Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I wanted to share some quick thoughts and quotes...

Rosalie: What are you most excited for when the baby comes?

Michael: The baby.

Michael: (Puts his hand on my tummy right when he wakes up)

Rosalie: (Barely awake) He's not moving right now.

Michael: Why not?
Rosalie: Because he's probably sleeping.

Michael: Well....wake him up!

Rosalie: (wiggles...Hunter moves)

Just another Michael Monday...
Since Michael started his new shift (4/10's) I feel like we don't get to see each other that much...that extra just seems like a lot more time away from home! But I worked it out with my work and piano schedule that we will almost always have the whole day of Monday completely to ourselves. Some people don't look forward to Mondays, but it has become my favorite day! Yesterday was the perfect day...and I REALLY do mean that! We had a lazy, lay in bed, morning...I would say that WE slept in, but I don't sleep in, so I just kept Michael company while he slept in for a little bit (that means until about 8:30 am...we really don't sleep in ha ha ha). We went out to breakfast at Mimi's, did a few things around the house, went to my Doctor's appointment together, heard our little boy's heart beat, picked up his crib, came home, did the dishes together, made dinner while he gave the dogs a bath, and then we ate a yummy home made dinner...by the end of the day I felt really blessed and so grateful for the life I have...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day...Here is the story of us

So I thought it would be fun to write the story of Michael and I...

This is my version...if you talk to Michael you may get a different story, but know that mine is the more accurate one! (=

Michael and I kind of knew of each other from seminary, but never really talked. When I was 16 I was dating someone who was on the same baseball team as Michael, and during one of their games he came up to the fence, flashed his charming smile, and said something to the affect of, "Hey, you're Rosalie, we go to seminary together don't we?". I thought, "Why, Mr. Mastaler...are you flirting with me at my boyfriends baseball game?!". A dated that boyfriend for a little while longer, and then ended breaking up mainly because of difference of religion. Soon after that Michael and I started to become friends...I guess that's when it all began...

After getting to know each other a little bit more at school, I invited him over to my house to watch a movie, "The Wedding Planner". When he showed up he locked his keys in the car (I think he was a little nervous ha ha ha). That was the first time we held hands. We hung out a few more times after that, and then we went on our first "big" date. We went to the movies, "Monsters Inc." at Ontario Mills (that was the "big" part of it), and then when he dropped me off he kissed me for the first time. I would have to say that after that we were pretty much inseparable. I remember our first Valentine's Day together...2002...eight years ago!! WOAH! My two friends were dating his two friends, and so they made us a romantic homemade dinner. He also surprised me with rose petals all over my room, a big, pink stuffed animal frog, and a teddy bear that was holding a heart that said "Be Mine". He also gave me a heart shaped box full of chocolates! Oh and not only did he do that, but in each of my classes he left a sweet homemade Valentine on my desk so I would get it when I walked in my classroom! My favorite one had a train drawn on it that said, "I choo choo choose you." (Thank you Lisa Simpson) I knew that I had found a real keeper, and that night he asked me the big question...that's right...he asked me, "Will you go out with me?" And so...I'm sure you can guess that I said "Yes" and we were finally official!! (I know, aren't teenage love stories so completely awesome!? ha ha ha)

I went to his Senior Prom, he went to my Junior Homecoming and we were pretty much smitten! After about a year of dating, halfway in to my Senior Year, Michael was preparing fora mission, we were young, and in love, yet we had our differences which lead to a lot of disagreements, and we pretty much went out separate ways. He left for Tennessee to serve the Lord, I hung around the home for about a year after high school, and then left for New York to work. We got home at about the same time, went to Hawaii together (thanks Moms) and I somehow fell back in love with my sweet high school sweetheart. It took him a little bit of time to completely accept the fact that he was in love too, but right when we got home from Hawaii we were once again inseparable. It didn't take too long to know that we loved each other enough to spend the rest of our lives together, but soon after all of those feelings developed, were separated by 7,600 miles. I left for Russia to teach English for about six months, and I knew that if we could be apart for that long, without any contact except frequent e-mails, and seldom phone calls, then it was the right thing to do. Leaving him was so hard, and I even thought about staying home and passing up the opportunity, but I knew that it was what I had to do. It was while I was in Russia that I really knew that I was supposed to marry Michael, and no less than 24 hours after I got home, he put a ring on my finger.

