Two Weeks Ago

Jul 24, 11 • Life15 Comments

It was just two weeks ago today that I was on the verge of an adventure.  Scott and Tom had departed for Boy Scout camp on Sunday after Sacrament Meeting and Megan had taken two days off of work for us to embark on a little mother/daughter trip.  The plan was to head north a little, do some “research/shopping”, sightseeing and photo-taking, and sampling of cuisine other than our normal Taco Bell/McDonald’s/Subway fare.  We had tentative plans, but nothing too specific as far as an itinerary goes.  We were looking forward to a little fun, without having to worry about things at home.  Little did we know that when we got up Monday morning we would find ourselves far from our plans of the day and that our lives would be forever changed.

I was on the Internet, looking up addresses to Mapquest our destinations when the phone rang.  The caller ID showed up as Boy Scouts of America.  “Oh dear, I thought…I wonder what they forgot.”  When I heard the very calm voice of the other Scout leader (Thomas) on the other end, I was immediately concerned.  “I’m calling from Scout camp and you know that can’t be good news.”  It was early in the morning and I couldn’t imagine what could have already happened.  He said that Scott had gotten up early, like he always did, and had gone around waking the boys up to get ready for inspection and breakfast.  Thomas had gone into Scott’s tent a few minutes later and found him lying on his cot, unconscious.  He began CPR on him right away, sent some boys to go to the office to get the camp leaders, while some of the older boys tried to keep the younger Scouts away.  Thomas called me and then went with my Tom to the hospital.  I changed my destination on Mapquest and printed out the directions.  Somewhere along that very long 3 hour drive I discovered that Scott, my husband of 34 years, was gone…just like that.  No long, drawn out sickness, no medical treatment, no warning.  They had been unable to revive him.  My driving had new purpose – I had to get to my son, Tom.

It has been a very long two weeks.  Without getting into details, we couldn’t have the funeral services until this past Wednesday.  My family started arriving the Monday he died.   With each greeting of the arriving family, new tears were spilled.  I had visitors at my door, flowers delivered, meals dropped by.  There was a flood of prayers and kindnesses that I will never forget.  With past opportunities to serve, I have tried to be there for others, but now I know how it feels to be on the receiving end and that will change how I serve others in the future. 

Scott wasn’t young, but he was too young to leave.  He is the second oldest child, the oldest brother.  He was the first of his siblings to be married, the first to have a baby.  We never imagined that he would be the first in death.  It is a shock to have someone leave for camp and not come back.  With some gentle counseling and encouragement, his troop stayed in camp, working to complete the merit badges that Scott had scheduled for them.  I’m sure that Scott got that memo and that he was pleased.  I can only imagine how hard it was for those boys to finish off the week there, but I know it’s what Scott would have wanted. 

Family and friends from Arizona, Idaho, Iowa, Nevada, Washington and Utah came.  People that we hadn’t seen in years came.  I’m not even sure how everyone found out.  We had chosen our ward building for the services, but it was standing room only.  As I walked into the chapel, there were dozens of Boy Scouts on the stand, all dressed in their uniforms.  It was all I could do to keep my composure.  It was one of the most touching scenes that I have ever seen.  I know how important Scott is to our family, but seeing all those that knew and loved Scott – in their own personal relationships – come out for his funeral services, made my heart full of love and appreciation for their support.  It was a warm embrace that will not go away soon.

This was an not the adventure that I had in mind when I woke up July 11th.  This has marked a change of course, a sudden new chapter in my life story, and I wasn’t done writing the last one.  Things are supposed to transition more smoothly, with some sort of rhyme or reason.  I guess that’s because in life, we are never really in control, no matter how much we think we are or would like to be.  I begin this new chapter with a great deal of uncertainty, but with great resolve.  I am surrounded with wonderful people that love our family and will be there for us.  I feel a calmness that I know comes from an outside source, from a loving Heavenly Father that will be there with me as I begin this new leg of my journey.  This is a temporary parting…Scott and I will be together again and that knowledge gives me great comfort.  It is almost as if he is still gone to camp and will be walking through our front door at any moment.  I know there will be times of great sorrow – it is bound to come.  But there is a good deal I have yet to do. 

