Well, on Sunday morning, October 18th, my cousin, Chad, passed away. He was 19 years old and had been battling Ewing's Sarcoma/Cancer for 3 years. In June, he was placed on Hospice and told there was nothing more the doctors could do. They had expected him to last only another week, but he proved how strong he was and waited almost 4 more months. When we heard about his condition in June, Grant and I discussed our expectations for the funeral. We both decided that we wanted to be there and we would do what ever it took to make it. So the few days after we heard the news, we spent getting ready for the trip to Utah. My dad's aunt (same side of the family) also passed away about an hour after Chad. So the two families were able to coordinate funeral plans. Clarka's viewing would be Wed. night and funeral Thursday morning and burial that night. Chad's viewing would be Thursday night, Funeral Fri Morning and burial in Blanding Saturday morning. I was fine with taking Abby out of school and being there for all of it, but Grant had a Football game Thursday night and a Masters class Saturday Morning. So, we bought a plane ticket for Grant, and arranged for me and the kids to drive up with my dad early Wednesday morning.
My dad came to my house a little before 6am to pick us up. Grant was able to help feed and dress all the kids and see us off. The trip was actually pretty pleasant. Troy screamed a little bit at the beginning because he was so tired, but the girls had a great time coloring and watching movies. Gunnar slept the whole time and ever time we would stop, I would wake him up and nurse until it was time to leave again. We got to Provo just in time for my parents to go to Clarka's viewing. (My mom had flown up the day before to help my aunt with funeral arrangements and take care of the other 5 kids.) I stayed at the hotel and got the kids ready for Mikey's Mr. BYU competition. There's never a good time for a funeral, but we were glad that it happened during the same weekend as Mikey's competition. Although it was all a big joke, Mikey had put in a lot of time and was really excited about it. So, we were glad that we could be there for it. They did a lot of funny little dances, fitness round, poise round, talent, and Q&A. Mikey did great! He was very funny and did a great Jive dance for his talent. He didn't win, but we thought he was the best! After Mr. BYU, we went to eat with Mike, Scot, and Brittany. Then off to bed.
The next morning we went to Aunt Clarka's funeral. It was very nice and it was good to see all of my Peterson cousins. She was a great, great-aunt, and I will miss her a lot. After the funeral we had a nice time eating at the lovely reception the Relief Society prepared.
Then we headed to the BYU to tour campus, a tradition in the Bayles family. We went to the Cougar eat and got their famous brownies. While we were there, we noticed a poster with Mikey on it. And just a few posters away had a girl from the LaCrescenta Ward. Her name is Mariah, and she grew up with Mikey. So I had to take a picture of the 2 of them!
Mikey's on the far left
Why did I take a close up of Mariah's picture and not of Mikey's? Maybe because we have the flyer? Anyway, Mariah is the blonde with curly hair.
Here are the kids enjoying their brownies!
And playing under the table!
After finishing our brownies, we went to the bookstore and Grandpa bought sweatshirts for all the kids and their own mini Books of Mormon - case and all! Then we looked at dad's picture on the wall in the law building (along with my brother's, brother-in-law's, and uncles!) Then we took a ride up the canyon to see the fallen leaves. Then to Chad's viewing. The Pinkston family seemed to be doing really well. I lost it once I saw Chad's little siblings. But they all seemed very stoic. I guess they had spent the last few days mourning, and were ready to greet friends and family. After the viewing we went home and went to bed. It was a very long, but very special day.