I have always believed that having integrity is an essential part of who I am, who I have been thus far in my life. It is something that I try to instill in my children. Sometimes it is by showing them by my own actions. Sometimes it is by helping them to know that a certain decision will lead to integrity.
Having the courage to stand for what we believe is also integrity. Laney did that repeatedly. You always knew where you stood with her, and she was not afraid to tell you what you were doing was not right. Peer pressure did not influence her. Integrity did.
Integrity goes right along with courage. If we do the right thing because it is right, not because of what others think, that is courage and integrity. I love that the two are intertwined. Because I need the courage. Because I strive to live with integrity, I hope my kids see that it is something they want to have as well. So far, it is working.
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.