Our beloved Mother and Grandmother, Bertella Swain Aldridge, age 80, passed away comfortably in her home in American Fork, Utah on April 12, 2013 from natural causes. After being blind for almost 40 years and suffering many health problems, her family rejoices knowing that she is now at peace and reunited with her sweetheart of nearly 60 years. Bertella was born in American Fork, Utah on March 6, 1933. She spent most of her childhood in the Uintah basin and she graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1951. While attending Brigham Young University, she met W. Everett Aldridge. They were soon married in the Salt Lake City temple on December 18, 1953. Together they raised their family in Richmond, VA where Everett practiced dentistry for nearly 50 years. Her greatest joy in life was being the mother to her daughter and seven sons. She is survived by her children LaRetta (Buddy) Barrow, Brian (Mindy), Kevin, Jeff (Annette), Joe (Lisa), David (Frances), Eric (Pam), Mark (Stacy); 28 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren and two brothers, Clark (Eleanor) and Keith (Karma) Swain. She put others first her whole life and sacrificed everything for her children. Her faith helped her endure to the end. Her favorite calling in the church was teaching in the relief society for nearly 20 years, despite her blindness. She longed to be closer to a temple and when she moved to Utah in 2006, she was able to go often and this brought her much joy. The family wishes to thank her friend and nurse Leena who took such loving care of her and the wonderful nurses at Freedom Home Health for their support and tenderness. They also want to express gratitude to her extended family and friends for the service rendered to her the last days of her life.
She had an 80th birthday celebration about a month before she passed. These were some of the words she said when she was asked for some last words of wisdom. A lady was kind enough to type what she could understand. "We should be like the Savior, holding fast to our testimony - firm and stalwart in the Gospel in loving everyone, even a sinner. Be friends with everyone and help everyone feel welcome that is standing firm for what it right; keeping our commitments, our temple covenants, and others. That is my advice, and I leave prayers for each of you that we might all be with the Savior together and realizing that He will be there in Heaven, so be prepared."
|I think I was about 3 in this picture.|
|She was singing a story in this picture. I wish I could remember what she said. It was really funny.|
Since I got to Utah early in the week, my mom, Uncle Eric, and I were able to see my grandma at the mortuary. Eric wanted to see her so we went over to the mortuary between running errands. I was able to be in the room with her by myself. I thought it would be a little hard to see just her body but it really wasn't at all. It was a actually a great experience. I was able to think of her more as a spiritual being and so happy that she was rid of the body she was in. I saw a body that was worn out from enduring lots of trials and from the work of continuing to teach her family the importance of LIVING the gospel. When I first got the news that she passed away, the first feeling I felt was joy because I know she is in a much better place and I know she can finally see the faces of her family! As I was in the room, all I could say to her was, "thank you!"
Tuesday morning, while we were gone, Scott and Tracey had their 2nd baby and my parents' 12th grand baby! My mom and dad, Amy, and I hated that we were in Utah and not anywhere close to being able to visit them and the baby! I am so happy for them! They tried and tried for a long time, and now she has finally come to their family! I like to think that my grandma gave her a big hug before Heavenly Father sent her to earth to finally be with her family! :)
|Kennedy Elizabeth Barrow|
Tuesday afternoon, all of my aunts, my mom, Amy, my mom's cousin Rachel, and my mom's Aunt Karma were able to have the sacred experience of helping to dress her body in her temple clothes. Before we started, we all gathered in a circle around her, held hands, and said a prayer. Each person got to help in some way. After we finished dressing her, we gathered in a circle again and we were each able to share a few things that we loved and cherished about her. The whole experience is something I will never forget.
|My Uncle Eric was just so sweet to Eden!|
|My Aunt Lisa (Uncle Joe's wife) and her daughter, Kimberly, with Eden. (All my little cousins kept wanting to hold Eden. Every now and then during the viewing one of them would come up to me and ask if it was their turn.)|
|Aunt Pam (Uncle Eric's wife) with Amy and me.|
|Amy, Aunt Lisa, Krista (Uncle Brian and Aunt Mindy's 4th daughter), Aunt Pam, me, Aunt Annette (Uncle Jeff's wife), and Kimberly.|
|All the Aldridge siblings: from left to right - Jeff, Eric, Brian, Eric, Joe, Kevin, David, and my mom|
|Uncle Eric, Brent, Megan, and my dad|
|Some of us Barrows.|
|Brent actually (sometimes he's not always looking at the camera) had a pretty good smile. My dad had him say, "Obama!" after 3...brought a smile to his face. ;)|
|Aunt Pam and Uncle Eric|
|Amy and I with Uncle Jeff|
|Uncle Brian, Aunt Mindy with Krista and Marissa's family (husband, Eric, and kids: Keira, Brian, Kaley, and Aaron, aka Bo)|
|Me, Marissa, Amy, and Krista|
|Uncle Kevin with my mom.|
|My mom and Aunt Mindy (Brian's wife)|
|From left to right: Monica (with Olivia and Harper), Megan (with Walker and Grace), Me (with Eden), Amy (with Melanie's daughter Lila), and Melanie (with Ally...missing her other two - Elle and Peyton)|
|We can't just take one picture!|
Later, in the evening, we ALL (the Watson girls, Brian and Mindy, Marissa and her family, and Jeff and Annette with their two sons) went out to eat at The Pizza Factory. It was great to get together one more time before we left and
|I love this picture! Didn't my mom realize that her face wouldn't fit in that tiny hole? ;)|
|Edie with her Big Daddy!|
|Marissa and her 4th child, Aaron, just two months apart from Eden,.|
|Melanie and I|
|Playing at the airport with Big Daddy!|
|Playing with GiGi on the plane!|
|My new 2012 Toyota Sequoia!|