For seven years Mr. Finn has had Mr. Dean as a Home Teaching Companion. A faithful, kind companion. Someone that just "got" my hubby. About a year ago shortly after we moved to Mississippi, his beloved wife of fifty years passed away. It took a toll on Dean and with Ralph so far away, he managed as well as could be.
|His daughter Karen and Deano|
When we decided to move back, Mr. Finn texted Mr. Dean and before we were even officially back in the ward, Dean had my hubby officially made his Home Teaching Companion again. All was good in the world. I was working and Mr. Finn was being a stay at home/look for a job Dad and got to spend time with Dean. A lot of time! They went on lunch dates, movies, target shooting, shopping... it was a regular "bromance". He hates when I use that term and will cringe when he reads this. But, it is my blog and my memory I wish to preserve. He can write his own!
Mr. Finn noticed that Dean was doing the bachelor eating thing so asked if he could invite him over for dinner after Home Teaching. Why not? One more plate.
It was so much more than that. He became a regular at our table and a member of our family. He brought a gentleness and softness into our home. A true gift to us. He used to always thank me for all the meals and I told him, "The thanks was to him for blessing our lives". He brought what we could not find ourselves.
We grew to love him and our routines with him. I couldn't decide on a meal without wondering what Dean would like. I didn't want to duplicate meals and since he was so kind about my cooking and seemed adventurous, I was able to cook a lot of things I had put off because of a slightly picky family. He got me to put Olive Oil on vanilla ice cream and it was good. Who knew?! He was always so gracious with his compliments and enlightening conversation.
He had a quick, dry wit that would make me laugh. He could hold his own with Mr. Finn, which is huge! Never seemed phased with my husband's snarky ways and our dueling over dinner at times. He would smile and say calm children. I love this man.
A week ago I went to the temple and decided to do initiatory vs a session due to a visiting teaching luncheon at my home later. I don't usually have spiritual experiences in the temple... mostly peaceful experiences. Quiet... much needed quiet ones.
This time at the same point I got the distinct impression that I needed to have a "celestial" marriage. I was sealed in the temple to Mr. Finn, so I was a bit perplexed and the next through (I did 20 names) I got the same impression and this time I knew that it was the state of the marriage. It needed to be the most prized thing in my life. Over and over again through twenty names I knew what I needed to do to make this as my Heavenly Father knew it could be. I thought of Dean and his love for his wife. His patience and kindness through her convalescence and how much he missed her.
I want that! With every fiber of my being I want that. It was so clear to me that it is possible and attainable. I know it will be work, everything requires it. When we decided to be married and sealed, we covenanted to do the work.
At the end of the second to last name a Sister Wilde began her rotation and looked at me so steadily and said that she knew without a doubt that the things she had just said were true and I needed to know that as long as I honored them, they would be a protection unto me. She said she could feel my spirit and my righteousness, which I having my doubting lately. I have been feeling downcast and worn out. She said she couldn't always see it so brightly in others, but mine was shining so bright she couldn't not tell me. She said my Heavenly Father loved me. It was things I just needed that day.
As I drove home I had such a good feeling of warmth, a much needed respite from my day to day. As I walked into my home, the phone was ringing. I was it was Mr. Dean and was surprised to hear him since Mr Finn was out of town until Friday and they were supposed to get together then and work on their hobby before he went to his daughter's new home in Syracuse.
The voice on the other end was not our beloved Dean, but a police officer asking who I was and if I was family and how to get hold of them. He said Dean had an accident but would tell me no more. I could hardly breathe. I dropped to my knees and prayed for our dear friend and felt I should contact his daughter in Dubai. I only knew how to get a hold of her through Facebook, so sent her and instant message asking if she was online.
She came back with a smiley face and "I sure am!". I dreaded telling her what I knew, but told her what little I had and asked for information for her brother John. We spent time going back and forth trying to piece things together along with our Bishop.
There is so much that happened between then and now that I would like to write, but I will just add some moments that I want to remember. Our Deano never regained consciousness and we were able to go to the hospital to say goodbye on Friday, but our hearts were and are broken. We knew he wouldn't make it when we saw him and I saw a part of my husband break.
He said to me in the car, "Who am I going to play with?". I ache for my beloved husband. This was his friend, his confidant, his playmate.
Saturday I was sad because I realized it did not have a single picture of him. We were so comfortable with him here and just expected it to always be so. I downloaded what was on his Facebook page before his family took it down. And on Sunday after sacrament meeting, Sis Mahoney came up to me and said she felt like she should give me a picture she found of Dean and his wife Shelby. What a tender mercy. I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father that hears us in our grief and answers us with mercy and love.
As Miss Boo said, "Can we tell God we aren't done with him yet?"
We will miss you... until we meet again dear friend.