SLIDER

Dad, do you know? I hope you know.

Today is the saddest day I've experienced in my 24 years.
Dad Wallace passed away this afternoon surrounded by his loving wife, 11 children, and several children-in-law and grandchildren.
There are so many things I want to remember about his last few days on this earth and so many thoughts I have floating around in my head.  The best way I can think to express everything with maintaining some type of structure is in a letter to Dad.  It's a letter he'll never read but one that I still think needs to be written.  I'm going to take the liberty to write this letter to Dad from all of his children (including in-laws, obviously, since I'm one myself).  I'm willing to bet we all feel the same way.

Dear Dad,
Do you know how much we love you?
Do you know how many people love you? How many lives you touched?
Do you know how many phone calls, text messages, and social media messages we've collectively received in three short days from family and friends wanting constant update statuses and expressing their love and concern?
Do you know that within an hour of receiving the news of your collapse the emergency room was filled with your family?
Do you know that shortly after you were moved from the ER to the ICU the family gathered in prayer?
Do you know how many more times that happened in three short days?
Do you know how many prayers have been offered on your behalf?
Do you know that we participated in a family fast for your healing if it was God's will and also for peace and understanding should the Lord choose to take you from the earth?
Do you know how many tears have been shed in the last three days because of our broken hearts?
Do you know how many times we've all wondered, "Is this really happening?"
Do you know how many times we've wished it was a dream we'd soon awake from?
Do you know how many of us woke up several times each night sobbing?
Do you know how many people have expressed shock? Do you know how many have said "Who? Dale? But he's so healthy!'
Do you know that when we visited the manager at Petco (where you collapsed) she told us a thousand times how happy you were that day?
Do you know how happy we were to hear that?
Do you know how many times she said she just loved you and what a hard worker you were?
Do you know how many other people feel this exact same way?
Do you know how many times people told us you always made them laugh?
Do you know how often you made us laugh?
Do you know that even though you're gone, you are still making us laugh with our memories of you?
Do you know that each night you spent in the hospital one of your children willingly volunteered to keep vigil by your bedside all night?
Do you know that while your youngest son stayed the night with you the two of you watched SportsCenter together?
"Sleepover at the hospital with Dad tonight! Hope it's not the last, but if it is, we're having a good time. Watching Sportscenter and I'm filling him in on what's going on."
Do you know how many friends came to visit you in the ICU?
Do you know how many tears they shed?
Do you know that your sons administered two Priesthood blessings to you?
Do you know that we know how proud you would be of them for being worthy Priesthood holders?
Do you know that every minute we spent away from the hospital was a minute we were wondering how you were doing, if there was any improvement, and wishing we could be by your side?
Do you know that each of us have several fond memories that we're now emblazoning into our minds in hopes that we will never forget any small detail?
Do you know that in the last 72 hours you rarely spent a moment without one of your children or your wife by your side?
Do you know that all 11 of your loving children surrounded your bedside as you took your last breath?
Do you know that Mom lovingly caressed your hand as you passed?
Do you know how many times we witnessed her expressing her love to you with this same sentiment within the last 72 hours?
Do you know that each of your children and each of your children-in-law took turns vocally expressing their love for you in your last minutes on earth?
Do you know that there was not a dry eye in the room when you took your last breath?
Do you know how long we lingered because it was just too hard to say good-bye?
Do you know how many kind words were posted about you on social media within hours of your passing? These are just a few:

From your daughter, Heather: As I held on to my mom and watched as my dad left his Earthly life, I was filled with so much love for this amazing man. My heart is broken…Dad, I love you and I will miss you until we meet again.

From your daughter, Lisa: Today was the hardest day, we watched my dad take his last breath and leave this earthly world. Now he is in heaven with his parents. We are so thankful for our church and the knowledge of eternal families. We can't wait to see you again. We will miss you so much, thanks for being such a great dad and grandpa & a wonderful example of hard work. We will take care of mom. We love you!!!

From your daughter, Alyson: My father, My Hero, My Friend. I lost my Dad to a heart attack today. So blessed to have been given the worlds greatest father & grandfather to my children.  Until we meet again.... I love you Dad!

From your son, Mike: I would like to thank everyone for the thoughts and prayers over the past few days. We have felt your love for my dad and our family. I love you Dad. You have been a great example to me. We miss you already.

From your daughter, Julie: My dad passed away this afternoon surrounded by all 11 of his children. We want to thank everybody for their messages, texts and phone calls this week, we all felt your love and support. It was not easy to say goodbye, I'm so lucky to have had the most amazing dad!

From your daughter, Erin: Today we gathered as a family and watched our dad take his last breath. Words cannot express all the love and support our family has felt over the last few days. I will miss him so much and I love you Dad!!

From your daughter, Courtney: Today was the hardest day of my life as we sat and watch my dad take his last breath. He was surrounded by all of his children and many other loved ones!! Dad we will miss you so much!! Thank you for being a great example to our family. I love you!!

From your daughter, Holli: Thank you all for your love and support these past few days. I was not ready to say goodbye to my Dad today, but so thankful for the 25 years I was blessed to have with him. So many great memories and laughs we had. I miss him so much already,.still feels so unreal.

From your daughter-in-law, Kristen: Said goodbye to my father in law today. We took him off life support today after suffering a fatal heart attack. He leaves behind this growing legacy. He was a wonderful grandpa, father, father in law, husband & son. So grateful for the knowledge I have of the gospel to know that I can see him again one day. I love this legacy he left behind. Such a wonderful family.

