Monday, July 27, 2009

A wonderful day

Today was Mom's burial and memorial. Is it odd to say that it was one of the best days of my life? It was an experience that left me with a clearer vision of who I want to be. The memorial was perfect. It was simple enough to please Mom (she being the lover of simplicity that she is), but it was inclusive enough to reflect Mom's gregariousness. There were so many people who, thanks to their hard work behind the scenes, made the day flow smoothly. As a family, we want to thank everyone who came to help us celebrate the life of our mother and wife. My father was sad that he wasn't able to interact with you after the services; if we had left it up to him, he would have been standing there shaking hands and hugging until he dropped. He sends his love and gratitude.

On a personal note: I'm leaving with my wife for Ontario today (it is now the day after the services -- I was too exhausted to finish this post last night). This means that this blog is winding down. I may give a few updates on Dad's health now and then, but I feel like the primary purpose of the blog has been served. Please check back periodically over the next month or so. There are still some important posts from other members of the family that I, personally, am looking forward to.


  1. Daniel -- Thank you for your efforts with respect to this blog. It has been a labor of love.

  2. Yesterday was indeed a very special and memorable day for me as well. I loved hearing you and your siblings talk about Kathy and sing so beautifully! Please know (and tell your dad) that we wanted very much to shake his hand, too, and extend our love, but totally understand why that was not possible. Our prayers continue in his behalf.

  3. What a Great Tribute to a Great Woman! We felt honored to be there! Please give our love to the entire family and thank you very much for sharing this personal time with all of us! With Love to each of you, Terri and Guy Wentzel

  4. Thank you so much for being so diligent in keeping us all up to date! You will never know how much it means to me especially because we are so far away! A funny request, perhaps, but do you know if anyone taped the memorial. We could not be there but I really want to be a part of it in remembering your amazing mother. If there is a copy available, please let me know how I could get one, I would really appreciate it! Take care and good luck in Ontario!

  5. We send you our wishes for a safe and enjoyable journey home along with our heartfelt appreciation for keeping us posted through your wonderful blog! We shall miss your postings....but will drop by for quick "hellos" to your Folsom family. I'm hoping someone continues to leave the Visiting Hours sign on the door. We're so sorry that we didn't meet you...and other members of your your mom's services...but we had a long planned...but short...vacation to Gualala (on the N. Coast, returning yesterday after a stop in Davis to lunch with a former exchange student-friend from Australia...and her host parents and our daughter. But we remembered all of you throughout the day and weekend. Thank you again for all you did throughout these past few weeks. I can't imagine how many challenges you all faced. You're all an inspiration! Al and Bev Stehli

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  7. Words cannot express how I felt after leaving Kathy's service yesterday. I came away feeling and urgency to lengthen my stride, become a better woman, and most importantly, be a better disciple of our Savior Jesus Christ. I was so touched by the words and music that were shared by all. Standing outside after the service, I couldn't help but feel it was a little glimpse of how it will be when we are reunited with Kathy and our family members. It was truly a glimpse of Heaven and I thank you for sharing that experience with so many of us.

    I am grateful that I was first introduced to the Wood family in 1991 (through Shauna Wood Hansen) and have continued to be blessed in so many ways by the kind and gentle love you all so richly share. I am a better person for knowing you.

    ~Kristi (Vandecar) Lemus

  8. Yes, it was a beautiful day, Daniel. As your uncle Tom Stone put it after the service, "We are all better people for this experience, and for being here today." I also am inspired to work harder, serve more, and stand as a better witness of Christ.

    Your Uncle Tom also wanted to make it clear that he was not the President Stone of Elder Groberg's movie! "It was Fred!" he pointed him out. It was a blessing to spend the morning surrounded by some of the most choice people on the earth today, and I thought of Alma 17:2, when Alma and the sons of Mosiah reunite and find that they are still brethren in the Lord. Just as Kristi Lemus said, it did feel like a little bit of the Celestial Kingdom.

    Kent and Kathy, what a beautiful family you have!

  9. The service was perfect! A truly spiritual uplift. I too came away with a resolve to be better at serving others and using my talents to lift others. I want to be more like Kathy. Shaking the hand of an apostle was pretty awesome too.
    Thank you so much for this blog. We look forward to hearing more!
    Thank you and Love to you all!
    Carolyn Andrew

  10. Thank you so much for giving us all a small glimpse into your mothers life and keeping us updated on your blog. I have some photos of your mother when she was my roommate in college. Should I send them to your father? I loved your talk, Elizabeth's and the brothers song. It was should be making an CD's. I know Kathy was beaming.
    April DeCelle Carter

  11. Dear Daniel,

    Thank you so much for providing this little link for all of us who have appreciated being informed on how things are progressing for your father, and to offer love and support to your family with a place to post our thoughts and feelings.

    Thank you for your willingness to post some pertinent things here every once in a while. Fervent prayers will continue to be said for all of your family and especially for your father as he moves forward to continue this journey here in mortality.

    With Love and Faith,

    Rebecca Carter

  12. Your right Daniel. It feels like a transition. Thank you for your service of candor and extraordinary writing. I am better for it. You have a gift of articulation that is worthy of emulation. Make sure your archive these blogs. They will serve to inspire for generations to come. In addition to your chosen field, I believe you could become a great historian.

