Saturday, September 18, 2010

Til We Meet Again

Philip Ray Brown, 74 years old

My Father, Philip Ray Brown, passed away peacefully in his home on Sunday, August, 22, 2010 surrounded by his loved ones. I will miss him dearly and I am so grateful he is reunited with my Mother, Antoinette Hatch Brown. Heaven is a sweeter place with them in it.

I found out that my Dad was given 2-3 months to live right before Casey and I took off for Breckenridge. He met with his doctor to go over his test results that showed the cancer was spreading and the current treatment wasn't working. The doctor asked him whether he wanted to get more aggressive in treating the cancer, and my Dad knew it was time to stop. He made sure that all of us knew that he was done fighting and felt like it was his time. The decision was made to stop all treatment and let him enjoy his final months. After Casey, Cash, and I returned from Breckenridge, we stopped in Utah to say goodbye to everyone. I talked with my Dad about coming to see him next month, but I was also really sad to leave him. I was hesitant to leave when there was no rush for me to get back to California and I didn't know how much time he had left. Casey and I were going back and forth all morning about what to do. When my Dad overheard us, he simply said, "I would really like it if you and Cash could stay with me for another week." That made my decision really simple. We stayed.

Casey had another tournament that weekend, so he flew out to New Jersey. We moved my Dad to my sister Misha's house so that we could help each other take care of Dad and babies with our husbands out of town. We spent that week just enjoying Grandpa. Cash played with his cane, his oxygen, his chair, drank from his cup, and ate off his plate. He climbed all over Grandpa all week long and my Dad loved it. I kept trying to keep Cash away from him, but every time I turned around my Dad was sneaking him another treat or sip. It was a really special time for them. Misha and I spent the week trying to keep him happy, fed, and comfortable. We had some hard times with my Dad throwing up and unable to move. And we had great times watching movies and playing with the kiddos. My Dad was seriously the best Grandpa you could ask for. Always slipping the kids suckers and playing with them. Always truly enjoying them.

On Thursday night, he had a particularly hard night. He had thrown up everything he had eaten that day and could barely lift his legs. He also was complaining of neck pain. I got him all ready for bed and helped him to his knees for his nightly prayers. Then I sat there and cried and thanked my Heavenly Father for such a wonderful, kind, loving, and faithful Father. He could barely move and was so sick, yet he had me help him to his knees to give thanks to his Father in Heaven. I helped him into bed and then said goodnight.

I checked on him once in the middle of the night to see if he needed to get up and go to the bathroom. He said he was too tired. By late morning, I had gone in to check on him three times with no response. He was sleeping so deeply that I just thought he needed the rest. Misha came home around 1pm and went down to check on him again. He wouldn't respond to her either. Then we started realizing something was wrong. He couldn't respond to us, but we could tell he was awake. He would squeeze our hands when we asked him questions, but couldn't move. When I asked him if we should call an ambulance he didn't do anything. When I asked him if he wanted to go home and be comfortable, he squeezed my hand multiple times. We were nervous about what to do next. We called our sibling and updated them. Then decided to move him back to his house. He was still able to swallow, so we were giving him juice and water to drink. We checked his blood sugar level and it was scary low. We were able to get enough juice in him that he started coming around a little. He was able to talk, but could barely move. After telling him how scared we were that he couldn't talk, he replied that it was really scary for him too because he could hear us and not respond. With a lot of help, we were able to get him back to his house. We laid him in his bed and called hospice.

The hospice nurse came over and checked him. She confirmed that his blood sugar was very low and his oxygen was also pretty low. She told us he had gone into a diabetic coma. His wishes were to not get treatment, but to pass away as comfortable and peaceful as possible. The nurse said that all there was left to do was give him pain medication for any discomfort and let him go. A diabetic coma was a good way to pass because you go into a deep sleep and then eventually stop breathing without any pain. It was hard to hear these words, but comforting to know he wouldn't suffer. The rest of the day and the next day were kind of a blur. Lots of tears, talking, comforting, and preparing. He was able to respond all day Friday and most of the day Saturday. His brother came to visit him on Saturday morning to say his goodbyes, and my Dad was raising his eyebrows and grasping his hand. Trying to give his older brother any signs of response. His two sisters were also able to come say goodbye and he responded to their voices. By Saturday early evening he was so deep into the coma, he couldn't respond anymore.

