Twenty-three years ago today, I was blessed to become a mother for the second time. Little did I know what the next 20 years would be like. Laney started out struggling to breath and finished this part of the plan for her life stronger than I think I will ever be in my entire lifetime. And I am talking more ways than one. But today, I am going to just tell you how very much I miss her. Her strength. Her happiness. Her.
I miss her sweet smile and the way she scrunched her eyes closed when she went down a slide. I miss how she was always my buddy, helping and learning as she grew. I miss those days. I miss how much she loved her twin sisters. I miss her long, beautiful, amazing hair. I miss how she used to curl it. I miss her fearless attitude. I miss how she would light up when she was excited. I miss how much she loved sports. And how hard she played. I miss how she would stand up for the little guy and also how she would serve them. I miss watching her dress up to go to the temple.
And how excited she was about the Brigham City Temple. I miss how she would get so excited when she got a letter from Jens. And how she loved to take cookies to his family. I miss walking in to the smell of cookies and her telling us we could only have ONE because they were so and so. I miss how excited she was when she got her first car. I miss how she wrapped her arms around me when I cried when she left for college. I miss her raps and her dancing. I miss how she knew every single word to every single song. Not even kidding. I miss how she loved everything with an enthusiasm that was contageous. I miss how she glowed with happiness. And how she let that happiness show in the way she treated others.
I miss watching her in sports. Volleyball. Basketball. Track. Softball. Every single game. I even miss how she would tell me not to cheer for her. And how I would turn to the mom beside me and have them cheer for her, for me. I miss how she would look up from a time-out and sign something to me like I knew what she wanted. When she told me to learn sign language so that I could understand her. I still smile at that.
I miss the sound of her voice. The sound of her singing with Alyssa. And Brynna. And Ally. And Addisyn. The sound of her laughter. The sound of her absolute joy. I miss the last 20 years. I wish I could go back and recapture all of those moments and memories so they were fresh in my mind. Like I knew she wasn’t going to be here and I needed to remember them better. Longer.
So for today, her 23rd birthday, I am going to miss her. And then I will put it all away again for a little while. And maybe tomorrow, I will show courage again to make it through another day. And another day after that.
This time of year is my favorite. And also one of the hardest. I love Easter and the knowledge that I have that Jesus Christ rose from the grave, resurrected, so that we may live. But it has never had more meaning than it has the past few years. You see, it doesn’t happen very often, but every once in a while, Easter falls very close to Laney’s birthday. And this year is one of them.
So it makes this an extra special upcoming weekend. The Man who died so we could live again is celebrated at the same time that we celebrate Laney’s birth. Amazing to think about. Amazing to know that because of Him, not only will we be resurrected, but we will have the chance to live with Him again. That those who have gone on before us will rise as well makes my heart leap for joy. That because of Him, we will see Laney again.
It is because of Him that I have hope and that I have not been overwhelmed by despair. It is because of Him that I know of a surety that I cannot put into words that I will see Laney again. That there is no end.
I wanted to share this video that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints put out that says in so few words what my heart rejoices in. I hope you will enjoy it and share it with others.
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!