Saturday, November 22, 2008

Am I Okay?

So, I'd like to think I'm okay, and you know, for the most part, I think I am. I mean, it's been nearly 3 weeks since mom died now, and since coming back, I've been very busy trying to catch back up in med school. But in quieter moments -- as the children are going to bed, or as I prepare to go to bed -- I realize there's still a profound sadness deep within my heart. And I'm not the only one -- young as they are, mom's passing hasn't been lost on the children either.

Ethan, in his prayers, has started saying, "Please bless yehyeh, grandma, and grandpa to be healthy and safe, and mama to be happy in heaven," and today, after finishing his prayers, added "Dad, I miss mama."

Isaac has started praying fervently to "Please bless Ethan, Isaac, Lilly, and James not to die when they're kids." He was particularly attached to his mama and yehyeh -- in fact, the first sentence out his mouth after Annie told him that mama had died was, "Is yehyeh still alive?"

Lilly, with sweet innocence, when asked about mama the other day, said simply, "Mama is at Jesus' place."

James -- well, James is just James. (And thank goodness for that!)


Anyhow, moving on to lighter things -- I mentioned building a fence in the backyard the weekend before I skipped town, which I haven't done since I was just a wee thing working for Jack Payne at Classic Landscapes. Good thing, too, since it's been snowy and cold since returning home (more cold than snowy, to be honest, but there's definitely been a bit of both). Annie took photos along the way, so, from start to finish, here it is:

Oct. 30

Measuring and cutting 4' boards with Isaac...

...and Ethan's help.

Oct. 31

Spacing the rails

Finished view of the rails up...

...and posts lopped down.

Nov. 1

Carrying boards from garage to backyard.

Nailing in boards.

Last full board! (I had to cut a sliver of a board to fill the gap)

Ethan, my ever-present helper.

Finished product!

Monday, November 17, 2008

There's No Place Like Home

After a two week absence, we finally made it home late last night, and I gladly echo Ethan's thoughts just before turning in for bed tonight, "Dad, I'm glad we're home."

When dad called me to tell me about mom, at 5:02 p.m. two weeks ago to the day, I was sitting at our computer having just finished stitching together shots I'd taken moments earlier into a panoramic photo of our backyard. Then, as you can imagine, after dad's news I never quite got back to posting backyard photos that evening, and the next morning found me in the Detroit airport in the company of my dad, awaiting a flight to Minneapolis.

Now I'm back, and to pick up where I left off, this series of photos should hopefully satiate the curiosity of the few choice people who have asked what happened to our backyard moonscape. The last shot I posted was Oct. 2, which I reiterate here for continuity's sake, followed by Oct. 19 and Nov. 3. I don't have a photo from today, but it looks much different than Nov. 3, as we arrived home last night to find a blanket of snow covering our yard!

Oct. 2, 2008

Oct. 19, 2008

Nov. 3, 2008
(check out the fence I built!)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Funeral Day

Mom's funeral was today and it was wonderfully uplifting. All throughout, there was that wonderful sense of faith and fellowship that can be felt wherever a community of Saints has gathered, today made all the more poignant for the occasion. It has since occurred to me that in this sphere of existence, perhaps no two events are more miraculous than birth and death, with the fleeting glimpse they give us into the unfathomable grandeur and scope of the plan of salvation. Certainly, my faith was strengthened today, and I'm sure that's exactly what my mom would have wished. Thank you to those who were able to attend, as well as for those who were able to offer love and support in so many other ways. I think we're all going to be just fine.

Amy S. P. Tang

Amy Tang, née Chan, beloved daughter, wife, mother, and grandmother, was unexpectedly called home to our Father in Heaven on Nov. 3, 2008 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Amy was born on Jan. 11, 1947, in Canton, China, to Konyil and Maureen Chan, the second born of four daughters and a son. In 1960, she became the first of her family to immigrate to North America, reuniting with them three years later in Utah. In 1963, that same year, her family was sealed together in the Logan Utah temple and shortly thereafter, she moved to Calgary, Alberta, then to Ste Anne de Bellevue, Quebec, the following year. Amy graduated from MacDonald High School in 1965 and subsequently attended McGill University, ultimately receiving a bachelor of science in biochemistry in 1969. In 1971 she met her beloved husband in Salt Lake City, Utah, to whom she was sealed for time and all eternity in the Cardston Alberta Temple, in Alberta, Canada, on July 6, 1974.