I'm sure you can guess what happens next...I got home in June, and we got married in August. I got my lifelong Valentine, and he will always "Be Mine". I love him so much and always will. We definitely have our differences, quite a few of them, but if you think about it, in a puzzle there are no two pieces that are the same and it still fits together. He makes me laugh, and smile, and there is no way that I could live without him. No, our marriage isn't perfect, and honestly there isn't anyone that can drive me more crazy than he can, but there isn't anyone who I could love more than I love him. So here we are...8 years after that special Valentine's Day...who would have ever thought!? I'm grateful that Heavenly Father gave me such a handsome, wonderful man who protects me, loves me, provides for me, and makes me happy. Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 8, 2010

My "Clair De Lune"

If you are reading this, you are obviously someone in my life, possibly a relative but definitely my friend. You may know me really well, and we have a lot of memories together, or maybe you’ve only known me for a few short years...either way, you are someone that is in my life, and no matter who you are, I am grateful you are reading this.

With that being said, I wish this was more personal. I wish that you, as a reader and my friend could have a hand written letter, delivered to your front door, with a pretty stamp in the top right corner, and a wax seal on the back...I know it sounds a bit old fashioned, but as you read this, whether you are at work or at home, I hope it’s more than sitting in front of a computer, reading some meaningless words on page. I hope you hear my voice, as I tell you about a great man who is one of the most important people in my life. I hope you hang on to every word from beginning to end and I would like to apologize for the length, but know that this is only a small bit of what I have on my mind, and how does one only write a few short sentences about this man? Lastly, thank you again for reading this, I hope you can at least get a small glimpse of my thoughts as I tell you about the man that I know as my Opa.

Frank A. Lucardie was born in Indonesia on May 15, 1933. He had two brothers and a little sister. Growing up during the war he went through a lot. “A lot” being an understatement, and more than anyone should ever have to go through. I remember hearing about how when he was a young boy and how his father went off to war. He waved goodbye to him, as he rode off in a train, and never saw him again. His little sister, Rosalina, was killed, at a very young age. We did not know her name until after I was born, but you can imagine how special my name meant to me after finding out it was my Opa’s sisters name. During the war there were times when he was a prisoner, and had to live in camps. I remember one time I played Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata for him. When I was done playing the song, with tears in his eyes he was able to tell me the story of this one time when he was held captive along with a group of people. I do not know the specifics, but I know that they were told that they were going to be killed in the morning. That night, someone played that song on the piano,..they were rescued before the morning came…Somehow my Opa put the war behind him. I can’t even fathom,,,he never really spoke of it. I guess the person that he became, a strong survivor, says more than words ever could.

My Oma and Opa had three beautiful children, Glenn, Bridget (Brigitta…who’s my Mom) and then John. When my Mom was a baby, they packed up all that they had and moved here to America. They were able to provide a much better life for them than they ever had. My Opa became an engineer and he traveled the world for his job. He had a very important job of traveling to different countries and helping with water purification. He really was a very smart, intelligent and brilliant man. I always remember hearing that he was “over seas”. When I was little, I heard it so much that I thought that it was an actual place. I remember seeing pictures of him in all of these foreign countries. My favorite picture is of him on the Great Wall in China. I remember he brought home a huge stuffed panda bear for me; it instantly became my favorite toy. My Opa loved to travel. When I lived in Russia, I would write home about all of the places I was able to see, my Mom would reply and tell me that I was just like my Opa, with a strong passion to travel and see the world. It was an honor to be compared to him. Somehow the “travel gene” was passed on to me through him. Even in his older age, my Opa was still traveling. While I was in Russia, he was in Yemen and I was able to read the letters that he wrote home…I remember reading about how much he loved my Oma. They always bickered, pretty much every time I was with them, but there love for each other is more than I can put into words. I always loved to watch them dance together. When they were younger, they used to be in dance contests, dancing to the sounds of the Big Bands. They were able to experience my favorite kind of music first hand. I wish I could go back in time and watch them.

