Las Vegas, Nevada

While at a large intersection waiting for a red light to change, a tall, very thin man walked very slowly across the sidewalk. He was using a walker to steady himself.

He was terribly thin. Emaciated.

It broke my heart because it reminded me of Tiffany as her body was near dying.

I had purchased a new bike for her last October and she loved riding it and feeling the wind in her hair. She was still able to ride her bike even as it became difficult to walk.

I snapped this picture the night she got the new bike and rode it for the first time. She was so happy to feel her body move. She literally cried for joy in the first moment of riding.

tiffany riding new bike

In the 3rd week of December we went out to ride. She couldn’t lift her leg over the low bar to get her foot on the pedal. Her muscles had become too weak.

Tears are streaming out of my eyes thinking about it again. She looked at me with such disappointment as she realized she wouldn’t be able to ride anymore. I helped her put the bike back in the garage and helped her into the house. She was really good about it and didn’t complain, but I know how sad that was for her.

I don’t really feel like writing about my dinner tonight. I’m just warning you it’ll be negative. Stuffing oneself at a buffet is very empty and meaningless when the realness of our mortality is on my mind and I’m missing Tiffany so much.

For dinner I decided to go to the ‘best buffet’ in Las Vegas. After doing some research, MGM Grand came up on the top. So I drove over there in 104 degree heat, walked about a mile from the parking garage to the buffet, and arrived with high expectations.


If this is the best buffet in town, then my standards must be too high. I’m not sure what all the hype is about. What I saw was a bunch of food and a bunch of gluttonous people shoving it down their throats, trying to derive as much pleasure as possible in their gluttony.

Bored, alone, feeling rather down, and not enjoying the meal, I decided to get the most random combination of food and put it on one plate. Here is the result: cantaloupe, veal, nut ravioli, pot sticker, and swordfish. Gross.



Let’s move to the subject of the temple, that is more uplifting and meaningful. However I’m afraid this first part is sad too.

I met a elderly man today. His last name is Ballard, I didn’t catch his first name. And no, it’s not M. Russell 🙂

He has a 47 year old son whose wife has an untreatable cancer. She just flew to MD Anderson in Houston for a surgery that will help her live a bit longer but not stop the cancer. He said she’s come to terms with dying and not being able to finish raising their children. She’s accepting the inevitable and preparing for it.

They have 5 children. Their oldest just left to serve a mission, so the other 4 are still at home.

His son is a medical doctor. I wonder how difficult it would be to have all that knowledge and skill and yet not be able to save your wife’s life.

My heart goes out to their whole family, knowing intimately what they are going through.

I need to have something positive in this blog post. Here we go, I’m going to give it a try. There will be happier posts in the future, I promise!

Here’s a start. I hope they have as much support from their extended family and friends as my family had and has. We have had so much love showered on us and I’m so grateful for that!

I’m also grateful that Tiffany and I were married in the temple, where that marriage lasts beyond this life. That gives me a lot of comfort. I am so grateful for temples!

Here’s more 🙂

This temple has a nice fountain, and it has water, yay!



Remind me to never take a selfie again, “I look hideous”. (Esqueleto in Nacho Libre).


This temple is massive, I’m not sure the pictures convey that.


I like the different trees and shrubs they have here. Very deserty and natural.


And of course the flowers are impeccable.


7 thoughts on “Las Vegas, Nevada

  1. We were doing sealings the other day in the Jordan River Temple and the sealer was telling us about that symbol you see on either side of your last picture. I’m not sure I had heard this explanation before, if I had I had forgotten. The square represents the four corners of the earth and the circle is enternity. These symbols are found in multiple places on all temple to remind us that temples are gateways between earth and eternity.

  2. You’re doing great, Damon. I know Tiffany wants you to be happy–it’s such a no brainer that it seems silly to even say it. It’s great how you have been blessed by your contact with people who have been through similar trials. It’s amazing how the Lord puts people in our path, right when we need it.

  3. I haven’t been to many of the temples you’ve visited so far, but I like how each one has elements that depict the location — palm trees in CA, cactus in NV, etc. On some temples there is stained glass that shows something significant from the area — Palmyra’s shows the sacred grove, for example.

    I’m sorry Las Vegas was kind of a downer for you (except the temple). For some reason this past week has been especially emotional for me in missing Tiff. She’s been my confidante my whole life, and I just miss her so much more than I can say. She was able to ride her bike at least once while I was there in December, but I know she didn’t go many more times after that.

    Here’s a happier bike memory with Tiff that I’m sure you’re familiar with: When you and Tiff were writing letters before you were married, she would get your letter and then reply immediately. She would ride a bike at break-neck speeds to the downtown Los Altos post office so it would go out that same day. So you, Tiff, and bikes have a long history. 🙂

  4. I love the quote you chose from Nacho Libre! I take no selfies! In my mind’s eye, I am still that young woman about to embark on life with my husband-to-be and then when I look in the mirror, surprise! I am older, going grey, and have put on more than a few pounds. But then I think, “Well…it doesn’t bother me too much what I look like. After all, it’s the rest of you all that have to put up with my looks, not me!” Just don’t tell anyone else my little secret…

  5. That picture of Tiff is so very much her. I don’t remember her doing selfies really, but she didn’t shy away from having her picture taken. She just went with it. If it didn’t “turn out”, oh well, many others did. And so, we all have many pictures of Tiff doing all kinds of random things. I’m grateful. Otherwise, if she had been concerned about having her picture taken while riding her bike in her pajama pants, we would have missed out on a genuinely happy Tiffany photo of that truly joyful moment. Who really cares about your pants at an exhilarating time like this?

  6. just stared reading your story and what faith and goodness you share. I love all the Temples your going too. My sweetheart passed to the other side 7 years ago and the Temple has been my support. Heavenly Father is so kind to give us so many Temples and I too am so grateful for my Eternal Marriage. God bless you and your family.

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