Monday, July 26, 2010

John Langeland (1918-2010)

My sweet grandpa passed away this week after a three week battle with liver cancer. He was 91 years old. It was sad for us to see him go, but I know it was a happy reunion for him. In the last few weeks of his life, all of his children and grandchildren got the opportunity to take in a meal to him, since he couldn't cook for himself, and to visit with him one on one.

The day Chris and Emme and I took him dinner, I knew it was the last time I would see him in this life. As I cooked that day, I thought about what I should say to him. What would you say to someone if you knew it was the last time you would see them?

Grandpa couldn't even sit up on the couch because he was so sick, and he really couldn't eat much either. But we sat on the floor next to the couch and visited with him. We talked about life, our house, and Emme. He was always good at remembering what was going in the lives of all of his grandchildren. We talked about stocks and Zions (my grandpa was the president of Zions Bank for a while, so it's near and dear to his heart), and we talked about good memories, and my grandma. We told Grandpa we loved him, and we said our goodbyes.

My grandpa was a kind and generous man, with a wonderful sense of humor. He didn't always have a great filter between his brain and his mouth, and that's probably what we loved most about him.

{Our last dinner with grandpa}

Grandpa's funeral was was a special day for the whole family, and for all those who were there. President Monson and Elder Perry were in attendance, and both spoke during the meeting. I felt as if each speaker was talking directly to Grandpa's posterity, telling us of Grandpa's faithfulness and testimony, and urging us each to be stronger and more faithful ourselves. The grandchildren sang Army of Helaman as a musical number, with myself as the choir director. As I stood in the audience and watched his posterity sing, I was overwhelmed. What a righteous, faithful army he & my grandma created.

I left the meeting feeling inspired. I left the meeting with a greater sense of purpose and focus. I left the meeting with a determination to be a better person in every aspect of my life. It was the most spiritually life-changing meeting I've ever been to, and one that I hope to never forget.

I love you, Grandpa! We're doing our best here so we can see you again soon.


Val said...

Your Grandpa is such an amazing man. He sounds charming.

The funeral must've been a very spiritual meeting. I can't even imagine how it felt when all the grandchildren, so proud of their Grandpa, were singing Armies of Helamen.

Thank you for sharing this. We sure love your family.

Emily Heizer Photography said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you are doing ok and I am glad you were able to say goodbye. I recently lost my sweetheart... so I hope you are okay.

Jessica Bath said...

Wow one can feel the spirit even just reading this! =) Thank you for sharing and sorry for your loss.