A Gift of Love

We thought we would have Melanie for at least two more months, but unfortunately she did not make it two weeks. Melanie passed away peacefully on Wednesday morning, December 21. She was surrounded by her family and sent onward with tearful expressions of gratitude for a life well lived and faith in eternal families.

Although our grief would seem to cast a shadow over the upcoming holiday, I have determined that this Christmas will be richer and deeper because of Melanie’s example and gift of love. She remained steadfast in her testimony of Christ and taught me daily to see, feel, and share His love for us.

Thank you for loving Melanie and providing hope and encouragement during her sojourn of suffering. She was valiant to the end and through it our family has been stretched transformed. We know that Melanie’s extended life was a gift, as was the adversity that framed the last 18 months. Through it all, we are humbled and know it is through family relationships that we experience the greatest joy and accomplish what is most important in life.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good “fight”.

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13 Responses to A Gift of Love

  1. Jon: Melanie was a great example and inspiration to me of enduring to the end. Reading her blog, she was always so positive and filled with words of wisdom. She has touch many lives including my own.

    Valerie Shewfelt

  2. Tiffany Mehner says:

    We love you and Melanie. You have both shown such faith and courage. Our prayers are with you and we know too that families are eternal. You will feel and know of Melanie’s continued presence in your family.

  3. Chalice says:

    Sending my love to all. Melanie was so filled with love and she knew that she was loved. We will all miss Melanie . . . she was such a wonderful sister, mother, wife & friend. She loved with all her heart and gave everything she had in this life to her family and friends.

    Keala, Kalani, Kai & Kawena — always remember that your mama loves you and she wants you to be happy. She will continue to love and support you and be there for your special occasions.

    Thank you, Jon, for a being a true sweetheart until the end and letting Melanie know every day that you loved her and thought she was beautiful. Your matter-of-fact attitude, kindness and esay sense of humor were a miracle under the extremely difficult circumstances.

  4. mark frechem says:

    Thank you, Jon, for letting us know this news. If I may ask for one final imposition in your lives: please post the details regarding her funeral, where to send flowers, etc.

  5. Tiffany Strong says:

    The Strong’s love Melanie and your family very much. We know that she is among angels. Maybe my Mom and Melanie are sharing stories about their children right now. We pray that all of you feel the prayers and thoughts that are coming your way. Much Love to you all.

  6. Rob Tonkinson says:

    Jon, what a beautiful tribute. May you continue to feel the peace and love of the Savior and may it carry you and your family through the challenges ahead. Your and Melanie’s faith have been a strength. May God bless you and your family!

  7. DeLite Clegg says:

    Jon, Keala, Kalani, Kai and Kawena, we love you all so much and are praying that the Lord’s strength continues to rest upon you. One of Melanie’s first thoughts to me after she was diagnosed was that she wanted to be a grandmother. She so wanted to be able to see her children grow and have families of their own. She was a beautiful example of motherhood. She loves all of you so much. Thank you so much for being so tender and patient with her through this sickness. You are the crowns of her life and you deserve eternal crowns in the worlds to come! I pray that as we celebrate Christmas we may also celebrate “Easter”–the resurrection and eternal life which Melanie, your mother, sweetheart and wife will surely enjoy.
    I love all of you. DeLite

  8. Trilby Cope says:

    We echo the lovely words expressed in the other comments. Our love and prayers continue to be with you at this tender time. What a remarkable example your family is to everyone. Our lives are richer for having known Melanie.

  9. Michele says:

    I don’t even know what to say under these circumstances…I’m just so grateful that Melanie’s life was so rich with love while she was here…mostly because she gave love so freely…she was a hugger and always made everyone feel special and loved. I’m so grateful for Jon, who was so tender and loving throughout her whole life and especially through her illness. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a couple so in love and willing to sacrifice for the other. Keala, Kalani, Kai & Kawena are such beautiful wonderful children (and adults!) so reflective of their parents’ love that will survive in them forever.

    The list is endless in how much I admire my big sis. It gives me comfort to think of her embracing Mom & Dad and hanging out with her good friends Robin and Alicia on the other side. Melanie is an inspiration to me and I feel like she is the reason I am here today and got past the many hardships I had in my own life. And now yet another hardship to lose one we love so much…But we will get through this, because Melanie would want it no other way.

    I love you forever and ever and ever, Melanie!

  10. Paola says:

    Dean Kau,

    Thank you for your beautiful heartfelt words; they speak to the soul. Your sweet wife is finally at perfect peace as she is encircled in the arms of our Savior. Her Savior. Our prayers and thoughts are with you and your dear family. God bless.

  11. Brian J. Smith says:

    Melanie formed a legacy of assistance, tireless work, and volunteerism that is prized and noticed by all within the Utah Youth Soccer Association and the teams and leagues with which she worked. We are saddened at her passing but so happy that she touched the lives of so many. We thank you for sharing Melanie with us.
    We wish all the best for your family.
    Brian J. Smith
    Vice President
    Utah Youth Soccer Association

  12. Crystalee says:

    She was sure a gift to all of us. Merry Christmas in heaven, sweet Auntie Mel.


  13. michelle says:

    Dear sweet Kau Family,
    Our hearts and prayers are with you at this time. We feel so touched by your love and sweet outlook of life. We are so blessed to call you our friends. Melanie will forever be missed. How wonderful it is to have the Gospel in our lives and know that families are forever. My hope is that someday I can be as strong in my testimony and living life to its fullest.
    Love you,
    Donald, Michelle and Stuart Patterson

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