When he was young, he always wanted to play the piano. I know that he always wanted lessons, but his family could not afford it. That did not stop him from discovering that he had a great love and passion for music. My Opa loved jazz and classical may have even had a bigger place in his heart. When I was younger he would always tell me about these different composers, Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven and more. He would listen to them constantly. When my Mom was young he tried to get her to play the piano, and develop the same love of music that he had, but for some reason she didn’t take to it. March 11, 1985, my Opa was blessed with his second granddaughter…me. When we were little my brother and I always stayed the night at their house. I remembered we played games a lot and I can remember every little detail about their home. The smell, the little nick nacks on the shelves, the kitchen…everything. Most of all I remembered how much I loved it there. When my Opa discovered that I had a talent and love for music, no matter what the occasion was he would always ask me about the piano, and tell me to always practice. I loved the piano, and still do. Next to the gospel and my family, music is my life, love, and passion. Somehow how I was able to play really well, without even having one lesson. I remember playing songs for my Opa, and he would always sing along. My favorite song was Moon River…I always loved to hear him sing it. When I was in my early years of high school he introduced me to the most amazing song “Clair De Lune” by Debussey. That was the first big classical piece that I learned, and I fell in love with it. Whenever I hear that song, I can’t help but think of my Opa. I recently had a recital, with all of my students and I dedicated it to him, my “Clair De Lune”.

As he came closer to the end of his life I was able to reflect upon all of the great memories that we’ve shared. Going out to eat at Asian restaurants and being amazed at how he could pick up more than one peanut with his chopsticks, spending a whole day with just him and I as he showed me all around Vegas. A funny one I have is when he gave me an adult Tylenol when I was kid...I chewed it…it wasn’t a chewable pill…and the closest place to get rid of it was behind there couch…my silly Opa. If only I could write forever I could write all of my memories that I have with him…

This past November when I saw him, he said I looked a fatigued…I admit I was a little tired, but I didn’t think I looked that bad. He went home, and told my Oma, that he thought I was pregnant. A few days later I found out I was pregnant. He was more than thrilled to find out I am having a boy. When I cut my finger, he just happened to go in to the hospital on the same night that I did, and he patted my tummy and said, “My boy”. Those were some of the last words I ever heard him say.

Near the end there were some very difficult times. It was heart wrenching when he told me that he could be dying, and that he’d watch me from above. Then the hardest part of all was seeing him in a hospital bed, barely conscience. I thought: how could such a strong brilliant man be in this condition? That night I brought him some music to listen to with songs that I knew he would love. My Mom played the music for him constantly, until his very last moments here on Earth.

This is definitely one of the hardest things that I’ve ever had to go through. My Opa was so much more than a Grandpa to me…like I said, he is my “Clair De Lune”. I wish I could elaborate on what that really meant, but I honestly don’t know how to put it in to words. The pain of missing him is more than I’ve ever felt in my life, and I couldn’t imagine how much harder it would be if I didn’t have a testimony of knowing with all my heart that I will see him again. As I got the message last night from my dear Mom, “Opa is now with Hunter”, our little baby boy who will soon be with us, all I could hold on to, to keep the hurt from being unbearable was, I can’t wait to see him again…I really can’t wait, and I know it’s going to be a long time from now, which makes its worse, but I can and will always hold on to my testimony. The other night, when I knew that it was really close to him passing, I thought about how he’s going to be taken care of when he leaves us. A peace and comfort came over me…I know that people say that he’s going to a “better place”, but wouldn’t you be sad if you had to leave all of your family and loved ones? I remember seeing the look in his eyes when he knew that his time was coming, and I couldn’t help but feel a small piece of the sadness that he was feeling. I knew that he would have to say goodbye soon.

It’s only been about 12 hours since he left us…I think of my poor Mom, who was such a Daddy’s girl. She meant the world to him, and she loved him beyond measure. I also think of my Oma…they’ve spent almost their whole lives together. I can’t imagine what they are going through, but we all know how incredibly lucky we are to have had him in our lives. He was such a strong person, with a brilliant mind, loving heart, and he was my Opa…my very own Opa who I love and adore. I lay here in bed, with a tear stained face, only thinking about him and wondering what he’s doing right now. I know that if he was here, I would get a kiss on each cheek, and then he would gently hold my face as he looked at me with a big smile. I look forward to when he will be able to do that again.

So this is my tribute to him. Nothing could ever do enough justice, but I’ve done my best.

You reading this means more than you know. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart. It’s interesting what we have to go through in life, but everything shapes and molds us into who we are. Heavenly Father blessed me with a great man as my Opa, and I couldn’t be more grateful. I’ve also been blessed with the gospel that has and will help more than anything else. Lastly, I would like to leave you with the lyrics of “Moon River”…

“Moon river, wider than a mile, I’m crossing you in style someday.

Old dream maker, you heart breaker. Wherever you’re goin’ I’m goin’ your way.

Two drifters off to see the world, there’s such a lot of world to see.

We’re after the same rainbows end, waiting ‘round the bend,

my huckleberry friend, Moon river and me.”

Thank you friend, for your time, love and support.

Love, Rosalie