A harsh autumn ...

Autumn was always a favorite of mine.

It seemed to have a mischievous charm to it that alluded winter, spring and summer. 

Logan Cemetery, the ground my heart knows as most hallowed.

But that all changed 18 days ago. It feels that autumn, with all its magic and charisma betrayed me, as if it was autumn that took away our Steven. 

Yet, I still gaze in awe at this harsh autumn as the leaves are separated from the life they once knew and clung to so desperately, only to rustle in the wind, twirl in the air, falling to their eventual resting place on the ground and ... still recognize its beauty.

It is as if autumn is reflecting my soul to the entire world to see. The beauty of life being lost right through our fingertips, the brisk chill that fills my broken heart and soul, leaving so much barren and empty ... with darker, colder days looming known as winter.

And even with all that loss of life, still a beauty because of that life. And the knowledge that the life will return in springtime. If only our wait for seeing our Steven was as minuscule. So, with heavy hearts, we will wait because we will see that life again in the springtime of our lives.


Two Weeks

Two weeks ago today, we lost our Steven. My Shtev.

There are no words to describe what the past 14 days have been like. The only explanation that I can seem to muster up is, this is the most profound loss I have ever known.

I have contemplated for quite some time what I would write about Shtev, if anything at all. There is part of me that has wanted to keep every detail of the entire experience locked up in only my memory, as if sharing it was releasing it and losing it. But Steve and his life were too good to not share. The beauty he brought into this world was too glorious and even divine to be kept in the silent chambers of my own soul. And with that in mind ... I will share part of Steve's story with you.

Even if you knew our Steve, you probably didn't know he had suffered from pancreatitis for the past 11 years. You wouldn't know because he wouldn't complain and he was too busy serving everyone he knew and didn't know for anyone to hint towards the pain and suffering he experienced. 

On Monday, September 29, 2014, Steve and my sister, Tiffany, went to the Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah (approximately 1.5 hours away from their home) for Steve to have part of his pancreas removed. There was high anticipation, due to a previous successful procedure only 10 days prior, that the surgery would be successful in finally alleviating the pain he has experienced for the past 11 years.

Although the surgery went 2.5 hours over the schedule three hours expected, it went remarkably well. They removed two thirds of his pancreas, his spleen (which was in poorer condition than expected) and had to do some work on his colon (all damaged from the pancreatitis). Not too long after returning from post-op, Steve was talking, laughing and thanking the medical staff attending to his needs. 

I went to bed that night, receiving a text from a friend a little after 10:00 PM asking how Steve was. I responded, "Well, the surgery went well."

Three hours later after 1:00 AM, I was awakened to my phone ringing. Terror immediately went through my entire body and continued as I saw the call was being made to me by my 12-year-old nephew, Steve's baby boy. He sounded strangely calm when he said, "Min, my dad stopped breathing. We are going down to the hospital now to see him." 

I immediately texted my sister for clarification. Maybe they had just put him on oxygen, after all, Steve is the most resilient man I have ever known. There always seemed to be a complication when surgeries or other medical procedures were done, but he always pulled through. My sister responded that it was not just oxygen and it was then I realized my Shtev had gone into full cardiac arrest.

I raced to my parents' house 10 minutes away from mine. With my parents, little sister, and Steve and Tiffany's boys, we all knelt as a family, pleading for Steven's life to be spared. After one of the most heartfelt prayers I have ever been part of, we separated into two vehicles to make the drive to Murray, Utah. My mini-me, Nephew Two, was in my car with me, with the rest of the family in the other vehicle. 

Every thought imaginable crossed my mind in those 90 minutes it took to get to the hospital from brain damage to death. But those quickly left because I knew how resilient our Steve was and I knew this was not the day my sister would become a widow.  I honestly thought we would arrive, he'd be intubated, and maybe by the day's end he would be awake for us to talk to him

When we pulled into the parking lot of the hospital, Steve's sister called Nephew Two. I could hear him saying, "I am in the car with my aunt ... here, I will put you on speaker." He did so and she said, "Mindy, are you there?"

When I confirmed she requested to be taken off speaker ... it was then I knew our lives would never be the same. She double checked with me to make sure she was off speaker and when I assured her she was she spoke, "He's gone."

