Waiting on Perfect to Arrive

We have been working hard with our friends at Bunderson Monument to create the most amazing headstone for Laney. And we got it in today.

The remarkable thing is that this headstone was thought through with much love from a number of people. It was done by our good friends through email and phone calls. We didn’t actually see the stone until it was put in. And it was better than we could have hoped for. Thank you to Valerie for the idea to use Laney’s own quote on the back! It was the perfect touch. We love you!

So we have been waiting on the perfect headstone to arrive. And the pictures don’t do it justice. It is a bitter sweet moment for us. But it is perfect. It is SO Laney. I know she would approve.

What do you think? Breathtaking!

~CTR

Write it Down

The day my mom found out she had cancer, she wrote in her journal, “Today is the first day of the rest of my life.” That is the only journal entry she ever wrote. It has me thinking lately about the first day of the rest of my life. What my journals will say about me.

I think about how many journals Laney wrote. For a month before she died, she kept asking me for a new one. She was almost finished with her old one and didn’t want to be without one to write in. She had also been asking me to help her find her old journals. From when she was a kid. I had put them in a box and put them up when she went to college. Wade finally found them. But not until after she was gone.

Ally and Addisyn with Laney

But the things she wrote in them were great. She was so funny, talking about being mad at her sister when they were in elementary school. She wrote about the things she did with her sisters, and who her friends were.  But for the last 4 or so years, she wrote mostly about Jens. About how amazing he is. About how much she loved him. About how she couldn’t wait to give him her forever. How sweet is that?

Having Laney’s journals have been so important to us. It has meant the world to read them and see her growth over the years. To see her personality shine through. It was in her journal that she left her testimony for us. And it has been shared with thousands of people. Oh, I am sure if we shared anything else, she wouldn’t like it. But I am sure she is ecstatic that we are helping others by sharing her amazing testimony now.

It has made my family and others rededicate ourselves to writing in our journals. To make sure that the important things are written down. Like the tender mercies. And the feelings we’ve had through all of this. Because I don’t ever want to forget them.

~CTR

Surround Yourself With Greatness

I have been thinking a lot lately about the kind of people we surround ourselves with. The kind of people that Laney has as friends. And it amazes me. Do the people we surround ourselves with encourage us? Do they want us to be our best selves? Do they help us along our way? Are they there for us when we really need them?

My daughter, Brynna, is friends with a lot of Laney’s friends. She used to hang out with Laney and her friends all the time. As I have thought about it, I am glad she let Brynna hang out with them. That they are still Brynna’s friends. Because they all love Laney, and they love Brynna as well. All of Laney’s close friends have kept in contact with Brynna. Encouraging her. Listening to her. Showing her what real friends are like.

Laney had the kind of friends that were great examples to everyone. They included everyone. That knew what it meant to be a friend. That always tried to do what’s right. Friends that all went on missions. She had her own raised bar for the type of friends she wanted. Which made it easy to see that those she loved the most loved her the most in return.

So we encourage our other kids to have good friends. To surround themselves with greatness. Because having great friends helps us to be great, too.

~CTR