"Begin today and write in it your goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. I promise you that if you will keep your journals and records, they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to you, each other, your children, your grand-children and others throughout the generations. Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events." --President Spencer W. Kimball

March 29, 2011

When it comes to Ma......Are we selfish??

It's been another trying week for our family, Ma has been in the hospital undergoing several surgeries.  Not too long ago she got really sick.  Tea took her to the hospital and the Dr. told us that we need to keep a close eye on her, the Dr. was telling us that it's not uncommon for people her age to develop blood clots in their bodies, because of the lack of movement.  She told us that blood clots are very dangerous and if one develops in her body, and it goes to her heart....she would die.

Last week Sunday we all went to church as a family.  Ova told Ma to stay home and rest, because the week before that when we got home from church, Ma got really really sick.  If you know her, she's a very stubborn woman and she insisted she go to church with us.  We loaded her wheelchair into the van and helped her get in.  Sacrament meeting is first, it was a very nice program.  Right after sacrament meeting, Ma asked us to take her home.  She said she was having pain in her feet and that she needed to go home and lay down so she could elevate her feet.  We sent our kids to class and Ova and I helped her into the van and headed home.  I stayed home with Ma while Ova went back to church.  I was cleaning up the house because the whole family was going to come over for Sunday dinner.  Ma didn't want to lay down in her room so I brought her a blanket and she laid on the couch in the living room just watching me clean....she kept telling me she's sorry, that if her feet didn't hurt so bad she'd get up and help me.  I love her!  When I was done cleaning I went and sat on the floor by the couch rubbing her legs......Lautala was crawling all over the place making both of us laugh.....then she crawled over to us and started rubbing Ma's legs with me.  If there is one thing that I'm so grateful for, it's the fact that my kids are so close with this old lady.  They know her and are so close to her....she's taught them, read to them, yelled at them.....it's such a blessing!  Ma and I sat there and talked until the rest of the family got back from church.  I love talking to her.  She's the one and only person that I feel comfortable talking Tongan to because even though I probably don't make any sense at all, she tries to understand me and doesn't make me feel stupid for trying.

Ova's little brothers Po & TiTonga and his little family were in town for Lauren's surgery, so we took the opportunity to get together as a family for dinner that night.  My husband is an awesome cook!  Pretty much everything he makes is super delicious....and I'm not bias, it really is!  hahaha  He wanted to go all out for Ma and for his brothers and their families so he made feke, ika faka paku/lolo'i, talo Tonga, shrimp, lu pulu, lu sipi.....and his parent's brought lo'i ho'osi, sapa sui, and ota ika......we had TONS of food and to top it off Tina made two of her delicious cakes for dessert.  We all ate dinner and sat around and talked with each other for a while....we laughed as Sau was playing with all the little kids.  Just enjoying family time.

