Category Archives: Family

Do not go gentle into that good night

My dad’s journey on this Earth is finished. His M.S. caused his days to be filled with emotional and physical pain but he fought back with his constant jokes and stories. I picture him running through heaven, running like he has not been able to in decades, hopefully from one fishing hole to the next.

My dad made friends everywhere he went. He loved to laugh and to make those around him laugh. He wanted people around him to be happy, even better if he could be the source of that happiness.

He often told me he loved to hear me giggle. So I will try, to giggle, remembering the good times, for the rest of my days when I think of him.

When he had a heart attack about 10 days ago, this poem came to mind. I have been reciting it in my head over and over, selfishly the last 10 days. Wanting him to stay with us a little longer, wanting him to fight, desperate to have him rage against the dying of the light. But today, I tearfully realize, he did fight his whole life. He stayed with us longer than he could have. And for those who know the whole story, we were united as a family in the end. Apologies were made, regrets were voiced and what more could I ask for from the man who raised me to believe in myself. To believe in God, and to believe in reason, logic and humor. Farewell for now father, I will try to take all the good that you taught me and make you proud. And I shall continue the fight, and I will not go gentle into that good night.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, to late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

–Dylan Thomas


DeLyle Clair Southam passed away on January 22, 2013. His final days were spent with his family around him. He touched the lives of many throughout his lifetime with his outgoing and friendly nature, quick wit and with the sparkle in his eyes as he told a joke. In his younger years he loved to fish, hunt, dance and spend time outdoors. He served in the National Guard for six years. He earned a Master’s in Guidance and Counseling and he worked for CES as a beloved seminary and institute teacher for over 20 years. He loved his family, a good meal and a great movie. He battled Multiples Sclerosis for over 50 years, never giving up hope. He served a mission for and was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and he had a strong testimony in Christ. He married Carol Southam in the Salt Lake City Temple then they had four daughters. DeLyle is survived by his brother Lavar Southam, his wife Carol Southam, his daughters Kristine Sipple, Renee Reid, Wendy Southam, Debra Fisher and his three grandchildren JJ Sipple, Nicole Sipple and CJ Reid.


It’s ALL ABOUT ME (Part 1)

Before I explain my Christmas gift(s) from Greg, here is the back-story, and the explanation to why his gift is extra creative. 

I LOVE birthdays.  As I get older I see more and more people who hate their birthday and it makes me sad.  One’s birthday should NOT be a depressing day.  You are only one day older.  Why do people get so depressed?  Pick a different day to be depressed about how old you are, what you have or haven’t done with your life, what you have failed to do this last year etc…  After all, isn’t that what New Years Day is for?  Because on your actual birthday it should be ALL ABOUT YOU!

When Greg and I were dating I was very clear about my birthday expectations.  I told him in general I was very low maintenance EXCEPT on my birthday.  I also told him if he spoiled me rotten on my birthday I should be pretty low maintenance the rest of the year. 

Initially, Greg had more of the “reflect and be depressed on your birthday” attitude.  I think I have made baby steps of progress each year and he is slowly coming around to the “it’s all about me” philosophy.  After we got married we started birthday weekend.  The only rules for birthday weekend are that the birthday person gets to make all the rules.  That means the birthday person gets to pick where we go (since we often travel), what we do and where we eat.  It’s completely over the top, and I love it!

My most consistent birthday rule (for my birthday or anyone else’s) is no one else should complain about the birthday person’s choices.

There are two types of comments that are helpful to the success of Birthday Weekend:

 Category 1

Responses to a tired family member or friend during birthday weekend because the birthday person has probably packed in too many activities for one 48-72 hour period.

“You can stock up on sleep before or after birthday weekend, but don’t expect a lot DURING birthday weekend.”

“Since I’m only in charge 2 or 3 days of the year, I’m sure you understand why I’m filling this weekend up as much as possible.”

 Category 2

Responses to a grumpy member of the family who is unhappy with one of the birthday person’s choices.

“Well, it’s a good thing it’s my birthday weekend and not yours.”

“We’ll make sure NOT to do this when it’s your birthday weekend since it’s not something you enjoy.  However, we’ll continue doing it now since it’s something I want to do!”

And the MOST popular, MOST repeated and MOST helpful comment during birthday weekend:

“I’m sorry if you don’t like it but I don’t care because this weekend “IT’S ALL ABOUT ME!” 

Of course, sometimes Greg or I catch ourselves complaining and we beat the other person to their comment by saying, “but it’s ok that I don’t like that restaurant/activity/idea because this weekend it’s all about you.”

Birthday weekend totally works.  Some of my favorite memories are from birthday weekend.  

We spent one year sea kayaking and camping in the San Juan Island’s in Washington’s Puget Sound. Another great memory was hiking and exploring the Olympic Peninsula & Olympic Mountains. One year my whole family went camping, hiking and kayaking at a beautiful mountain lake (even my sister from Utah drove over). Last year we went to these beautiful islands in Thailand and I went diving. It’s so great every once in awhile to have total decision making power.  I highly recommend having “it’s all about me” time; it’s a great cure for the birthday blues.


I’ve always loved it, as long as I can remember. I felt lucky almost everyday when I lived there.

I love the wild flowers; foxglove is one of my many favorites. I love it close up…foxglove at silver creek falls closeupI also love foxglove from a distance. The way it stands tall, like the trees, towering above the other flowers.foxglove and tree at silver creek fallsI love Oregon’s waterfalls. When I travel other parts of the world, waterfalls usually seem less spectacular, and I feel sorry for people who haven’t visited and played in Oregon’s many waterfalls.upper south fallsI love my niece and nephew. I love that they are old enough to enjoy some of the hikes that I grew up loving. I have big plans for us backpacking next summer, they just don’t know about it yet…captive at silver creek fallsI love how small I feel when I wander paths thru the majestic trees…Kristine and JJ in the tall treesI love good hamburgers. And Portland has some great ones…Five Guys burgerNot to mention the fries…Five guys FriesI love the beach; I love that even the seagulls play chicken with the waves, the water must feel THAT cold to them too.seagulls playing chickenDon’t misunderstand me, my love for Singapore is growing too, but I’ve had a long time love affair with Oregon, and those bonds are strong and irreplaceable!

It’s been a year…

I miss everything about you!  I think of you and your great sense of humor every time I hike.  jack and debbie HighlandsI think of you every time I go over a bridge, drive on an interesting road or see major construction and design.  I think of you every time I am on a bike.debbie and jack on a bridgeI think of you when I see a cric (creek), a cooley or if my shoes feel too tight.  I think of you when I think of skiing or of skiingI think of you when I see a GPS (handheld or one for a car) or when I’m on a treasure hunt.geocachingI think of you when I make breakfast or eat cinnamon rolls or think of Great Harvest Bread.  I laugh as I remember being so nervous when you taught me how to shoot pop cans with a gun.  You taught me how to fly fish in a river and we enjoyed fishing together in the ocean (I still don’t know how you arranged for me to always catch the biggest fish).  However, I still have never caught a fish as interesting looking as this one…tigerfishYou taught me so much about my Greg (the similarities run deeper than just appearances).  supriseBest of all, you taught me so much about life!  I will never forget you.  You are alive in my heart and in so many things around me.  This is a small tribute to you, because my life is so much better having known you and I could never thank you enough.Jack loving the waterfall