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I snort when I laugh. I don't sleep much. Music is my life. I'm extremely clumsy. John Mayer is the love of my life. So is Batman. I'm Mormon. I have a slight obsession with mustaches. I blog because I can. I say what I think when I think it. My sense of humor often gets me in trouble. I love adventures. I get lost constantly.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Thursday, February 11, 2011 was a day of lows and highs.
I gave my speech to the student body telling them why I would like to become their president.
I felt like I was on top of the world.
I was running around on this insane energy high.
It wasn't until Friday that I was informed that my last grandparent, Dell LeRoy Bunnell had passed away just a few hours before my speech.
I feel as though I've been stuck in a mega-funk since then.
I don't want to do my homework, I don't want to be in Salt Lake, and I don't even care about my campaign right now.
I just want to be with my family and talk to my parents and to my nephew.

This is something that hit me very hard.
I didn't expect it to effect me so much.
My grampa had been "dying" for the past two years, but always, always, always, pulled through.
My dad's dad passed away before I was even born, so I really only ever knew Grampa Dell.
I feel like with him gone, my link to my past is gone.
All of my grandparents are gone.
My parents have no parents anymore.
Of course I knew this day would come, but I was so not prepared for it.
I am surprised by how intense this wave of grief has hit me.
It's still sinking in.
I'm thankful for my friends that kept me occupied and made sure I wasn't alone.
I hate being at the age I am right now, because it's only going to get worse.
With the good comes the bad.
I realized that I am at the age where all my friends are getting married, a lot of them are having babies, and others are moving to other colleges far away from me.
Also, as I'm getting older, I'm seeing family and friends pass away.
I'm seeing things end.
I'm watching things fall apart.
It's remarkable that any of us stay sane if you think about it.
But this is life.
The human spirit is a force to be reckoned with.
Horrible things happen to wonderful people, and they still manage to not only move on, but to leave things better than they found them.
I'm ending this with the obituary my mother wrote.
My grampa was freakin legit.
I love you grampa, I miss you, and I wish for so many things to have been different.
Rest in peace.

Dell LeRoy Bunnell died Thursday, February 10, 2011, in Las Vegas, Nevada, from causes incident to age. He wanted his body donated to science. A celebration of his life will be held later this year.
Born September 27, 1928, in Vineyard, Utah, (now Orem), he was the youngest of eight children born to Thomas Joel Bunnell and Zelda Holdaway. Preceded in death by his parents, siblings Dean, Jesse, Neal, and Grace, (survived by sisters Eva, Marjorie, and Helen), sons Thomas Dell and Gregory Lee, as well as two grandsons, Tracy Allen Bunnell, and James Dell Nielson.
Dell was the last child born in the "Pioneer" house on the family farm that became the campus of Utah Valley University. He helped his father harvest produce and sell fruit from their orchard. After his father died when he was 12, Dell quit school in eighth grade. As a young teen, he went to the San Francisco Bay Area with a friend, earning money by washing windows.
Returning to Utah, he met his wife from the seat of his Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Later divorced. Father of six children, thirteen grandchildren, twenty two great-grandchildren (and counting), one step-granddaughter, four step-great-grandchildren.
He worked as a laborer, later as a long-distance truck driver, eventually owning his own truck. In an effort to work closer to home, Dell moved the family from Provo to Los Banos, California in 1964, where he became an Operating Engineer-as a crane operator-participating in the construction of the vital, life-giving California Aqueduct. They moved north to Meadow Vista, California, in 1965, for him to help build the Auburn Dam. Because that was never built, Dell commuted daily to San Francisco for several years; logged the area later covered by Lake of the Pines; drove the huge earth movers to construct the I-80 interstate freeway; operated the cable-way bucket which poured the cement to raise the Bullard's Bar dam 700 feet, and built the 900 feet tall cement bridge abutments for the Auburn-Forest Hill road bridge, among many other construction jobs. He was good at his work, and loved heavy construction. During the few times in winters he was briefly out-of-work, he put on and removed vehicle snow chains at the base of the Sierra Nevada foothills on I-80.
Due to his extraordinary work ethic, skill in and willingness to operate all types of heavy equipment, from the mighty (prestigious) 300+ foot cranes all the way down to the (sometimes considered) 'lowly' cherry picker, Dell was often the first one hired, and the last one laid off every construction job. He operated tall cranes during the construction of the Huntington, Castle Dale and Delta, Utah power plants, which supplied electric power, especially to California.
A gifted operator who excelled in operating all 37 types of heavy equipment, and a life-long passionate teacher of his trade, Dell was hired to teach how to run heavy equipment at the AFL-CIO Local 3 Operating Engineers' Training School southeast of Sacramento, California, in Murietta, California, in spite of not having a high school diploma, replacing the teacher who originally was hired ahead of him. His manual dexterity and intuitive equipment mastery were unsurpassed. However, cluster headaches, and difficulty with the heavy paper-workload drove him from his respected position. It was hard to stop the work he loved. He retired reluctantly, to spend his last years living in St. George, Utah, until his last illnesses. He loved the hot weather, never forgetting the frost bite he suffered working as a young man in the snows of Montana.
A strikingly handsome man, Dell had black wavy hair and deep blue eyes, and small yet muscular build. His quick wit, easy smile, endless energy and charm earned him the nickname of "Easy", as in easy-to-get-along-with. Often helpful to the down-trodden, he taught his children to care for the poor and the needy, always to feel another's pain. He took the seats out of his plane to life-flight the critically injured to Salt Lake City critical care hospitals from Huntington.
Dell worked hard and he played hard. He was a fabulous dancer and loved to dance all his life. Motorcycles were always part of his life. The steep hill in Meadow Vista where he taught his (terrified) children to drive both motorcycles and cars will not soon be forgotten. A fearless man, he built an 18-foot cabin cruiser ski boat from a kit when his children were little, then taught them all how to water ski. Dell loved life and loved doing active sports, teaching them all to his children: skating, ice skating, water skiing, inner-tubing (no money for snow skiing), camping, picnicking, fishing, hunting, motorcycling, horses, bicycles, games, sports, they did it. He earned his GED (General Education Diploma) in spite of his reading problems. He bought an airplane--eventually he owned four--and earned his pilot's license in his late thirties. Flying was what he loved to do more than anything.
His wonderful legacy of strong work ethic, ability to play and his sense of humor has passed through the lives of his numerous descendants. If only all children had such good fortune.
Dell cherished education. For anyone wanting to remember his name, he would be pleased if you contributed to your education charity of choice, or to LDS Business College, which his grandchild attends, LDS Philanthropies, LDS Perpetual Education Fund, LDS Humanitarian Fund, Al Anon, or practice "Paying it Forward" as you see fit.

There's so many things to say.
Mostly, I just wish things had been different and that we would've been as close as I wanted, as close as I needed.
But you can't change the past.
I just have to make sure that my children and grandchildren know how much they mean to me, and that I spend as much time with them as I can.
Appreciate the people in your life, because you never know when those moments and opportunities to show your love will end.


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