Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ian Dykstra

Ian Dykstra passed away recently. He was a pedestrian who was hit by a speeding automobile on Newport and Haun in Menifee, CA. Many people cared about Ian, and even as he was fighting death, and probably desiring it at times, his spirit touched many people's lives. Several friends launched a special prayer request on Facebook and many people who knew and didn't know this young man joined their faith in prayer for Ian and his family.








Ian was a neighbor and a friend to my kids who lived in Lake Elsinore. He was in high school when they first met him. Jim and his family even attended Ian's high school wrestiling matches. The family joined in block parties and a number of neighborhood activities.


Ian would have been 22 on April 21st. Which is the same birthdate as my sister, Karen, who was killed many years ago in a similar incident. They both had brain damage, were in comas, and eventually were allowed to leave this earth because the damage was too great to move on. Karen was taken off life support and expired on March 30, 1979, and her funeral was on April 6th. Ian passed earlier this week and his funeral will be the 2nd of April. She would have turned 25 that month.


Both too young. Both left this earth life with us wondering what they missed, and what we miss not having them here. Ian touched my family very intensely, and I believe his life, and his death will continue to touch people. I know specifically of a few who are searching for answers in faith for Ian and themselves. Ian sacrificed so often for people he loved, and in death he gave his kidneys and his liver. Another similarity to my sister is that she also gave of herself after death. In her case she gave her eyes and her kidneys. Both families knew that this is what they would WANT to do because that's the kind of people they were.


Apparently another similarity is that Karen and Ian were not innocent in the accidents that took them first into a coma, and then beyond the veil of this life. Karen was driving a shuttle bus at the Salt Lake City Airport, and though she was driving very slow and kept all of her passengers safe, she didn't hook her own seatbelt and when she was hit by a reckless driver she hit the steering wheel leading to her lung, heart, and brain damage. If she had buckled the seat belt she probably would have survived. Ian apparently stepped into the crosswalk before he had the green light and the other driver sped up to beat the yellow light hitting Ian.


In my job as an insurance agent I had the opportunity to talk to teenagers just as they got their licenses. One of the things I talked about, even using my sister's accident as a point, was that you always have to stay in the moment. Will we remember to learn from Ian and Karen to be patient and cautious? A moment made a difference in their lives and made a difference to all of us who love them?


I don't really believe in horoscopes but it was hard not to when I found that Ian and Karen were born on the same day. They had very similar character traits, and I believe and have faith that their spirits will continue to work and move forward on the other side of the veil. I'm grateful for that faith. When my sister died it was the first time my faith was tested. I knew then that I really did have faith in the things I hoped I believed. That same faith helps me with Ian's passing, and hopefully will help me express it to those who wonder "Why?"


Jimmy too. He was 8 years old when Aunt Karen passed away. The casket was open and I gave him the option of saying goodbye to her. He said wisely "It's okay mommy. That isn't Aunt Karen. It's just like a clam leaves the shell behind when he dies. That's just Aunt Karen's shell. She is still with us, and will always be watching over us." I know the loss of his good friend, Ian has been desperately difficult for him emotionally. But Jim understands that there is more. This isn't an end, it is just a new chapter. He will have the opportunity to feel his spirit everyday, and he will see his friend Ian another day. We all can.


Thanks to Hailey for her computer, and her pictures for this blog. Thanks Ian for being the person you have been, for making our lives better because we knew you.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Words to Live By--Balance

I love the opportunity to observe, write, and then ponder on various words. Words have power. I believe they can provoke thought and then change. There are so many words that empower each one of us. I am journaling on words that produce strong emotion in me.

Balance. I don't have much balance in my life and its one of those things I chase alot. I don't think I'm alone. Isn't it human nature to do what is easiest first, and put off those things that don't come as naturally? I recognize the importance of balance. If we only do what is fun, then we may not achieve those things that might come with hard work. If we totally focus on the laborious tasks we have to accomplish then we don't enjoy our lives as much as we should.

I remember a day that was particularly eyebrow raising as a mother. My oldest son was very involved in planning his future, setting goals, and being very serious about it. I leaned into his room and reminded him "it's great you are making such great plans, but remember to take time to stop and smell the roses too. Tomorrow is important, but so is today." I went down the stairs to catch my second son involved in some very momentary pleasures and not doing his homework. I caught myself as I said to him "It's always nice to enjoy the moment, but you need to look forward too. It isn't all about fun, plan for tomorrow too."

There I was recognizing that we don't want to be lopsided as we live this life we were given. I haven't found anything, except perhaps love that in excess is not harmful. Iguess even love could be "too much" if unrequited or harrassing.


I realize it's crazy but I love to clean house and to organize. It is a very satisfying pasttime to me. I guess it's because I get a pretty immediate reward for my labors. If I am feeling out of sorts it works to tear apart, then organize a closet, or scrub a floor. That's great for having a clean house but recently when I moved my kids teased me when they found I had even organized left over napkins, utensils, and straws from take out restaurants. When I am busy doing those things that come easy to me, am I putting off other important tasks, or self fulfilling and healthy options?

It seems I put ME at the bottom of my "to do" list. Since I am a list writer I've tried to divide my daily plans into a more balanced schedule. Physical, House, Errands, Social, Spiritual, and Financial are the headings. In the social area I migh include phone calls I want to make to family and friends, or notes I intend to write. Spiritually I may include writing in my journal, visiting teaching, reading uplifting books, or time to ponder and pray.

My intent is to include balance in my daily activities. More often than not I find I do the household chores before the others....it's my comfort zone. So I try to do one from each section and then repeating the process. When I am successful I feel I am more balanced. I don't just go to bed in a clean house, but I have moved myself and my other goals a little further along too.

Right now I am trying to lean the balance toward becoming a more healthy me. I'm trying to get exercise in on a daily basis, and I am spending time preparing healthier foods, and actually taking time to eat.

I recognize that emotional and spiritual balance are so important in those goals as well. I need to include the Lord in my plans, being grateful for successes, and asking for his help when I don't succeed. Al;so, writing in my jourhal, reading scriptures, and meditating help me put all of my goald in their proper priority.

It is still hard to fight old habits. There will always be something to keep me from taking care of me. I need to keep working to find that "balance" in my daily life. I am a Libra (scales) after all and "balance" is the key. Yesterday I was so proud of myself that when running short of time, I chose to leave my bed unmade and go to exercise. It felt like a battle won, putting me ahead of my house. In the whole scheme of things I think my health has more importance than a made bed.

Remember that Les as you try to keep balance in your life.

Postscript: I was telling Jim about my little list change and he told me that it really wasn't much of a change at all. He said "You have always had a list Mom, and every once in awhile you change it up, but it always had something to do with breaking things down, and putting balance into it." He also said "You spell it O C D Mom."
He also gave me a few hints about how he lists and priortizes the things he does. The major difference is that he doesn't list over 100 things to do a day he targets three of the most important things, and he accomplishes them. He also said I shouldn't go back and add things done that were not originally scheduled goals.

I dunno Jim, that might be a whole other kind of balance. I'll have to wean myself from my rather organized, copious list.