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.
People will occasionally tell me that my family is being so strong through this tragedy of losing Laney. I don’t feel that way. At all. I look at the different trials we have been through and think that as we struggled through each one, being strong was not how I thought about it.
The only thing that I do know for sure is that if we place our trust in Heavenly Father, He will help us, and will not leave us comfortless. He is with us, guiding us wherever we go. And through whatever struggles we are facing.
He is there. That has never been a question for me. It is just a fact. So it should come as no surprise that my favorite motto comes from a scripture in the Book of Mormon. Joshua 1:9. Just the first words are so amazing. “Be strong and of a good courage…” Those seven words give me such strength and courage. I find myself repeating it often in my mind. Telling myself I can be strong. That I can do hard things.
So if you see us, and think we are being strong…there is a reason. And it has nothing to do with us.
Sometimes, music can bring back so many memories. Listening to music Laney loved can brighten my day, and sometimes make me sad at the same time.
Steve Tyler or Garth Brooks were two of Laney’s all time favorite singers. She loved all kinds of music and would surprise everyone with her knowledge of music from other eras. She loved Broadway music, and our family often listened to it loud, singing along in the car.
She loved the musical Wicked, and she and Alyssa would often sing the song For Good together. I cannot listen to the song without thinking about the many lives Laney touched. The many lives she changed for good. If there were a song that truly exemplified how she lived, it would be that one. Here is part of the song:
I’ve heard it said, that people come into our lives for a reason, bringing something we must learn. And we are led to those, who help us most to grow, if we let them, and we help them in return. Well…I know I’m who I am today, because I knew you…
It well may be that we will never meet again in this lifetime, so let me say before we part so much of me is made from what I learned from you. You’ll be with me, like a handprint on my heart. And now whatever way our stories end I know you have re-written mine by being my friend…
I know I have been changed for the better for knowing my own daughter. I hope that I can continue her legacy by making a difference to someone else. By being their friend. By making a difference in their lives.