All of the siblings who live in Utah were there with me that night as we sat by his bed and talked to him. I read him letters from loved ones and his missionaries. We talked about our favorite stories and jokes. We watched a few movies. The next day on Sunday morning, my siblings and I stood around him as he took his last breath. It was very healing to be with him at that moment when his spirit left his body to join my Mother. To hold his hand, give him a kiss, and thank him for being a wonderful Father. I couldn't have asked for more loving, kind, funny, vivacious, or faithful parents. They truly left an incredible legacy behind for us to follow. I can't wait to tell my children about them when their older. To show Cash pictures of him and his Grandpa. Explain to him how much Grandpa loved him. And what a good man he was. I miss him and my Mom so much. But I'm grateful for the time I had with them. Their impact will be felt for generations to come. I'll make sure of it. Now it's my time. My time to show them that their hard work, love, and faithful commitment has paid off. That I will continue their legacy of faith and so will my children. I have big shoes to fill, but shoes that I can't wait to get my feet into. I will be with them again soon. For now, it's my time to be the parent and fulfill my purpose here on earth. Til we meet again...

06/19/1936 - 08/22/2010

Philip Ray Brown of Sandy, Utah passed away peacefully in the comfort of his own home on August 22, 2010 after a prolonged battle with cancer. He was 74 years old. Phil was born June 19, 1936, in Los Angeles, California to Joseph Albert and Elda Whiting Brown. Phil spent his childhood in his beloved St. Johns, AZ, where he worked on the family ranch, and forged life-long relationships with his brothers and sisters and his many relatives and friends. Upon completion of an LDS Mission in Brazil (1956-59), Phil married Antoinette Hatch of Colonia Juarez, Mexico for time and all eternity on December 20, 1960 in the Mesa, Arizona Temple. Together, they had 11 children and their greatest happiness was their 39 grandchildren. Phil graduated from Brigham Young University in 1961 with a B.A. in Animal Husbandry. A lifelong athlete and sports enthusiast, Phil was an avid fan of BYU Athletics. Phil worked hard his entire life, first as a rancher and farmer, later as the B.L.M. Chief Appraiser of Arizona, and finally as a specialist in the L.D.S. Missionary Department. Blessed with an inquisitive mind, Phil loved learning and teaching, and he devoted much of his life to studying the gospel of Jesus Christ. Quick with a joke and always ready to laugh first, Phil was the life of every party. He loved sharing his thousands of stories with friends and relatives, spending time with his children and grandchildren, watching Westerns, playing basketball, and reading. Always active in the LDS church, Phil held many church callings during his life, serving as a Missionary, Gospel Doctrine Instructor, Stake Mission Leader, Bishop, and Mission President. He shared the calling he enjoyed most with his wife Netta, when they presided over the Porto Portugal Mission from 1990 to 1993. The Phil Brown family shares their sense of loss with our extended family and friends, many faithful missionaries, and the wonderful church members of Portugal. Phil is survived by his 11 children. His 39 grandchildren will miss playing games and eating candy with their Grandpa Brown. The family wishes to thank all those who made Phil’s final years full of comfort, joy, and happiness. He is again united with his sweetheart, Netta.

Breckenridge, CO

Casey and his old partner, Ty Loomis reunited earlier this year to play in the Corona Light Wide Open Tour event in Santa Cruz, CA. They won the whole thing! When the AVP came to a close, they both decided to get serious with this new tour. They have since traveled to compete in Chicago and also won that tournament. After our family reunion ended, Casey got word of a Corona Tour stop in Breckenridge which is only a 7 hour drive from Utah. We decided to extend our trip a little longer to attend the competition. The drive there was pretty gorgeous through the Rocky Mountains.

