I am so glad that 2013 is about over. It has been one heck of a year for our family. 2014 can only be better, right? To end our year with a bang, our house decided to flood 4 days before Christmas. From the top floor down to the basement. If Brynna hadn’t woken up in the middle of the night to tell us she thought it was raining in the house, I can’t imagine the amount of damage that would have been done. It was bad enough already.
When I told my friend about it, he got tears in his eyes and explained how it wasn’t fair that my family had so many hard things. Sometimes, I agree with that! But we each have our own things we are going through and they might be hard for each one of us. The trick is to keep moving. Keep swimming, keep swimming, keep swimming!
But one of the hardest things for me this year happened as a result of that water pipe breaking. It ruined the ceilinig in Laney’s room. They told me that I had to have her room cleaned out by the end of Christmas day. WHAT? I hadn’t prepared myself emotionally for that. I didn’t think I would need to do that for a while yet. Years, maybe. So what happened when I cleaned it out was one of the hardest things I have had to do for a while.
I started on Christmas eve. The first thing I picked up was a clipping of a wedding dress from a magazine. Bring on the tears, right? Then I pick up a business card for a jeweler! By that point, I was beside myself. It just brought all of the missed things back in a rush. She was going to be getting married! She was so excited about it. And cleaning her room brought it all back. Those things that I put in the back of my mind were there in the front in mere moments.
So my Christmas was spent in tears. Tears for how things were supposed to be. Tears for how they are. Tears for every single thing that I picked up in that room and put into a box. I wasn’t ready for that task. I don’t know when I would have been. But I am glad I was able to get it out of the way. The thought of it was so daunting that I might never have been able to do it.
I am sure that 2014 will be better!
This week, three people that have meant the world to my family have passed away. One due to old age. Hers was a life well lived. Only knowing her in her later years provided some sweet memories and opportunities for service that we may not have known otherwise. From her I learned to have gratitude and endure to the end. If she could do it, then I didn’t have an excuse. How very much my children loved to serve her. The small acts of kindness they performed for her are some of their treasured memories. My sweet, sweet Sister Noble.
The others, a tragic car accident. It has caused me to reflect on what they have taught me and my family over the years. Not only were we friends with all of their children, but their grandkids were my kids’ best friends. Countless hours were spent with this family having fun, serving in callings in our church, and being good neighbors. We have known them for over 20 years.
Here are a few of the things they have taught my family. And me.
Service to others, and loving those you served. Be a good example to others That by doing so, you show others your love for your Savior. Love unconditionally. Especially your family.
But, I wanted to also share a things I have learned from my own experience: Angels are real. They are your parents, and other loved ones who have gone on. They will be by your side more than you know. And they will continue ot watch over you.
They aren’t really gone. You just can’t see them. Those sealing powers that binds you to them are very tangible right now. Never forget that feeling. Sometimes, you will just KNOW the veil is so thin, that all you need to do is be able to move it to see them.
God knows each of you and desires to bless you. Look for those blessings everyday in your life. How amazing it is to know that we will see them again. And it is sooner than we think.
What an amazing legacy your parents left for you, and for those of us who loved them, too. Thank you for sharing them with us. There is peace on the other side of brave. So be brave.
Since our 2 year mark for losing Laney is here, I wanted to share some of the things that I have learned since we lost her. I miss her so much. I will admit that things have gotten a little softer. A little easier, even. But it is still there every day. Every minute. The emotions just under the surface. Waiting to break through and roll down my face. And I get emotional for a bit, and then put on my stoic face and keep on moving forward.
1. God knows us. Intimatley. He knows what we need. He allows our loved ones to watch over us and intervene on our behalf. One of the things He desires is to bless us. I have seen so many blessings come to our family. Usually through other people. But not always.
2. God has a plan for my life. I KNOW it. He also has a plan for Laney’s life. He can see the big picture and knows what we need. He also knows that if we saw the entire plan at once, it would be overwhelming. So He shows it to us little by little. Line upon line, precept by precept. There are many times I have wished to see how this all comes together. But I know that I must have faith and that when I am ready, my Heavenly Father will reveal just a little more to me.
3. Perspective. Wow, has my perspective changed. I sometimes see immediately what other people need and because of my own experiences, can act upon that with compassion. I see life in an eternal perspective now. I can see what matters, and what doesn’t. I have immediate empathy for those who are having struggles. I have been put in this position for a reason. Helping others going through similar trials is one of those things.
4. Carry on. Sometimes it is not an easy thing to do. But it is something we must do. We have to continue on in moving forward with our lives. All the while knowing that we will be helped by others around us and by others on the other side of the veil who are cheering us on and helping to bless our lives. We are definitely not alone in our struggles.
5. Look for the blessings everyday. One of the biggest things that has helped me over the last two years is looking for the blessings every day in my life. Sometimes they are small. And sometimes they are so big that you cannot deny that they come from Heavenly Father.
How grateful I am to a loving father in Heaven who knows ME. Who loves ME. Who knows what I need before I know what to ask for.