Sunday, March 16, 2008

all cried out

that's not really true! it sure feels like i should be all cried out, but still i am moved to tears.

we had ross' memorial service yesterday, and it was "freakin' awesome!", as ross would have said! it was an A.M.A.Z.I.N.G outpouring of love and the spirit!

i laughed, and i cried, and i was in awe of the family's strength in adversity and testimony of the gospel! i loved the stories that the family shared about ross:

my favorite being the one where ross took a whole pad of post it notes with him to a stake dance. he wrote his name and his phone number on each one and plastered them all around the cultural hall. but he didn't stop there. he then went to the girls bathroom and stuck them all over the door. then, and this is the best part, he went around the dance to all the girls and asked, "who's ross?"

i loved the eternal perspective they shared with us and their knowledge that they will be with ross again:

ross' dad said that that day on the beach all he lost was a pair of shoes. he will not get the shoes back, but he will get his boy back! he said that he just was not responsible for ross anymore.

though i did not know ross personally, i have been greatly moved by the influence he had on so many people and the way in which he touched so many lives both directly and indirectly, like myself, in his short sojourn on earth.

this video was created for ross by a young man who was in our ward, but recently moved away. he felt that he needed to help this past week, but couldn't because he was so far away. he made this tribute to ross. it is incredibly moving and the music is amazing (pause my music player at the top of my blog so you can really listen to the words of the music on the video)!

"through laying down your life for a boy you had never known before, you demonstrated a great act of charity, the pure love of Christ...we take peace in knowing, that because you had that love, you are in a better place...heading towards the outstretched arms of our Lord."

i love the following lines from the song on this video:

"and if you were with me tonight,
i'd sing to you just one more time.
a song for a heart so big,
God wouldn't let it live.
may angels lead you in."

at the end of the memorial service, the youth of the stake sang "just one more time. a song for a heart so big." a song for ross. they sang the efy medley as sisters in zion/we'll bring the world his truth, my all time favorite song of the youth! they did an incredible job singing through their tears! it was so powerful! here is a video i found on you tube with the song that the youth sang:

they put together a little card that had some of ross' journal entries on it and they had it at the service. the very first one was this:

"Being a son of God means a lot to me. It means that I have a responsibility to make my Father proud. It also means that I have a standard to live my life to. 9/10/200"

i believe that ross made his Father proud and he did live up to that standard!

"may we all strive to be found of having the love that you showed that stranger."


Darilyn said...

I've been doing so good today, until now. Yesterday I cried all day long. Even coming home from the grocery store at 11 pm last night, still crying. I was a mess. Today I have felt better. Your post moved me to tears again. I've wanted to share some of my feelings of the service yesterday but just couldn't do it. I'm glad you did because you spoke from my heart too. I love you Mahina.

Danielle said...

oh mahina--thank you so much for your post. i was unable to attend the service, but deeply wanted to. i have cried so many times this week, my sons think that mommy is always sad. but, truly i feel blessed to know of Ross, his family, and his example. how precious our earthly experience is, and how great our return to our Heavenly Father will be.

Pineapple Princess said...

Thank you Mahina for sharing the life and death of such a wonderful young man. I shared this hero with my children and we were all moved. Our prayers are with those two families.

Bridget said...

Great post Mahina. Loved that tribute from McKay, that was so sweet.

Michal said...

i just watched both videos and read your tribute, crying the entire time. thanks for letting me be a part of celebrating ross' life. even though i've never known him or his family, this really touched me.

Becca said...

Thanks for this post Mahina. Of coarse, I have heard so much about this boy from my parents and then in an email from Lynn. I don't even know the kid and I cired my eyes out while watching that video. Maybe cause I know so many of those kids and know their heartache. Thanks!

Tonya said...

Though I didn't know Ross or his family at all I have learned so much from them. I look to Ross as a great example of how I want to live my life. I also look to his family as a great example of how to cope and exercise faith during adversity. Thankyou so much for this post and for sharing the video. It made me cry!

Melissa-Mc said...

What an amazing person he is to affect so many lives, including those of people that never met him in this life. He will continue to affect others for good both here on earth and beyond.

Mahina said...


it actually wasn't mckay that put it together, though he was quoted in the video. the tribute was done by brandon bangerter who moved out of the ward at the beginning of the year.

Katie Smith said... sounds like quite the memorial service. I know LaFawn has been so impressed by the family's strength through such adversity. What an example to all of us. Thanks for the post. I would have loved to been there too, but this will just have to do.

tutu lady said...

That's a good post and a great tribute. What a wonderful young man. Todays youth are truly the cream of the crop reserved for troubled times. Hang in there, you have a few of the elect in your own home. Mahalo!

Elizabeth said...

Oh, that is so beautiful. Thanks for sharing that. I only wish I could include that video tribute in the book of remembrance for Ross.

Rachael said...

Not only Mahina but everyone, thanks for sharing your feelings. Our unity really does make this all bearable. My love and honor go to him and his family.

Teresa said...

That was so beautiful and heartfelt. I cried and cried through the whole thing. Ever since hearing of his death, I've often thought of him and cried for his family. They sound like incredible people. Are there really any words to say about a young man who would risk and then loose his life to try to save the life of a stranger? He did an amazing and incredible thing and he's already touched so many lives...people who have never met him will always remember him and what he did and the type of life he lived.

paula said...

Thanks Mahina. I was very busy with chris wedding and traveling. I was able to stay connected through all your blogs. He was Rich's home teaching companion.He will be greatly missed. He would call on the first of the month. Br Vial is today a good day to go home teaching? I will miss those phone calls.He even helped me post pic on the computer. Because I didn't know how. Great Young man.He helped Merilee get the barn ready for the reception and helped Eric with our fences and chasing the cows while we were away .All with a smile on his face and saying how great it was!! Thanks again everyone for your words.Paula