times known to play favorites and Cosette was one of their favorites. She could always score their phones from them and David would sit forever with her scrolling Google images of Squinkies, Princesses, and Shopkins. He would often yell at me to "Buy this poor quiet girl a tablet so she can disappear into her own world." If David was in town, I was always sure to find Cosette sitting on his lap. She knew he loved her and although Paisley more fully "gets" the magnitude of our loss, Cosette will greatly miss her Uncle David.

There are more but oh how I wish more could be made. I am grateful for Ashley, Natalie, and Gavin and what they carry of their parents inside of them.  My loss pales in comparison to what those three beautiful children lost. I know their parent's love still lives on and I pray it will carry their children high - I know David and Jess would want nothing less than to see their kids soar.

Two beautiful souls - I can not believe they are no longer with us.

10 comments:

Stephanie Abney said...

Oh, sweet Cyndi ~
I'm so sorry to learn of the loss of your brother and sister-in-law. What fun, crazy memories you shared. It was easy to see how close you are to him and how much you all love him (and Jess). I pray the Lord will comfort you and yours during this time. And those sweet children - bless them too.

HowellAZ said...

What sweet memories! You have a wonderful family.

Jo said...

Cosie looks so much like you in that baptism picture!!!
I'm so glad that you are calling this a celebration of David and Jess's lives. That's what it should be. It will be heartbreaking and terribly sad, but the good memories are what you must hold on to. Prayers and heartfelt love are with you.

Brandi Edvalson said...

A beautiful post. Sending hugs and love...

Meghan Butt said...

I remember when Dave and Jess moved in right behind our house, and my life was forever changed. I had always wanted a big brother, and Dave filled that role. He supported me in everything I did. Every Sunday they would show up. Every Superbowl we would spend together. He loved me, and I loved him. In high school I was struggling with friends. He bought me two Brad Paisley tickets. One for me, and an extra for a new friend. When I quit a job he showed up on my last day with an Italian soda from Johnny Carinos and a note that said "take this job and shove it." He loved Italian nachos and Italian sodas from Carinos. I will always remember him taking me boating at Palasades right after Natalie was born. He took me to fourth of July fireworks, construction sites, and anywhere else he was going. He tried to convince me that farts are poo dust. He was a word one, who could make the whole room laugh. He spoke of you all the time. I remember how excited he was for your wedding. I adore Dave, and feel like I am mourning the loss of a brother. MY heart breaks for your family, and especially for Ashley, Natalie, and Gavin. I am so grateful for the Plan of Happiness.

Ashley, Mike, Mylie, Chloe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashley, Mike, Mylie, Chloe said...

Love lots of love*

Ashley, Mike, Mylie, Chloe said...

Your family will always hold a special place in my heart! Sending all my love and hugs to you all!
Ashley (worthen)schoenfeld

Jone MacCulloch said...

What a beautiful tribute for your brother and sister in law..so much love. Praying for your family.

Coach Gary Fields said...

Your Brother played Basketball for me when he was in the 4th Grade through the 7th grade. No one tried harder or gave more effort. His zest for Life and the Love he had for everyone will never be forgotten. My son Chad Fields will be at the Service for David and Jessica. You and your family will be in my thoughts Friday and your Brother will be in my Heart for the rest of my life.