Since our 2 year mark for losing Laney is here, I wanted to share some of the things that I have learned since we lost her. I miss her so much. I will admit that things have gotten a little softer. A little easier, even. But it is still there every day. Every minute. The emotions just under the surface. Waiting to break through and roll down my face. And I get emotional for a bit, and then put on my stoic face and keep on moving forward.
1. God knows us. Intimatley. He knows what we need. He allows our loved ones to watch over us and intervene on our behalf. One of the things He desires is to bless us. I have seen so many blessings come to our family. Usually through other people. But not always.
2. God has a plan for my life. I KNOW it. He also has a plan for Laney’s life. He can see the big picture and knows what we need. He also knows that if we saw the entire plan at once, it would be overwhelming. So He shows it to us little by little. Line upon line, precept by precept. There are many times I have wished to see how this all comes together. But I know that I must have faith and that when I am ready, my Heavenly Father will reveal just a little more to me.
3. Perspective. Wow, has my perspective changed. I sometimes see immediately what other people need and because of my own experiences, can act upon that with compassion. I see life in an eternal perspective now. I can see what matters, and what doesn’t. I have immediate empathy for those who are having struggles. I have been put in this position for a reason. Helping others going through similar trials is one of those things.
4. Carry on. Sometimes it is not an easy thing to do. But it is something we must do. We have to continue on in moving forward with our lives. All the while knowing that we will be helped by others around us and by others on the other side of the veil who are cheering us on and helping to bless our lives. We are definitely not alone in our struggles.
5. Look for the blessings everyday. One of the biggest things that has helped me over the last two years is looking for the blessings every day in my life. Sometimes they are small. And sometimes they are so big that you cannot deny that they come from Heavenly Father.
How grateful I am to a loving father in Heaven who knows ME. Who loves ME. Who knows what I need before I know what to ask for.
Photo by Josh Munns
4 years. That is how long it has been since we have taken a family picture. For our family…taking family pictures is a big deal. It is a huge process in getting everyone to agree on colors, themes, and places. It takes us months to get everything together and be ready.
In fact, we were trying to get everything together when we lost Laney. She wanted us to dress as Avengers. No wear Avengers. Dress like them. I vetoed that pretty quickly. No way was I putting on an Avengers costume. Laney assured me that I could be Rogue. I was NOT wearing a skin tight outfit. No way.
So after a lot of thought and time, we decided we were ready to do family pictures. I will not lie. We struggled with how to take family pictures when some in the family were not present. One is obvious why, the other not so much. The only thing we knew was that they couldn’t be there. Someone mentioned to me that family pictures are a snapshot of this time period in your life. That made so much sense to me.
Brynna and I came up with the idea of doing Avengers shirts, partly because it was cool, but also because it was incorporating something Laney wanted before. So everyone picked their favorite Avenger and we got a shirts. Wade came up with a Captain America action figure and a street shark to represent those who weren’t there. And he stood in Laney’s place as they were waiting for the photographer to be ready. And then he took off running, leaving an open spot and four girls laughing. He made is so much easier for us to take pictures with part of the family missing.
But the amazing thing is who took the pictures and the story behind it. His name is Josh Munns. I barely know him, but I know his parents very well. We know a handful of people that could have taken the pictures, and all do an amazing job. But for some reason, we knew that Josh should be the one to take them.
The only problem was that Josh was busy working 16 hour days. But we asked anyway. He told us he was too busy, and that he could refer us to someone. But not ten minutes later, he said he would do it. I can’t explain why I felt so much like Josh needed to do them. But I am grateful that he did. Grateful that he put up with our antics. That he laughed at our action figures. That he gave us something amazing when we were so emotional about doing our first family pictures without Laney. He is one of my heroes.
He captured it perfectly. Especially the fact that we are doing okay. That things have gotten softer. Easier in a way. What do you think?
I’m struggling. I will admit it. There are so many things that have been hard the last few months. Writing a blog post is one of them. It is so hard to write when it brings so many emotions to the forefront. Health issues and personal stress add to that as well. But right after Laney’s birthday, came Mother’s Day. That is always a very hard one for me. I love all of my kids and am glad to be their mom, but when one is missing, it makes things more difficult. More emotional.
Then came Father’s Day. Two months before we lost Laney, She and her sisters made a video for Wade for Father’s Day. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. About how much he loved every second of it. About how funny she was. About how much she loved to include her sisters. About how much she loved her dad.
I thought yesterday about how not a day goes by, or even an hour when I don’t think about Laney. That I don’t miss her. That I don’t wish and dream and hope. It probably doesn’t help that I have to pass the mountain where she fell every day on my way to and from work.
Our knowledge that she is ours forever helps to lessen the pain. But missing her is just so hard! I am trying to live the kind of life that will not only lead me back to my Savior, but also to my daughter. Because I know she expects it of me. Of all of us.
So I will try to be strong. Try to be better. Try to live so that when I see her again, she can laugh and point out what an idiot I was for wearing mis-matched shoes to a BBQ yesterday. Because she will.