I did everything in my power to hold it together my nephew sitting beside me. But he knew something was wrong. He pleaded with me, "What is it? Please tell me."

When I finally parked, I asked him to get out of the car and I said to his aunt on the phone, "Are.you.sure?" My mind refused to believe this world had lost one of the most beautiful souls I had ever known.

I got out of the car to meet the rest of my family members getting out of the other vehicle. I sent my two nephews towards the hospital. I then broke the news to my parents and sister. I will not go into the details of that experience, nor will I ever. Telling my two nephews they had lost their father was the worst experience of my life and one I will never wish to remember

When we were finally able to make it into the building and be reunited with Tiffany, we learned that around 1:20 AM, Tiffany recognized that Steve had stopped breathing. She alerted the nurses and after approximately 45 minutes of chest compressions and several blood transfusions, they took Steve back into the operating room where they found a blood vessel had come untied from surgery earlier on in the day. By the time they were able to stop the bleeding, they were unable to restart Steve's heart. Our beloved husband, father, son and brother was pronounced dead at 2:30 AM. 

14 days later and it still doesn't feel real. 14 days later and I still expect him to come walking in the door any minute. 14 days later and when I see a car like his on the street, for a moment I still think it could be him. 14 days later and I don't know how I am supposed to live 50 years more without him. But make no mistake about it, I know we will see him again, because families ARE forever. And our 17 years with him simply was not enough.


To read more about my Shtev, you can go here, here and here.


My Shtev

The greatest man I have ever known took his final breath on September 30, 2014.
Writing his obituary was one of the most honored things I have ever been asked to do.

Steven, 38, left his sweetheart and two sons on Sept. 30, 2014, due to a prolonged and valiant battle with pancreatitis. Steve was born April 23, 1976, in Roosevelt, Utah. He was the third of five children born to John Paul Murphy and Kathleen Gomez. 

Steve grew up in Hyde Park, Utah. He graduated from Sky View High School in 1994. Following graduation, he served an LDS mission to the Tacoma, Washington Mission. Upon his return, he met and married the love of his life, Tiffany, in the Logan LDS Temple on Dec. 13, 1997. They had two beautiful boys who were the center of Steve's world.

Steve graduated from Utah State University, where he was also employed for the last 14 years in the IT System Administration Department. Steve could often be found volunteering his time to help his family, friends and neighbors. Amongst all his service, his immediate and extended family were always his first priority. He provided them with endless Christlike service, love and care. Steve never let the need of a family member be overlooked. He taught us not only how to love more but to care for one another better.

Steve is survived by his wife and two sons; his parents, John Paul (Meda) and Kathleen (Darrell) , as well as Lyle and Kathryn Thornley; his siblings, Doug (Stephanie), Dianna (Jason),  Laura (Steven), Debra, Russell serving an LDS mission in Mexico City, as well as Brandon (Hillary) Thornley, Mindy Thornley, and Melissa Thornley; and many nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles. 

A viewing will be from 6-8 p.m. Thursday at Allen-Hall Mortuary, 34 E. Center St., Logan, Utah. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 3, at the Nibley Stake Center, 3701 S. 450 West, with a viewing that morning from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Burial will be in the Logan City Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Steven Murphy Memorial Fund through America First Credit Union. Condolences and memories may be shared online at www.allenmortuaries.net.


Facebook Finds Friday

It's Friday. Already.

Not that I am complaining. It's just with recent develops in my life, every day feels like Saturday. Except for Sundays. So my weeks look like this: Saturday, Saturday, Saturday, Saturday, Saturday, Saturday, Sunday.

And it is really hard to keep my days straight. 

Buuut, whatevs. 

Which is your favorite? The gas masks, the hug one, or maybe the Arizona flood one.

Which ones are YOUR favorite?

The location of the tub, though .... this is actually at a resort 45 minutes away from my home. 


If you would like to contribute to Facebook Finds Friday, please either post it on my personal page or the Best.Day.Ever. page on Facebook. You may also email it to runaholic at gmail dot com. If you would like a link to be provided to your blog, please include it! :)

To see the Facebook Finds Friday series to its entirety, click here.


Where were you?

It appears as if each generation has a "Where were you?" event. 

For my grandparents, it was Pearl Harbor.