Ty's former coach had a condo he was using and let us stay there with them. We had our own room and it was a really nice condo. My nephew Taylor and his new wife Mary were living in Denver for a summer internship. When they found out we were there, they hopped in the car and drove 2 hours to come see us. I seriously love my family. Always up for a gathering. We had a fun weekend under the sun in the mountains of Breckenridge. Cash loved the attention for Taylor and Mary, and anyone else who looks his way. Casey and Ty ended up winning the tournament. It was fun to watch. This tournament uses old school rules with sideout scoring. It makes the game go slower, but it's also so much more exciting to win a point. While I spend most of the afternoon trying to get Cash to nap in the stroller, Mary and Taylor participated in the relay race and the fashion show. They got some cool prizes and free food. Who doesn't love free stuff? I was so happy to be there to watch Casey and enjoy some more family time.

Hatch Family Reunion 2010

Cash and I took another road trip up to Utah for our Hatch Family Reunion in August. All 11 of my siblings were coming to town and it was going to be epic. It was everything it promised. We spent two days at Lagoon, Utah's famous theme park. Hit up the local drive-ins, ate out at my favorite spots, saw old friends, partied with cousins, went to the park, had campfires in the canyons, and just enjoyed family time. And that was just pre-reunion celebration.

The 2010 Hatch Family Reunion was help at Timp Lodge up above Sundance Ski Lodge. The Hatch side is my Mother's family and it had been 3 years since our last reunion. Needless to say, it was loooong overdue. We started the day off with a big feast, then lots of catching up. The next day we had the hike to Stewart Falls, the water games, volleyball tournament, ultimate, and program/dance. My team won the volleyball tournament, of course! Then the final day is capped off with a testimony meeting and long embraces. I can't wait until the next Hatch Reunion in 2012. I love my cousins!
After the reunion, we decided to spend another week in Utah. Casey wanted to play in a Corona tournament in Breckenridge, CO and it's only a 7-hour drive from Utah. So we extended our trip. This time we hit up the dinosaur museum at Thanksgiving Point, hung out with family, and partied. You know, the usual.

The Beginning of the End

Casey and Kevin played in two more local AVP tournaments in July, Hermosa Beach and Long Beach. Cash and I were there to cheer them on. Cash is turning into a total sand baby. He loves beach time, and gets plenty of it when Dad is playing volleyball.

The Moody family (aka die hard Casey/volleyball fans) once again made the trek out to soCal for the Long Beach tournament. It was so good to see them. Especially Mary and Taylor who had just returned from their honeymoon that morning! The cruise they took harbored at Long Beach, so they stopped by the tournament on their way back home. It's always fun to have family there to cheer on Casey.
We found out right before the Hermosa Beach tournament that the AVP was in financial trouble and grasping for investments. By the time the Long Beach tournament was underway, the news had come out that the AVP was seriously struggling and might go under. This was devastating news to not only US beach volleyball, but also the Patterson household.

The AVP Tour officially announced that it filed for bankruptcy on August 13, 2010. They cited "financial hardship" as the official reason and cut the 2010 season short. Apparently the owners of the AVP decided to stop funding the tour and they couldn't come up with any more money. I didn't know the struggling economy could affect something as institutional as the sport of beach volleyball. There is a lot of controversy going on behind the scenes and a lot of information coming out about what really happened and money the AVP turned down. But there is no use in talking about it. It's done. The AVP is over. Casey's dream is on hold. And our income just took a serious hit. I just have to remember that everything happens for a reason. Something good will come of this.
Casey will still be traveling to play on the Corona Wide Open Tour and other events for the rest of the summer. We hope and pray that the AVP Tour will be purchased and rise from the ashes in 2011.