In 1994, Amy obtained a second bachelor of science in home economics with an emphasis in nutrition from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta. In 1996, she immigrated with her family from Canada to the United States. In 2005, she earned her third bachelor of science in elementary education from Husson College in Bangor, Maine. In 2007, she was naturalized a citizen of the United States of America.

Above all, Amy treasured truth. A passionate student, she had a lifelong love of learning that blessed the lives of all those around her. With her broad life experiences and her innate ability to apply what she had learned, she was an exceptional mother and teacher who was an unfailing source of inspiration and wisdom to her family.

Amy was predeceased by her father, Konyil Chan, and her older sister, Irene Chan. She is survived by her husband, Terry Tang; her children, Clarence (Annette) Tang, Michelle (Steve) Barker, Andrew (Liew) Tang, Jason (Heather) Tang, and Nancy Tang; her seven grandchildren, Ethan, Isaac, Lillian, Andersen, Ashlyn, James, and Jaxon; her mother, Maureen Chan; and three siblings, May Wong, June Lee, and David Chan; as well as many extended family members and good friends. Jaxon was born the day after she passed away, and an eighth grandchild is due on Dec. 7, 2008.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Tender Mercies of the Lord

Although busy with tasks and errands as we prepare for mom’s funeral, being in Winnipeg has been somewhat difficult with reminders of mom’s recent presence all throughout popo's house – clothes draped neatly on chairs, grocery items carefully wrapped and labeled to take home, reminder notes to herself scribbled in permanent marker, and most poignantly, personal effects – glasses, wedding ring, watch – that mom will never wear again.

After receiving a disappointingly inconclusive preliminary autopsy report yesterday, I picked up mom's journal hoping to find some extra clues to why this might have happened. As I leafed through the last few pages, I found no such clues, but noticed that over the days since her arrival to Winnipeg, she'd written of day outings she’d taken with popo, favorite foods she’d enjoyed while here, wonderful friends she’d met at church, and noted each day whether she’d had the opportunity to talk with dad.

Most touchingly, among these descriptions of the daily events of her visit with popo, the last paragraph of her last journal entry was a reflection of her life and the Lord's tender mercies towards her -- the bounty she'd enjoyed, the variety of her experiences, and, above all, her wonderful family – husband, sons, daughters, and grandchildren. “My cup runneth o’er with richness,” she seemed to say, “and my life is abundantly full.” Although lamenting her imperfections, she expressed her fervent, sincere gratitude to the Lord for all the blessings bestowed upon her, not knowing that within the next 24 hours, she would be unexpectedly called home to that God who gives us all life, her final testimony borne, her mission in this life inexplicably complete. And though we who were left behind carry heavy hearts, yet we may rejoice that we were so privileged to have known, loved, and been loved by such an one as my mother. Merciful indeed is our Lord!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

My Siblings are Awesome

Mic's tribute to mom
Ange's tribute to mom
J's tribute to mom
Nana's tribute to mom

Look forward to seeing everyone soon!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Mom (1947-2008)


All through my life
You were there
Loyal, devoted, true

Hungry, you nursed me
Helpless, you cradled me
As an infant, you nurtured me well

Inquiring, you taught me
Excited, you encouraged me
As a child, learning from you was my joy

Rebellious, you prayed for me
Unrepentant, you chastened me
You were a steady rock in my turbulent youth

Wandering, you anchored me
Unsure, you counseled me
Away from home, you continued to light my path

Impatient, you reasoned with me
Discouraged, you buoyed me
As a father, so often I sought your advice

Now I'm a man
Career and family in hand
And the sure hand I relied on is gone

But I know who you were
I know how you lived
And though I wish so much you were still here

I'll be loyal and true
To the example you've been
I promise my children will know you in me

Mom, I love you
Mom, I miss you
Mom, I'll see you again someday

          - Clarence Tang