Mama had a very vague, but pleasant memory of her earthly father who passed away of a heart attack when she was but three years old. She remembered looking out into the night sky with him, observing the stars. She could remember feeling loved and secure with him as they gazed together out at the heavens. It used to bother her that her memory of him was so scarce. She would watch as our father, her husband, would play with us and think, “Surely they couldn’t forget him.” She felt a bit guilty that she had forgotten her own father.
On Wednesday November 2, 2011 she passed on to the other side of the veil. On Saturday November 6, 2011 we will gather at 11 a.m. at the Stake Center in Moab, Utah to celebrate the life that Genevieve Holyoak Johnson lived here in mortality. Though assured that this is a temporary parting, we grieve because for the first time since we have known her, we have no access to her. She was the heart of our home.
My husband Jerry frequently shares a memory of his first visit to my family in Moab, Utah. Many relatives and friends had come to meet the man I was to marry. He remembers the living room filled to overflowing with people. One of my younger sisters came home from school, surveyed the crowd and asked, “Where is everybody?” Jerry was puzzled that she would ask such a question with the room so obviously packed with people. But one very important person was missing, our mother. She was “everybody” to that young child and all her siblings and I’m sure to our father too. On that day, as Mama so frequently did, she had gone to help a person in need.
Recently, I was talking to my Dad. He was calculating how many years he had been married to her. “In all that time I was only aware of one fault she had, he said. “She put everyone before herself.”
So Genevieve, our sweet Genevieve, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, sister-in-law, aunt, cousin, and friend, you have finished this earthly part of your existence. You have surely passed this all important test here in mortality. If anyone was ready to meet her maker, it was you. You have gone home to that God who gave you life. You are truly one to whom our Savior can say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” You have no doubt also been welcomed or will be by your earthly father, mother and your so recently deceased younger brother, Dan along with many other loved ones who have been waiting for you on the other side of the veil. And if they have not been restored to you already, your memories of your earthly father, and all other pleasant memories, temporarily dulled, will be bright and shiny.
I know as does Genevieve Holyoak Johnson, that by following our Savior as she did, we will have Eternal life in the realms of glory worlds without end. It is my prayer that her life will inspire us as we go forward, to perfect ourselves and become better disciples of our Savior Jesus Christ.