Today while organizing the pantry and other places in the house,
the mailman came to my door and dropped off a package.
It was from my mom in Provo.
Inside was my favorite licorice taffy, BYU bookstore chocolate covered
cinnamon bears, newspaper clippings of stories
she wants me to read, microfiber cloths to clean my new house with,
BYU stickers, and a very special book all about Topher.
After he found out about his ALS diagnosis my cousin Jayne
began interviewing him to compile a book for his family and posterity.
I sat down and began reading immediately and before I knew it
45 minutes had passed and I was nearly halfway through it.
Jayne had asked him questions about his earliest memories, life as a child,
the places he and my family lived, his friends, schools,
jobs, his travels, his talented piano career, his acting and theater life,
his mission in Finland, Lisa, his wife, his five children, our eight Clark
siblings and parents, and his testimony of Jesus Christ.
I've been reading a little bit each day because
I don't want it to end.
I have to force myself to slow down to make it last.
I'm grateful that I can re-read this book a
million times whenever I want to feel him close.
There have been so many times after reading a story he's told that
I've wanted to call him up and ask him about it
or just laugh with him about something he's said or done.
I just talk to talk to him. I miss him.
I'm so thankful that his colorful
life lives on through this beautiful book.
Part of Topher's testimony that touched me deeply:
"When people ask me what I've learned from these
last few years. I think: God is awake.
I cannot tell you how many times I have been comforted,
strengthened, or encouraged
because of a brief prayer or silent plea for help.
I have been blessed with peace and stillness, sometimes in the middle of
the night. I testify to you that I have been entertained by angels, unaware.
To quote Longfellow's Christmas hymn:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep.""