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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sharing Strength from an Incredible Woman...

Blessings in a Basket is all about inspiration, motivation, love and support. I am always trying to find something from someone to add to our blog that will inspire you...comfort you...remind you...give you strength....I love sharing stories from other incredible women who have been through so much, who have suffered and survived, who keep the faith in the face of great adveristy...I have been following a tragic story of a young husband and father that was killed not long ago...he left behind a family. Brad Ford was an amazing member of the Spanish Fork Community, and although I did not know him personally, you know that he was well loved by the amazing things that have been posted about him. I do know some of his family and I know that they are amazing people and they have felt his loss greatly....but no one more than his strong, beautiful and amazing wife. Tahsha Ford is a great example of strength, courage, faith and endurance...she truly is a Big Tough Girl! I wanted to share a post that she shared on her blog.....read it, ponder it, pray about it...think about your life and where you are....we can all find some strength and motivation in her words....Thank you Tahsha for being the woman that you are, for sharing your strength and struggles, your faith and your fears, your love and your loss!

"This is hard.
I'm still struggling. How could I not? It all still feels so surreal, like Brad will walk in the door any minute. I'm grateful for the family and friends all around me. For all the help, phone calls, and messages. I really feel your love and prayers. Thank you. It means more to me than I could ever express.

I’ve been writing a lot the past few weeks. Most of it I’ll never share with anyone. It’s too personal. Too hard.

But there are somethings I’ve really been wanting to share with all of you. I’m not sure why. Maybe if you, who still have your loved ones with you, can understand a little of my mind set, it will help you make the most of your life. Maybe it will help someone. Maybe I’m just crazy. (I’m sure there’s part of that too.) It's taken me a while to compile all these thoughts into something comprehensible.

I know so many people have been touched by Brad’s life and the suddenness of his death. Friends, family, and sometimes strangers have told me that they’ve resolved to make some changes in their life because they’ve seen the way that Brad lived his.
I am one of those people.
These are some of the things that I’m determined to do differently because of Brad.

I will live every day as if it was my last, with no regrets.
Once glance at the amazing display of Brad’s life is enough to tell someone that Brad did this. I heard countless people say in amazement that Brad did and accomplished more in his short 28 years than most people do in a life time. I want to be like that.

I will not let the little things bother me.
Brad was so chill. It took a lot for things to get under his skin and even more for things to push him over the edge. He enjoyed life because he let the little things go.

I will work hard to accomplish my goals.
Brad had so many accomplishments. He was the hardest working person I’d ever met. When he set out to do something, he didn’t just do it, he mastered it.

I will try new things. I won’t be scared. I will seize every opportunity.
I always admired Brad’s excitement at new things and his ability to learn and master whatever he did. Seriously, Brad was good at EVERYTHING. He was the smartest person I’ve ever known. It used to drive me crazy, but then I decided that I have the best example and I was going to be like him.

I will make good connections with friends.
Brad was friends with everyone. He was easy going and comfortable to be around. He hardly had a bad word to say about people, and most didn’t have anything bad to say about him.

I won’t hold grudges.
Life is too short to be angry at people for stupid stuff. Sure, Brad had people in his life that he had to work harder to get along with, but he always tried. I’m confident that he went to Heaven without any grudges or anger at anyone.

I will live my life in accordance with God’s plan so I can live worthy to be with Brad again.

There are so many things I’m so grateful for. I’m grateful for the wonderful marriage we had.

I always tried to be the kind of wife that was supportive of Brad’s hobbies and his friends. I felt it was important. Brad was a happier man and a better husband when he could do those things. I tried so hard to be supportive of that, and he did the same thing for me.
But, men are men. As much as Brad wanted to be off playing every free second, he knew that being a good dad and husband meant finding a balance. He never resented me for the times when I asked him to be home on a weekend. I tried to tell him with kindness, but even times when I wasn’t so loving, he always listened to me. He knew that when I had to tell him that I needed him home, that I really needed him. He would drop everything, rearrange his schedule so he made sure that he was putting his family as a priority. Balance was something we worked on from day one. And Brad really understood how important that was to me. He was always trying, always listening and things always got better and better. His most important work was being a great husband, dad, and Priesthood holder. We had a great marriage because Brad put so much effort into it. I really tried to do the same. I hope that Brad would say that I did.

