Another November, Another Opportunity – The Dallin Difference Part III

Homeless 2

When Dallin was in his teenage years, he began to complain about his hands and feet hurting whenever the temperatures dropped. His fingers and toes would go numb and swell up, making it difficult to do many of the things he loved . . . hunting playing hockey, snowboarding or working outside. We finally took him to the doctor and found out he had a mild case of Raynaud’s Syndrome. (Nothing serious, just bothersome.) After learning about his condition we made sure he had adequate cold weather gear, especially a good pair of gloves. A warm pair of gloves made all the difference for Dallin.

With November knocking on our door and winter just around the corner, memories of Dallin and his cold hands, make me smile and make me cry. November holds within its 30 days, many hallowed and heavy milestones. November 3, the day he was born. November 8, the day of his accident, November 21, the day Heavenly Father called him home. And of course Thanksgiving, a day to show our gratitude for all that God has blessed us with, even the things we don’t recognize, quite yet, as blessings. November with all of its beautiful fall leaves, pumpkin patches, apple cider and wonderful family traditions . . . is still a difficult month for all of us, who know, love and miss Dallin. So each November we intensify our efforts, to honor his memory and remember the difference he made in countless lives. We turn to acts of service to transform our grief into something positive.


            Last year, around Christmastime, I had an eye-opening, heart-changing experience; I saw homeless people of all ages trying to stay warm in the bitter cold. The majority of them did not have gloves. Since then, a little idea has been poking and prodding me into some kind of action and I think this is the perfect time of year to set it free! This is the time of year we start preparing for the winter, right? What if we go through our winter clothing bins and closets and donate one or two or more pairs of gloves? -OR -What if, when we are at the store buying a new pair of gloves, we buy two and donate the second pair? -OR- Heck! What if we went and bought a pair of gloves, not because we needed them but just because we can . . . and donated them? It’s such a simple thing! Yet it would mean so much to a pair of freezing, sometimes forgotten hands!! If each of us donated even one pair of gloves, think about how many people we could help! This is just one of a million ways to make a Dallin Difference.


CHECK BACK HERE or on FaceBook @ prayersforcarissaanddallin/thedallindifference.


#thedallindifference #dallinshands #generoushands #togetherwecanmakeadifference #hope4hunt #warmhandsforall #fightlikeadragon




A New Pair of Glasses

New Eyes

Recently I saw a video clip of a man receiving a new pair of sunglasses. He was a 66-year-old body builder, the epitome of a real tough guy. The glasses were a birthday gift from his family. As he was opening the packaging I thought to myself, “What is so great about this guy getting a pair of sunglasses?” I was about to turn the video off, when his reaction took me by surprise. After putting the glasses on he became very emotional and began to cry. Then this big, burly man began to giggle, while shaking his clenched hands in child-like joy. He went back and forth between tears and laughter for several minutes. His wife said, “Now you can see with our eyes!” What I had not understood was these glasses were Enchroma glasses, designed for people who are colorblind. This man was seeing the world in complete and true color for the very first time. The video had captured this profound and personal moment; before I knew it . . . I was crying too. I found myself caught up in this man’s elation, as he experienced, what so many of us take for granted. And then it hit me. The Spirit whispered to my heart and confirmed that this moment was just a tiny glimpse of what it will be like for us, when the veil is lifted, and we are finally able to look through “eternal glasses” and see the vibrant, rich, radiant, perfect plan of our Heavenly Father. I’m grateful for this insight especially now, as we approach another anniversary of our son, Dallin’s passing. It seems each fall brings with it, a barrage of emotions, most of which are painful ones. Many of the parents we have met who, like us, have lost a child describe the world we now live in as bleak and colorless. The once bright and happy landscape of our lives has become dull and uninviting, overshadowed by an unexpected foreground of loss and grief. There are patches of color that pop up from time to time, warm happy memories of days gone by, brilliant bits of peace felt in a sunset, a sunrise, a song, a scent, hues of healing in everyday acts of service, bursts of joy felt in the laughter or embrace of a child and even subtle splashes of hope, as we try to adjust to “our new normal.” But eventually a grey wash always seems to overpower these fleeting bright spots. Sadly our life, with our finite perspective has been darkened by our unimaginable loss. In a very real sense we have become colorblind.

I am so grateful this is a temporary mortal condition. I am grateful a loving, merciful Heavenly Father allowed His perfect Son to go below all things and in ways I cannot comprehend, He suffered EVERY PAIN known to mankind, even the death of a child. He willingly did this so He could succor, lift and carry us through our trials. Though my vision is limited and my current world is often without color and though I cannot see or understand the reasons behind our loss with my earthly eyes . . . I know with all of my heart, someday I will. This faith, along with the love of my Savior, will sustain me until my Heavenly Father gives me the gift of eternal sight and lovingly says; “Now you can see with our eyes.” I look forward to that day when I will finally be able to see this new world, a bright, new, wonderful place, full of my loved ones, vivid forever-colors and redeeming truth. And like the 66-year-old body builder, I am sure I will cry joyful tears of gratitude.