Service to others got me through my first big week: Sunday Aug. 25 - Sunday Sept. 1
9/17/2013 | Sheryl McGlochlin

Article image: Service to others got me through my first big week: Sunday Aug. 25 - Sunday Sept. 1

I wrote this but never posted it until now.  Some of these things may sound mundane to you but focus on how giving service to others plays such an important part in dealing with trials in our lives.  That's what I hope you'll gain from reading this entry.  Go do something kind for someone else when you are feeling the most depressed, anxious, frustrated, sad, etc.

What a GREAT week!  The highlights.

Sunday, Aug. 25

Raena, our beautiful 22 year old daughter, finally arrived back home safely, from her road trip exploring much of the Pacific Coast from San Fran to Seattle. Since she’s been living in the US Virgin Islands and San Francisco this whole year, it’s especially good to see her every day now!  I cooked a delicious Sunday dinner for my family, only to watch them eat it since I couldn’t eat anything in preparation for my Colonoscopy the following morning.  That was a sacrifice on my part. 

Monday, Aug. 26

Colonoscopy early the next morning, learning the news, thinking about having to attach my name with the “C” word.  The dreaded “C” word. Thinking about how we would tell our family and friends about this un-welcome news.  

Jump ahead one week later to Sept. 1:

I just want to say that I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive and loving family.  I’m very grateful for people in my life who don’t focus on what I should have done to prevent this, which is already keenly in my mind, but focusing on how they will help me from here on out. Dave is always so good to me and helps me all the time.  Many of my hiking friends call him “St. Dave” and yes, I agree - he IS a saint for being able to live with me and always help me so much. Our children all have great faith and pure goodness in them that it is almost a pleasure to go through hard trials with them (that includes my son in law Brandon and daughter in law Monica). My mom and siblings are the same way and have always been there for me and I know they always will. At times like this my heart goes out to the many people in the world who don’t have a strong support team like the one I’ve been blessed with.  

Tuesday, Aug 27

Went hiking in the Wasatch Mountains, which by the way, will ALWAYS cure whatever ails you. Today it was Silver Fork Trail in Big Cottonwood Canyon which was extremely lush, green and beautiful as always. I feel incredibly grateful to have friends who will hike with me every week. The big difference hiking on this day is the reminder that it really is a huge privilege to hike as much as I do, with amazing friends, lots of energy and to see this kind of beauty so often in my life.  It’s sacred, peaceful, soothing, calming and exhilarating.  Now that I’m starting to see life with new eyes, I can’t help but think of all the people in the world who would love to be hiking, but can’t for whatever reason, or witness the peace and quiet and beauty that comes from these majestic mountains. I know I am blessed and should never take this gift for granted.  

Tuesday evening is our weekly garden group work night. After a CT Scan earlier in the afternoon, I was especially looking forward to going to the gardens. I am grateful for having work to do, for people to do this work with, for looking at and picking some of the amazing harvest after what feels like one of the hardest gardening years I’ve personally known. It’s exciting to see just how far we’ve come, after many difficult days with record breaking heat, and hoping all of our 9 large gardens wouldn’t die on us. It was an unforgiving growing season if you didn’t do everything right like get your crops in the ground on time or make sure they all got enough water, etc. I constantly find metaphors to life through all my outdoor adventures and gardening experiences, which I’ll share later on. 

A quart of fresh salsa and a bag of chips

It’s interesting when you are hurting the most, for whatever reason,  the smallest, simplest acts of kindness mean so much to you. On this Tuesday, out of the blue, my good hiking friend Kelly, who didn’t know what I was going through in my life at that time, called and said he wanted to bring over a quart of fresh salsa that he had just made along with a bag of tortilla chips. Since I wouldn’t be home when he came over, I put some ice in a cooler and set it out by the back door.  After I got home from working in the gardens, it was dark and had been raining. I opened the back door to find a big bag of tortilla chips that had rain on the outside of the bag, but still dry inside, sitting on top of the cooler.  Inside the cooler was a quart size bottle of salsa!  It was so exciting to find this super edible treat on this rainy night! Dave was gone and I went inside and ate nearly the whole bottle all by myself. It tasted SO good!!! Then I felt guilty.  I should have saved some for Dave but it was just so good, I couldn’t help it!!  