Here is a quote from Casey on

“The AVP has fulfilled my dreams. The opportunity to play beach volleyball as a means to provide for my family has been better than I ever imagined. I love this sport more than anything. The AVP is and always will be the tour that made my dreams come true.” –Casey Patterson

An Eternal Marriage

I flew to Utah in mid-July to celebrate the marriage my oldest nephew, Taylor, and his wife Mary. It was also my weekend to help take care of my Dad. We spent the weekend going to doctors appointments, watching movies, and organizing the house. I always enjoy the time I get to spend with my Dad, but it's very stressful having Cash around while doing it. My sisters in Utah do a wonderful job of taking care of him and balancing their own households. I don't know how they do it full time. I just come in a few weekends a month and feel like I'm in over my head. I get overwhelmed between my Dad's medications, care, and appointments, and then Cash's feedings, naps, and diapers. This usually ends in me getting frustrated with my poor old Dad. He is usually pretty patient with me and after I freak out and quickly apologize, he always comments on how I'm so much like my Mom. Ha ha. I'll take that underhanded compliment! While we were there, Cash spent a lot of time in the car and with cousins. Here are some gems.

I spent most of the time helping out in the kitchen at the rehearsal dinner and reception, so I don't have many pictures from the wedding. Here are two of the family pictures from the temple. I'm in the back row with the windblown hair. The wedding was so beautiful. Both bride and groom were gorgeous and glowing. It was so good to spend this special day with them and my family.


It's history in the making. This is the first time in 3 years that Casey has be in town for Independence Day. I was so excited. Until I found out that the 4th was on a Sunday and we couldn't do any of the local activities that I love. We missed the 5k run, the breakfast, the parade, the biking down to main street, and of course the HB pier fireworks. Luckily, we were able to hang out with family and friends and do some pretty amazing things anyway. On Saturday, we went to the beach, barbequed, and just took it easy. The Harris twins were blessed on Sunday the 4th. We were so happy to join in on that special occasion. We followed it up with a luncheon at Nikki's sister-in-law's house in Talega. It was quite a spread. Really good food and really good company. We spent the afternoon doing my favorite things: eating, talking, laughing, and being lazy.
We followed the after party to my brother Tim's house in San Clemente. He has four beautiful little girls who are crazy about Cash. It's fun to see them play with him like a little doll. He just sits back and enjoys the ride. We barbequed and talked until it was time for fireworks down on the San Clemente pier. As we walked down the street to the beach, I looked at Casey and Cash and I was so grateful. My loving husband and sweet little baby were there with me, celebrating freedom. I love our country. The freedoms we enjoy and the responsibilities we uphold. I am so glad to be raising a son in country where he has so many choices and opportunities. I couldn't be happier to celebrate these blessings with the two gorgeous men in my life. Aren't fireworks the best way to end such a special day? This was Cash's first official firework show and he soaked it all up. He kept pointing and saying, "ooooohhhhohhhhhh". Man, what a cutie. I love Casey, Cash, my family, and the United States of America!

Arizona was calling...

My Aunt Elma passed away in June of natural causes. She was my Dad's older sister. The Aunt who always remembered your name, birth date, and the key points in your life. I always had a special place in my heart for her and her husband, Uncle Wayne. I jumped at the chance to take a road trip to AZ for the funeral. Cash and I jumped in the car and carpooled with my cousin Chelsea to Mesa. I went to all of my favorite places in Arizona. My Aunt Marilyn's house, My Uncle John's house, the old house I grew up in, my old elementary school, Bahama Bucks, Last Chance, and Tia Rosa's. I felt complete. Arizona reminds me of my Mom. The feel of it when entering, the heat, the smell, the familiarity, and the family.

My Dad drove in from Utah with my sisters Misha and Buffy. We made a family party out of it in true Brown fashion. Lots of good food, good conversations, lots of laughs, and of course games! While we were there, Cash started walking more and more. He took five steps in a row a few times. It was so fun to see him conquering something and watch the look on his face. I didn't let him practice too much though because I wanted Casey to be there to witness the actual breakthrough.
The funeral was beautiful. My poor old Dad was really sad because he isn't feeling well and keeps losing his siblings. He has already had two brothers and now two sisters pass before him. And he is the second youngest at 73! I could tell he was really going to miss his older sister and I was so grateful to be there with him. It was just a quick trip, but a meaningful and important one.

This is my Dad copying Cash during breakfast one morning. Cash kept putting his cheek on the table and my Dad thought it was so funny. Sadly, this is the only picture I got of them together. But it's kind of a special one.