Sunday, October 25, 2009

How Can I Be Like My Friend, Naki?

This last week has been a whirlwind of emotions and disbelief. I am still in shock about Naki's passing. I don't think many moments have gone by that he and his family have not been in my thoughts and they have constantly been in my prayers. It has been so great to see how many have come together to pay tribute to what a great man he was. Naki played football for BYU and there have been tributes to him during the last two games. We actually had Malia over at our house during the first game and we watched it with her. It was wonderful for her to see how loved her father was. There has been such an amazing outpouring of love to him and his family which speaks for what a great person he really was.
On Thursday night, the family had a wake, following Tongan tradition and had an open mic available for people to get up and share their memories about Naki. It was wonderful to see Abby be the first to get up. She is so amazing! She has such a strong testimony of the plan of happiness and is able to see the big picture. It was so great to see everyone sharing their memories and love of Naki. There were plenty of tears but also plenty of laughs and just such a strong spirit.
Friday morning was the funeral. We got there really early to help out and I was glad we did because I have never seen the stake center more filled with people. So many people have been touched by Naki. It is the most amazing funeral I've ever been to. It was such a wonderful tribute to him. Everything was inspirational and faith-building. Naki's brother, Rex, did the life sketch of Naki and finished it with the most touching thing I've ever heard. He played the ukulele and sang the song, How Can I Be?. I have loved this song since the moment I heard it a few years ago. It is just a beautiful song. Here are the words and a video of it:

How can I be like my brother Nephi?
and My father Lehi of old?
How can I be like Captain Moroni
In the wars that were told?

How can I see forever
Like the promise to the three Nephites?
I wanna be Samuel the Lamanite
I wanna be Benjamin the Wise
I wanna be like Abinidi
Oh tell me how can I be like them?

How can I be like Alma the Younger,
Strong servant of the Lord?
How can I be like Mighty Ammon,
Whose heart was his sword?

How can I be a stripling warrior,
And learn to fight by faith?
I wanna be Samuel the Lamanite
I wanna be Benjamin the Wise
I wanna be like Abinidi
Oh tell me how can I be like them?

How can I be like my brother Joseph,
When he prayed in the grove of trees?
How can I have the strength that he had
And the love he had for God?

How can I be courageous
And strive to choose the right?
I wanna be Samuel the Lamanite
I wanna be Benjamin the Wise
I wanna be like Abinidi
I wanna be like Jesus Christ
Oh tell me how can I be like Him?
Oh tell me how can I be like Him?

At the end of the song, Rex added a new verse singing How Can I be like my brother Naki? It was beautiful and so heartfelt, and not an eye was dry in that packed church. I know that there are many, including myself, that whole heartedly agree with Rex's words. Naki was just an amazing man. He was such an example to all. If I could only be a little like him I would feel very lucky. Since the funeral, this song has not left my mind and I hope it doesn't any time soon.

Friday, October 16, 2009

We will miss you, Naki

Today has been such a sad day. Early this morning Ben received a call from our bishop telling us that our friend, Naki Maile, had passed away suddenly and very unexpectedly. My heart is aching so much for my dear friend, Abby, and their six beautiful girls that have lost him too soon. Naki was only 32, Abby is my age, and the girls range from 1-9. It has been such a shock to our entire family. Dads just aren't supposed to die, especially those that are as wonderful as Naki.
The Mailes have been such great friends to us. We have come to love their girls so much through our many years of doing Joy School with them. Those girls just loved their daddy so much and talked about him all of the time. We have enjoyed so many memories watching our kids grow and learn alongside this sweet family. We love them all.Naki was just an amazing guy. He always had a giant smile on his face and had the biggest heart. He was one of those people that you just instantly loved and respected and you felt his love in return. He was such a wonderful husband and amazing father to all of his girls. Naki, our hearts are breaking as you take your journey to a much better place but we are truly better people for knowing you. God be with you til we meet again.

The family has set up a fund for donations, which are greatly needed. If you can donate anything, please do:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Our Little Get-away

So Ben had a work conference up at the Zermatt resort in Midway. The room was paid for and we were welcome to share it so we decided to head up for the weekend and join him even though we knew Ben would be super busy and we wouldn't see him much. After waiting for Skylar to be done with dance we headed up the mountain. The fall leaves were beautiful even though dusk was setting in and we couldn't see them that great. As much as I long to live near the ocean every day of my life, I love living so close to the beautiful mountains and the wonderful change of seasons that are so beautiful!!
When we arrived I had to do all the unloading of the luggage with the 4 kids and it made me have a moment of awe and respect for single moms. How do they do it? After a bunch of trips to the car, we finally got all settled in and then, since I couldn't figure out the darn hook-ups for the DVD player, we only had the option to watch Hannah Montana until it was time to get to bed. I set the three big kids up in the same bed and settled in for a less than restful night. Of course the kids were kicking one another, stealing the blankets, etc., etc. and Alexis wasn't thrilled about the sleeping arrangements herself. Also, for as nice as a resort as it was, the walls were paper thin and I could hear doors slamming and tons of crazy, drunk people in the hall all night. Ben finally got to the room about 12:30 and we finally got some sleep, I believe.
The next day we got up and Ben was able to go get some breakfast with us. We took a quick trip over to the Homestead so we could see the crater and watch a few people scuba dive. That place is so so cool even though Nick was a little freaked out by it. I hope someday to scuba dive there too. Kade said he will do it with me. That kid is always up for an adventure!
After the crater and some walking around the Zermatt resort a bit, Ben still had time enough to go with us for a swim in the awesome pool. The pool was indoor and outdoor and there was a little path between the two that you could swim back and forth through. It was pretty cool. It also had the coolest hot tub with a waterfall and we all loved that! Bigger bonus-we got to see Thurl Bailey at the pool.

At this point my two littles really needed naps but that is near impossible in a hotel room so we hopped in the car and headed over to Park City. It totally worked-they were out in about 30 seconds and got a good snooze. We didn't stay very long in Park City. We drove around a bit to look at the really cool old houses and then headed to Main St. and walked around a bit. I even let the kids go into the candy store and pick something. They were so amazed! They had never even been to an actual candy store. It was funny to see how in awe they were of all the candy. It's great to be reminded that sometimes the simple pleasures are the greatest adventures for my kids.
We headed back to Midway for a quick dinner with Ben and then he was back to work again until midnight. I decided to head over to Heber and get the kids one of Granny's Famous Shakes. I should have known things were amiss when Skylar only ate like 3 bites. That kid is a major fan of the ice cream. On the way back to the hotel, she declared she was going to throw up and actually made it to the parking lot before that whole thing began, thank goodness.
I didn't know exactly what to do since I couldn't reach Ben so I got the kids ready for bed and planted them in front of a movie until they fell asleep. Skylar continued to be sick well into the night and our neighbors began their loud partying about 10 pm. When Ben got back after midnight, we decided it just wasn't worth staying the night-we weren't going to sleep much anyway. So we packed up the car and headed home. We got home at 2:30 am! We were wasted the next day but at least we were home. All in all, we had a nice get-away, even if we had a few kinks.