When I decided to start this blog I knew that I wanted to share Laney’s story with the hopes that it would encourage others. To help them know that they can make it through whatever hard things they are going through. But Laney’s story is also my family’s story now.
Sometimes through this journey of life, we have mountains placed in our way. Everyone will have their own struggles and hardships. While I am not ready to say I am okay with losing Laney, that it has helped me to be a better person, I can say I am trying to piece my life back together. I know that eventually I will make it through. That eventually it will be my beautiful heartbreak. But not yet. I will say that the things that have happened since her accident have been amazing. How her testimony has been shared to thousands of people. How her example and legacy continue to live on. The new perspective I have on life.
All of the pain we are going through, all of the heartbreak of losing Laney, has been so hard. There aren’t even words to describe it. Oh, I know that someday things will be softer, easier. He is picking up the pieces of our broken hearts even now. We have seen tender mercies along the way that show us that we will make it. That He is mindful of us. We have to go through this to get where He wants us to be in our life.
I have no doubt that I will come out on top of this particular mountain. I am choosing to face each day with courage. To be strong. To be an example to others. To be more like Laney.
This is an exciting week for our family. Not only is Hunger Games coming out, but Laney’s friend Solomon is coming home from his mission on the same day! He has been serving in the Germany-Austria mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Laney would have been so thrilled that they were happening on the same day. But she would have been more excited to see Solomon.
Laney and Solomon were best friends in high school. We found out from his mom that Laney found out that Solomon only had two merit badges to finish so he could get his eagle award in scouting. But he only had two weeks to do it in. Laney’s encouragement and support helped him finish in time, and they have been fast friends ever since.
I have mentioned before how we have received so many tender mercies since Laney’s accident. Well, one of those came in the form of Solomon. Upon hearing of Laney’s accident, Solomon’s parents called the mission president. Solomon immediately wrote our family. His letter was such a tender mercy for us. He told us that we are not left without hope, even in our sorrow. And he is one of those reasons.
So now Solomon is coming home. I am excited to see him, but nervous, too. I know it will be hard for him to come to our home and not get the hug he had been waiting for from Laney. To not be able to share his mission experiences with her. To hear how much his letters have helped comfort our broken hearts. But, I can’t wait to see him and tell him thank you for being such a great friend to Laney, to hear about his mission, and to give him that hug for her.
We got a call yesterday from my brother-in-law. He needed our help. He lives in southern Utah and his daughter goes to school near where we live. She was in a car accident near our home. She was okay, don’t worry.
He felt helpless to do anything, but knew he could call us to help out. One of the ways we helped her was to let her take our car while hers is being fixed. My brother-in-law was overwhelmed that we would even consider it. He said that it was way beyond what we needed to do. But I told him he didn’t understand. That it is an honor for us to help.
You see, there is way more to this story. This niece that needed my help was also one of Laney’s best friends growing up. They are only a month apart in age. When Laney first went to college, she went to a school where my brother-in-law lived. In fact, she lived less than a block from his house. She went to his house for dinner every Sunday night. She hung out with their family. She was part of their family. I cannot count the times that my sister-in-law helped Laney with this or that. Their love for my daughter has been evident since she was born. Literally.
This brother-in-law is the same one who hiked up the mountain to find Laney’s pack for us after her accident. And didn’t think twice about doing it. He drove across the state the day of the accident because he knew we needed him. Then he helped my son, because we weren’t in a position to do it ourselves.
So, when he called us, and the opportunity was there for us, we jumped at the chance to help him. We will never be able to repay him for all that he has done for us and for Laney. What he still does for us. But we can be in a position to help and take the opportunity when it arises.
We have always looked for opportunities to help others, but since losing Laney, our perspective has changed, and we actively seek out others who need may need us. It has helped us to find more comfort by reaching out. So, to one of my favorite brothers-in-law…the pleasure is truly ours. Because we love you.