From your son-in-law, Cory (sent via text to be read to you before you passed as he couldn't bear to see you take your last breath): "Dad, though I don't feel it fair that you be taken from us so soon I want you to know how much I love and appreciate you.  You are one of my very best friends, someone I could learn from, and someone I could look up to.  I hope that as I continue in this world, I can be half the man, husband, and father you were. I know that if I can do that I will be twice as good as everyone else.  I will miss the times we had working on the various projects and will have you in my heart & mind on all future projects.  Be at peace, Dad."

From your son-in-law, Jeff: Surrounded with hope, sadness and love, it was an overwhelming experience to witness 11 siblings and a wife lose their father and husband today. Dale Wallace was one of the greatest men I have ever known. He was the greatest example of understanding, kindness, humility and hard work. I am happy my children were able to have a relationship with their grandpa. I thank him for his acceptance and am honored to be a part of his family. My deepest sympathy for the entire Wallace family.

From your daughter-in-law, Marci: Today we lost a wonderful man. Best father-in-law I could have ever asked for. Grateful for my faith in Christ and the knowledge that Dad has returned home to heaven and been reunited with family who passed before him. We're devastated Jack Jack won't get to have more time to play with him but grateful for all the memories and pictures we have. Love you, Dad

Do you know that while we will miss you dearly our faith in our Savior Jesus Christ is even stronger today than it was yesterday?
Do you know that during your last few moments on earth your hospital room was filled with an immense peace that can only come through the Holy Ghost and our Savior, Jesus Christ?
Do you know that our testimonies of the Plan of Salvation have been evermore strengthened?
Do you know that despite our deepest sorrows of your passing we are filled with hope?
Do you know that we know with a surety that you have been reunited with your mother and father and other family who passed before you?
Do you know how firmly we stand by our convictions that there is a life after death and that it is a glorious place for goodly servants like you?
Do you know that we find comfort in the knowledge that Christ will say to you, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."?
Do you know how comforted we are by the following quote from mormon.org regarding the Plan of Salvation and life after death?:
Our physical death isn't the end, but rather is a step forward in Heavenly Father’s plan and a time of indescribable joy for the person making the transition.
Do you know that we know how happy you are to be on the other side of the veil?
Do you know how grateful we are for the atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ so that we all might be resurrected one day?
Do you know how much comfort it brings us to know that your body will be made whole once again? That your damaged heart will be repaired, that your full brain activity will be restored, that your body will function properly and perfectly and that you will be the Dad we've always known?
Do you know how excited we are to one day be welcomed home by you when it is our turn to cross to the other side of the veil?
Do you know how happy we are that we know we will see you again?
Do you know how grateful we are that you and Mom made the decision to be sealed in the temple so that our family can be together forever?
Do you know that your entire family gathered at your house tonight to support Mom and each other?
Do you know how hard it was for us to be there without you?
Do you know that we looked through pictures of you and smiled through our tears?
Do you know that while tears were shed and hearts were broken we still laughed and joked and had a good time...because we know that's what you would want us to be doing?
Do you know that we've come to a general consensus that you were immediately put to work upon entering the spirit world - and do you know that we know you wouldn't have it any other way?
I hope you know that you will always be remembered as a man of valor, a proclaimer of truth, as a witness of God, a follower of Christ, as a valiant and loving husband, a righteous and caring father.
I hope you know that we will take good care of Mom; that while she will miss you and your companionship, she won't want for anything.
I hope you know that we will all strive to become as good and faithful as you were.
I hope you know that we will strive every day to make you proud.
I hope you know how much we are going to miss you.
I hope you know how lucky we are to call you Dad.
I hope you know that we love you.

Love,
Your Children

I referenced our beliefs several times in this letter to our Dad because it's a hugely important part of our lives and is the reason we have so much hope and peace during this difficult trial.  Should you be interested in learning more about what we believe regarding life after death and the plan of salvation please visit here. This is one of my favorite excerpts from mormon.org regarding the plan of salvation:

It’s comforting to know that God’s Son, Jesus Christ, suffered all things. He understands your pain and can help you through your trials. When you have faith in God and His plan, you can be assured that there’s a purpose to all that happens to you here on earth. Our time here is short compared to our eternal life. As the Lord told Joseph Smith during a period of intense suffering:




Coping with calamities can strengthen you and make you more compassionate. It can help you learn, grow and want to serve others. Dealing with adversity is one of the chief ways you’re tested and tutored in your life here on Earth. Our loving Heavenly Father has the ability to compensate us for any injustices we may be called upon to endure in this mortal life. If we endure faithfully He will reward us beyond our ability to comprehend in the life to come (1 Corinthians 2:9). Amazingly, with God’s help you can experience joy even in times of trial, and face life’s challenges with a spirit of peace.


6 comments

  1. Oh Marci!! I wouldn't have changed one word of that. Thank you for loving Dad so much.

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  2. Marci, I was so touched by your beautiful words, and not surprisingly, they are all true. You have a special gift for putting your beautiful thoughts into words. I know Dad knows all of these things now, because you have shared them. Thank you so much. I (we) love you!!!!

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  3. Love love. Here's to Dale Wallace--his legacy lives on.

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  4. This is just beautiful Marci. I am reading it through my tears. May the Lord bless everyone of you though this.

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  5. Can hardly read through my tears. He was such a good man. My favorite memory of him is when he was bishop to my little eight year old self. I would wait for him to come into the foyer so that he would spin me around. That was my favorite. He will be remembered by so many and has touched so many lives. This was so beautifully written. So many prayers and love are being sent your (and the rest of the Wallace family's) way. xoxo

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  6. I LOVE this. Incredible post, incredible man. Xoxo.

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