August 26, 2010

Jeff - Take Two

Jeffrey Roy Hasara was the first addition to the extended Hill family following me & Jon's July 1993 wedding. So - whether Jeff knew it or not, I always had a soft spot for him.

Jeff was born November 24, 1993 in Okinawa, Japan while the family was stationed there with the US Air Force (my BIL, Mark, flew tankers - KC-135s). I don't know how old Jeff was when I first met him, but I remember walking up the stairs into the kitchen at Mom & Dad's house and having Jeff's older sister, Rachel, jump into my arms yelling, "Aunt Staci!" That was awesome - and an incredible way to be welcomed - and from what I've come to love about Rachel, not completely typical behavior.

Jeff got to come stay for extended visits at Grandma & Grandpa Hill's house fairly often. (The majority of the Hasara family actually came for these visits, but this post is about Jeff.) Hill family summer fun typically involved this boy. This photo shows the beginning of Moon Lake memories when Carson was my only boy. Jeff is sitting on the fence next to Carson.

My boys learned so many things from Jeff (the least of which was tantrum throwing - don't really want to dwell on that, but Jeff was a master at expressing irritation when he was younger...).  

  • Jeff was good about including my boys - making them feel accepted even though they were younger than him. He made a point to single each of them out to say hello, give a hug, or high five.

  • As he got older he encouraged them to listen to me and to do nice things for me.

  • He was a game player - board, card, computer, outdoor etc. My SIL, Shauna, and I got to play Ticket to Ride with him this summer - just the 3 of us. What 16 year old boy plays a board game with 2 aunts? I sure hope mine will.

  • He was a good brother. He was particularly close to his brother, Ryan, but he loved his brothers, John and Travis. My boys often talk about how their cousins interact with each other-they definitely pay attention.

  • He knew that when the entire family left him at that gas station in Evanston Wyoming 8 years ago that he just needed to pray, and we'd be back. He demonstrated that praying was a necessity.

  • He was hopeful. When Jeff was diagnosed last summer, he was ever optimistic about being healed.

  • He honored his priesthood, trusted Heavenly Father, actively strengthened his testimony, and encouraged my boys to do the same.
We were blessed to have Jeff in our family these few years. I'm grateful that I can call him mine.

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