I am so grateful that I recognize how my Heavenly Father tries to show me how much He knows me and loves me, through kind people in my life.  It is VERY clear evidence to me that God is there and will help me get through ALL of the tough times in my life.  I generally don’t get treats at my door but this one came on an important night -  when I needed it the most.

Wednesday, Aug 28

This was a tough day to get through but again many great little miracles came.  By now I had gone through blood tests and CT Scans and had an appointment with my surgeon in 2 days from now, Friday 11:15 AM.   Feeling anxious, I just wanted to jump a head and skip the next 48 hours. It was hard not knowing what was going to happen to my life.... in the next days, weeks and months.  The “unknowning” part is the worst.  This is where patience is a true virtue and I’m not very good at it.  However, I received more divine guidance and inspiration on this day.  Since I love to be in constant motion pretty much all the time, except when I’m sleeping, I took my IPod and went out and jumped on my trampoline for a while to burn some nervous energy.  I listened to a couple of talks from Elder Neil A Maxwell and Russell M Nelson. You should read or listen to these talks!  They were SO good.  I posted details about them on my Wed. Aug 28 post.  These men are inspired and gave me a lot of reassurance and council on what I should focus on.  Just like any great sports team, I also have mentors and coaches that I look to for council and guidance. I feel like they know me well.  They tell me what I need to hear.  I have never regretted or been disappointed with their council and advice. 

Thursday, Aug. 29

Just keep me busy!  Friday isn’t here yet and it needs to be.  (pace, pace, pace, pace)  I’m very grateful that I had scheduled a Picnic on the Peak weeks in advance on this night.  About 12 friends joined me for a potluck picnic on Hidden Peak at Snowbird. This is an event I promote every year and this year was especially great!  It was a diversion I REALLY needed!  The sunset was stunning, the food was amazing and on top of everything the weather couldn’t have been better at 11,000 ft. above sea level.  It was 65 degrees on the peak at 7 PM!  Not even a slight breeze and best of all, we nearly had the peak to ourselves due, I think, to the Utes Football Game that night!  I’ve been coming up here every year in August and September and have never had that much peace and quiet and perfect weather PLUS they now have picnic tables in several scenic places on the peak so we didn’t have to spread a blanket on the dirt and sit.  It was more than the best night ever!  I’ll post photos soon. Life really is good and I thanked my friends who were with me SO much for being there on that night to experience all of this incredible beauty! 

Friday, Aug. 30

3:30 AM and I’m up getting ready to work in the Salt Lake Temple at 5 AM, before meeting with the surgeon at 11:15 AM.  I’m excited!  Let’s do this!!  I love working in the Temple.  It’s actually one of the best decisions I have made in the past 2 years.  I’m almost at my 2 year anniversary of working there every Friday morning from 5 - 11 AM.  The Temple allows me to temporarily leave the cares of this world and think about my life on an eternal scale.  Working in the temple has helped all aspects of my life:  my marriage, my business, my relationships with family members and all of my many friends.  It helps me really feel Gods love for me, which affects all of my other relationships. It has been a huge blessing to sacrifice a little bit and get up early every Friday morning.  “Sacrifice brings forth the blessings from heaven”.  That is a true statement!  When you are willing to do something that doesn’t come easy to you, you benefit greatly!  Giving up some sleeping time which means have to work harder at going to bed earlier the night before has been a good test for me.  I’ve been able to be alert and energetic on Friday mornings. 

After the temple, Dave and I met with our surgeon, Dr. Kim.  Can I just say that I already love this man!  He is a good man who I know will take good care of me.  I am confident in his skills and am not afraid of this upcoming surgery!  After meeting with him, I looked at Dave and said, “I know I can do this!”

That evening, I met Dave and a bunch of my Outdoor Adventure friends, many who are new to Utah and new people I just met that night.  I invited them to the Blue Moon Concert in Holladay.  I love making new friends and lucky for me, it’s an easy thing for me to do.  For many people I know it is hard to make new friends, especially if you are new to the area.  With all the hikes and outings I’ve planned during the past 10 years, I’ve had ample opportunity to practice meeting people and making new friends. I love it! 