Brad was a family man. Leah and I were the most important things to him. I know that and I really believe that that makes Brad feel so good. Brad’s best friends are his brothers. (that includes his brother-in-laws) Most of everything he did included his brothers. We spent most of our free time with his family or my family or both. I’m so intensely grateful for the great relationship we’ve all had as a family. What a blessing it is for us to have no regrets with how we treated each other and acted as a family. I’m sure that Brad is so grateful for those relationships.

I’m grateful for the gospel. I don’t know where I would be without it. How could anyone ever survive the loss of a loved one without the knowledge of God and eternity? I really don’t know. Eternity is so real to me. So tangible. I’m so grateful for my knowledge. It’s the only thing that gets me through sometimes.

I echo my father in law when he said so many times that we have no regrets. Truly I don’t. But there are things that I would’ve done differently. These aren’t regrets, but some feelings that I share in hopes that you will do these things while you have the chance.

I wish that I’d taken more pictures of him doing things that he loved.

I wish I had been more active about doing the things he loved along with him.

Brad and I had some similar interests, but some very different interests as well. I should’ve gone hunting with him more. I should’ve learned to ride a horse better, and been more willing to go with him. I should’ve been better about making his passions and interests my passions and interests. Those times when I did go with him are memories I will forever cherish. I shot my first elk this year with Brad by my side. Sitting in the woods with Brad, just being in the mountains where he felt most comfortable is something I will always remember. He was so proud of me!

Brad and I never had big fights or times when our marriage really struggled, but like any couple, we didn’t always get along. Sometimes we argued. Some times he pissed me off. Sometimes I pissed him off.
We had our problems for sure, but we always worked them out. Brad refused to go to bed unless we had resolved our problems and could go to bed happy.
There are many times when Brad and I communicated well and worked things out. I’m proud of those times. But those moments when I was being pissy, stubborn, over-dramatic, or just plain hard to deal with, are stains across my otherwise happy memories. I wished I’d just let things go. Dropped my anger. Been less judgmental and more understanding. Please don’t hold on to the anger.

Wives: be attentive to your husbands. Know the weight that is on their shoulders. Be kind and loving when you need to talk about things that need to change. Help them be the best Dad’s and husbands they can be. Give them a break. Let them have interests and passions. Be interested in what they are interested. Let them teach you. Try to involve yourself.

Husbands: Listen to your wives. Pay attention when they are telling you what they need from you. Make sure they know by your actions that your family is your priority. Balance your life. Go play. Hang out with your friends. Pursue your interests and passions. Include you’re families in that. You will cherish your life if you can share the same passions with your family. But find a balance. Be with your wives. Take your kids out. Be an active part of their lives. Let your wives take a break and do the things they love.

Who cares if the dishes are done? Who cares if the house is clean? Life is so busy already without any added stress. Leave the messy house, leave all the crap you think you have to do. Go seize every opportunity you have. Even if it’s snuggling on the couch, or family movie night, or a Sunday drive. What are you going to remember?

I know you’re reading this thinking stuff like this can’t happen to you.

I never thought this could happen to me.

Life is short. Life is precious.

Life can change completely with one gust of wind.

What’s important to you? What matters? When people commemorate your life, what do you want them to say? Will you and your family be proud of the things they say about you and the way that you’ve lived your life?

I’m so proud of Brad. I’m proud of the way that he lived his life. I’m proud of the kind of husband, dad, brother, son and friend that he was. No one understands what amazing husband and Dad he was. I’m proud of his integrity, his honesty, his openness and friendliness with everyone. I’m proud of his hobbies. I’m proud of his work ethic and his responsibility. I’m proud of his devotion to the gospel.

I’m SO proud of Brad, and I know that Brad is proud of the way that he lived his life.

Brad is a big man in the Spanish Fork community. It used to bug me that no one really knew me for me, but rather for Brad, but know I think of that as the highest honor.
I am Brad Ford’s wife.
I couldn’t ask for a better title or a greater blessing from God."

I love you all so dearly and it is my prayer that you will take a look at your life today...find the joy in your journey...learn from those that have gone before you...find your faith and gain a greater understanding of the big picture!



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