We had a family reunion for the Peacock side this weekend. I love to get together with some of the family I haven’t seen in a while and see all of the new babies in the family. I love visiting with my sisters-in-law that are more than just family. That I would have been friends with even if they weren’t my family. The ones who loved Laney almost as much as us.
Each family brought things to put on a display table about what they have been up to. We thought it would be fun to take along Laney’s pictures from growing up, since some of those cousins would be there. We thought they would like to look at them and remember all of those happy growing up days. It was harder that we thought it would be for people to look through Laney’s pictures. Todd and his family put together a poster and then put a spot on it that said “We miss Laney.” Who knew that three little words could make a person cry?
I have a nephew that was at the reunion who is going to be a chaplain. He is in chaplain school right now at BYU. He grew up with Laney. He is very close to our family. He knows us very well, so it was easy to talk to him about Laney and life. He really helped us see things a little differently. He knew exactly what to say, and is very good at what he does.
There are some in the family that hold such a special place in our hearts for how they have always been so good to our family, but also for how they have treated Laney. They are the ones that were there the day of the accident and went way beyond anything ever expected to help us. We love you guys!
The past few weeks have been rough with the things going on in my life. Sometimes, life can be so disappointing. I guess I should say that the choices I see others make can be so disappointing. As I have watched the people in my life struggle through things that they cannot control, that were not of their choosing, I cannot help but marvel at the strength and goodness of our Heavenly Father. At the love and tenderness He shows for us.
While some of the people I see are in a fight for their lives, others are fighting disabilities and disappointments. They are strong people who face each day with a smile on their face and the determination to beat whatever they are fighting. It strengthens me. It makes me want to be better. It makes me think that the struggles I face can be conquered, too. With Heavenly Father’s help, they can be.
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.