Monday, June 6, 2011

Tender Mercies

My dad passed away almost a week ago, Tuesday night (5-31-11). He was in a fatal car accident while driving with his friend in his Shelby Cobra (for those of you who know my dad, it was fast). I have replayed Tuesday night over and over in my head. I was concerned with finishing up the last week of school and getting some sleep. Eli and I had had a few late nights in a row.

My sister and mom were in St. George. Melissa had an appointment with her doctor. She was planning on being induced on Saturday (6-4). My mom was going to stay with her the week because J, her husband, was in Texas working. My two brothers were on their way to California to help a family friend move. Miranda and my dad were at home.

I got a call from my brother Josh telling me that I needed to call Miranda and pick her up because Dad had been in a car accident. I called Miranda and talked to her. She was staying at a neighbor's house and said she would be fine there. I then called my mom and asked her what was going on. She was on her way home with Melissa. There had been an accident and no one knew anything, not even where my dad had been taken. Jake and Josh were going to get on a flight as soon as possible and come home as soon as they got to their destination.

I couldn't sit around. Eli and I were restless. I called hospitals trying to find my dad. I didn't want him to be by himself. Nothing. No one had someone checked in by the name of Jared Budge. Eli has a friend on the police force, so we called him to see if he could help us. He advised us to call dispatch. I did. They knew nothing but "would call as soon as they knew something." I still haven't heard from them.

Eli and I went to pick up Miranda and wait at my parent's home to hear something and meet my mom and sister when they got back three hours later. While we were there, the bishop of my parent's ward came to check on us. He asked if we'd heard anything. After we told him no, he said he'd come check on us later. He came back 10 minutes later. I knew something was wrong.

Bishop was with us when we called my mom. He was there when she told us that Dad had not made it; he had been killed instantly. Eli, Miranda, and I held each other while Bishop looked on. I couldn't believe it. This is the second father I've lost; the second husband my mom has lost.

Since then, we've gotten so many letters, phone calls, messages from all of our family and friends. It has been absolutely amazing. Among many of the messages I have received, I've read many of the same words: "It's not fair," "Why did it have to happen?" and "You must feel terrible."

I would like to let you know of the peace I feel. Although this tragic event has happened, I'm okay. It sounds strange to word it this way, but the Lord has truly blessed us. Let me explain why I named this post "Tender Mercies."

My brother Jake has been gone for the past two years in Mexico. He's been serving as a missionary for the Church for the past two years. He came home Saturday, May 28th. Three days before my dad passed on. Jake's plane was delayed twice. He was supposed to be in around noon, then 4 pm, and he finally came in after 5 pm. As a result, Eli and I spent the whole day with my dad and family in Salt Lake. We were also with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and several cousins.

2 weeks ago, Bishop asked Jake to speak in church the day after he got back. Again, the whole day with even more family and friends, ALL DAY. Memorial Day was Monday. Eli and I again spent the day with my immediate family. We had a BBQ, we played rummy, and just relaxed and listened to music. Three AMAZING family filled days. My dad was so happy.

Tuesday morning, before everyone went their separate ways, Dad took Jake to the honey house. He taught him how to bottle honey, how to do the paper work, took him on a delivery, and gave him all his best sales pitches. Now, Jake knows all about the business.

Two weekends ago, my mom and dad were able to spend a few days in San Diego, away from everyone. My dad had been on business for two weeks and felt the need to spend time with my mom. They had a blast. I've never seen two people more in love.

My sister Melissa's doctor wanted to induce her Tuesday at her appointment. Her husband still wasn't in from Texas, so she said no. If J had been there, she would have been induced and in labor when the accident happened. Because she said no, she and my mom were able to turn around and come back home.

My dad has been trying to do his own thing for work with a partner the past couple of years. Three months ago, he started a new job with Adobe that he kind of fell into. It was a well paying job with benefits that started immediately, including life insurance. He loved it there.

And crazy enough, to make some decisions easier, about five days before he passed away, my dad was talking to Josh and Melissa about where he would like to be buried. He had been thinking about it lately. He was torn between Malad (where everyone else in the family is buried) and American Fork (where he's lived the past ten years). He said American Fork was home and they had a nice cemetery and always kept up with the landscaping. We found him a gorgeous plot in AF City Cemetery.

With all of the difficulty that comes along with losing someone you love, we've felt extremely blessed. We have been given so many wonderful memories and opportunities to spend with my dad. He was the happiest he's ever been, spiritually, physically, family-wise. He went out at the top of his game. The peak. He was only 45 years old, but lived more than most do at 90.

The night we found out, we were able to have the Bishop with us. As a result, I was able to receive a blessing from him and my husband. I cannot tell you the peace and love I felt that night. I was not angry, I did not question God. I knew, without a doubt, that it was my dad's time to go. I don't know why it was, but I knew that all would be okay. It will take time, but I know that we will all be okay.

I know that God loves me. He has blessed me immensely with love and support from family and friends everywhere. He has not left me alone to deal with this. Because of the things that I know and believe, I know that I will see my dad again. I will be with my family forever. I know that the power of prayer is real. There is someone who hears me and loves me and knows me. I have seen His mercy in all of the events leading up to this tragic accident.

And most of all, He gives us things to buoy us up. Yesterday, the day after my dad's funeral, my sister Melissa had her baby. She had a beautiful, healthy baby girl named Maci Jayne. She was born June 5th at 11:57 p.m. She is 19 1/2 inches long and 8 lbs. 3 oz. She has the sweetest, calmest disposition.

I know that my dad will always be watching over us. I know that I will see him again.

*Some people have been asking. We have set up a memorial fund to help my mom and family still at home out. You can find the information for the fund at Budge's Honey. We are all in deed grateful from all of the love and support. Thank you again.