Alice In Wonderland 1
While going through Scott’s things, I came across a small book in his closet…the front of the book reads “Alice in Wonderland”, but the title page reads “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”.  I can only suppose that he bought it for me, knowing how much I love the Alice stories and artwork.  There are a couple of pages missing from the front, so I don’t know the age of the book.  It is old and somewhat brittle, but the words are the same.  There is a passage that I recall, when Alice is talking with the Cheshire Cat, sitting on a bough of a tree…

Alice In Wonderland 2
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to walk from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where,” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you walk,” said the Cat.

“—so long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation.

“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

I have a long walk ahead of me.

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15 Responses to Two Weeks Ago

  1. michelle hinton says:

    Mae and I read this together and it really touched our hearts. Scott really touched our lives with his giving ways. We have a good part of him we still enjoy each time we encounter a Naylor you all have a part of Scott in your personalities because we become like those we love. Last week I was looking for sugar in my food storage and remembered some fun times at the cannery with the Naylor family. He will always be with us. He was a hero. Thanks for sharing Helen not only the post but, your husband with the Boy Scouts and the boys.

  2. Helen says:

    Your prayers and those of others are making my burden light. Thank you for your kindness.

  3. Helen says:

    Love you, too Diane.

  4. Helen says:

    Love you and your family, too!

  5. Linn says:

    Helen, this is absolutely beautiful. You can’t imagine the number of tears I’ve shed on your behalf (and those of your darling kids) and the prayers I’ve said. I wish I had something more profound to say, except that you absolutely right that you aren’t alone. You and Scott have touched more lives than you could ever imagine. And I feel blessed beyond words that mine is one of them. With love, Linn

  6. Diane says:

    I always wanted a big sister and 27 years ago I got you. You have taught me about courage and conviction. You have had my back all these years and now I’ve got yours sister, friend.

  7. wendy naylor says:

    This is beautiful Helen. Love you.

  8. Helen says:

    That is so cute, Ruth! Will is getting started early:) That was something that Scott really loved to do. He would be happy to see someone carrying on for him.
    Your family has been on “the errand of angels” for our family since the very first day. Thank you for everything you have blessed our family with…kind thoughts, good food, killer strawberry and key lime pies…but mostly your heart felt prayers.

  9. Helen says:

    Thanks, Annemarie. I know that my being so calm right now is because of the prayers of so many people. It will bless our family more than you realize.

  10. Helen says:

    I don’t know about me being amazing, but I certainly do have amazing children!

  11. Thank you for the beautiful way that you wrote this post. It has touched my heart. And like Megan said, you are not alone on this part of the journey. I’m so grateful to have you and the rest of the family to help me as I walk along too.
    Like the song says, “When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high. And don’t be afraid of the dark. At the end of the road is a golden sky and the sweet silver song of a lark. Walk on through the wind, walk on through the rain-though your dreams be tossed and thrown. Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart, and you’ll never walk alone. You’ll never walk alone.”
    We will walk with you and God will not leave you alone either. Dad will always remain with us. We just have to walk long enough and we will see him again. How lucky we are to know that…..
    I love you, Mom! You are amazing!

  12. Ruth Mitchell says:

    I’ve been marveling about the quiet acts of kindness Scott did for so many. His good life touched each member of our family. Sunday morning as Will got ready for church he put a couple pieces of candy in his pocket (caught from the candy cannon). He told me he was going to give it to someone at church. “I’m going to ask to shake their hand then give them candy like Brother Naylor.” I’m not sure if he actually gave his candy away. But that he was even thinking of giving his candy away made me grateful for Scott’s thoughtfulness and great example.
    You are a strong woman and not one to ask for help. But we are praying for you and if you ever need anything, please call. Heaven knows I’ve called you and Scott to help me innumerable times.

  13. Annemarie says:

    Beautifully written Helen. You and your sweet family are in our prayers.

  14. Helen says:

    Well said, Megan. I love you, sweetie.

  15. Megan N. says:

    You may have a long walk ahead of you, but you are not alone. There are many by your side for you to lean on. As we will also be leaning on you. You are an amazing Mom that I am so grateful to have in my life. The road ahead looks tough, but I know Dad is still by our sides.

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