Sunday, September 19, 2010

Zoe; My Sister, My Friend

I have neglected writing this because I have been nervous to revisit the pain of the last couple weeks, but I have felt a desire, a need to share some things that I loved so deeply about Zoe. I've been reflecting a lot about Zoe, her life, the impact she had on my life and I never want to forget. There were so many qualitites Zoe had that made her who she was. After spending the last week with her family, I have understood more where some of these qualities came from. Here are a few things that I just loved about Zoe:

  • She always gave us her opinion. It took the Nates a while to get used to his one, but we grew to love and appreciate her honesty. I was always so excited to show Zoe anything I had bought or done because I knew she would be completely honest with me.

  • She loved animals. She had a dog that we all thought of as a nuisance, but she loved her and took such good care of her. She rescued a few animals in town and found them a home.

  • She was always working on a home-improvement project. She has gallons of paint lined up in her house, waiting for her next project. She didn't paint anything the way most of the rest of us do it either. She had her own quirky way of doing it and I loved it! In her house right now, there are like 4 different colors of paint on her bathroom wall. She would always paint several strips of paint on walls throughout her house until she found the right shade. Then she would gradually work on it every day until it was finally finished several weeks later!:)

  • She's famous around Cokeville for her driving. People got used to pulling over when they saw her gold van drive down the street! No, she wasn't that bad, but she had to be pulled out of a few snow banks and it was always an adventure to travel with Zoe.

  • She had a love of all peoploe, regardless of age or circumstance. She had some of the most unlikely friends; age, race, religion didn't matter to her. She could be a friend and see the good in everyone.

  • She loved to socialize. She wouldn't just run into The Store for a quick gallon of milk. She would stay and visit for a few minutes. She would do the same when she went to the diner or when she delivered her Allison's Pantry orders.

  • She had beautiful, flawless skin. She wore little make-up, but she didn't need to. She had the most beautiful green eyes and when she would get dressed up, she was stunning.

  • She didn't always keep her house spotless (not because she wasn't capable--she had the cleanest house in town when she dug in), but it's because she was always playing with the kids, reading to them, traveling with Kevin, spending time with all of us. What wisdom that was as she had such a short time to nourish those relationships.

  • Her accent was pretty much gone in her everyday conversation other than a few English phrases she always used, but whenever she talked to her family on the phone her accent was so thick. I loved being around when she was talking to her mom or sisters!

  • Everyone knows how much my family loves to support the athletic programs in Cokeville. Well, Zoe was always right there with us, but for different reasons. She was always worried she had missed the cheerleaders dance.:)

  • She loved England and would often tell us of the many things that were better in England. She loved to visit her family and really loved her homeland.

  • She loved the elderly. She served my grandma Perkins so much before she passed away and that was her nature.

  • She used to research everything before she would buy it or do it. She researched for hours before she planted her little garden, before she bought a car seat for the kids, etc.

  • She was a very generous person. She would've given money or food to anyone if she knew they needed it, and she did to several people.

  • She had a testimony of the gospel. She had tremendous faith to join the church, leave her family in England, and move to America to be with Kev. As we tidied up the house for her family to come stay this last week, it was apparent that the gospel was a part of her everyday life.

  • She was my best friend, my sister. I saw her nearly every day. She spent so much time in our home and we did nearly everything together. Whenever I needed to go out of town for something, Zoe would go with me. I could talk to her about anything. She would always pop in and say she only had a minute and then several hours later, she would finally gather up the kids and go home. I cherish those times. Lori was telling me this last week that I need a "Sarah" in my life (Sarah is the name of her good friend in Kaysville). What she meant was that I needed someone I could talk to about anything, someone who could step in and take care of my kids on a moment's notice, someone who could take my husband cupcakes from me if I happened to be out of town for his birthday. I simply said, "Zoe was my Sarah." And she was. I miss her so deeply every day. She was such a huge part of my life. The pain I have felt over the last two weeks has been the far greatest pain I have ever experienced, but my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ has been strengthened so much. When I felt I could bear the pain no more, through the power of the priesthood and through the Atonement of Christ, I was able to feel peace and understanding. I don't have all of the answers, but I have come to an understanding that whatever mission the Lord has for her on the other side is very important, so imortant that He felt it necessary to take her from her husband and two children for a short time. Our family has always been very close, but through this trial, we have been strengthened so much and have grown so much closer. It has been two weeks full of the most tremendous pain, but two weeks full of the most sacred spiritual experiences we have shared as a family. I know there are many tough days ahead, but after my experiences the last couple weeks, I cannot deny the power of the priesthood, that through the Atonement our pain can be taken away, that the plan of salvation is real, that the Comforter is real, and that if I live worthily, I will see my sister, my best friend again.


