There are times in your lives that you never want to forget and your heart is full. Last night was one of those nights. At one moment I couldn’t help but think of the movie “The man in the Iron Mask”. There is a point in the show where D’Artagnan joins forces with Aramis, Athos and Porthos to fight against the king. When they feel like they have nothing left in them but to fight, they run in front of the men that adored them. When Lt. Andre and the men see them running toward them they cannot stomach to fight them and just stand there and Lt. Andre mumbles….”Magnificent Valor”. Last night I had that experience as 3 very humble men came to join forces WITH our King to fight FOR one of his own and in that moment I could only mumble in my heart. Magnificent Valor!
Let me back up and how do I even start? Coltman. A loaded word, A loaded place or even yet a home. A place where children grow up with a family, other than their own, and that just comes with the territory. People that choose to help, love, serve and take genuine interest in your well being. While it’s not all perfect, most of us want to leave this place and then after they live life for a bit they remember or yearn for that feeling again…of home. A place that they know they can always come back to and be welcomed with open arms and loved. Now with that being said, there are a few men in my book that have really been examples to our youth, ones that have made an impact on others and that have really extended that love. While they are not the only ones who have been examples, they are the ones that are important to this story.
David Alverez has always been a young man that has also been such an influence to many, he has shown courage, been a good son, father and husband and friend. He has shown strength and a love of the Lord through his actions and his countenance. He is a young man who knows what is right and is willing to do it, no matter the cost. He married an amazing young lady Shaleen and they are parents to 4 beautiful children. They have been happy and have created a home that is also filled with love and contentment. Their lives have not been easy in the last few years as they have experienced loss of a dear loved one and has several members experience serious health problems. The biggest being Shaleen. She has suffered from rare breast cancers (yes plural) liver and lung problems and all that comes along with that ugly C word. This last week they were delivered the news that they are battling with a cancer that they do not know how to treat and the Drs. are scrambling to try and figure it out. They have been discouraged and heartbroken but not once have they lost hope. The other night, David showed up on our doorstep and sat with my husband to share with him part of his heart and asked him if he would be willing to give him and his wife a blessing. With tears in his eyes he explained….We have had many blessings but this is ‘Home” and we want one from home. He just asked Dave to follow the Holy Ghost and do what he felt. We all hugged and expressed our love before he left. His burden became our burden. We hurt, we cried but most of all we prayed. Prayed for a miracle, Prayed for comfort, prayed for peace, prayed for direction. It is a moment when you realize that the love you gave years ago was noticed and felt and has made a difference. My husband was his bishop during the time David was a young man. They have some history together. I saw my husband take on this request seriously with a sincere prayer in his heart that Heavenly Father would be with him and his words. We chose to go to the temple the next morning to again ask for guidance and offer prayers for this family. It was a beautiful and spiritual session. I’ll be forever grateful for the peace the temple brings. It make me want to be there more often.
Fast forward to last night when Dave told me that Brad Colling was going to pick us up and take us to David’s home. When we got in the car not only was Brad there but Keith Butikofer. 3 Men who many young men would say shaped their lives. When we arrived at the Alverez home we were met by their sweet family. Shaleen, David, David Jr. Josh, Khandi, and little Shiera. Oh my… my heart was not prepared to experience what I did. This little family, first of all lets just talk about how STUNNING their children are. We visited and could feel the spirit in their home, it was filled with love, laughter, kindness, gratitude, compassion, a little discouragement but most of all hope. As we sat there and talked you could tell that this was a moment in time that was not to be forgotten. Lives that loved each other, coming together to share their testimonies with each other. As I witnessed these men give each family member a blessing and express how much their Father in Heaven loves them, it is then that I thought. MAGNIFICENT VALOR. How do you express in words what I felt? What we all felt! The spirit was strong, the feeling was peaceful and comfort came. Again we hugged and expressed our love before we left. I know our Heavenly Father is with this family. I know he will see them all the way through whatever comes. I know that you do not only have 3 men in your life that have your back, you have armies. Armies here and armies above are guarding you, helping you and encouraging you… FIGHTING WITH YOU. I know that we all have hope. Hope for a miracle, Hope for a better day, Hope that Shaleen can stay on this earth and raise her family, Hope that someday, somehow all things will be made right. Dave and Shaleen, FAMILIES ARE FOREVER! NO MATTER WHAT. I can see you have already chosen Joy. What an example you are to us. All of us! Home. Coltman. We all love you.
PS. SHALEEN!! YOU GOT THIS!