That night after dinner, Ma's legs were still hurting her......we were worried that it was the blood clots the Dr. had told us about so we rushed her to the hospital.  Tea figured she'd be there over night so she grabbed the stuff she needed to stay overnight.  Sure enough it was a good thing she went to the hospital, because just the thing the Dr had warned us about was happening.  Her leg was full of blood clots which was causing all the pain.  They did a little minor operation right when she got there, just trying to restore the blood flow to her leg.  They had explained that if the little procedure would work, she wouldn't have to have major surgery......well, the procedure didn't work.  They let her sleep that night and they scheduled her for surgery the next morning.  The Dr. (who is so awesome) told us that when they did the catscan, they found an anurism in her leg which was bleeding out and causing the clotting.  The operation she was going to have in the morning was called a bypass surgery, where the insert a tube in her leg and it's supposed to help keep the blood flowing.  The surgery was supposed to be anywhere from 2-6 hours......it took the full 6 hours.  After the surgery, they let Ma rest for a while.....she was exausted because she hadn't been able to sleep because of the pain.  They monitored her that whole day just to make sure she was ok.  The next day on Tuesday when they were checking her vitals....one of the things they had been doing was checking that there was a pulse in her feet.  Hearing the pulse through her feet told them that the blood was flowing correctly.  Well, on Tuesday morning, the day after the operation....there was no pulse in her foot.  That was not a good sign.  The Dr gave us our options and we decided that the best thing would be for her to go through another operation.  Tea didn't have the heart to break it to her that she was going to have to have another surgery....so she left the job to Ova and I.  It was just us in the room.....I was rubbing one leg and Ova was rubbing the other and we were just talking to her....and then Ova broke her the news.  She started crying and she kept saying over and over that she's old already, to just leave her alone.  She hates it when they put her to sleep, and she didn't want to go through that again.  I was fighting to keep my tears back and I just sat there as Ova talked to her and tried to comfort her.  So many times she's been sick, and so many times she's asked us to just leave her....she misses her husband a lot.....but we can't.....we can't picture our lives without this wonderful old lady and we'll do whatever we can to keep her here with us.  Is that being selfish?  One of my good friends said something very comforting to me during this whole ordeal....she said "We are a selfish people.  It's the Lord's will whatever happens, but don't feel bad for being selfish.  Anyone in your situation would want her to stay here on Earth"  those words were exactly what I needed to hear at that time.  The surgery they were going to do was going to be exactly the same surgery she had the day before.  They were going to re-open the same wounds and see what went wrong.  This time the surgery was only supposed to be a couple hours, but they took her back at around 6pm and she didn't get out until almost midnight.  We all sat in the waiting room just waiting for the Dr to come and tell us the news.  When he finally came, he said the surgery had been successful.  The reason they couldn't find a heart beat in her foot was because her leg started clotting again and the blood clots had clogged the tube they put in.  The surgery took so long because they wanted to make sure they got all the clots out.  Now was just the waiting game to see if this time they would be able to find a pulse in her foot.  Thankfully they could....and it's been beating pretty strongly ever since that second surgery.  They have her on blood thinners to help avoid the clotting....and she's been in the hospital trying to recover since then.  She's actually been up and walking these past couple days, exercising her legs....she's such a strong woman!  They were going to let her come home today, but there were a few things that were concerning them and they wanted to keep her over night again so they can monitor her.  The Dr said hopefully she'll get to come home tomorrow.  Until then, we've been posted at the hospital.  Actually, the hospital has been FULL of visitors!  You can definetly tell that she is very very loved!  Her grandkids flew in from Frisco to spend time with her and she even had a grand-daughter fly in all the way from New Zealand just for a couple days to see her.  She is very loved and she has a lot of people thinking and praying for her.

The Dr did tell us that when they did the catscan, they saw an anurism in the other leg also....that side just hasn't bled out yet.  He did tell us that it would be so much better for her to have the surgery before it bleeds out and starts clotting, but she needs to heal from these surgries first.  We'll just have to tackle that obstacle when it comes!

Ma right out of the 2nd surgery

Ma a couple days after surgery

Ma a week after surgery

Get well soon Ma!!

March 17, 2011

My mind is on a special little girl...

I'm like 12 blog posts behind, and my goal tonight was to try to get caught up.  I got one post out of the way, but I can't seem to focus....my mind is not on my blog list, it's on a sweet little girl named Lauren.

Lauren is my sister-in-law's niece and a very special little girl.  She's only 11 years old, but she has gone through so much the past few months.  My heart aches for her and her family.  I first heard about Lauren's condition back in December....the day I heard about it I wanted to go to the hospital to see her.  I asked Tea to go with me, we stopped and got her a teddy bear and headed up to Primary Children's to see her.  When we walked into the NICU, her mom was sitting on the couch in the waiting room.  I said hi to her and she looked at me and asked who we were there to see.  We told her we were there to see her and she was very surprised.  She was there by herself just waiting for her husband and the rest of the family to come back.  She hugged us and cried for the longest time, we just cried right along with her.  I can't imagine how she feels or what she's going through.  At the time we were there, Lauren was getting a bunch of testing done....that is why her mom was waiting in the waiting room.  We sat there with her as she was explaining to us what was happening and what was wrong with her daughter.  We were all crying.  What can you say to that?  How can you comfort someone who's going through a situation like that?  I didn't know, so I just cried.  After a little while of talking with her the doctors came in to tell her the results of Lauren's tests.  Tea and I got up to leave so she could have some privacy, but she asked us to stay.  We sat there and listened to the news from the doctors.  It was not what we wanted to hear.  Her mom just sat there crying the whole time saying "it's not fair".  I felt her pain.  I know that she probably would have wanted anyone else there with her at that moment, but we were glad we could be there to comfort her.

Even though the doctors didn't give that great of news that day, Lauren's condition improved within a couple days.  It seemed that all the prayers and fasts had been answered and that things were falling into place.  We went up to the hospital one more time to see Lauren and her mom, but that time it was all smiles.  Lauren was able to go home for the new year.

