I received a comment on my blog a week ago that got me thinking. It said that they didn’t know how I stayed so strong through it all. First of all, I really don’t feel strong at all. I feel like I am making it a day at a time, sometimes, a minute at a time. It got me thinking about sharing an experience that I had a few weeks ago. Usually when another trial comes, like our latest one, it knocks me for a few days. Then I am able to pick myself up and keep going. It was during this time that a man I worked with asked me how I was doing.
Let me explain why this is such an amazing statement. This man is from a different country, with a very different culture. He speech is often hard to understand, and he usually keeps to himself. So when he stepped into my office and asked me how I was doing, I just looked at him while I tried to form a response. He actually figured out that I was having a rough time without me saying anything. So what he said next really was one of the best compliments I have received in a while.
He told me I was a strong lady. That when other people have small problems, they just fall down in tears. But that I have a lot of big things, and that I am very strong. When problems come to me, I just keep going and don’t let them get me down for long. It was such a sweet thing to say.
It made me realize (although, really, we already know this) just how much people are watching us. They watch how we react to adversity. They watch how we act during the good times, too. It helped me resolve to do even better, to have more courage because you never really know whose life you can help change by the example that you are.
This past week marked 18 months since we lost Laney. It wasn’t too bad of a week because we have had other things we have been dealing with and thinking about. But the night of the 13th, when one of Laney’s friends sent me a message on Facebook, gave me such reason to pause that I wanted to share her message with you.
I was driving alone the other day, and my thoughts wandered to Laney…
And with today being 18 months, my first thought was… that is the amount that a Sister Missionary serves. And although we don’t get letters or pictures, I know she is doing great missionary work! And it would be like Laney to go above and beyond, so her mission has extended, but the reunion will be that much sweeter because of it. And your family has blessings abounding in store.~ Melanie
Melanie pointed out such a sweet thought for us. It made me cry. Of course, Laney would extend her mission call if she could. And of course she is going above and beyond…because that is exactly how Laney was. We miss her like crazy and look forward to her “homecoming” in what we hope is the not too distant future. Thank you, Mel.
Have I ever mentioned that all five of my girls are athletes? They all love basketball more than any other sport. They play softball and volleyball and run track as they wait for basketball season to start. Laney’s senior year, she got new shoes that had her name and number on them. They were pretty sweet.
The other day, Ally was looking for her own basketball shoes as she headed out to practice. She could only find one. I told her to go find Laney’s shoes and use those. A few days later, as she headed to practice again, she had them in her hand.
Later, I asked Ally if it were hard and made her cry to put on her sister’s shoes. She said that it didn’t. But informed me that she was going to wear them from now on. Then yesterday, she told me that when I went to her game, I was going to cry. When I asked her why, she told me that when I saw her in Laney’s shoes that it would make me cry.
But, it didn’t.(I know, you were thinking that I am so emotional lately that it would make me bawl my eyes out.) It actually made me smile. How cool is it to be able to wear your sister’s shoes as you literally follow in her footsteps?
As I thought about it, I smiled again as I remember a conversation I had with Laney not long before we lost her. We were reminiscing about her playing basketball. You know, the,”Remember when…” conversations. We were laughing at when Laney used to run down the court and watch her feet as she ran. She then confessed that she still did! That is when I cried. Because Ally does, too.