    Phil Lammi

  13. Thank you for all of the loving info that you've all shared over the past few weeks. We're serving a mission in Novosibirsk, Russia,so this blog has helped us to be connected just a bit. Our prayers have been with you. We love your parents and have appreciated our association with them. You and your family have done a beautiful job. I hope you feel the peace that comes from a job well done. Please tell your Dad of our love. Elder and Sister Simmons (Doug & Cindy Simmons)

  14. I’m so happy that things went well for your family at your mom's service. It's not weird at all to feel happy about it - the plan of salvation is something worth celebrating! I pray the Lord's blessings of peace and understanding will continue with each of you as you take up your "routine" activities. Thank you for sharing your experience and testimony with us. We are better people because of your family.

    (Since I don't have a personal email for your family, if I might, may I share something personal, in the hope that it might help in the future, acknowledging that every family's experience with the death of a parent is unique . . . . My mom and your Grandma Gail are sisters. My parents, Quinn & Donna Gardner, LOVED your mom and dad who had just married. And I have grown-up wanting to be your Aunt Staci Wood - she is the coolest!

    Like Christina, I was young (age 19) when my mom died at a young age (she was 53). Your Grandma Gail sang "I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked" at my mom's graveside service and her deep, rich voice was amazing. I felt the same way after my mom's funeral - that it had been a great, happy day of celebration. Then I went back to BYU and felt the Spirit withdraw some now that the major "carrying" was over. At first you don't think you'll be able to manage life without her, but healing and peace come, your family grows closer, the atonement goes from just something in your head to something you know in your heart, and your love for your dad increases (if that's possible!).

    Now I'm like Elisabeth (age 33) and it's been 14 years since my mom has been gone. I can tell you that as you grieve and change over time, your mom will be watching you all with interest and love that only you will know. And the Savior's loving arms will encircle you making up the difference for not having her around. Hang in there! It does get easier with time. . . .

    Love, Cousin Jennie (Gardner) Savage

  15. I wanted so badly to be at Kathy's memorial service. I have moved to Sparks Nevada and my Dad & sister arrive today from Phoenix for a family reunion. However, I was feeling you all in my heart and holding Kathy in my prayers. I am so glad that your Dad is progressing with his recovery. A million thank yous for keeping all us us that care so much for your Parents informed with this blog.
    Best wishes always Dee St John

  16. We (My husband Ken,My father, Don C. Wood.Jr., and my daughter Ashley and her husband, Jeff) arrived home from your mom, Kathy's Memorial Service. We have been deeply impacted by all that has happened this summer. To be able to see my cousin, Kent, (your dad) and hug him and know of his humble and Christlike spirit, has been one of the most humbling experiences of my life. You children did an outstanding job of honoring your mother, Kathy. When the song"I Know that my Redeemer Lives" was sung by Kent's 4 sons-I felt the presence of angels and knew that Kathy's light was shining down on all of us.

    If I live to be a thousand years old, I shall never forget the feelings of love and joy that I felt upon seeing my family and I must say that it is a humbling experience to be a part of such a marvelous and loving family.

    Ken and my Dad and I went to that fabulous Sacramento Temple yesterday and took several family file cards for sealings. We were so excited be a part of performing some of those important ordinances for some of our ancestors. The Sacramento Temple is beautiful-we shall return there someday.

    We continue to pray for you children and for sweet, Kent. May God be with you till we meet again.

    Love forever,

    Ken and Regina Jordan, Don C. Wood Jr. (and Daughter Ashley and Jeff.)

  17. Daniel,Elisabeth,Sean,Eric,Jason & Christina:
    Monday was beautiful. Your Mom was smiling, still!. How can we tell you how much it meant to all of us, also? It truly was "one of the best days". There were so many wonderful things.
    Elisabeth, you captured your Mom. Thanks for sharing her humor and the significant details of her youth that made her the woman we know and love.
    Daniel, you are so much your Father. I could not help but notice when you held the podium; your hands were positioned just as his have been, at so many stake conferences! And what memories you shared that reminded us of her endearing qualities.
    Daniel,Sean,Eric & Jason--WOW, your voices were indescribable. I heard both Kathy & Kent as you sang. Each of you have features of your parents and as you stood & sang we could see what a great legacy your parents have.
    Christina thank you for blending your voice with the seminary choir, they added so much to the program.
    My request, is at least, the posting of you boys singing. I could listen to it repeatedly!
    We will miss the updates, but understand. Those of us, who are (also)far away, hang on these; as a way to remain connected. We love you guys and are willing to help with anything we can.
    Marie & Mike Godfrey
    West Jordan, UT

    July 29, 2009 1:56 PM

  18. Dear Dan and Wood Family,

    The service for Kathy on Monday was a most inspirational and beautiful event. It was one that left me feeling hopeful and wanting to strive to be a better person and grow closer to God. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to attend and honor your beautiful and talented mother...a person whom we should all aspire to be more like.

    Thank you also for updating this blog. It has truly given me a chance to get to know more about your family and especially your parents, both of which I truly admire and respect. Thank you for introducing me to a special side of your parents I never had the chance to see before. I have been incredibly inspired by the spirit I have felt reading and learning about both of them. I am also extremely moved by your father's amazing photographs of space.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    With much love and appreciation,
    Stephanie Edwards

  19. Hearing you & your brothers sing was truly magical & so moving. Your mother's legacy lives in her children & in the music that you sing. The stories about her touched my heart & the memorial strengthened my testimony & made me very proud to be a part of such a loving church. Thank you for sharing this most intimate moment & for keeping us updated on your Dad's condition & progress. We continue to pray for you all & know that the prayers are being answered. Many blessings to you & your family. The good Lord is with you.

    Warm Regards,
    Christy Ralls
    Fair Oaks, Ca.