Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mount Baden Powell

Sorry we didn't get a chance to get to this post for a while. Right when I was going to post it, I had to wait because of what happened to my Mother. Naturally her post took precedence. So here we are a month after the event posting about Mount Baden Powell.

On New Years Day a few weeks ago, Jennifer and I decided that we wanted to go on a hike for the day. We also wanted to play in the snow. Mount Baden Powell is what came as a result.

Mount Baden Powell is a hiking trail in the Wrightwood area in Southern California. This trail covers part of the Pacific Crest Trail (Which I would love to hike someday) and is named after the founder of the Boy Scouts. We decided to take Sam with us because she has never seen the snow before. Here is our photo journal of the trip.

Sam loved the snow! We were worried about her getting cold, but her thick coat kept her plenty warm. We loved throwing snow balls off in the distance simply to watch her frolicking through the thick powdery snow. Sam couldn't resist munching on snow during any down time.

Jen and I tried covering all of our bases while in the snow, such as making snow angels, eating snow, and you guessed it peeing in it (Jen didn't want to participate in the latter part).

Love this picture.

I couldn't resist getting a little Bear Grills.

We ended our trip with this breath taking view. Nothing gets better than this. Afterwords we enjoyed four hours of traffic, but it was all worth it. Jen and I would love to come back someday and do an official camp out.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Mom, Dana Larsen King 12/10/1955 - 1/18/2011

As many of you already know, my Mom passed away last Tuesday. She struggled for a long time with Multiple Sclerosis and finally on Monday she was admitted into the hospital with a case of pneumonia. At 5:25 Tuesday evening, she passed away. She taught me so much even to her very last day.

On Monday she had an option to be put on a ventilator which she declined. She knew that she would probably die if she didn't get put on a ventilator but she was ok with that. She looked at us and very casually told us, "No, I don't want it" and she was totally at peace with that decision. She never once had a look of fear in her eyes. She knew what was happening, and she was cool with it because she knew she was going home and was going to be free at last. That taught me to have great perspective like my Mother did.

Yesterday was her funeral service and it was such a happy occasion. There were so many people who came out and supported us and showed their love for my Mom. She inspired so many people. One thing that I wanted to say during my talk at the funeral which I didn't really do right was this: My Mom's life was really amazing, yet her body was really cruddy. She was totally disabled. A lot of people would be upset or bitter towards God for inflicting such an amazing person with an incurable disease which would eventually take her life. Something that is equally hard to understand is when people say, "We may not know why God does the things he does but we do know that he has a purpose in all things and that he does all things for a reason". I totally understand why that does not sit well with people. Why would God do this to Dana King? She was too good of a person! She didn't deserve this! I want to echo those words, "We may not know why God does the things he does but we do know that he has a purpose in all things and that he does all things for a reason". In my Mom's case though, I do know why God did this to her and it was made more clear over this past week through Facebook and also at her funeral. God loves us all and he gave MS to my Mom for all of us. She could not have made such a great impact on all of us, literally thousands of us, if it were not for her disease. God knew what he was doing. We are all more humble for knowing her. We are all more charitable for knowing her. We are all kinder for knowing her. We are all better people because we knew her, and she also is a better person for having MS. I thank God for being wise enough to know that this single physical affliction would be the cause of blessing thousands of his children even though we couldn't always understand why.

My Mom put up with a lot. Not only did she have her MS to deal with but she also had 5 rotten kids. I think we all ended up being pretty good people especially because of her but we did put that woman through hell growing up. I don't know how a healthy parent could have managed but she seemed to be able to handle her parental duties perfectly. We had a very unusual relationship with our Mom. We teased her a lot. I know that some of you won't understand this story and will probably think I am just awful for doing this to her. I remember one time I took my Mom to the hairdresser in Anaheim Hills. She recently lost her ability to walk and stand and I would have to carry her in and out of her car to and from her wheelchair. While driving home she told me that I need to hurry up because she had to pee really bad. She asked me to say something that would keep her mind off of it. I thought it would be funny to start talking about a vacation that I have always wanted to do which is to visit the Niagara Falls. She seemed interested at first until I started talking about how it would be amazing to see all that water falling and falling into the pool below. I tried my best to imitate the sound of the water crashing. When she caught onto what I was doing, she started busting up and she peed her pants. We laughed so hard and I gladly cleaned it up and changed her when we got home. It was well worth it. She had a great sense of humor about her disease. She knew she couldn't change what she was given so she made the best of it and often times made fun of herself.

I want to thank so many people who so selflessly came to her house and fed her lunch and did physical stretches with her body which was a part of her physical therapy regimen. Thank you to everyone who befriended her. She loved her friends so deeply. Thank you to all that have prayed for her and our family over the past many many years. Thank you to anyone who touched her life and loved her. And finally a big gigantic THANK YOU to RIK. You volunteered your life to help hers. You married her 16 years ago knowing that this day would come from the very beginning and knowing all the sacrifices you would have to make for her. You are her Shrek. She loved you so much and you earned her's and our love forever.

I love you Mom, and I will live my life the best I can so I can be with you again someday.