I have a habit of reading obituaries. I stopped doing it for a long time after we lost Laney. But the other day, I read about a girl that lives here in Utah. She was the same age as Laney and had struggled with cancer. At the end of her obituary, there was a link to a blog about her journey. I went to the blog after reading her amazing obituary.
I was speechless and extremely emotional to read on Mary’s blog a reference from the story about Laney in the Church News. It blew me away. I know that Laney’s story is out there, and that it has been seen by thousands of people. But seeing it used firsthand to help strengthen someone else going through such a difficult struggle made me so incredibly grateful that Laney had made such an impact.
I often think that when I grow up, I want to be like Laney. I want to look back at my life and know I made a difference. What a legacy she left behind for not only our family, but for countless people who are using her as an example of strength. Yup. When I grow up, I definitely want to be like Laney.
It is amazing to me how much a simple smile can make someones day. Everyone we see each day is going through different challenges. Sometimes, a smile is all it takes to make them feel better for even a few minutes. I love how the simple things truly are the best way to show someone that you care. That for that particular moment, your actions can make such a difference.
Like taking the time to pull over on your way home from an outing to say hi. Or sending me a message on Facebook about something that you remembered about Laney. Or coming to watch a softball game in a place that has so many memories that it is sometimes hard NOT to think about Laney not being there. Every single one of these things helps us make it through each day. They may be simple things to you, but to us, they mean the world. But then again, so do you.
I read an article in the newspaper the other day that hit me so forcefully that it brought tears to my eyes. Let me go back a little and explain the reason behind my reaction. When my son was six he was diagnosed with bipolar, ADHD, and a litany of other things. When he was 15 we found out that the “other things” was actually Autism. To say that the years have been rough has been an understatement.
I have often wondered why it has to be so hard. I have been frustrated with him quite often. Several times, Laney would look me in the eyes, point her finger at me and say, ” He was given to our family for a reason!” I knew that, but sometimes we all need reminders, right?
So, while I was reading this article, one paragraph stuck out to me. It was talking about comparing ourselves to other parents, and how we shouldn’t ever do that. It said, “They don’t have your kids or your circumstances or your marriage or your personality, and you don’t have theirs.”
Here is the part that made me sit back and get emotional: “And your kids did not choose them to be their parents; they chose you and they want you. And God did not choose someone else to be their parents; he chose you. And God did not choose someone else to be your kids; he chose the ones you got — for you and for you alone.” Richard and Linda Eyre
Wow. I guess Laney was right after all. But I already knew that.