At the Blue Moon Concert: The first band “2 1/2 white guys” was the best act of the night, in my opinion.  Super talented guys!!  The second band, not so much, since it’s hard to dance to Neil Diamond tunes.

Saturday, Aug 31

Another great day that started at 7:30 AM!!  Met about 40 hikers.  We went over Guardsman Pass at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon, then down the NEW paved road to Deer Valley and hiked from Deer Valley to downtown Park City area, then took a free shuttle back to the Montage.  I could hike in the Park City and Deer Valley trails all summer and never get bored.  Great biking trails as well, but because there are 400 miles of trails in this area, you never see that many bikes or hikers.  The beauty is incredible!  I sometimes can’t image Heaven being more beautiful that what you see in the Park City/Deer Valley back country area. 

We were on the Mid Mountain Trail in Deer Valley by 8:45 AM, not far from Montage and kept hiking until 12 noon when we landed in Park City near Main Street, then caught the free shuttle back to the Montage.  This was one of the best hikes this summer!  It was so pretty with the fall colors unexpectedly popping out on the mountainside. Fall is by far one of my favorite times to hike.  

Later, in the afternoon, garden members met me at our South Jordan C Garden (we have 4 South Jordan Gardens - A, B, C, D) where we picked a bunch of weeds, several 35 pound watermelons and lots of white seedless grapes, then ate a bunch of grapes and watermelon before leaving.  

This was a busy Saturday since I had to be back up to top of Guardsman Pass where I attended a special memorial for Bob’s wife, who had passed away the previous week.  “Engineer Bob” as I think of him, since we have several Bob’s in our group, is one of our faithful hikers for at least 3 or more years.  He asked me to help him arrange a special memorial on the mountain so he could spread Pat’s ashes there.  It was a beautiful, short, peaceful service that I’m so glad I attended.  Toward the end of the service, while everyone was standing there, mostly in silence and giving Bob hugs, I felt like something was missing.  It was Music. I just felt like there should be some kind of music before this Memorial ended.  I wanted to sing something, but didn’t want to intrude on Bob’s service.  Janet heard my humming and said there should be some music.  I agreed!  With her encouragement, I asked Bob if I could sing Amazing Grace before everyone left. He said Pat loved that song and invited me to sing.  I hadn’t rehearsed this so I was really hoping I could remember the words and that it would go well and not distract from the spirit. I started to sing and others in our small group started singing with me.  It was Awesome!  It felt right.  I’m so grateful that I have talents and that I had the courage to  speak up and share this talent with others, even if it was on the spur of the moment.  I know the best way to get through your own difficult trials is to try and help others get through theirs.

Sunday, Sept. 1

I teach the 6 year olds in Primary (In my LDS Mormon faith, Primary is the youth organization for 3 - 12 year olds.) In class I was telling these smart little 6 year olds about how I have something growing inside of me that is not invited, kind of like a party crasher.  I also told them of another party crasher I have to deal with a lot in my gardens. 

“Just outside my greenhouse there is a vine called “Creeping Jenny”.  She is ALWAYS trying to creep inside my greenhouse and have a party with my tomatoes BUT she is not invited!  I talk to her and say “Oh no, Jenny.  Nope!  You are NOT invited to this party.  You have to leave.  Only tomatoes, squash and other veggies are invited to the party in the greenhouse!” Then I have to physically remove her and send her back outside in another direction so she doesn’t try to come right back in.  Same thing is happening inside my body.  This cancer in my colon thinks it is invited to the party but it’s not!  So on Sept. 10, Dr. Kim, a surgeon, who knows a lot about party crashers inside the body, is going to physically remove it.  Things like cancer and creeping jenny “think” they are invited to the party, but they are not!

After discussing this for a few minutes in class, one boy confidently spoke up and said: “Well, at least it’s not an ear ache!” 

I love being around little children and I’ll miss teaching them for a few weeks!

Sunday night - Kyler and Ryan, ages 8 & 5, my 2 oldest grandsons got to come over to our home and have their very first sleep over! This is the kind of thing I have been dreaming about for a long time... a chance for my grandchildren to spend the night with us!  Most of our grandkids have been living out of the state for their whole lives so this is a treat!

What a great week!



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