Ashlie said...

That was beautiful Katie. Thanks for sharing. What a powerful testimony. I'm sure Zoe has the same love for you that you feel for her. You continue to be in my prayers. Love ya.

Brian and Rebecca Nate said...

I knew you guys had become good friends, but I didn't realize just how close you were. I will miss her too, but I didn't see her every day or even go out of town with her. I'm so sorry for your loss. Zoe really was a special person and I'm so glad I got to know and love her myself.

Taffy and Tony said...

Katie, thanks for writing this. I really didn't know Zoe at all, but this news really upset me thinking of all those who DID know and love her so much. You have all been in my prayers, and I am so glad that you were able to give me a little more insight into this amazing woman.

Sue said...

What a beautiful tribute to our English Spitfire! There are so many qualities of Zoe's that I want to emulate. I keep thinking about how messy my house is and realizing that I need a better reason for it being that way. It should be because I'm nurturing relationships, not because I'm lazy or want to avoid cleaning. I want to focus more on my children, spending time with them and creating memories with them. I need to adopt some of Zoe's creative spirit and spiff up my home, make it a more personal, warm place to be.

Thank you for sharing your beautiful testimony. Love you!

Lori Conger, said...

Well, I'd almost gone 12 hours without sobbing. I'm sure Zoe misses you (even though she's busy with many important things), and I'm certain she has a deep gratitude for you and the role you played in her life. I am learning more all the time that life is about two things--loving and forgiving. I'm so grateful we were able to love Zoe for the past 10 years. She has forever changed my life.
BTW, your blog is so cute--I love the new pictures. Love ya.

Mike, Katie and Annali said...

That was great! We have been thinking about your family and you are in our prayers.

Shari Davis said...

That really was beautiful Katie. I didn't know Zoe, but was hurting for you and your family when I heard the news. You're a strong family and I know you've grown closer from this. You're family has been in my thoughts and prayers these last couple of weeks and will continue to be so. You're awesome.

Nacey family said...

That was a nice tribute. I got to know a bit about Zoe and understand what a wonderful person she was. My heart goes out to you and your family!

klthornock said...

Thank you Katie I love you

Tina said...

Oh Katie, my heart breaks for you and your family. We knew Jared would be taken eventually, and I just feel that your scenario was so much worse that ours. It was so out of the blue. You and your family have been in our thoughts and prayers, and we are so sorry for your loss! You are so amazing and have such an amazing family! We love you guys!

triplej said...

Very nice post. I think blogs and writing are the best ways to express and release pain when loved ones are lost. At least it has been for me and my family. I am so grateful for the beliefs that we have and the prospect of Eternal life. Thanks for letting us all get to know Zoe just a little better.

Parker-Delgado Family said...

I finally quit being a chicken and read your blog. It was a beautiful tribute to Zoe. I think of her and the time we had with her and all the ways she meshed into our lives and I just want to remember her. I don't ever want to forget her and all those little things about her that made her Zoe. I feel we were so privileged to know and love her and to learn from her. I can still hear her laugh and see her holding Olivia. Hopefully we have lerned to cherish the relatioships we have because we never know what is around the next corner. We now have two darling children in our family who will only know of their mother's earthly love from our memories of her.