Since that incident, Lauren's been on my mind constantly.  She's such a young girl with such great faith and an amazingly supportive and loving family.

Just a few days ago I heard that her health had gotten worse.  I didn't get details, but right when I heard my heart dropped and I couldn't stop crying.  The situation sounds grim, but we know that through faith, prayer, fasting and through the Lord ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.  Lauren, we love you.  You are in our minds and prayers all day everyday.  We will fast for you tonight along with your family.   She's going through a major operation tomorrow, so if you're reading this....please say a prayer for Lauren!

Uncle Ula's Services

Uncle Ula passed away on 12/28/2010.  He had a funeral here in Utah with all the family members that are here, and he also had a service in Hawaii, his home town where his body was laid to rest.  We were fortunate enough to be able to attend both services.  Like I said in my previous posts, Uncle Ula was an amazing man and he will be greatly missed.

The service that was held in Utah was simple.  There weren't too many people there, it was just all the family getting together to pay respects to him.  He comes from a huge family of 15 siblings and tons and tons of nephews and neices....everyone got a chance to talk, reminiss and share some thoughts about him.  We laughed at some of the experiences shared, and we cried too...it was a very good service.  The nephews that were here got together and sang a couple songs for Uncle Ula....the nieces did too.  It was beautiful.

The services in Hawaii were beautiful as well.  It's really nice because a lot of the family works for an airline so there was quite a few of us that were able to make it out to his Hawaii services.  His service in Hawaii was a lot like the one here, they gave time to all the family to pay their tributes.  It was a beautiful service.

He looked so peaceful and so much at rest.  The mortuary that took care of him did a really good job making him look like he was just sleeping.  He was in so much pain for the last few years of his life that it was really nice to see him at peace.  Both of his services were simple and sweet, just like he would have liked them.  I'm so grateful that he was a part of my life, even if it was for a short time.

Auntie Lavi saying good-bye to her big brother

G-ma Sita and Ula's oldest son Siope saying their good-byes

Some of the family right after his services
The Fangupo brothers w/ Uncle Ula's kids

Uncle Ula's beautiful resting place
Reppin' that Lomu status...

The Fangupo side of the family supporting the Lomu side

So because of his occupation and his friendship and association with so many celebrities, I was wondering if any of them would come to his services.  They did not, there was no star gazing......but a few days after the services there was a HUGE bouquet of flowers laying on his gravesite.  It had a note on it that said "Rest in Peace my friend".......Adam Sandler had them delivered to his grave.  

March 14, 2011

Lautala is ONE

I can't believe how fast the time has flown right by.  My baby girl turned 1 on January 8th, 2011.  Surprisingly we didn't have a big birthday bash for her.  We really wanted to, but with so many family funerals and different things, we never had the chance to actually plan one.  Our little princess will have to have a big 2nd birthday party!  If you're a follower of my blog, you'll know that my little princess is named after Ma, Ilaisaane Lautala Fangupo.  It's a blessing for me to have my daughter be named after this incredible woman and I hope when Lautala grows up, she'll be just like her namesake.

Funny story....I was supposed to be induced with her on January 9th, which is actually Ma's birthday.  It was gonna be perfect because they would have the same name and the same birthday..haha.  It didn't quite work out that way.  I guess Lautala wanted her own special day so she decided to come on the night of the 8th.  haha

It's funny how different her personality is from her brothers.  She can't really talk yet (besides mama, dada and owie) and she can't walk yet either.....so lazy, I know....but she has such a bright, fun, dramatic, spoiled, melt-your-heart kind of personality.  One thing I absolutely LOVE is that she's such a mama's girl.  She loves me so much and if I'm in the room she doesn't want anyone but me.  I love it!  When she's sad or tired or hurt, she just wants her mama.  Ova always tells me that it's ok because when she gets older, she'll change and be a daddy's girl....but we'll see!  haha   She's started this new thing where she loves to give umas...she'll pucker up her lips really big and make the U....MA sound....it's too cute!!

On her birthday, we all met at Ova's parents house and just had cake and ice cream and sang to the two birthday girls.  It was a simple, sweet little night dedicated to both the Ilaisaane Lautala's.

Happy Happy Happy Birthday baby girl.  Me and Daddy LOVE YOU SO SO MUCH!!