For my parents, it was the assassination of JFK.

For me {and for us} it is 9/11. 

That fateful morning 13 years ago, I had gotten up to go on a morning run before the seven o'clock hour. I remember we ran a run we called Second Bridge. I remember  we were told to go an easy pace, eight-minute miles. I remember my coach joking how I was a human speedometer because he could tell me what pace he wanted us to run and like clockwork, I would be able to find it. 

As I got into the car to head home after that morning run, I heard on the radio an alert, unlike any I had heard before. I learned that a single airplane had crashed into a building in New York City called the World Trade Center. 

Before the seven minute car ride home was complete, information was being given about the tragedy being a terrorist attack. By the time I had reached home and turned on the TV, the second plane had already hit. 

It was a day I will never forget ... not just for the lives lost, but for the unity it brought to America. We.were.one.that.day.  United we did stand. 

Where were you when you heard? 

Feel free to leave a comment or leave your link and I will come visit your page.


Mindy's Top 10 Must Read LDS Talks

When I was in college I was such a nerd. And not an academic nerd. I was a Church nerd. And I loved it! {I guess that's what happens when you aspire to be and become a high school seminary teacher, but I digress}.

I was such a nerd that I would actually write my favorite quotes from Church leaders and scriptures on pieces of paper and essentially turned it into a wallpaper for my bedroom. No lie. If only I had photos to prove it.

While I no longer wallpaper my bedroom walls with words of inspiration, I thought I would share my 10 of my favorite LDS talks. It's really difficult to pick out my favorites and I know everyone has their own, but these are just so, so, so good that they made the list!

1. The Virtue of Kindness by Joseph Wirthlin

At a glimpse: "Kindness is the essence of greatness and the fundamental characteristic of the noblest men and women I have known. Kindness is a passport that opens doors and fashions friends. It softens hearts and molds relationships that can last lifetimes."

2. An  High Priest of Good Things to Come by Jeffrey R. Holland

At a glimpse: “Don’t give up, boy. Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead—a lot of it—30 years of it now, and still counting. You keep your chin up. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.”

3. The Lord Thy God Will Hold Thy Hand by W. Craig Zwick 

At glimpse: "“It is the wounded Christ who leads us through our moments of difficulty. It is He who bears us up when we need more air to breath or direction to follow or even more courage to continue."

At a glimpse: "If someone hurts you so much that your feelings seem to choke you, forgive and you will be free again." See a fantastic video clip of a portion of the talk here. LOVE.IT.

5. Peace - A Triumph of Principles by Marvin J. Ashton

At a glimpse: "When sorrow, tragedy, and heartbreaks occur in our lives, wouldn't it be comforting if when the whisperings of God say, 'Do you know why this has happened to you?' we could have the peace of mind to answer, 'No, but You do.'"

6. Grateful in Any Circumstance by Dieter F. Uchtdorf 

At a glimpse: "We are made of the stuff of eternity. Endings are not our destiny."

7. The Edge of the Light by Boyd K. Packer

At a glimpse: "[Harold B. Lee] said [to me], 'The trouble with you is you want to see the end from the beginning.' I replied that I would like to see at least a step or two ahead.' Then came the lesson of a lifetime: 'You must learn to walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness; then the light will appear and show the way before you.'"

At a glimpse: “Many small people in many small places doing many small things can alter the face of the earth.”

9. None Were with Him by Jeffrey R. Holland

At a glimpse: "Trumpeted from the summit of Calvary is the truth that we will never be left alone nor unaided, even if sometimes we may feel that we are."

10. However Long and Hard the Road by Jeffrey R. Holland

At a glimpse: “My concern is that you will face some delays and disappointments at this formative times in your life … and when some of those challenges come you will have the temptation common to us all to say, ‘This task is too hard. The burden is too heavy. The path is too long.’ And so you decide to quit, to simply give up. No, to terminate certain kinds of tasks is not only acceptable but often very wise. If you are, for example, a flag pole sitter then I say, ‘Come on down.” But in life’s most crucial and telling tasks, my pleas is to stick with it, to persevere, to hang in and hang on, and to reap your reward”


If you have favorites that I missed, please share in a comment! 


Facebook Finds Friday

I cannot remember the last time I did one of these! Which is your favorite??



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