Saturday, May 12, 2012

my hero

My Aunt Fawn is my hero.

Last fall things took a turn and Fawn's health progressively got worse. Over Christmas, we cherished our time with her. We sat and held her hand and valued each moment with her. On New Year's Eve, she joined her Heavenly Father on the other side, where all of us know she is actively engaged in a good cause to bring as much joy to those there as she did to us here. The next Thursday, we gathered as family, from near and far, to celebrate the beautiful life of our sweetest Fawn. A week later, Michael and I were sealed in the temple. It was an emotional month for our family, but the sweetest and most tender blessing to KNOW she was in the temple with us that day. 

Those were knew Fawn were blessed beyond measure. It was evident in how many people traveled from all over the country, and even Canada, to be there. My mom describes the type of person she was and the example she will always be. Hers is a legacy that will never be forgotten. My mom, her closest friend and dearest sister, gave her eulogy:

Fawn as a little girl had a mature look about her.  Strangers would stop to comment on her beauty.  Fawn became a babysitter at the age of 2 with a baby sister only 11 months younger than her.  She loved doing all the things little girls do.  As a toddler, Fawn would sprint out with excitement to her dad as he passed on his tractor or horse to ride with him, and each time she would instantly fall asleep.

Starting at the age of 10, Fawn was plagued with health issues that would shape her life. She had a brain tumor, biopsy, and stroke. When she was 11, she had a test done at USCF that left her blind. Several days passed and the doctors said she would not see again.  Days later, when her vision began to return, the room swirling around, she reached out to hold her dads hand and said “don’t worry mom and dad, heavenly father will take care of me”.

Fawn always put her trust in the Lord, having faith that His plan, no matter how many trials it was made up of, was truly a plan of happiness. her testimony was one of great strength, beginning at a young age and growing as she did. She had a positive outlook on life, and lived in a Christ-like way—always thinking of others and putting them first. Her’s was a life of service and compassion.

In High School, Fawn loved sharing clothes with her sister Tamara, shopping, watching movies in the theater and going to stake dances every weekend. Fawn was up on all the latest music and had tons of cassette tapes. She was a great dancer, and would watch the dick clark show for new moves to try at the next stake dance. She loved posing like a model and having her picture taken.

She was voted best eyes and best dressed in her high school yearbook and was homecoming and yearbook queen. She often joked about being a queen throughout her adult life, and would say “oh Dahling!”  Fawn loved her Heavenly Father and always set the example for her younger siblings. she loved being the oldest and often reminded us that she was. She made everyone feel loved and special. She always knew what others needed to hear and told them to be happy and not worry. We all loved her kindness and gentleness, her sweet voice and sense of humor.

She attended BYU in Provo and studied fashion marketing. She would go tanning and would wear the most stylish clothes.
Fawn and Tom met in a BYU ballroom class when she was 18. They reunited 5 years later while shopping at Albertsons. When he saw her, Tom thought that she was quite dolled up and looking good. They were both secretly interested in each other, but Tom thought “How could a girl like this with great 80’s hair, so beautiful, and so sweet, be interested in me?” And fawn thought “how could this tall georgeous guy be interested in a girl like me?” As they left Albertsons, she turned and playfully said “call me” and he did. Their first date was to a car show and they were married one year later.
Tom and Fawn moved to Maryland, then to San Jose, California. They came to Livermore shortly before giving birth to Barron, and two years later were blessed with Walker. Shortly after Walker’s birth, Fawn had a surgery that left her in constant pain on her left side. Her balance was affected, she lost some of her hearing, and she developed double vision. It was easy to forget she was constantly enduring this pain, despite its severity, because she didn’t talk about it and certainly didn’t complain. She loved life and had complete faith in her Father in Heaven, the Atonement, and the Plan of Salvation. She believed in choosing the right and keeping the commandments and lived her life accordingly. 

Fawn enjoyed volunteering in Walker’s classrooms and driving Barron to hockey and piano lessons. She took piano lessons with Baron, there for him every step of the way on his journey to becoming an accomplished pianist. Fawn was an involved and loving mother. She loved books, and read to her boys every day. She did puzzles with Barron as he grew up, and loved watching movies with Walker and having treats. Walker has many fond memories of being at the mall with his mom. She always took him for a hand-picked bag of candy from the sweet shop and a new toy for him to play with while she shopped.  Fawn loved her boys dearly and taught them the gospel in a loving way. Her testimony of heavenly father and the savior were most important in her life, and she prayed for her boys to also have strong testimonies and to choose the right.

Fawn had a love of life and all things that glittered. She loved jewelry, perfume, clothes, shoes, purses, and chocolate. She had vogue style and loved buying gifts for everyone. When you went to Nordstrom's with Fawn, she knew the people who worked there—not just their names, but about their families too. In the last few years, she lost interest in going, but tom recently took her again and a Nordstrom employee commented, “she looks different, but I remember fawn.” Fawn was strikingly beautiful, but her sincere love for people and the desire to know them and help them was where her true beauty came from. Fawn had a childlike innocence and was very laidback, but she was very much in charge of her life.

Fawn loved baking, especially chocolate chip cookies, and never missed an opportunity to decorate for a holiday. Whether it was Christmas or St. Patrick’s day, she loved to make things beautiful. She was a master scrabble player and always beat Tom. Together, Fawn and Barron were the reigning champions, no matter the opponent.

She was a loving friend and in turn was blessed with friends who loved her back and who took care of her, especially during these last few years.

Five years ago, Fawn had another stroke that left her confined to a wheelchair. Tom got her a bright blue wheelchair—her favorite color—and she rode around in style with a smile. No one remembers Fawn ever saying a negative thing about not being able to walk. Although it was hard and it hurt, she continued to smile and remained brave. Fawn was always brave. A few years ago, while she could still communicate, she told one of her nieces, “I’m not afraid. I will go where the Lord wants me to go. I have faith that whatever happens to me is the Lords’ will and I am not afraid.” Fawn maintained her strong faith through the next two years. She knew that Heavenly Father loved her and she shared that love with those around her, even when she couldn’t communicate. She would hold our hands and gently rub them.  While she was being dressed or cared for she would often say “I’m sorry” and she would continue to smile and say “thank you”.  Fawn said three words most often the last few years, the words, “I love you” were felt with our hearts as she said them with depth, happiness and sincerity.

Before Fawn lost her hearing a little over a year ago, she and tom finished their dinner at an ihop one evening, and tom asked, “what do you think it means that there are three different-sized plates left on our table?”  fawn said, “it must mean there’s good luck ahead.” Fawn always epitomized the word “hope.” Our memories of her are of her smiling and laughing. It makes us all smile just thinking of her. She never complained, but was always optimistic, and we all felt special after being with her. She had a way of making us all feel important and want to be better.
She had a special spirit.
Fawn always was a little closer to heaven than the rest of us.

I love you Fawn. I miss you. But I look forward to the day that I will see you again because of our Savior's infinite Atonement. Thank you for reminding me to always have hope, to tell people I love them, and for always making me smile xoxo

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