There are times when I wonder why I have been given the gift of writing.  How should this gift be used?  Am I to write a book that will somehow touch the soul of a reader enabling them to fulfill their potential?  Am I to write in order to help society understand the world that is around them?

Jeff Speaking at FuneralThese are the types of questions I find myself pondering late at night as I sit at my computer or at a desk with my journal.  Perhaps this is too philosophical.  Maybe I am writing just for myself as a form of therapy helping me understand each experience I am going through.

I began to believe I would never quite understand why I have this gift at all.  Then as my life progressed events occurred that helped me realize why I write.

I have always been close to my grandparents.  From a very young age I spent time with them.  They helped mold me into the person I am today.  I learned so many valuable lessons from them and I grew to love them more and more every day.

But as always happens, as I became an adult they entered the golden years of their lives.  One day I stopped to realize that our time together in mortality was quickly coming to a close.  This was a difficult concept for me to grasp.

I always imagined my grandparents would be there throughout my life.  I envisioned my children growing up learning from their ancestors and gaining the understanding of life that I had received from my grandparents.

That dream was shattered one December morning when I received a call from my mother that my Grandpa Olsen had passed away.  It was a devastating blow physically and emotionally.  I was not prepared to deal with this loss.

During that time my grandmother came to me and asked if I would write my grandfather’s life sketch.  I was honored that she would ask but never felt as though I could ever do justice describing his life.  I struggled to put into words what he meant to me.

At the funeral I stood at the podium and attempted to tell the story of my grandfather’s life.  There were tears shed and more than a few laughs as I tried to pay tribute to someone I admired so much.

Over the next several years I lost my paternal grandparents.  First my Grandma Summers passed.  While funeral arrangements were made, my grandfather came to me to ask that I give her life sketch.  It was her dying wish that I write this for her.

I was touched that she asked for me and gladly wrote a tribute to her life.  A few short years later my Grandpa Summers died and he too asked if I would write his life sketch.  Recently my maternal grandmother passed away meaning I have lost an entire generation of ancestors.  These humble life sketches and the memories we have are all that remain.

I have written all of them from my heart and I list them here; not as a personal writing accomplishment but rather as a loving tribute to the wonderful people who touched so many people’s lives.

Dean Olsen btnwritingvelene n btnwritingdon n btnwritingvelma n btnwritingveldean n btnwritingwendell n
Dean Olsen Velene Summers Don Summers Velma Olsen VelDean Summers Wendell Jensen


I would have never imagined that this gift would be used as a mechanism to ensure the memories of those we love would live on past the time they would walk this earth.  I no longer wonder why I am able to write.  I just take each day and give thanks for this gift and I pray that I will be able to put into words the love these grandparents had for their family and those around them.