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.
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.